Rip Van Winkle
My dear Angie, I thought I must write to you because everyone is talking about you these days, especially after your team lost to Zimbabwe and you resigned from the captaincy. Cricket seems to have become the topic of conversation – more so than changes to the Constitution, the dengue epidemic or even SAITM! I suppose this is one of those moments when all about you are losing their heads and blaming it on you. It does appear as if there are many problems with cricket in Sri Lanka and that several others are responsible for them- but you are the one taking the rap, just because you happen to be the captain.
You acted like a gentleman and stepped down, considering the disastrous performances of our team recently against Bangladesh and now, Zimbabwe. We really appreciate that. It is good to go when people ask you why you are leaving rather than wait until people ask you why you aren’t leaving.
I just wish that others would follow your example. Take, for instance, the chap in charge of Sri Lanka Cricket – the dark horse who sneaked through the back door in to the House by the Diyawanna Oya. Now, how nice would it be if he stood up and took responsibility for the problems affecting the game?
After all, for some time now our chap has been in charge during a period when our cricket is at its lowest point after getting ‘test’ status. They say he is the mastermind behind team selections, wanting players from clubs that support him in the national team – so that he can be in the top job forever.
Then, almost everyone agrees that our club cricket set up is not good enough to produce international players and that the number of ‘first class’ clubs should be reduced. That would mean that our chap loses votes from clubs that keep electing him as the boss, so he does nothing to change the system!
It was also our chap’s idea to hire Gura, who was minding his own business Down Under and put him in charge of the team. That led to one of the best coaches packing his bags and leaving because his authority was being undermined. Surely, Angie, you are not the one responsible for these decisions? Angie, you resigned like a gentleman even though most things that happen with our cricket team are beyond your control, but would our chap – who also finds the time to deputise for Karu in the House – ever resign? Of course not – and we can’t get rid of him, even though we got rid of Mahinda maama!
As if this chap was not enough of a distraction, now we have Dayasiri who is going around bashing our players in public. He says they are not fit enough and that they have pot bellies that make them miss vital catches. Some of what he says may be correct, but he is going about it in the wrong way.
Dayasiri got called a ‘rilawa’ by Malinga for his outbursts but isn’t it funny that he is also the same person who, as Minister of Sports, appoints the cricket selectors as well as approves the teams that are chosen by them? So, if you fellows had pot bellies and were not fit, why didn’t he then sack the lot?
If Dayasiri was a gentleman he would have resigned – or at the very least, asked Maithri for a different ministry but we know it is too much to expect from someone who jumped, first from the Green camp to the Blue camp and then from the Mahinda maama’s camp to Maithri’s camp just to be in power!
I also thought that, with so many things going wrong with the team and questions being asked about selections, the selectors should have either resigned or been replaced. Instead, Sana and his boys still get another extension. It is only you, Angie, who has to pay the price, so I do feel sorry for you.
But, I don’t think all is lost. I have some proposals to improve our cricket. We can get the GMOA to set the standards for our cricketers – maybe a high ‘Z’ score – and they should strike whenever we lose a match. And Carlo can be the captain of our team. At 84, I don’t think he is too old for the job, do you?
As for selecting our team, we should hand that task to those in Asgiriya. After all, if they can decide on grave matters such as the need for a Constitution, they can surely handle a minor matter such as this? And they must be happy with your resignation – because they insist on Buddhism getting priority!
We wish you well, Angie. Having just turned 30, you have many more years of cricket left in you. We are also glad that you didn’t try to dictate terms to the rest of the team, like some of our so-called ‘legends’ did. We also wish Chandimal and Upul well – they will need all the luck they can get!
PS: It is good that they appointed Chandimal – an old Anandian – to succeed you. That way, when Dayasiri congratulates him he can say ‘appamado amathapadan’ without batting an eyelid. Just imagine, had they appointed Kusal Janith, for instance, he would have said ‘Disce amudey Discede’!