|Friday, 6 June 2003|
May the better man win
by Dr. Elmo Rodrigopulle
The eagerly awaited Cricket Board elections will be held today and indications, at the time of writing are that it will be trouble free and conducted in a cordial atmosphere.
The two contestants looking to be the captain of the richest sports body in the country are Thilanga Sumathipala and Arjuna Ranatunga.
While Sumathipala had his team returned uncontested, he will face a contest with Ranatunga for the top post. Ranatunga has no team, but is contesting on his own. Indications are that Sumathipala will romp home to victory. But like in cricket the game is not won or lost till the final bowl is bowled. So will the elections be.
The Director General of the Sports Ministry, Milton Amerasinghe who is conducting the election, has left no stone unturned to see to the successful and clean conduct of the election. In the past there were some unfortunate ugly incidents that went to sour the good name of the contestants and the Cricket Board. But this time round the election promises to be a clean one.
Whoever wins, either Sumathipala or Ranatunga will have a lot of work to do. Firstly it will be to resurrect the game from the depths that it has fallen into.
The game at the moment is in a poor state. Unless it is given a new lease of life, marketing it will be no easy task. We have to get back to our former glory, where other countries were demanding our willow wielders.
It was sad that the game was allowed to slip.
The new Board will also have to address their minds to getting down a new coach, who can deliver. A new coach is of paramount importance, if new life is to be infused into the game.
Also a vibrant and aggressive team of competent technical men will have to be found to charter a promising course for the game. We have men who can help the game get back to its former glory. But the right men will have to be picked.
That's not all. Many other aspects of the game have been neglected. Those taking charge will have a hercularn task to perform and breathe new life to the game and administration.
It is a pity that there had a to be a contest between Sumathipala and Ranatunga. Both are competent and capable men. They have it in them to deliver. Had they forgotten differences, joined hands and worked for the upliftment of the player, the game and then administration how pleasant it would have been.
Even at this stage it is not too late for Sumathipala and Ranatunga to bury the hatchet and come together and jointly resurrect the game.
Everyone wishes that they will team up.
As for the election, may the better man win.
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