As rebel Indian Cricket League hunt for more players.
ICC tells SLC: it's your baby!
By T M K Samat
THE ICC has asked Sri Lanka Cricket to
make up its own mind on how to deal with its players
defecting to the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League, The
Sunday Leader has learnt.
The world body's hands-off stance has
thrown the SLC into a dither. Local officials had hoped
the ICC would give an unambiguous view of the big-money
event, financed and conducted by Zee Television in India
. The SLC publicly declared that it would apply here the
awaited stance of the ICC, despite one-time Sri Lanka
captain, Marvan Atapattu, breaking his US$100,
000-contract with the board to, reportedly, enter into a
deal four-fold more with the rebel tournament.
Sanath Jayasuriya, it is reported, will
cite Atapattu case and ask for release from his
contract, too, while Upul Chanada and Nuwan Zoysa, both
not contracted to the board, are on the shopping list of
the organisers of the rebel event.
With the ICC, Wednesday night, leaving it
up to member countries to take their own stance, SLC is
now compelled to take a stand.
The Sunday Leader understands SLC is
likely to follow the Indian and Pakistan Boards' lead
and warn players of the imposition of a ban from
officially recognised cricket should they figure in the
privately-run league. SLC has yet to put in place a set
of deterrents that might discourage prospective
defectors. Atapattu relieved himself of his board
contract without any sort of resistance from SLC. It is
understood the SLC is to soon announce its opposition to
the rebel league together with prescribed bans for
SLC no balls Indian Cricket League
The committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has
unanimously agreed on the following:-
That in the event any player signs and/or
participates in a tournament or league other than Sri
Lanka Cricket approved tournaments, the player concerned
shall not be eligible for selection to represent Sri
Lanka at national and/or international level and/or
domestic tournaments conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket.
That in the event any individual signs
and/or participates in any tournament or league in any
capacity whatsoever other than Sri Lanka Cricket
the individual concerned shall not be
eligible to participate in any cricket related
activities conducted under the auspices of Sri Lanka
Sports happenings at
Wettimuny's suggestion shot down!
Former Lankan opening batsman, Sidath
Wettamuny's suggestion to have recognised players head
all committees at SLC besides making drastic changes in
this development set up is likely to be thrown out at a
meeting of members of the interim committee.
Vandort scores ton
Michel Vandort stroked a fluent ton, his
first against India as Lankans closed their second
innings at 265 for 7 on the first day of their three day
match with India.
Senduwa, Navodya Volleyball champs
SC and Navodya SC clinched the men's and
women's titles respectively at the President's Gold Cup
Volleyball championships concluded at the NYSC Hall
Lankans to ban rebel series
The SLC will not allow any contracted
player to participate in the Indian Cricket League (ICL)
championship which is offering international players
huge sums of money.
Lanka U - 19 lose badly
The Sri Lanka U-19 team suffered a 182
runs defeat against the Indian U-19 side in the first
youth test played at the Colts ground.
Scores India U-19- 301 and 223 for 7
dec.Sri Lanka U-19- 247 and 95 all out.
Atapattu released from contract
Former Lankan skipper, Marvan Atapattu's
contract with SLC was terminated as requested by
India pile up 491 for 3
A grand 205
by Abhinav Mukund saw India U-19 team pile up a massive
491 for 3 against Sri Lanka on day one in the second
U-19 test commenced at Asgiriya.
Jithmie beat Nilupul
woman's national champion Jithmie Jayawardena defeated
Nilupul Goonasekara 6/1, 6/3 in the on going Junior
Tennis Nationals at the SLTA.
Amal Silva withdraws
Amal Silva has withdrawn from his
appointment as selector of the SLC.
Chandimal a grand century
A magnificent 143 by Dinesh Chandimal
helped Sri Lanka U-19 team to get closer to India's
massive 491 for 3 dec. in the first innings on day 2 of
the second U-19 test in progress at Asgiriya.
