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Saturday, 13 October 2012






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Teach our cricketers leadership qualities

The post-mortem, medical examination made after death in order to find the cause of death, autopsy, never revives the dead. Any how, it may throw some light for the cause of the death. Let us briefly analyse the vital factors that contributed to the debacle of Sri Lanka in the hands of the West Indies on 7th October 2012, at the R. Premadasa Stadium. This was the biggest disappointment after 2011-World Cup finals in India.

West Indies total 137 was a gettable one, considering the batting strength of the "Big Five" - Mahela, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Angelo, Thisara.

I presume, it was indisciplined batting, poor shot selections, totally lack of leadership qualities of the entire team, poor concentration, sans commitment, ineffective motivation, a blunder of a selection process and the team did not follow the "Great Philosophy" - country before self lead to our defeat. Another reason was that once Lasith Malinga-off-colour bowler was thrashed for more than 20 odd runs in the first over Mahela insisted on Malinga to bowl.

Windies made merry out of poor Malinga to the tune of 55 "golden runs" in 4 overs. West Indian star batsman Chris Gayle perished on 3 runs. But, they never gave up. Team spirit was of Himalayan Heights."

Leadership quality important

Leadership is one of the Most enduring human qualities, and responsibilities. In this particular T-20 finals, brilliant and fine captain failed in adopting his crafty vision. In management, the famous marketing authority stated "Leadership is unlocking peoples potential to become better."

On the fateful Sunday, 7th October 2012, the great batting artist failed to "Unlock his teams potential."

I commentated cricket for more than four decades, after playing for my alma-mater Nalanda, University and Div. One in Sara cricket for more than three decades. In my commentary career "I am not a commentator now after 2011 Final of the World Cup in India reason best known to SLBC).

I consider the marvellous, dynamic, Anandian Arjuna Ranatunga was the only SL captain who can turn a defeat into victory. When I commentated from Sharjah in the Emirates in 1998, Arjuna scored a scintillating 88 n.o. and defeated India. When Arjuna stepped in bat he had an asking rate of 14+, in the last 10 overs. Roly-poly Arjuna a great leader won the match with 2 overs to spare. He hammered Kapil Dev, mercilessly. What a leader? He is gutty and a great fighter. No doubt Sanga and Mahela are world's best batting artists. Unforatuantely in 2011, Sangakkara failed to beat India in Mumbai in the World Cup Finals and Mahela failed in 2012 to against the West Indies.

Long words like motivation, concentration, innovation have Latin origins. It comes from a Latin verb -'Movere" to "move". So motive means "moves you to action". Motivate means essentially you provide a person with a motive or incentive to do. By so doing, you are initiating their action or behaviour. To put in an another way, you are stimulating the interest of that person to activity. In cricket these factors are essential.

Cricket is a thinking game. "Team members "are" leaders". Infuse team spirit put the country before self. You will be successful if you follow this principle.

Congratulations to West Indies. They lost their star performer Chris Gayle for 3 runs. They had the "Never say die philosophy". Fought hard Marlon Samuels was at his best. Cool Darren Sammy, unruffled led the team well. He knew the strengths and weakness of his bowler. He operated them well.

He knew that Sri Lankans were in mighty hurry. They were so frustrated some of the leading batsmen perished for careless "reverse sweep" which they should give up for good. Technical correct Sri Lankans should play technically correct shots.

Why Rangana Herath was dropped

The Sports Minister's appointees, the selectors also contributed their share for both 2011 and 2012 debacle. In 2011, in the finals, if my memory serves correct, three or four new players were included and in 2012 World Cup T20, they omitted the best left arm spinner Rangana Herath who performed well in the previous matches.

If they wanted to play Akila Dhananjaya, they should have dropped Tirimanne as they had the Big Five. Some put the blame on Kulasekera's dropped catch. In cricket, you may drop a catch. But, we could have still fought, and won.

Only outstanding performance was spinner Ajantha Mendis. After a long lay off he showed class 4 for 12. Brilliant.

As one time commentator, senior cricket administrator of SLC during the Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge era, I represented the Board as their representative in Zimbabwe and Australia in early 2007-2008. Our cricketers are skillfull and the best in the world. Today, cricket can be called "cricketing warfare."

They should read "Marketing warfare" written by Alries and Josh Trout and learn leadership qualities on strategies principles behind all successful war.

Winning and losing is like the two sides of the coin. It's like our life. We win today, lose tomorrow. Just because, we lost, we do not discard our national cricketers. We are always with you. We love them. Good luck next time.


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