Stop the cry baby act and play on
Had the heavens not opened up and poured down the torrential rains or
tears that stalled the playing of the one-day internationals against the
West Indies last year, the Sri Lankan cricketers would have had an
opportunity of playing at the three stadiums.
Had the one-dayers been played, the batsmen would, of course, have
got a feel for the wickets, whether it would be conducive to stroke
making, the bounce and other variable that the vagaries of a wicket can
being to reign.
The bowlers could also have gauged whether the wickets would be
helpful to spin or going to be pace and movement friendly. But the
unexpected rains unfortunately stalled all this and with it went the
opportunity to get accustomed to the wickets. The story should end
But no! The tears from those clouds seem to have infected the eyes if
not the minds of some of our cricketers! There is now a spate of
inexplicable crying, moaning and grumbling by some cricketers for not
being allowed to play on these tracks, because the World Cup engagements
against Canada, Australia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe would be contested at
Sri Lanka Cricket would have loved to afford the cricketers the
opportunity of getting the feel of these tracks and the conditions. But
ICC rules require that once they take charge of the venues, cricket
cannot be played there because of the approaching 2011 World Cup. So the
three one-dayers against the West Indians had to be shifted to the SSC
ground, much to the dismay of SLC. This cannot be helped. The ICC rules
and the World Cup is their tournament. And we play by their rules, not
One can't understand the attitude of the cricketers. Why they have to
grumble for not being allowed to play at these venues is simply puerile.
Being experienced cricketers having played on tracks abroad and in
varying conditions, and this should not be a factor to make a fuss
about, except that it was a missed opportunity and there the case should
Any batsman or bowler once in the big league must be able to adapt to
any wicket and conditions. No cricketer or team should cry and demand
that wickets and conditions should be to their fondness and liking.
One wonders whether the cricketers are already getting ready with
excuses. If that is the thinking then it is a sad commentary of our self
The cricketers must always take the field with that second to none
feeling. They must always remain positive whatever the wickets, the
conditions or the opponent and always remember that fortune favours the
brave and those who dare win. The Sri Lanka cricketers must thank Sri
Lanka Cricket for coaxing the West Indians to come back and play three
one-dayers, so that they will have some exposure against international
It is good to have the Windies back, this time round with a squad
that will attempt to emulate the great deeds of their teams of 1975 and
'79 led by that dazzler Clive Lloyd did in winning the World Cup. They
also have a new manager in former captain and batting marvel Richie
Clive Lloyd's team would have made it a hat-trick of World Cup wins
by pocketing the 1983 tournament. After dismissing the Indians for 183,
they collapsed dramatically after the dismissal of Vivian Richards who
was threatening to win the game with his bat - but alas, events did not
turn to favour the Windies.
The dismissal of Richards with skipper Kapil Dev taking a breath
taking running catch seemed to have inspired the Indians who from that
moment had the Windies batting bemused and bewildered as the Indians
With the Sri Lanka cricket selectors electing to face the West
Indians with the squad picked for the World Cup, the hope that the
selectors would recall veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas who
narrowly missed making it to the World Cup squad was squashed.
Supporters of these two cricketers were hoping that if selected, the
two cricketers could have used the opportunity to announce their
retirement from one-day international cricket and go out in a blaze of
On the other hand had the selectors tossed in the two marvels and had
they performed, it would have embarrassed, not only the selectors, but
also the others who were against the inclusion of Jayasuriya and Vaas.
How or when Jayasuriya and Vaas would announce their retirements from
big time cricket will be interesting to watch. Sri Lanka Cricket has a
big obligation in this regard. They must see that the twosome are given
a fitting farewell, considering their tremendous contributions in making
what Sri Lanka cricket is today in the world scene.
Eden gardens bowled out
Eden gardens in Kolkata, India's Lord's of cricket suffered
humiliation when the ICC ruled that the stadium is not fit to play a
World Cup fixture between hosts India and England on February 27. The
ICC ruled out the stadium because the renovation program had fallen
months behind schedule. Another stadium will have to be found for this
A statement issued by ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgart states-
regrettably Eden Gardens has not made sufficient progress to justify the
level of confidence required to confirm that the venue would be ready in
good time. The 2011 World Cup is to be contested in India, Sri Lanka and
Bangladesh and an estimated crowd of 64,000 spectators are expected to
fill the stadium for one of the most important games in the early
Lorgart further added that all venues had ample time in which to
prepare for the World Cup matches. We had been understanding and had
provided extensions to the deadline dates but unfortunately we are now
at a point where we must carefully manage our risks.
Eden Gardens was once one of the best and one of the largest cricket
stadiums that could hold 100,000 spectators, before renovations reduced
the capacity. Now it can hold up to 64,000 spectators.
But the good news is that the ICC has passed fit the Sri Lanka
Stadiums R. Premadasa, Mahinda Rajapaksa in Hambantota and Pallekelle
with minor finishing touches to be completed in the next two weeks.