Scores India U-19 first innings 491 for 3
U-19 first innings 336 for 8 (D. Chandimal 143, A.
Jithmie clinch double
Women's national champion Jithmie
Jayawickrama won a double when she clinched the girls
U-18 singles title too at the Junior Tennis Nationals at
State your stance, SLC
Atapattu was freed last week of his yearlong binding to
a US$100,000 contract with surprising ease. Sri Lanka
Cricket's stance was pretty much
'ask-and-you-shall-receive'': Atapattu asked and SLC,
the other signatory to the agreement, acceded. Not quite
swiftly as that - a sixty-day notice prior to
termination, of course, had to be waited on.
Admittedly, there's precious little SLC
can do if a cricketer wants to opt out of his contract -
and so too the player should and the SLC wish the same.
That is not the issue. It is, while the cricket boards
of India and Pakistan had issued warnings to any
prospective defector of a lifelong ban, the SLC's chosen
course of least resistance is surprising. More so, since
the Board not only released the one-time skipper for the
mere asking, he also remains eligible for future
national selections, should the selectors feel the need
for his services and he's available, for a fee of
Have the cake and eat it too
What this means is that contracted
players can have their cake and eat it too - or said in
practical terms: earn your big bucks from a
privately-run overseas league and daily-paid ages from
doing national duty. It's a situation that might be
laughable, but for serious consequences it might have.
The bottom line is that license has been granted for
contracted players to earn salaries from two employers,
and what that means is desertion's door is left a jar.
Atapattu has walked out, and, not surprisingly, there's
talk that Sanath Jayasuriya would cite Atapattu's case
for his own release. Nuwan Zoysa and Upul Chandana, as
well, are thought to have been approached by the
Consequences can be catastrophic
The careers of all of the aforementioned
names are winding down, and it's fair to assume the
country's cricket won't be seriously weakened, if at all
it does. But should the likes of Muralidaran, Sangakkara
and skipper Jayewardene be tempted into selling their
services to two employers, which Atapattu's release
suggests they can, then, the consequences for Sri Lanka
cricket can be quite catastrophic.
But hang on; this concept of serving two
employers at the same time looks too much of a give-away
to be true. Just so that sub-continental cricketers
might not think that earning salaries from two sources
is possible is why their cricket boards issued, pronto,
an ultimatum: choose between them or us. No such voice
of deterrent emanated from Maitland Place; all it said
was it would await ICC's ruling on the matter and apply
it locally. On Wednesday night, the ICC's response was
characteristically lame duck: "it's your baby; you look
after it'' - not quite so bluntly, but the meaning was
just the same.
The SLC now has to make up its own mind.
It's not an easy decision to make. The careers of the
prospective defectors are, as said before, as good as
over, which means the country's cricket is yet safe. But
that's doesn't offer the SLC a permanent comfort zone.
The fact is notice of players' desertion
has been issued. And there's no guarantee that the
established and emerging cricketers might, like Atapattu,
want to be freed of their contracts with SLC so they may
sign up with the big-money league. After all, a wage
that's four and five fold more than the present is an
offer you don't pass up without serious consideration.
In the face of that harsh prospect, it
is easy to suggest the imposition of a ban on those
defecting. But such a ruling has a legal implication -
which probably is why the SLC wasn't hasty in attaching
a ban to Atapattu's contractual release. "The rival
cricket league as at this point is only spoken about, it
is not real. We are not certain if the new league would
even get off the ground, and if it does, there's no
certainty that Marvan will be a part of it,'' said an
official on condition of anonymity. "Until we know for a
fact that Marvan (or any other player) is involved with
the new league, a ban would be illegal - and that means
he remains qualified for national selection.''
