Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs furious after the batting debacle against India scoring only 55 runs, then losing to Afghanistan by 7 wickets – By  Sunil Thenabadu

Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs furious after the batting debacle against India scoring only 55 runsthen losing to Afghanistan by 7 wickets – By  Sunil Thenabadu

World Cup Qualifier Games - Sri Lanka into the Super 6's - Watch the highlights

After this disastrous batting display against India collapsing for a paltry 55 runs ,thereafter to Afghanistan by seven wickets , to console the irritated fuming cricket fanatics very appropriately the Minister of sports and youth affairs Roshan Abeysinghe had requested the President and the supporting staff of the Sri Lanka Cricket to resign immediately before he takes drastic action.

The Minster of sports and youth affairs Roshan Ranasinghe via his media division has expressed his discontentment on the dismal performance of our cricket team once again in the hands of India losing the WC encounter by a massive margin of 302 runs the worst defeat inflicted on Sri Lanka since participating in  all world cups from year 1975.The defeat recently has made all cricket fanatics flabbergasted particularly for been dismissed for a paltry 55 runs. Strangely after the match at the press briefing the batting coach Naveed  Nawaz had commented that it was not due to lack of talent but owing to the deficiency of combating qualities among the batsmen not an accepted excuse .  

In the notice of the Minister had said it is not to make any player feel embarrassed but to make them more resourceful. He has added that the loss cannot be blamed to a single player but to accuse the selection committee who were responsible in selecting the players during the last four years. An equal part of the blame should be also to the cricket executive committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket.     It needs to be emphasized that the SLC receives a huge sum of money from the world’s governing body of cricket the ICC ( International Cricket Conference) for expenditure for participation in International matches, for television broadcasting rights, for expenses for overseas teams visiting us, expenses for development of infrastructure facilities of grounds and players. Despite spending the money received from the ICC for these the SLC had misused majority of funds even by not providing for the players basic needs.It was revealed that the authorities of the SLC had not adhered to bringing in modern technology available unlike which were brought in by the administrative officers in other  test cricket playing nations.The Minister has quipped that owing to this fact many of our players have been endangered to constant injuries. TheMinister too had pointed out that unlike in the other nations to practice duringrainy seasons we are devoid of indoor cricket facilities. Also, it was pointed out that aswimming pool facility which is essential is also lacking which is vital after training sessions. It was revealed that though a huge misappropriation of funds was identified in year 2018 which has not been rectified to date but the same set of supporting staff under the President are deaf on this keeps performing in the same vein.

Though we lack in many essential infrastructure facilities there is unlike in all other cricket playing countries a supporting staff far in excess.The coaching staff is headed by a foreigner with the title director of coaching, under him is the foreign coach Chris Silverwood titled the national coach, under whom is the consultant coach which title never heard of in the cricketing structures in other participating countries, then there is a rehabilitation manager ( who is on leave not with the squad)  strength and conditioning coach, strength and conditioning assistant, Fielding coach, batting coach , bowling coach.All are paid elevated monthly salaries monthly, the SLC pays US $ 119000 monthly to the staff it is revealed.

The ICC world cup commenced in year 1975 when Sri Lanka was knocking at the door for Test status.As our team sans test status was highly rated we were allowed to play in the inaugural world cup in England having players of the calibre of Anura Tennakoon,Micheal Tissera, Roy Dias, Duleep Mendis,Sunil Wettimuny,Ranjith Fernando etc.As a non-test playing nation we also participated in the world cups that followed in year 1979 too.After attaining test status in year 1981 owing to the supreme efforts of then president of Board of control for cricket in Sri Lanka and Minister Gamini Dissanayake, we had participated in all world cups faring well until we won the ‘plum’ of the world cup in 1996.Hence to the world we were a team to be reckoned with having produced many world class cricketers. This win made Sri Lanka known to many around the world as a country that existed.

