Category Archives: financial expediency

Neil Perera challenges Indian hegemony in the governance of cricket

Neil Perera, courtesy of The Island

The Sports Editor, The Island

Dear Sir,                              

B.C.C.I. Hegemony at the I.C.C…  The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have, it appears forgotten the days when the England and Australian Cricket  Boards dominated the International Cricket Council till about 2 decades ago, when these 2 countries had Veto Powers which could throw out any proposal put forward by the other countries. Sri Lanka was the country that was worst affected, in that both England and Australian Cricket Boards vetoed our application for Full Membership for nearly ten years. (We first applied for full membership in the early seventies) Thereafter the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) successfully spearheaded a proposal to abolish the Veto Powers of these two dominant members of the ICC in the early 1990’s and was ably supported by the Indian and Pakistan Cricket Boards(PCB) .

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Atherton’s Initial Response: a power grab damn it!

atherton  22Michael Atherton, 29 January 2014 in the Sydney Morning Herald, where the title reads “Atherton blasts ‘big-three’ plan

Former England captain Michael Atherton and a leading global anti-corruption watchdog have joined the chorus of criticism regarding plans to effectively cede control of world cricket to India, Australia and England.

Leaked draft proposals to be discussed at a two-day International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday call for more decision-making powers for a three-strong group of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board, who between them represent the game’s wealthiest nations. Continue reading

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It’s the end of the ICC world that we used to sort-of know

Michael Atherton, in The Times, 30 January 2014 with some liberties in altering the title

“A DONE deal,” is how, last Thursday, Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, described the negotiations over the draft proposal for an overhaul of the finances, governance and future shape of world cricket. He was almost right. Yesterday the ICC issued a statement saying that it agreed, in principle if not yet in fine detail, to the proposal as it prepared to hand control to India, England and Australia.

AthertonAs a body, the ICC will not be missed. Incompetent, wasteful, as the draft proposal hammered home time and again, and self-interested, the directors had a chance to make a stand for something better and brighter, but chose instead to accept the scraps and the concessions on offer. In this, of course, there was absolutely no surprise. Continue reading

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Arjuna Ranatunga lashes out

Courtesy of The Island, 15 October 2013, where the title reads:“We can’t learn from India anymore, says Arjuna”

There was a time when the budding cricketers of Sri Lanka looked up to India for learning the nuances of the game, but former captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels this can no longer happen due to the advent of Twenty20. “It’s unfortunate that most youngsters only want to play the shorter version for financial gains. Let’s be very clear that India won’t have any more Sachin Tendulkars or a Sunil Gavaskars. You won’t find the elegance of Tiger Pataudi,” the World Cup winning Lankan captain told a select gathering, after a seminar at the FICCI here on Sunday. It was a part of our learning process as youngsters looked up to Indian cricket. I don’t think we can learn anything from India anymore,” Ranatunga said, when asked whether the rise of Twenty20 will lead to India playing a lesser number of Test matches in the near future.

The 49-year-old, who played 93 Tests and 269 ODIs for his country, also seemed disappointed with the way Indian cricket board has functioned over the past few years. “I think that the BCCI should come under the Right To Information (RTI) act as they are not answerable to anyone, not even to their union sports ministry. That’s why they do whatever they want. In Sri Lanka, at least we have the right to criticise Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in parliament and get it corrected,” Ranatunga stated.

He is not against politicians entering sports administration, but feels technical decisions should be taken by cricketers in the board. “Cricketing decisions should be limited to cricketers. That’s the reason I feel insecure as a cricketer when I find that a player of (Dilip) Vengsarkar’s stature loses to a politician. (Vengsarkar had lost the MCA polls to Vilasrao Deshmukh).”

Someone who doesn’t mince words, Ranatunga was very vocal about how SLC is not ready to handle the transition phase once veterans Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara call time on their career. “When we (and Aravinda de Silva) were getting old, we introduced Sanath (Jayasuriya) as vice-captain. Also we had players like Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, with whom we persisted for a long time.

“You need to give players a long rope and not discard them after one or two failures. That’s how you build a team,” the former skipper stated.

As has been his philosophy regarding T20 cricket, Ranatunga is certainly not amused that Lasith Malinga decided to forego his Test career to prolong his future in limited overs and especially, T20. “If I start speaking about Malinga, I don’t know where it will end. I believe that when he first expressed his desire to retire from Tests and play only ODIs and T20, the captain should have spoken to him. I believe there shouldn’t be any ‘exceptionally separate’ cricketer in a group. In a team, all are equals. During our time, Aravinda (De Silva) was a world class player. But he was never treated differently from others,” he said.

Ranatunga is also peeved that a lot of cricketers seek political interference to get their job done.

“The moment you try to take any action against errant cricketers, he invariably goes to a politician and the person who is trying to set things in order is then removed. I am glad that the new chairman of selectors, Sanath Jayasuriya has a long-term vision. Hopefully, he would be able to deliver the goods.”