Hard to decide
Looking through legal lenses that
argument is valid, but it is difficult to imagine
Atapattu forgoing a $100,000-contract in exchange for
something less - or to get his back on the selectors for
the shoddy treatment handed him. But that's another
story. The question is, with ICC's refusal to state its
stance; SLC has now to officially declare whether it
recognises or not the rival league. Its handling of
Atapattu's case, of course, isn't acknowledging
recognition, but the kid-gloved treatment of Atapattu's
case, coupled with the absence of any warnings to
players, is potential ammunition in the hands of critics
of the SLC, of which there are many. They will no doubt
make accusation that the SLC's sympathies lie with the
rebel league. The likely upshot: a wedge would've been
driven between SLC and the Indian Board-something that
isn't beyond the critics' scheme of things.
Whether the handling of Atapattu's
release has roused suspicion in the Indian Board is
something we will never know. So, a clearing of the air
is advisable. And from this point on, it makes sense to
go along with the stance of the Indian Board, which is,
the imminent league is unrecognised, and, by extension,
participants of the unrecognised competition are
forbidden from cricket conducted by the establishment.
Any country taking a different stance to
that of the Indian Board's can't, of course, expect
favours from India. This is not to infer the cricket
world ought to kowtow to India. But the fact that the
Indian Board bankrolls world cricket is something you
Strength of India
It is said that 70 percent of cricket's
worldwide income is generated from India - due,
obviously, to the country's thriving economy, cricket's
popularity and the excellence of their team. Said
simply, world cricket can't do without India, a position
of strength, which, in fact, saw the Indian Board daring
to arrange their own itinerary as opposed to conforming
to ICC's calendar.
So, you don't have to be prophet to know
how the Indian Board might react should SLC's stance
displease them: We might well risk, at worse, losing our
most profitable series, or, at best, suffer a rationing
of the fixtures v. India.
For a start, the SLC, without the shadow
of the ICC to hide behind, will do itself and the
financial security of the country's cricket a favour if
it officially announces deterrents to would-be
defectors, just as the India and Pakistan boards did.
They've threatened defectors with life ban. The SLC will
be wise to do the same - than ponder too deep into the
legal implications of applying the ban.
A threat of a ban is different from its
imposition. The idea is to let the cricketers know of
the grave consequences of joining the big-money league -
if anything Atapattu's easy release lends nourishment to
the perception that cricketers can enjoy the best of
In many ways the present crisis is
really a re-enactment of the one between the
establishment and the Australian television Tycoon Kerry
Packer in the 70s. Packer's Channel Nine was refused
rights to cover Australian cricket. In retaliation the
Tycoon bought the world's best players forking out huge
sums. So, the Packer cricket circus was launched and
broadcast by only his Channel Nine. Traditionally-staged
cricket soon became a pale shadow of its old form. But
once the novelty of the Packer circus paled, the appeal
of traditional matches was always going to resurface.
Playing for Packer isn't the same as playing for
country. So, inevitably, the establishment and the
tycoon sat down to talk. They agreed the circus will
fold up, the players will become available to their
respective cricket boards - and Channel Nine would be
given the television rights denied them.
Replace Australia with India and Channel
Nine with Zee Television, and you'll detect the story of
more than thirty years ago reliving itself. The
difference here is, the rebel league is contesting a far
wealthier and more powerful Board than what the
Australian Board was in the 70s. As well, the Packer
circus was launched on the backs of the star players of
that time - the Richards, Lloyds, Rowes and Greenidges
West Indies, the Chappells and Lillies of Australia, the lot
from the world over. The big names of this one, due to
launch in October, are retirees or nearly.
The lot of the present cricketers is far
better than it was three decades ago. The rebel league's
future, so, is far from assured - all the more reason
why the SLC's stance ought to be in harmony with that of
the Indian Board's.
ITF tributes SLTA
THE ITF has paid glowing tribute to the
SLTA for its organisation of the Group Three Davis Cup
last month, enhancing the prospects of Colombo being
awarded hosting rights of more important events in the
portfolio of the world body.
