The Contrasting Merits Of The BCCSL Presidency Candidates.

The Seeing Eye - Sightscreens Unlimited For LankaWeb

In a paradoxical turn of events the contest for the Presidency of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka seems to be headed in a direction which is likely to project the wrong candidate for the job if it was evaluated by the values of cricketing accomplishments, leadership qualities, decision making and charisma where the conclusion would become pretty obvious when the two candidates Arjuna Ranatunga the former great Lankan Skipper and Thilanga Sumathipala businessman and arrogantly opportunistic entrepreneur are compared on the same scale where the interest of one seems to be of a business nature and that of the other pure dedication and a genuine interest in uplifting a floundering state of Sri Lankan Cricket and to add further chagrin to the merits of the right choice there remains a remarkable complacency towards responsibility by those entitled to vote.

Rather unfortunately Sri Lankan Cricket seems politically motivated to say the least and more so than other Cricket Playing Countries and lately rather blatantly displayed by Minsterial interference.Consequently the ruling party 's tunes are danced to with incessant regularity, players shuttled back and forth with subsequent fatal errors and the case for an independent non political BCCSL seems very strong where it's administration with direct ties to the ICC should operate without directives from the ruling or any political party. Sports and politics should hardly mix as the moment it does it spells nothing but trouble and probably can be attributed to much of the distress within the confines of Sri Lankan Cricket, it's administrative setup and players.

For the time being at least the mercurial Arjuna Ranatunga may have to be content with remaining on the outside trying to get in until there is either a change in the political climate of Sri Lanka or a re-vamping of the administrative infrastructure of the BCCSL aligned with honesty and integrity.Ranatunga if successful eventually may have to give serious thought to his political future or even temporarily shelve it in order to function as the CEO of BCCSL based on the rationale that sports and politics do not mix and perhaps a hard sell.
Someone has already been quoted as having said in a rather tongue in cheek manner that " Pro -Government Thilanga Sumathipala and his money talks while opposition MP Arjuna Ranatunga Walks!"

Arjuna Ranatunga has carved up his rival Sumathipala as a misfit based on a rather tainted track record regardless of being the incumbent BCCSL President during Sri Lanka's victorious World Cup Run with Ranatunga at it's playing helm, and comes as no surprise as the logical choice for the job should have been Ranatunga where there seems to be a crying need to purge the BCCSL of corruption and leave politics out of it as suggested by Ranatunga who has an unblemished track record but unfortunately is on the wrong side of the fence!.

Surprisingly and rather apathetically his former club the SSC has also deserted him at his time of need in choosing to support Sumathipala for reasons best known to the Club's administrators and a poor choice considering what Ranatunga has accomplished for Sri Lankan Cricket and the SSC.The rest of the clubs leaning in the direction of Sumathipala also need to hang their heads in shame in bypassing support for Ranatunga who in the eyes of a multitude of cricket loving Sri Lankans is the better choice.

When refering to vested interests on the part of those who voted against him there have been no names mentioned yet the implications are alarmingly clear and have been displayed rather graphically through Ranatunga's sentiments that the irregularities involved in the Administrative decision making are based on an agenda mutually beneficial to all of Sumathipala's supporters and in all probabilities has to do with the rather the astronomical finances of the BCCSL and the rich dividends it presently displays in its near bursting coffers ready for picking by indiscreet opportunists which has been alleged many times in the past and has nothing to do with being dedicated to Sr Lankan Cricket!

Sri Lankan Cricket is already on the brink of disaster with the many faceted confusions within its administrative setup which no overseas coach wants a part of, judging by the inability of the Board to attract a likely foreign candidate and perhaps somewhat of a vindication for the ignominious dumping of the illustrious Dav Whatmore and the negative responses of physio Chief Alex Kontouri who have both found out the hard way that the BCCSL are difficult customers to please and for the first time in its history Sri Lanka has lost a home ODI series and has continued to flounder regularly at test level.Ranatunga has come up with a rather innovative idea which seems quite plausible that there are many great coaches in the making within Sri Lanka with hardly a need to chase after cricketing dignitaries of foreign origin to supplement the coaching berth and a point worthy of consideration as it would be cost effective as well as morale boosting to be coached by a former great,( there are many such and perhaps equally adept as a Whatmore or a Richards ! ) who might be readily available with proper incentives and approach.

Sri Lanka is in dire need of salvaging its cricket which once was a shining star on the horizon of international cricket and it would seem disastrous as hinted by Ranatunga should the reins of its Presidency fall into the wrong hands especially if money was the motivating factor rather than dedication to the game. and in this respect although the alter ego prevails it seems justifiable that the high office being contested needs a cricket oriented personality so who better than the glamorous and well equipped Arjuna Ranatunga for the job whose only disentitlement seems to be financial backing and the wrong political symbol!

In a rather incredulous turn of events the normally 'Arjuna Ranatunga friendly' Sri Lankan batting great Aravinda de Silva also appears to have chosen the opposite camp where principles of loyalty to a former captain and to the game itself seems to have been pre-empted by the lure of the Sumatipala overtures which amount to the dangling of many carrots over many heads where temptation appears to have got the better of wise decision making by many and in particular the clubs swinging in the direction of Sumathipala.( puns unintended although cudgels may eventually be raised! ) Ranatunga has issued a caution to de Silva that his credibility might be at stake in having made a dubious choice where it may have seemed more appropriate had the once famous pair on the field joined hands at BCCSL level.They certainly would make a terrific combination in the best interests of Sri Lankan cricket!

Perhaps it may also be in all wisdom to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the BCCSL finances prior to the forthcoming elections and one which would determine the manner in which officials involved equit themselves in the perusal (perhaps pocketing is a better term!) of funds with the recent Guy de Alwis World Cup Spending Spree as an eye opener which was indeed shameful where de Alwis seems to have eluded investigation vis a vis his spending excesses billed to the Board or conveniently shelved!
If Bribery and Corruption are rampant within the BCCSL as alleged by many it would seem appropriate that it is investigated where honest seekers of office would have a better chance of being elected into office and Sri Lankan Cricket would benefit tremendously.Presently "Fat Coffers Are There For The Taking !" seems to be the order of the day combined with ruling party favouritism to a degree which has led to the messy state of affairs the BCCSL seems to be in and needs a liberator rather than an opportunist in search of personal gain who could easily compound its woes further.

In hindsight there are many who believe that rather than adding to Sri Lanka's cricketing woes businessmen and entrepreneurs should stick to what they do best and leave cricket matters to those whose credentials, proven track record and involvement with the game at its highest level better qualifies them for a job as important as the Presidency of the BCCSL.

The Seeing Eye - Sightscreens Unlimited
For LankaWeb



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