It was during his position as Chairman of SLC then the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka(1993/1996), Ana Punchihewa took steps to improve our infrastructure , new grounds , curators been trained  to improve our Cricket as a whole after it was initiated by the late Minister Gamini Dissanatyake. One  of the  major moves Ana Punchihewa did was  bringing in Dave Whatmore to Coach SL team ,you’ll know what occurred, under the interim committee  consisting of  Reienzi Wijethilake , Sidath Wettamuni SLC continued to improve, maintain Cricket with a steady standard. When Sumathipala became the President after  a new voting system  giving votes to only those in Provincial clubs the ability to vote, hence corruption was increasing to unprecedented tall heights . Then Shammi Silva followed suite not giving any chance for a new President to be elected as only the top persons in Provincial clubs could vote all of whom had been bought over . SLC from then to date was made somewhat of a monopoly dominated by the President and the supporting staff.

Understandably the inevitable discordance will ring to a upsurge demanding the resignation of all those tagged to SL Cricket – the head coach, batting, bowling, fielding coach and who ever agitated fans feel have contributed to the present debacle as shown in WC 2023 in India which dumbfounded all cricket fanatics scattered all over the world.  The reality was that SL Cricket was heading towards such a disaster some years ago! Dropping players with proven ability just because of a dip in form  been  the key! Avishka Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Matthews etc should never have been dropped abruptly. It was unnecessary as they were senior players with experience in abundant proportions. All had scored centuries and fifties  in previous world cup matches. However the selectors view then was to groom a set of young players.This all happened when for a T 20 tournament in Pakistan seniors refused to travel as it was not safe thinking of what happened to our test team a couple years ago. This young team triumphed beating Pakistan convincingly. Then the selectors thought that the young team could perform forgetting the usefulness of the senior players. As Sunil Gavaskar always says: ‘Form is temporary; Class is permanent’ and ‘Talent alone is not enough without temperament’. The batsmen like Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon, Roy Dias, Sidath Wettimuny, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene were all world class. They were all supremely talented but above all awesome temperament and significantly possessed brilliant batting techniques. Also the aforementioned greats of Cricket hailed from established schools in Colombo and Kandy that had been groomed by legendary coaches.

Sadly, politics muddied the selection process some years ago when some Big Wigs wanted to shun players from established schools calling them elite and privileged. And so started new trend of picking players from rural, disadvantaged backgrounds if they had batting skills; good hand eye coordination appeared to be the new norm. This new trend closed the door to well coached young players from so called better colleges in Colombo, Kandy. They were sadly lost to SL Cricket for a few decades. Certainly, Sanath Jayasuriya was an exception! His talent and brilliant ball hitting ability rocked the world of Cricket to be termed as the ‘master blaster’.It is dire need to establish an ‘Academy of Cricket’ that attracts the best talent, skills, all round excellence and start grooming them from all schools inn the Island.It is regretted that talented school cricketers in the north and east have been neglected. A talent search for them at grassroot level  should commence immediately as there are abundance of talented youth who could fill the needed voids in our team.

Sri Lanka Cricket  authorities despite their lapses had called for “an urgent and comprehensive explanation from the entire coaching staff and selectors” following the team’s huge 302 run defeat in their World Cup match against India in Mumbai.

All ardent cricket followers will be keen to know what action the Minister of sports would take against the SLC authorities after been asked to resign.

Sri Lanka team needs a psychologist and motivator says Naveed Nawaz

Naveed Nawaz with players

We need to develop a healthy mental approach for the team and getting services of team psychologist and motivator is very important said Sri Lanka team Assistant coach and Batting specialist coach Naveed Nawaz after India match defeat at Mumbai.

When “Daily News’ asked the question about Psychologist’s availability Nawaz accepted that and said we were able to get service of psychologist before Zimbabwe qualifying tournament but that was for a short period .I think we haven’t a qualified Sports Psychologist in Sri Lanka we tried to get one through the Sports Ministry said Naveed Nawaz.

As a coach we have some restrictions regarding duties we can’t get involved .But I think we have to get the services of a psychologist. In our coaching role we tried to help players mental development and improve their skills.

Sri Lanka made mistakes against India both in Asia Cup final as well as in last Thursday’s World Cup game at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. They were clueless succumbed to the pace of the Indian seam bowlers could not fight against India on Indian soil. The way they performed against India was pitiful Sri Lanka were under pressure. India scored 354 and set a challenging target. But this is not the first time Sri Lanka were struggling and they did it in last Asia cup final as last India tour Vishakapatnam game in which Sri Lanka were all out for 74.