Senior ITF officials are thrilled over
the way the eight-nation, six-day tournament was
Colombo as well as the public enthusiasm it generated. Numbers
unseen in tennis for a long time turned up to watch
Sri Lanka's bid to win promotion Group
Two - a bid that was kept alive until the closing
minutes of the tie. Eventually, Sri Lanka fell one win
short of promotion.
ITF Director for Development in Asia,
Suresh Menon, in a letter to the SLTA President Janaka
Bogollagama enthused, "I cannot recall seeing this many
spectators at a Zonal Group event since being ITF Davis
Cup representative"- adding that the level of
organisation and hospitality provided was of 'a high
Menon concludes by referring to the Sri
Lanka's near qualification. "Despite the efforts of
your Davis Cup team they were unlucky not to be
promoted. Harshana Godamanna must be commended for his
Jo Becker, while congratulating the
organisers, the ITF Events Operations Assistant notes,
"by all accounts it was a very successful Group Three
Davis Cup event."
SLTA vice president and head of Davis Cup
organising committee Vasantha Wijesekera said, "the ITF
has paid us quite a tribute and I am sure they'll have
us high on the list for hosting some of their other
Dharmasiri 7for 6 runs
Paceman Ranuka Dharmasiri bowled a
tantalising spell to capture 7 wickets for 6 runs to
guide Lyceum International School to a massive 295 run
win over St. Nicholas International School in their
Under 15 Inter- International Schools Cricket Tournament
fixture played at the Shalika Grounds this week.Batting
first Lyceum International School scored a mammoth 339
for 3 wickets in their 30 overs with openers Heshan
Jayasinghe (135) and Matheesha Ranaweera (101) putting
on a partnership of 207 runs for the first wicket.
Scores: Lyceum - 339 for 3 wickets in 30
overs (Heshan Jayasinghe 135, Matheesha Ranaweera 101
and Amila Premasara 39 n.o.)
St. Nicholas - 44 all out in 11.5 overs
(Patel Peiris 10; Ranuka Dharmasiri 6/7, Aaqib Naeem
Nalaka Weerakodi honoured
By Hafiz Marikar
Kandy Sports Club, will name the tiers at
the entrance to the Nittawela grounds, as 'Nalaka
Weerakodi stand', for the great contribution of this
ruggerite to the Kandy Sports Club.
Nalaka, has assisted the Kandy Sports
Club in a big way, by winning many matches during the
last decade. Therefore this is a great gesture for this
New office bearers for Kandy Club
The 130th annual general meeting of the
Kandy Club was held recently.
Chandra Shabandu was elected as the
president of the club and former Member of Parliament
Gamin Rajapakse as vice president at this meeting.
Old Rajan, Ranjith Kulatunge is the new
secretary andKingswoodian S.M.S. Samrakoon is the
The committee comprises of Roy de Silva
one time president and the other members are H.
Marikar, Nimal Udarawana, B.D.R. Suri Rajan, Lucien
Rajaakrunanayake,S.P. Perera, Prof. T. Varugunam, Nimal
Ranaweera, Rawan Wijerthne andMohan Weerakoon.
Former president of the club, Dr. S.M.X.
Corea was elected as the newtrustee.
Telecom football in full swing
Sri Lanka Telecom sponsored Kandy
Association Football league, inter club competition is
in full swing, as most of the matches have been played
according to the fixture.
Few clubs including Kandy York SC, Hy
SC and Golden Stars SC had to postponed a
few of their games due to matches played for the
According to a competition committee
member of the Kandy AFL, the matches were played with
keen interest, but certain teams who lost matches had
blamed the referee.
The most interesting and a crowd packed
game was played betweenKandy York SC and Madiyamalanka
SC, where both teams presented a open game of football
and the crowd enjoyed the game.
Kandy York SC who were down 0-1 at half
time came back fitting to score 4 goals in the second
half and made the game in favor of them.
In previous matches Sisu SC beatSC by 3
goals to 2, in a close contested game played at the
Municipal Play Grounds, Hy Line SC who are in top form
beat Golden Wings SC 2-0, Hanthana United SC bet Green