The Sri Lankan Central Government have taken the executive decision to lay off the Cricket Board. This decision comes after a dismal defeat against India by a massive 302 runs that demands explanation.
Currently, former National Captain Arjuna Ranatunga will be heading an interim administration to handle proceedings and help in making sense of such a performance.
Table of Contents
India vs Sri Lanka
India put up a dominant display with the host nation looking in control across the entirety of the game. Subsequently, India have also become the first nation to qualify for the semifinals of the prestigious tournament. While India was deemed to be clear favourites, a win in this fashion is not only unprecedented, but damning.
Stunning performances by Kohli, Gill and Iyer helped India reach the mammoth total of 357. Gill and Kohli set up a 189-run partnership and stabilized India’s innings after an erratic start which saw the Indian skipper’s dismissal. Iyer’s innings was maybe the stand out of the Indian Batting Lineup with the Middle Order Batter timing the ball beautifully on his way to a brisk 56 ball 82. Finally, Jadeja concluded the innings like a true finisher. The one shining light for a disappointing performance by Sri Lanka was left arm pacer, Dilshan Madushanka who troubled the Indian Batters and bagged himself a fifer to remember.
The gap between the two sides has perhaps never been wider apart and a call to action burns bright.
Sri Lanka’s Downfall
It’s tough to recall a tale as sad as Sri Lanka’s in recent history. Once a country that was moments away from winning themselves a ODI World Cup with a campaign to remember, they now find themselves struggling to impress with both bat and ball. Once possessing some of the most priceless assets in international cricket, they now find themselves with a squad that’s talented, but nowhere close to being the best in the world.
They went through a transition period when most of the members from the 2011 World Cup Squad retired. These retirements were simultaneous and punishing. Its tough enough to replace one legendary player, replacing multiple is damn near impossible. To make things worse, Sri Lanka were forced to keep changing captains due to a combination of factors like form, competence and off-field issues. A decaying domestic cricket development structure combined with a dearth in natural talent also made things exponentially worse.
Fans are angry, and deservedly so. They have been promised a change but embarrassments on the world’s biggest stage continue to be the norm. The Sri Lankan fans have a deep and abiding love for the sport of cricket, having seen their country teeter close to the top for years. To see them fall out of love with the sport because of the state of the national team is heartbreaking.
The Interim Committee
Following Sri Lanka’s defeat against India, the Sri Lankan Central Government have sacked the Cricket Board. The Sports Minister, Roshan Ranasinghe, has designated a temporary committee of seven members, with former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga leading the team. This interim committee also consists of 3 retired judges and former SLC chair Upali Dharmadasa.
The Sacking came after Ranasinghe publicly called Sri Lanka Cricket “traitorous and corrupt”. Mohan de Silva soon stepped down from his position as the second highest official on the board after not being able to bear the heat from Sri Lankan fans. Soon after, the remaining members of the board were relieved of their duties.
Ranasinghe’s grievances about the Sri Lanka Cricket Board are public. He blames the board for the deterioration of standards in the country’s sporting success. He had also recently written to the ICC in order to obtain permission for “political interference”.
Sri Lanka will hope that an intermediary committee will steer the country in the right direction. Instability and Toughness may be worth it in the short term if it results in a sustainable architecture for growth. Amidst all the chaos, Sri Lanka will hope that despite the horrid performances, Sri Lanka can finish in a top 7 spot and qualify for the Champion’s Trophy.