The Galle International Stadium that will be a haven for cricket officials and their friends during the England series
While parliament has decided to re-establish its media gallery for public coverage of proceedings, Sri Lanka Cricket has been caught on a hypocritical blindside as it prepares to shut out journalists from reporting the all-important ICC Test ranking championship series against England starting on January 14.
In contrast officials of Sri Lanka Cricket who think it is their private property along with their favourite photographers will have ready access to the venue in Galle prompting one reporter to ask whether administrators are made of steel compared to flesh and blood found in journalists.
The attitude of Sri Lanka Cricket puts them in total conflict with their counterparts in Australia and South Africa where the mainstream media and cricket correspondents have access to the current Test series featuring India and Sri Lanka respectively.
Media watchers contend that Sri Lanka Cricket will be hard-pressed to explain why it has decided to impose a Press blockade for the England-Sri Lanka series which will be played at the Galle International Cricket Stadium where the media section can accommodate up to 70 personnel under normal circumstances.
The shut-out is also ironical to cricket officials who used the media to expand their egos just a week before the Lanka Premier League (LPL) by inviting some 40 journalists to cover the tournament’s launch at the Jaic Hilton in Colombo in a section of the hotel which was the same size as that of the Press section where the England series will be decided in Galle.
Reporters have already taken Sri Lanka Cricket media manager Prasanna Rodrigo to task with complaints that they do not wish to depend on Press releases or handouts and pictures of the on-field action which will not be seen as worthy of public consumption.
But Rodrigo defended Sri Lanka Cricket and the media ban by passing the buck and claiming they were adhering to coronavirus concerns.
“The entire Sri Lanka Cricket membership wants the media to cover the England series, but the current health situation does not permit it,” said Rodrigo.
But while cricket officials will also be shown on television dressed in their Sunday-best at the matches, not a single spectator will be allowed into the venue at Galle where a single crowded office train pours out nearly seven to eight hundred commuters on any working day.