Just not cricket
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.