President gives greenlight to DS’ proposals to develop school
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has recommended and given the greenlight
to proceed with the proposals made by former Sri Lanka leg spinner D.
Somachandra de Silva on the development of school cricket in the
President Mahinda Rajapaksa
De Silva was appointed as the Advisor and Consultant to the President
on Schools Cricket in January and within a short period of two months he
has completed his task to the fullest satisfaction.
De Silva’s proposals have been highly commended by President
Rajapaksa, Minister of Sports and Recreation Gamini Lokuge and Chairman
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Arjuna Ranatunga with all recommendations to be
implemented within the next couple of months for the upliftment of
junior cricket in the country.
De Silva said that junior cricket in the country has been neglected
for the past ten to fifteen year’s and this is the main reason for the
drop of standard in the schools cricket scene. The latest setback was
the early exit of the Sri Lanka Under 19 team at the recent
International Cricket Council (ICC) Youth World Cup held in Malaysia.
However De Silva predicted a bright and prosperous future for the
schoolboy cricketers with the new recommendations which are aimed at
winning the next ICC Under 19 World Cup in Kenya.
He said that the biggest setback has been the lack of infrastructure
in the school cricket scene and was surprised as some of the schools in
the rural areas are suffering even without the basic requirements to
play the game.
De Silva had the opportunity of experiencing the difficulties the
schools were facing when he visited the remote areas along with B. H.
Perera Administration Manager of SLC and several other representatives
from the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association.
One of the key points in De Silva’s proposals is to ensure that every
district has at least one quality cricket ground. In addition the ground
will be improved radically with the insertion of turf wickets of three
to four strips, provision of a turf practice area, pavilion and other
D. Somachandra de Silva
Another key factor is to ensure that every province has an indoor
cricket stadium with four practice wickets and the appointment of a
qualified curator at the provincial level entrusted with the task of
maintaining the district turf wickets and the cricket grounds.
De Silva has strongly recommended that the SLC consider a payment of
allowance to school cricket coaches and the masters in charge in less
affluent schools to encourage such personnel during playing hours.
Meanwhile the schools in the rural areas will be provided with
cricket equipment with the consultation of the SLC and the Sri Lanka
Schools Cricket Association.
De Silva said that a common crisis facing the junior cricketers is
the selection of players for major tournaments here and abroad. To avoid
this he has recommended the creation of a Junior School Cricket
Selection Committee comprising of five members from the provinces and
two more members representing the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association.
This will certainly prevent and reduce any controversy on selection
and will also assist in the identification of players who have performed
well during the season. In addition the schools under 19 team will be
included in the Inter Provincial one day tournament and should also
allow them to play in the P. Saravanamuttu Trophy tournament.
De Silva further said that he has suggested few changes for the under
19, under 17 and under 15 tournaments which will come into effect from
next years inter school cricket season.