Only Malinga playing in the IPL | Daily News


Only Malinga playing in the IPL

The lucrative Indian Premier League tournament which has gathered momentum is easily the best organized and conducted of cricket tournaments in the cricket world.

The interest it has evoked over the years is tremendous and stunning. It can be classed with the two tournaments conducted by the International Cricket Council – World Cup and the T20.

The crowd support is amazing. Every venue is jam packed and the noise is deafening and the on field umpires must be suffering, unable to hear a nick from the batsmen and having to refer to the third umpire for a ruling.

In addition to the cricketing stars from India and the world taking centre stage, the commentators lined up by the organizers especially in the ‘DUGOUT’ is star studded. The best is on show.

To name some of them – Dean Jones, Scott Styris, Graeme Smith, Anil Kumble, Paul Collingwood, Brian Lara, Brett Lee, Kevin Pietersen, Brad Hodge, Dominic Cork, S.Bandrinath and our own Kumar Sangakkara to name a few have all been experts, not only in the game, but in commentating as well.

Hearing their expert comments and reading of the game is first class and young cricketers watching and listening to them can learn immensely. The Indian Cricket Board must be complimented for picking on these cricketers who were all champions during their time.

They read the wicket, the conditions, the players and make predictions that come true nine out of ten times. A bias that is prominent in most other commentators are not in their vocabulary which is great for the game.

But with the cricket luver’ly cricket being played the best cricketers from most countries on show and the immense merrymaking, from a Sri Lankan point of view it is a sad to note that other than for Lasith Malinga who the Mumbai Indians crave for, sadly no other cricketer has been able to catch the eye of the many Franchises. It is a sad indictment on the present state of our talent pool.

In the tournament’s early years some of the Sri Lankan cricketers were in great demand. To mention a few –Sanath Jayasuriya, T.M. Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Angelo Mathews were all draw cards and showcased their talents and satisfied their sponsors.

But now Sri Lankan cricketers are a forgotten lot. That is because there is no cricketer now attractive enough to nudge the franchises and earn a call.

While many of the foreign stars have shone in the IPL, the one who made a big splash and shook the tournament was a West Indian by the name of Alzarri Joseph. He made a historic debut, breaking an 11 year old record to claim the league’s best bowling figures with 6 for 12 for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Joseph made his debut because Malinga had to fly back and play in the Inter-Provincial tournament from which apparently the squad to represent Sri Lanka in the World Cup will be picked. Joseph with this stunning effort would certainly have nudged he Windies selectors not to forget him when picking the WC squad.

Good gesture by Airtel

With Mobile giants in the country sponsoring sport in a big way, it was heartening to note the move by Airtel to sponsor a talent search in the country to spot fast bowlers.

Fast bowlers are one of the nicest things to watch in the game when they are terrorizing batsmen with their blinding pace and sending batsmen ducking and weaving to save their bodies being hit by thunderbolts and having their careers cut short.

Talking of fast bowlers in the 1970s and 1980s the West Indies had fast men who batsmen feared to face lest they are hit by life threatening deliveries. It would not be out of place to mention some of the names.

Roy Gilchrist, Wesley Hall, Charlie Griffith, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Wayne Daniel, Lester King, Patrick Patterson to name a few. They could be described as fast bowling terrorists.

Airtel had launched out on a country wide search for talented fast bowlers who could bolster the country’s fast bowling department that is sadly lacking in bowlers of this type at the moment.

Airtel have handed over this onerous task of unearthing pacemen from around the country to one of the finest fast bowling coaches in the country who needs no introduction Anusha Samaranayake. Samarnayake knows what his business is and Airtel can rest assured that he will do a job to the satisfaction of all.

A few years back SIRASA launched out on a talent search for fastmen and emerged Nuwan Pradeep who became an immediate sensation with his amazing speed and who made it to the national team and went on to trouble all opposing international batsmen and still terrorizing batsmen. He was aptly called ‘SIRASA’ Pradeep. We hope many Pradeeps will emerge and bolster the country’s pace department.

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