Our batsmen could not cope with the Indian . pacemen.We have a good batting line up but they surrendered tamely . For the opening slot we brought in Dimuth Karunaratne for Kusal Janith Perera and that did not work out . Dushan Hemantha came in for Dhananjaya de Silva but he also failed miserably said Naveed Nawaz .

Kusal Mendis ,Pathum Nissanka Sadeera Samarawickrama,Charith Asalanka were in good form in the earlier games but all credit should go to Indian bowlers they really bowled well to rip through our batting lineup. We lost the wickets of Pathum Nissanka Dimuth Karunaratne ( in first ball faced) kipper Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka very early and our middle order was exposed added Nawaz .

We, had to develop players mentality. We know it is a big challenge to enter 2025 Champions trophy and we must have a good approach .We had same issue before world cup and went to world cup qualifying round . Next two games against Bangladesh and New Zealand very important to get champions trophy qualification and we all must focus on that added Naveed I think Coaches have to take responsibility for the failure while players have to play good quality cricket and physical and mental fitness is a vital factor said Assistant coach Nawaz.This is contrary to what the batting coach confessed earlier that players though talented lacked fighting quality.

However it is learnt that most of the players were unhappy to get the services of a psychologist and they only focus on their technical issues and this is very unfortunate.

Sri Lanka Cricket calls for explanation from coaching staff and selectors

The Sri Lanka National Team’s performance in the ongoing 2023 World Cup has left the fans and cricket enthusiasts in a state of bewilderment. The recent defeat against India is just one more chapter in what has become an all-too-familiar story of frustration. As the losses continue to mount, SLC has finally decided to act, calling for an urgent and comprehensive explanation from the coaching staff and selectors.

A statement by SLC Media says

The World Cup 2023 is a prestigious event, and the performance of the Sri Lanka National Team is a source of immense pride for the nation and cricket fans worldwide. However, the recent overall performance and shocking defeats have raised significant questions about the team’s preparation, strategies and performance.

SLC management never interfered with the hired professional staff to carry out their duties and responsibilities as per the norms and regulations. However, SLC firmly believes in accountability, transparency, and the importance of addressing subject concerns promptly.

The coaching staff and the selectors have been asked to address several key points, including:

1. Strategy and Preparation: Providing insights into the team’s strategy, preparation and tactical decisions during the matches.

2. Team Selection: Justifying player selections for each match and explaining any changes made to the playing XI.

3. Player Performance: Assessing individual and team performance, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and addressing any injuries or fitness concerns.

4. Post-Match Analysis: Sharing post-match analyses conducted by the coaching team and explaining key takeaways.

SLC expects a prompt and comprehensive response from the coaching staff demonstrating a strong commitment to enhance the team’s performance in the remaining matches of the World Cup 2023 and in future competitions.

Sports minister and SLC have been engaged in hostilities lasting over a year

Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Mohan de Silva resigned from his board position on Saturday (03 November 2023). His resignation comes after both widespread criticism of the board following Sri Lanka’s crashing out of the Men’s ODI World Cup, as well as a release from the nation’s sports minister asking SLC’s executive committee to resign or face drastic action.

De Silva did not provide an official reason for his resignation, but it is understood to be at least partly the consequence of Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the World Cup, though personal reasons had also played a part.

Sri Lanka’s sports minister and SLC have been engaged in hostilities lasting over a year, with the board’s use of finances (particularly during last year’s Men’s T20 World Cup), the Lanka Premier League, and their running of other domestic tournaments being flashpoints.

SLC’s relationship with the sports minister often tends to be friendly, although it is occasionally characterised by sabre-rattling. According to Sri Lanka’s sports law, the nation’s sports ministry oversees SLC, as it does other national-level sporting bodies. However, in the case of cricket, the ICC’s official policy of not allowing direct government interference in the sport has usually prevented ministers from flexing their power.

The last time the government installed an “interim committee” to act in place of SLC’s member-voted executive committee, back in 2014, the ICC held funds that were due to be paid to the board in escrow.

In any case, the minister’s two-page release accused SLC of – among a variety of faults – failing to provide so much as an indoor training facility, or a swimming pool in which to conduct fitness and injury rehabilitation work. These, at least, have been long-standing grouses from players themselves.

