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Just not cricket

The controversial exit of Marvan Attapattu from the National stage will no doubt be the talking point not only among cricketing circles but also at popular watering holes and the public at large in the days to come.

Here was one of Sri Lanka’s most accomplished willow wielders known not only for his rare artistry but also for playing a straight bat in every sense of the word, being unceremoniously dumped for no apparent reason other than perhaps rubbing on the wrong side of the local panjandrums of the game.

True, selectors work in strange ways not only in Sri Lanka but in all cricket playing nations. India is a good example. But the treatment meted out to Marvan certainly smacks of a deliberate plot to oust him from the game.

This can be deduced from the chronology of events that led to his throwing in the towel in the end. Keen watchers of the game here are bound to ask why Marvan one of the most technically perfect batsmen around today was taken to the Caribbean only to be relegated to a mere spectator during the World Cup. He failed to get an outing even in the unimportant games.

It would only bring one to the inescapable conclusion that this was a deliberate plot to humiliate him and make his stay untenable within the folds of the national team. If that is the motive then it is time the Cricket adminstration is shaken out of this mindset.

The sport has now matured into a stage where it has taken the form of a corporate entity. Thus, nothing but the best talent is required to keep the enterprise afloat.

The powers that be should bear in mind that it is only the best talent that can bring success and rake in the shekels for the adminstration. But the handling of the Attapattu affair does not inspire confidence that the authorities are treading this path.

Besides what is at stake is the country’s cricketing reputation which has been painstakingly brought to this higher plane it now enjoys by the sweat and toil of our cricketers over the years.

Hence there is no room for skulduggery and the Board and Selectors should be told that petty jealousies and favouritism cannot figure in the equation if the game is to progress at the same level.

From what is being witnessed at present one can only feel that all is not right with our cricketing administration. First it was the tearful exit of Upul Chandana, another unaccountable faux pas which drew the attention of the highest in the land.

We also recall the dropping of master blaster Sanath Jayasuriya from the squad some time ago, but sanity prevailed in the end and he is back in the fold.

Then there is the baffling omission of Anil Rideegammanagedara who was adjudged the all island Cricketer of the year. There are also rumblings that certainly players are persisted with despite recurring failures. The trend certainly does not bode well for the future of our cricket, one of the few elements which has brought world spotlight on the country.

Today it is apparent that officialdom is calling the shots and the rest forced to toe the line. If dissent is voiced moves are made to still such voices through discriminatory practices as seen from the Attapattu saga.

Our comments here should not be misconstrued as trying to teach the selectors their job. What is only demanded is rationality and transparency so that the public would have a clear picture of the unfolding scene.


A timely step

The move by the Government to investigate all abductions and disappearances in the North would no doubt be welcomed by those who value and respect human rights of all citizens.

The Presidential Committee appointed for the purpose is to visit Jaffna next week to commence proceedings. According to Committee member Dr. Rajitha Senaratne there has been a drastic drop in the number of abductions in the South after President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the Committee.

Many of these cases had been dealt with successfully. Now the Committee was moving Northwards, the Minister said according our lead story yesterday.

It is hoped that mechanisms of this nature would be gradually established in the North. One recalls the Sansoni Commission which was appointed by President Jayewardene in the aftermath of the 1977 communal riots. The present commission assumes a unique position, in the light of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision to treat all communities equally.

While ensuring the Government’s writ in the North the Commission would also help coalesce with the overall administrative structure of the country paving the way for a smooth running of affairs as a single unit.

Besides it would also help integrate the people of the North with the prevailing State mechanisms and help instill confidence in them whilst also serving as a bridge builder to the South.

How successful the Committee will be in this exercise is too early to comment on. Certainly it will not find it easy to ferret out information about these abductions as in the South given the complexities of the ground situation there.

Besides the probe will have to proceed on many fronts and would have to distinguish between the various alleged perpetrators.

The Committee will also have to confront the problem of logistics not to mention the cautious approach it will have to make in approaching witnesses.

Such a Committee would also have the effect of instilling in the people of the North a feeling of being cared for. This we hope would help dismantle all ethnic barriers and accusations of discrimination while raising the prospect of reconciliation.
 

Strikes the bane of national development

The refusal of teachers spurred by their trade unions to mark the A level answer scripts was a national crime. Marking of A level answer scripts is a monopoly enjoyed by a certain group of teachers in the education system. Not all teachers can do it. But to hold it as a ransom is unpardonable. Whom are they trying to victimize? Not the government but innocent student. Students have done no harm to the striking teachers.

Full Story

Reawakening the village: bringing back prosperity

It is evidently clear that Sri Lanka is predominantly rural. This is well borne out by statistics; 77% of our population lives in rural areas. It is in the villages that everything productive happened in the good old days.

Full Story

Importance of stringent animal welfare laws

One of the most important requirements at present in our country is appointing a responsible person or authority for Animal Welfare. According to some facts at a recent press briefing there is no responsible minister/ official or authority for animal welfare.

Full Story

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