N. Krishnamurthy in Cricket Age, 18 April 2019
As some people in social media are questioning the appointment of Dimuth Karunaratne as the captain for the Sri Lanka’s world cup campaign, young and dynamic Sports Minister Harin Fernando has issued a statement, clarifying all the baseless allegations [accusations, it seems, that are rooted in (A) personal malice and muckraking and (B) Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist thinking and (C) perhaps the tactical moves by outsiders from neighbouring lands seeking to create dissension .. …….. Editor Roberts’ NOTE]
Harin’s statement reads:
“With regards to the recent selection of the WC team to England wales. I wish to clarify few facts. First and foremost a minister does not get involved in selections. We have selectors paid by Sri Lanka cricket to do that job. Once the selection process is done it, [it] comes for approval to the minister. The captain and the players were all picked by selectors. The fact that Dimuth is from St. Joseph College is irrelevant to his appointment. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are also from the same college.
It’s unfortunate to see people bring up religion and other pointless arguments as to the selection process. For those who do not know Dimuth Karunaratne went to St. Joseph, but is a strong Buddhist. I believe whats ones religion or race should not matter in sports or for anything for that matter.
What I realized over the last few months of being a sports minister is that you need to have team work in a team sport. This is the responsibility the selectors have given [Dimuth] and I believe the current team will do their best and wish them the very best at all times. We do not lack in talent. It’s the confidence and hard work that will get us over the line.
As only 15 men get this opportunity of a life time,I hope they do justice and we as citizens can only support them and get behind them. My approach was to never interfere with selection as my predecessors did. I am certain all of their victory. I will back them with all my heart and soul. Make sure we play to our true potential. I always believed a good player may not be the best captain and a good captain may not be the best player. There will be 11 men on the ground with different jobs in hand. Social media and print media criticizes, but at end of the day there are paid people to do the job. I thank all selectors of SLC for the effort that was put in. My job from now will be to be close to the boys motivate them and make sure mother lanka regains its lost glory. I wish the team and management the very best for the upcoming games.”
A NOTE from Michael Roberts: “This is a grounded and sensible approach. Well done Minister Harin. The composition, syntax and grammar in this MEMO is not a good example and may well be the fault of Krishnamurthy; … but your approach is just what the doctor ordered. The teams we are facing in England are so formidable and our recent record so dismal tht we cannot expect great outcomes. But as long as they fight sturdy and maintain the spirit of cricket that was outlined by one Kumar Sangakkara in his Cowdrey Oration, we shale be happy.”
THIS PHOTO was deployed by Cricket Age in presenting the itemreproduced here in Cricketique.. It was actually a scene after the SL squad returned from Australia [with evidence of serious internal dissension] and at a point when Chandimal had lost the captaincy and also been dropped from the squad touring South Africa. Significantly, CHANDIMAL is NOT in the Fifteen for England. This indicates that his personality and approach — and possibly his alliance with HathUrusinghe — had created huge problems in the tour of NZ and Australia. We need solid ethnographic information on this topic before reaching reasoned conclusions.