SLC’s officials have responded to the minister’s criticism with strongly-worded statements of their own over the past few months. But the men’s team’s performance at the World Cup has shifted the power dynamic, however briefly.   

“Interim measures” Sports Minister writes to ICC full member countries

Sri Lankan Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has written individually to all ICC full member countries to inform them about recent controversies surrounding Sri Lanka Cricket.

The Minister has also hinted at a possible interim arrangement to govern Sri Lanka Cricket.”

“In light of these circumstances, I would like to emphasize that interim measures will only be taken to establish good governance principles, uphold the rule of law, and create a system of governance that promotes the ethics and spirit of the game we all love” Minister said.

Full Letter to the Board of Control for Cricket India


Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to your Cricket Board as the Minister of Sports of Sri Lanka and in your capacity as a full member state of ICC (International Cricket Council) to inform you of the recent controversies surrounding Sri Lanka Cricket.

Sri Lanka became a Full Member of the ICC in 1981, six years after its establishment in 1975. Sri Lanka Cricket has been the stamp of authority on the local cricketing map under the mandate of the Ministry of Sports and is focused on upholding the cricketing heritage of the country. The Sri Lanka cricket team has reached the World Cup final three times. Winning in 1996 under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga and finishing as runners-up in the 2007 & 2011 World Cups. Sri Lanka has also reached the semi-final at the 2003 World Cup and the quarter-final at the 2015 World Cup.

Since 2015, Sri Lanka Cricket has seen a gradual degradation in the quality of Cricket played internationally and locally. Whereas Sri Lanka Cricket has been besieged with complaints of player disciplinary issues, management corruption, financial misconduct, and match-fixing allegations. Over the years, multiple ministers before me have initiated inquiries into the alleged misconduct of Sri Lanka Cricket. These investigations have resulted in several reports that substantiate the claims against the officials of Sri Lanka Cricket. Due to political crises and disasters, no action was taken on those reports. However, the recent revelations and Audit Reports published by the Independent Auditor General Department of the country warrants immediate intervention as the minister in charge to bring the perpetrators of financial crimes before the legal system and to establish good governance and transparency in the Sri Lanka Cricket administration. A copy of the latest audit report by the Auditor General Department is attached. Please refer to (Reference 12.13).

As the Minister of Sports in the country, my sole duty is to combat corruption and establish good governance and discipline in all sporting bodies. It has now transpired that the management conduct of Sri Lanka Cricket has spiralled into player conduct and discipline, resulting in many disciplinary inquiries on Sri Lanka cricketers. Many sports enthusiasts criticize the Board for creating a betting-friendly environment, which they believe devalues the ethics and spirit of the game. The local cricketing fixtures are now solely sponsored by betting companies and illegal cryptocurrency scams, which are banned and blacklisted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The mismanagement of Sri Lanka Cricket has resulted in significant losses for the country. The team has been severely affected in all departments due to injuries sustained by a few of the main players in a cricket league held just a month before the World Cup, causing a major setback.

Sri Lanka Cricket has been loosely arguing and alleging that there is “political interference” on my part and the Ministry of Sports ever since I inquired into their financial misconduct and made comments on their conduct. I want to stress the fact that neither myself nor any governmental authority has impinged on the operations of Sri Lanka Cricket in any aspect.

Further, it has become a habit by the part of Sri Lanka Cricket to hold the threat of suspension of ICC membership as a symbol of blackmail, not to act against their own financial misconduct.

As the Minister of Sports, I have made courteous efforts to communicate with the ICC Chairman and the CEO. My goal was to educate the board on the recent revelations and to cooperate with the ICC. I want to ensure a smooth transition of the governing board of Sri Lanka and to guarantee that good governance and transparency mechanisms are in place. Unfortunately, the ICC Chair and CEO have made an impractical demand that requires endorsement from Sri Lanka Cricket for the members I appointed to communicate the misconduct of Sri Lanka Cricket officials.