The portly cricketer feels that regulation of sports betting won’t be of any help to cure the malaise of match-fixing or spot-fixing.

“I don’t agree that the regulation of sports betting can change the scenario, as there are no guarantees that you can keep away the unwanted elements from an organized sector.”

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Home Truths about the Cricket World

Attributed to Percy Abeysekara, an avid cricket fan and staunch supporter of Lankan cricket. He is  otherwise known as “Pissu Percy” and cut his teeth in this field as a cheerleader at St Aloysius College Galle.


but also note other moments in Percy’s life world …

41c--Percy attracts a swoon


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Sri Lanka’s next series

Tri Nation Unofficial Tour

Upul Tharanga & Ajantha Mendis replaces Dilshan & Thissara Perera for the Tour

28th June – vs. West Indies – Sabina Park Jamaica

2nd July    – vs. India – Sabina Park Jamaica

7th July    – vs.  West Indies – Queens Park Oval Port of Spain Trinidad

9th July    – vs.  India – Queen’s Park Oval Port of Spain Trinidad Continue reading

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Test cricket’s world order in flux as the South Asian countries fade

Gideon Haigh, in The Weekend Australian, 28 Decmber 2012

IN a 10-team competition unfolding over years, you can neither fall nor rise all that far or all that fast. But you can also look around one day and find that a lot has changed almost by stealth.  Such is the case with the World Test Championship, which, for tracking fortunes in a game that is the epitome of subtle shifts and gradual advantages, has undergone a remarkable shift in the past two years.

A calamitous Boxing Day Test, concluded less than halfway through its allotted time, suggests that shift is ongoing. Thirty months ago, Test cricket looked very much an Asian game. India and Sri Lanka ranked numbers one and three respectively after a phase of prolonged success at home and defensible results abroad. While unable to host visiting teams, Pakistan was rebuilding, and had probably the world’s hottest pace attack; Bangladesh, a perennial underachiever, had nonetheless not long beaten the West Indies in the Caribbean. Continue reading

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Cricket in the Fast Lane

Vidya Subramanian, in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLVII No. 50, December 15, 2012 **

That the Indian Premier League (IPL) is about cricket cannot be disputed. But to say that it is a cricket tournament before anything else might be seen as embroidering the facts. From its very inception, the IPL was put together as an entertainment package, and within a few years it has also come to be seen as fertile ground for scams ­involving match-fixing, money laundering and corruption in general. Some ­loyalists maintain that such “evils” are extraneous to cricket, and it is possible to cleanse the sport of such influences. But the disturbing regularity with which such scandals emerge appears to suggest that the problem may be something ­other than merely cosmetic. Is it just the IPL that is the cause of such ­instabilities or is there something fundamental that has changed within cricket that makes it susceptible to such ende­mic disruption? Continue reading

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Atherton tweaks the the West Indians chasing moghuls in India … and elsewhere

Mike Atherton, in The Times and the Weekend Australian, 26 May 2009, with title Swatting balls in Delhi doesn’t compare to facing up at Lord’s, it’s just Gaylic”

Pic by Getty Images


LET’S call it Gaylic, shall we, the language of the modern, supranational, jet-setting Twenty20 cricketer. It is almost universal now, cricket’s version of Esperanto if you like, and it doesn’t matter whether it is IPL, BPL, Big Bash or the original, the Friends Life t20, the language is the same – cash is the game – and the building blocks of this new language are taken from its founder, the biggest, baddest Twenty20 cricketer in town: Chris Gayle.

Gaylic was being played out over the loudspeakers with deafening effects during the first Test at Lord’s. While his fellow West Indians were fretting about swing, seam and the slope, and other variables that make batting at Lord’s in May such a difficult task, Gayle was freewheeling for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Every shot he played echoed all the way to Lord’s. Continue reading

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Media restrictions and security measures surround the SL cricket team

Michael Roberts

Over the past decade the security screen and watchful eye surrounding cricketers and cricket officials have increased substantially. There are good reasons. With betting, spot-fixing and instances of corrupt cricketers been seduced into the betting game, the ICC keeps a weather eye on communications and, as far as I know, bans the use of mobile phones by players during matches. Again, in certain lands armed guards oversee the cricketers’ environment — with the attack on the Sri Lankan team and its official entourage in Lahore serving as the principal reason for this increase of concern.

I discovered the bureaucratic lengths to which the ICC and its local agencies proceed in this regard when the Test Match between Australia and India was played in Adelaide recently.  Kumar Dharmasena was umpiring and when I was at the match one day I went to the front-desk at the office of the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) to ascertain which hotel he was staying in because Kumar is an acquaintance and I thought it would be good to indulge in some hospitality. The front desk was not permitted to divulge such information and gave me a number for a liaison officer to pursue further inquiries. That officer never answered his phone, so I gave up. Sachchitra Senanayake being escorted to pavilion Continue reading

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