ICC bows to Sri Lankan think tanks
It is nothing unusual, but customary, to see the International
Cricket Council bow before the Board of Control for Cricket in India.But
its hard to imagine that they would do the same with Sri Lanka Cricket.
If what we gather is to be believed then it was heartening to see the
usually cocky ICC officials come down to terra firma and plead with the
Sri Lanka Think Tanks.It all happened when some clever thinking by the
Sri Lankans strategists led by Manager Charith Senanayake, made the ICC
see red when they stumped them by switching captaincy for the Twenty20
game against England at Pallekele.
In the previous game, skipper Mahela Jayewardene and his team were
fined for a slow over rate, which was not done in bad faith.Had the
Lankans repeated their slow over rate, Jayawardene would have had to
miss an important game.
Now had that happened due to the short sighted rule by the ICC, the
Lanka team would have looked a ship without a rudder. In doing what the
Lankans did, it sure would made the ICC come down from their Ivory
Towers and, we hope, finally see reason.
This tactical act by the Lankan the think tanks made the ICC scramble
to address the issue as it embarrased them so much. We hope the ICC will
not delay in doing away with this rule or amend otherwise it should not
have any room in the books and in the game.
There was no doubt that the Lankans were going to continue with the
captaincy switch with Kumar Sangakkara doing the tossing and Jayawardene
assuming his role as captain,and directing his troops out in the middle
for the rest of the matches.
Now it has been revealed that ICC General Manager – Cricket Geoff
Allardice and Match Referee former New Zealand Captain Jeff Crowe had
been instructed by Chief Executive David Richards to meet Sri Lanka
Coach Graham Ford and Manager Charith Senanayake and plead with the Sri
Lankan management to reverse the decision to switch captains which
probably heaping embarrassment to the ICC.
It was after getting the ICC to bow and agree to go slow on that
harsh over rate rule that the Lankans agreed to reinstate the great
Jayewardene as captain for the semi-final and final.
The ICC officials had given the assurance that the team would not be
unjustly punished as long as the cricketers showed urgency to bowl their
overs quickly. The officials had also admitted that by punishing an
important player, it was taking the glamour out of not only this
tournament, but all other tournaments.
To say the least, it was obvious that the ICC had gone bonkers in
implementing such a ridiculous rule. To have the Sword of Damocles
hanging over the head of the captain for 12 months for the infringement
was totally misplaced.
Jayewardene who is a deep thinking gentleman captain and who gives
his everything to game and country was humble enough to admit that they
‘played’ the rule with no malice.He explained that it was too stringent
to penalize a captain for not bowling 20 overs in 80 minutes. A captain
has to talk to his bowler, set fields among other things and it makes it
impractical to rush this process.
No big deal
And what is the big deal in penalizing a captain 20 per cent and each
team member 10 per cent for bowling, repeating bowling ONE over short?
This is beyond comprehension.Jayewardene need not worry. In fact he
has stood up not only for himself, but all other countries by getting
the ICC to finally see reason on this rule that should not have been
inked in rule book.Jayewardene was playing to the rules. And he must be
admired for this courageous act.
The spirit went out of the game with the introduction of money bags
into the time honoured game. Now it is winning at all costs that is the
thing and as long as one plays to the rules and plays about with the
rules and wins, there should be no big fuss.
Once again we say well done to Manager Charith Senanayake for his
clever bit of thinking and for Captain Jayewardene, Coach Graham Ford
and Kumar Sangakkara for having the courage to stand by their
convictions and getting the ICC to see reason.
Vettori will be missed
Now that the ICC Twenty20 World Cup is over, Sri Lanka’s next bash
will be against Ross Taylor’s New Zealanders who will, later this month,
be playing a Two Test, Five one-day Internationals and Two Twenty20
The Lankans would surely give the Kiwis a run for their money; and
their job will be made all the more easy because of the absence of their
former Captain and all rounder Daniel Vettori.Vettori had picked up an
Achilles strain during the Twenty20 World Cup and has yet to recover.
His tremendous all round ability will be missed by the Kiwis. Vettori
had been a permanent fixture over the years in the Kiwi line up.
As a top class left arm spinner and a hard hitting batsman, he added
muscle to the team over the years. His absence will leave a big void in
the Kiwi team. But the NZ selectors have picked the best available and
if they perform to ability should stretch the Sri Lankans.