Sudath Pasqual-ex Sri Lanka cricketer and administrator | Daily News


Sudath Pasqual-ex Sri Lanka cricketer and administrator

He was here on a holiday, he resides in Canada at present. He was the youngest player to represent Sri Lanka in an ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP as a 17 year old, the year was 1979. He had somewhat an enjoyable stint at Sri Lanka Cricket, wearing many hats such as The Manager Umpires, and the person in charge of women’s cricket.

Sudath was gracious enough to visit my office in Nugegoda for this hurriedly arranged interview since he was leaving to Canada the following day. His late uncle was the famous ex Minister who represented the Matugama electorate.

He played junior cricket at Royal, his brother also played cricket for Royal. In under 17 cricket Sudath excelled as an all rounder, Ajith Devasurendra and Roshan Jurangpathy played with him. He got a century against Trinity, played in three Royal Thomian encounters and captained Royal in 1980 after Ranjan Madugalle. In 1979 he was the best fielder.

Sudath played for Sri Lanka Schools against Pakistan Schools in the Ali Bhutto tournament. Late Guy De Alwis was the captain and the year was 1979.Pakistan had Salim Malik, Rashid Khan and Anil Dalpat.In 1980 also he represented Sri Lanka Schools captained by Ranjan Madugalle and Arjuna Ranatunga also played with him.

He played for NCC for two years under the captaincy of Yohan Gunasekera.Gerry Woutersz, Ranjith Fernando also played.

Sudath represented Sri Lanka in 1979 as a school boy.This was the result of excelling in the Ali Bhutto Trophy.They also had the Robert Senanayake Trophy the only first class tournament.He played for the Board Eleven.

In the 1979 World Cup in England he played in all the matches scoring a hundred against Ireland.That team was captained by Bandula Warnapura; Tony Opatha,D.S.De Silva and late D.L.S, De Silva also played.

In1982 he went to the States and got his Masters in Political Science.

In the early Nineties he joined The Cricket Board as the head of Umpires where he encouraged former players to get into that profession and Kumar Dharmasena was one.

From 2003 to 2008 We had the peak period stated Sudath, with leaders like Sanath, Marvan, Mahela and Sanga and Vaas dominating the Cricket World. Match fixing was never heard of those days he said. He was of the opinion that bookies could induce the youngsters who come from difficult backgrounds could be tempted to give team news etc. He noted that he had reports stating that certain players were promoted for selection by bookies so that they can be manipulated to throw their wickets or bowl no balls, once the betting syndicates gets a player under their spell the player becomes gullible lamented Sudath.Once they are in it they cannot get out of it because they could be exposed added Sudath.He said to clean the place from fixing outright, the good , the bad and the ugly will all have to be thrown out with the bath water, which is not possible. Any how the whole system should be sanitised he insisted.

The SLC has a lot of clout from the Schools level, to the junior level, club level, provincial level and as a result the ones who head that, are powerful and can call the shots, he was of the opinion that the Dharmadasa’s and the Sumathipala’s were fighting for that position not to earn money because they already are super rich but for the power and the influence that they can yield from the position.

Sudath went on and stated that SLC has a huge network including all the districts in Sri Lanka as well as the schools.It’s a big power house with a lot of money coming in and these funds should be used judiciously with integrity.

During the latter part of his tenure at SLC he was able to introduce transparency in to umpiring and the tournament structure. As far as women’s cricket is concerned he said that they have to pump in a lot of money to spread it island wide.

Sudath noted that the administration at SLC was always tied up with putting out fires since there is always a scandal somewhere, eg selection issue ,match fixing issue and the ousting of the head coach so as a result all these consumed a lot of time and energy.

“The people who are supposed to make a long term strategy for the development of cricket have not got the time and besides that they are on short term contracts.”

Sudath was also involved with the 4 day provincial tournament with all the top players taking part, unfortunately there was not much of a public interest and also there was stiff opposition from the clubs went on Sudath. He also noted that the club system is well entrenched and cannot be by passed and they should also play a part in the proceedings.

As regards Chandika Hathurusinghe, Sudath mentioned that he has always been a big fan of his, and Chandika has always been team orientated. He has the knowledge, experience and the exposure where he has performed well in the Aussie circuit and Bangladesh.

He mentioned that we had good professional coaches like Trevor Bayliss,Tom Moody, John Dyson who never had any issues with the selections. He emphasised that we also had good leaders like Marvan, Sanath ,Mahela and Sanga together with good players like Dilshan,Murali and Vaas.

There is no professionalism evident at the SLC observed Sudath, it’s not a case of the “Survival of the fittest” but personal relationships were the order of the day he lamented. At the end of his contract one has to “Bum Suck “ to your immediate boss for extension of the contract and sadly no proper evaluation procedures were in place concluded Sudath who appeared to be firm and forthright, SLC could do with people like Sudath Pasqual to prop up this ailing giant.

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