Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sri Lankan Cricket - Who's playing a prank on whom?

Sri Lankan Cricket fails to surprise us !! First, it was their decision to force their players to leave the IPL before schedule to concentrate on the England series, Then somehow they reversed their decision with BCCI interfering (as if we didn't expect it to happen). Now a left handed opener has been tested positive, and his replacement - well, here's the surprise - is a veteran who is the only man left playing from the 1996 World Cup winning team and is almost 42 years old. The surprise doesn't end there, this guy says he will be retiring from all forms of the game after the first ODI itself !! 

First of all, I have utmost respect for Sri Lankan cricket and their team. Like it or not, they are the most consistent sub-continent team since winning the ICC World Cup in 1996 - with a little bit of ups and downs, here and there. They were the finalist in the last two editions of the World Cup. There were testing times too - the shootout in Pakistan, for example. They came back - and came back strongly.

But now, they are in the midst of a crisis !! One of the most promising cricketer of their World Cup campaign, Upul Tharanga, has tested positive for a banned substance during the World Cup. He has been replaced by the experienced Sanath Jayasuriya. And Jayasuriya's decision to retire after the first ODI itself is more shocking than his selection in the team.

Don't get me wrong, Jayasuriya is a legend in his own right. In one of my previous posts, there's a comparison between Sanath and Sachin Tendulkar (what Sachin is to India, Jayasuriya is the same to Sri Lanka). He deserved much more than what he got from the cricket board. For some reason, I believe he could have been utilized in a better way to develop the future crop of cricketers. 

Maybe Sanath Jayasuriya has a point to prove. Maybe he has something left in him. During his press conference, he said he will retire for personal reasons. If that was the case, he could have retired when he wasn't picked for the World Cup. There's definitely more to it than meets the eye. We are sure to get more from him after his last match. Whatever the case, Sri Lankan Cricket will have to do a lot of damage control to clear the mess happening around them.

And if you think, thats it - the worst has already happened to Sri Lankan cricket, think again. Hashan Tillekaratne's match fixing claim is still going strong !!

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