- Apparent tussle between Colts and SSC as national interest made secondary
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
In a totally unexpected and surprising development, the selection of the teams has been entrusted to members of the former selection committee in spite of the Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa stating that a new selection committee will be formed following the resignation of the chairman Ashantha de Mel.
It is understood that the two remaining members from the previous selection committee, namely Pramodya Wickramasinghe (SSC) and Chaminda Mendis (Colts), reportedly picked the T20I and ODI sides to the West Indies and the names have been sent to the Sports Minister for ratification.
It is quite shameful that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). that did not find Mendis suitable enough to include him among the five names they submitted to the Sports Minister for the formation of the new selection committee, had gone back and requested him to pick the two squads with Wickramasinghe.
The question that needs to be asked is: is there a quorum with only two members sitting and selecting a team without a chairman? Isn’t this in direct contravention of the Sports Law of 1973? How can you have a committee without a chairman taking responsibility?
It now appears that there is a right royal battle underway beneath the surface between stalwarts of the SSC and Colts for taking control of the selection committee. The question that arises then is what the modus operandi is for doing so.
It is obvious that people, in the guise of helping Sri Lankan cricket are only interested in controlling selections for personal agendas. This in fact is a bane of Sri Lankan cricket that has plummeted our cricket to the depths, in which we are lingering today.
It is also reported that the technical committee appointed by the Sports Minister also wants their people installed in the selection committee.
The primary responsibility of the technical committee is to recommend reforms that need to be brought into the electoral structure.
The question arises why everybody on the pretext of helping Sri Lankan cricket is interested in who sits on the selection committee. To any knowledgeable cricket fan, the reasons are very clear.
It is a blessing in disguise that the selection process has now been entrusted to an independent national selection committee vested with the responsibility of independently nominating candidates to the Sports Minister.
The Minister is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea due to the duplicity being practiced by people whom he has placed his trust in to guide him in fixing cricket in Sri Lanka. It appears to be people who are in the Ministerial circle leading him up the garden path.
The Sports Minister, as we have stated before, is young; and we all want him to succeed. It is of paramount importance that he takes genuine counsel from people who have no vested interests that will ensure that Sri Lankan cricket bounces back to what it used to be.
Given the anomalies cited above, the Minister should be reconstituting the national cricket selection committee as promised as a matter of priority.