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DateLine Wednesday, 23 May 2007

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Poor thinking by tour selectors

The Sri Lankan cricketers who were riding the crest of a wave, after their success in the World Cup where they were runners-up to the ultimate champions Australia, shamelessly allowed the Pakistanis to bring them down to earth with a resounding thud.

After losing the first game in a tri series in Abu Dhabi, the Sri Lankan selectors for no unaccountable reason, rested Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga and Ishara Amerasinghe and conceded defeat in a game that the Lankans had to win, not only to keep the series alive, but to also maintain thier status as the second best in this style of game.

But the Lankans meekly surrendered and allowed the Pakistanis to prove that they are better than the Lankans.

The Pakistanis were hiding their faces in shame after their team was knocked out of the preliminary stages of the World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean, and ventured to Abu Dhabi, determined to show the world that their capitulating from the World Cup as one of the glorious uncertainties of the game.

And this the Pakistanis achieved in grand style and proved to the cricket world that the Lankans were lucky to progress to the finals of WC 2007.

The Lankan cricket supporters are fuming in anger for allowing the Pakistanis to cake walk to victory. They canít understand the resting of the two who met with success in the Caribbean - Jayasuriya and Malinga. Apparently the duo did not seem to be carrying any injuries.

Then if it was rest that they required after the gruelling tour that was the Caribbean, why did they have to be taken to the desert for cricket?

Apparently they did not want to disappoint the organisers, because this tournament had the blessings of the International Cricket Council and was an international tournament, and the best men had to be there.

Also the Lankans boasted that they were going to this tournament in an endeavour to raise their ratings in this form of the game. Thus it was inexplicable the leaving out of Jayasuriya and Malinga.

From reports the Lankans cricketers donít seem to be taking this series seriously. If this is not so, how come that it was not the full team that turned out for practice on the eve of the second game.

The Lankans by this irresponsible act, have not only lost their credibility, they have also let down the country, hurt the organisers and devalued the tournament.

When the final accounts are submitted, the money that each player would be awarded for figuring in the World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean would be mind boggling.

While we do not begrudge them the windfall, what we canít accept is their refusal to take this tournament seriously and play the best men and also play at their best.

Today winning is not everything, it is the thing. Had they won this tournament too, their pockets would be bulging adding more to their windfall that was World Cup 2007.

The Interim Committee would be failing in their endeavour if they do not conduct an inquiry that was the shameless display in the desert, because all cricket fans demand this.

By surrendering to the Pakistanis the cricketers gave their coach Tom Moody who had done so much for them a sad and tearfilled farewell.

Let not this fiasco be repeated.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Villa Lavinia - Luxury Home for the Senior Generation

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