Towards the end of last year several newspapers and sports writers supported the elections that have produced the present power-bloc ruling Sri Lanka Cricket. No better illustration of sycophancy and the weight of money can be found. The catch-cry of a return to democracy should have fooled no one. What one has seen for over two decades when clubs elect a board is an oligarchic process of wheeler dealing — with governments (for example that of Mahinda Chinthanaya) occasionally weighing in.
Cricket is big business. How such a business can develop long-term plans when its principal executives are elected every year does not seem to have entered the present government’s thinking. In short, that reasoning is as dim as dumb.
No better illustration of this foolishness –and the power of monied power-brokers within the island’s governing dispensation — can be provided than the manner in which the Ranil Wickremasinghe government considered and discarded the work of the last Interim Committee led by Sidath Wettimuny.
Sidath Wettimuny led from the front on the cricket field and has continued to do so whenever he served on cricket boards. He is methodical and both a thinker and a worker. As chairman of the Interim Committee in place in 2015 his wife has told me that Sidath received guidance from the ICC during official visits to their HQ and proceeded to study the constitutions of the cricketing boards in South Africa and Ireland. He spoke to both Presidents of those respective countries while he was at the ICC meetings and got their views. Thereafter he consulted the eminent lawyer Prasanna Jayawardena (a President’s Counsel) and drew up a “Concept Paper” for the management of cricket in Sri Lanka before going over it with the Interim Committee.
This scheme was presented to Ranil Wickremasinghe and his Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekera (according to the Sunday Times, 17 July 2016). This was in October/November 2015. It appears to have been pigeon holed. The scheme was reproduced recently in the Sunday Times. Failing to locate it within the cyber-world version, I have received aid from Sharmini Wettimuny and reproduced the work in cricketique = https://cricketique.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/a-strategic-plan-to-stabilise-sri-lankas-cricketing-dispensation.