Wettimuny slams past cricket administrators | Daily News

Wettimuny slams past cricket administrators

Sidath Wettimuny

Former Sri Lanka Test cricketer and interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny blamed past elected administrators of Sri Lanka Cricket for the national team's poor performances in international cricket today.

Commenting on Sri Lanka's 23-run loss in the Asia Cup match to Bangladesh at Mirpur on Sunday, Wettimuny said, "I have always said that before long we would lose to Bangladesh. I don't blame the players or anybody at the moment but I blame all the past board elected administrations who for the purpose of a vote never did what has to be done by developing the next level of our cricket.

"We have been basking in the glory of our 1996 World Cup win for way too long and it's hitting us now. This is what successive elected boards never realized that we have to revamp our cricket. We have stayed so long it will take a long time to get out of it as well.

"You can't blame the cricketers because this is what they are exposed to - a certain level. How do you know what the next level is," he questioned.

Sri Lanka who had never lost a T20 international to Bangladesh were restricted 124-8 chasing 148 for victory. The defeat was their eighth in 12 T20 Internationals since winning the World T20 title in 2014.

"It was hard to swallow the defeat against Bangladesh. I am surprised that Sri Lanka are a little below par at the moment. I don't know whether the nature of the wicket is bothering our guys or what.

"Our technical skills in my opinion have deteriorated a lot I don't know whether something is wrong in our system," said Wettimuny, a technically accomplished opening batsman who has the honour of scoring his country's maiden Test century - 157 against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1982.

"You see how crooked the bats are coming down they are all over. You don't have that sense of confidence. When you watch a player and once he gets in you know he is there for the long haul, but there is no assurance from the present players that they can win a match for you," he said.

"You have to watch one of the club matches and ask yourself is this the competition that is required to compete at that level".

"When other countries are playing at the highest level with their IPL's and BPL's etc. we are found wanting.

"Our only hope is Graham Ford (the head coach) who is good, given a little time would be able to put things right".

"He has a tough task to get Sri Lanka out of this mess that's the only way I see it".

Wettimuny said that for years Cricket Boards have been tampering and pandering to club pressures and never allowed a tournament stronger than the existing ones to take place.

"The clubs are pulling it down. They think because we won the World Cup in 1996 playing club cricket it can still remain the same. They don't realize that everything is changing. Indian cricket today is not what it was 10 years ago. They have come a long way," said Wettimuny.

"The bottom line is, don't look at what is happening today this is a problem which has come from a long time.

"It is the culmination of years of poor vision by the elected committees not realising that the game has to go onto another level. You cannot every day depend on club cricket and think because you won the 1996 World Cup that things are the same. What they don't realize is others have gone on ahead whereas we are trying to hold onto the same old thing and wait. You feel sorry for our cricket," he said.

Wettimuny said the defeat at the hands of Bangladesh had to happen for there to be a public outcry where our cricket is heading. 


There is 1 Comment

I fully endorse what Wettimuny has stated. In 1995 Ana Punchihewa was the SLC President and his vision was to make the SL Team the best in the world. He Achieved this in 1996 with the help of then coach Dave Whatmore. The SLC Board should have a five year strategic plan which should be monitored by the Sports Minister annually to ensure that the Board is on track.

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