Sri Lanka Cricket says no to local clubs and yes to foreign series

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By Callistus Davy
Pallekele Stadium
The playing surface at the Pallekele International cricket Stadium in Pallekele pitch is covered with plastic sheeting after rain showers on December 5, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI.

December 06, 2010 (Island Cricket): The debate on the absurdity of Test cricket, to some countries, may have been justified when the Sri Lanka versus West Indies series ended up in a watery grave at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here, yesterday, thanks to the ill-conceived ideas of an unprofessional administration that runs Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Ironically, the series burial took place at a ground that was born and christened as the world’s 104th venue only four days ago.

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said the occasion marked something he had never experienced before.

“We have to make sure that weather patterns are analyzed. It was just frustrating to sit in the dressing room and watch the rain fall. I have never seen anything like this before," he said.

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara addresses the media during a press conference in Pallekele International cricket Stadium in Pallekele on December 5, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI.

SLC claimed it had no other alternative than to stage the international series at the wettest time of the year, but the unanswered question will be whether the country has to beg for matches to replenish its dwindling finances for reasons best known to administrators only to end up on the blacklist.

“If you can’t play, you can’t play. It is like England trying to stage matches during the winter snowfall”, said one former SLC administrator.

It is learnt that Ten Sports which bought the three-match series for resale to advertisers has already begun to frown on the series which has incurred them huge losses.

Ironically, behind the curtains, SLC had slammed the door on clubs citing wet weather when a request for a T20 tournament was put forward.

For the West Indies it would be a case of regrouping after coming off well in the first Test that was also hit by rain.

“It [rain] can be frustrating. You lose focus and then have to focus again. But as professionals we have to be positive”, said West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

As many as 694 overs were lost to rain in the drawn series.

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