Sri Lanka and other member states have undergone such periods with interim arrangements to counter issues with governance in the past. I want to point out that even during those periods, there hasn’t been a single accusation about political interference in the operations of those appointed members. In contrast, I would like to point out that as the Government of Sri Lanka, we have encouraged Cricket dynamism to grow and prosper with government contribution, as we have completely removed all taxes from Sri Lanka Cricket and Cricket Players’ income, and further Ministry of Education and Ministry of Sports spend a considerable amount of money on developing School cricket which is the breeding ground of Sri Lanka Cricket. Moreover, all Cricket Grounds in the country have been afforded special grants and facilities as the government policy is to promote cricket as a main sport in the country.

Considering these circumstances, I would like to emphasize that interim measures will only be taken to establish good governance principles, uphold the rule of law, and create a system of governance that promotes the ethics and spirit of the game we all love. I hope this clarifies the purpose of the measures and reaffirms our commitment to fairness and transparency.

Thank You

Mohan de Silva resigns living up to public expectations

Mohan de Silva

Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Mohan de Silva, a veteran of nearly 25 years as an administrator, has resigned answering a public call to quit following the team’s disastrous showing at the current World Cup in India.

In a catastrophic set-up at Sri Lanka Cricket, De Silva was seen as probably the only elected official who sustained a mark of integrity amid calls for the sacking of the administration’s hierarchy over corruption, nepotism, financial misdeeds, and player indiscipline.

His resignation did not spring as a revelation. In 2006 De Silva was poised to be elected Sri Lanka Cricket president but was thwarted by the then Sports Minister and film star Jeewan Kumaranatunga who cancelled the election of office bearers in favour of the ex-chairman of the State Film Corporation Jayantha Dharmadasa who was mounted as head of a replacement Interim Committee to run the affairs of cricket.

After nearly 14 years Dharmadasa who found himself isolated from cricket administration due to his links with an opposition group, patched up with his opponents and sat alongside De Silva at Executive Committee meetings and media functions.For his rapport with the Media, De Silva was viewed as the Public Relations face of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Cricket’s time bomb explodes, fortress collapses as team is ripped apartpolice officer points to a protesting duo outside the headquarters of Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday as it coincided with the resignation of its secretary Mohan de Silva (Pic: Rukmal Gamage)

It eventually happened after numerous warnings were brushed off and fell on deaf ears as Sri Lanka’s south Asian neighbours Afghanistan and India dismantled the only pride of the island nation that triggered the common people to explode in all their anger and fury calling for the immediate sacking of cricket officials in a telling uprising on Friday.liament Hesha Withanage: Abolish cricket

In damning and provocative scenes Sri Lanka’s young and old alike threatened to pull down what was left of a ruined administration that is now being guarded by a heavy police presence with trucks after the team suffered humiliating defeats at the World Cup this week.

Joining the people’s warpath was the firebrand Member of Parliament Hesha Withanage who called for a complete sacking of officials running Sri Lanka Cricket that he said carried shame on a scale never witnessed before.

“There is nothing left to disgrace. Abolish cricket than allow it to continue with rogues running the show”, he declared as he blasted unscrupulous cricket officials who lived in a fortress that only they had access to that held their darkest of secrets amid untold riches and luxury.

One disgruntled elderly cricket fan had quipped that it is not Sri Lanka Cricket that should be cleaned of corruption and nepotism, but people like him who should be sent to a firing squad for patronizing matches of the team.

But the extent to which the country’s only pride was trashed into a hell hole by boardroom bad reputation was manifested in leading television news channels giving top billing to the calamity on their night News while all other issues took second place. The public slang directed against cricket officials was unprecedented while Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe who is yet to match his words with deeds issued a warning for the sport’s shady administrators to resign or face a sacking.

One of the cornered cricket officials at SLC told thar he was willing to resign from what is left of a fragmented administration and bow down to the people’s call for surrender if one more colleague fell in line.

With no reputed track record as players most of SLC’s decision-making officials stand accused of buying their positions through a corrupt voting system ( from exclusive votes from provincial clubs executives having bribed them ,entertaining them at parties) and exploiting its riches for self-gain that includes intimate comforts, foreign travel, enhancing private business activities, huge  through shady deals and other entitlements like the latest model cars while preparations of the team for the World Cup was secondary or taken simply for granted.

The above are the latest developments in regard to Sri lanka’s comprehensive defeats in the hands of India and Afghanistan in the ongoing WC 2023


Suni Thenabadu in Brisbane

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