Sri Lanka becomes a cricketing tragedy. Suspension adds insult to injury in its worst World Cup – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE (eLanka Sports editor)
The saying, “when it rains, it pours”, got true relevance if you look at the current plight of Sri Lanka cricket.
Quadruple setbacks from just one outing at the World Cup appears at this stage just the tip of the iceberg, with a rash of more repercussions on its way to the beleaguered nation.
They first endured the Matthews controversy, suffered the worst campaign at a World Cup, then got suspended by the ICC and now have been eliminated from the forthcoming Champions Trophy.
While reeling from those setbacks, there’s a legal stoush looming over matters relating to the World Cup as legal experts try to decipher appropriate battle plans with the country’s cricket administration. They also have to figure out how to deal with the ICC to save face and not be cast away as pariahs of the cricketing world.
The ICC has no qualms about taking decisive action against any country not towing the line to its set out guidelines. And Sri Lanka’s politicians have continually treaded that path by breaching protocols, inviting and receiving what was inevitable.
Obviously compromise will be the solution. But it will come with a stern warning and assurances that repeated action of this nature will result in Sri Lanka’s expulsion which will be sad for a country so talented and is only competitive with the best in the world in this sport.
The long term ramifications of expulsion will border on nearly catastrophic in many ways, mainly financially, and this will be disastrous to an already cash strapped nation.
The revenue Sri Lanka cricket generates from its participation is enormous if you take in the related alignments and implications apart from the huge sums of money handed to them by the ICC.
There’s definitely too much to lose right now as the ICC contemplate how to deal with Sri Lanka’s continued political interference. They will certainly demand the exclusion of any future meddling which has always been a cultural thing in that country.
The balance in all of this is the ICC’S commitment to expand the game while not losing its current nucleus, so putting a proven performer out, contradics its obligations and does nothing to back its plans for the game’s development.
The ICC needs Sri Lanka and vice versa, a carefully thought out plan to mend the differences is crucial for a end to what may be a stalemate.
Sri Lanka’s politicians will seriously have to bite the bullet and accept any ICC directive or plunge the country into further oblivion. It will be the case of ‘killing the goose that lays the golden eggs’, if they don’t.
Meanwhile, the impasse between Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board will continue, as the country’s legal system ascertains the validity of sacking the existing administration for poor performance and failure at the World Cup.
The Sports Ministry according to Sri Lanka law, may have the power to do so, but they cannot be involved in a democratically elected new set of office bearers.
Whatever the outcome is, will now hinge on the result of the ICC Board, which is expected to table the events leading to the investigation, and decide whether the suspension remains.
They will then seek clarity and assurances after discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket officials and the government.
It’s a very sticky situation, and another blight on Sri Lanka’s allround poor performances in sporting activities which has seen Rugby, Soccer, Athletics and now Cricket banned by world controlling bodies.