Simple reasons why the expected never happens
In 'Heads You Win', Jeffrey Archer at one point says; “I was standing on a street corner trying to get a taxi, I couldn’t help noticing there were BMWs, Mercedes and Jaguars but there was no sight of a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo”.
He goes onto say that what is most needed is a middle class who through hard work and diligence can benefit from their country’s wealth and resources. The words of Archer rang a bell as I read a mail from ' Boa Athu' ( BA) drawing my attention to his writing to thePapare from New Zealand. It was about planned failure or failure to plan. Interesting because I have always taught that people don’t plan to fail but they fail because they do not plan. BA s ay s “In l i f e, you learn from your fa i l - ures. That said if anyone is going to fail, you need to fail forward and fail for what you did, as opposed to, for what you didn’t do. This competition was one of those disheartening and backward failures. It was largely due to inaction ( off- the- field) and not, actions on it which eventually cost the Sri Lanka Under-19s their campaign.”
The inaction referred to is as to how much was planned for this tour. The Mercedes, Jaguars and the like played in the schools tournament along with the Marutis also on display. What should have been done is to have the superior cars identified and polished so that the middle class would have done the hard work to run the race. Instead there was a break and for a few days before the race you get the players together and service in the form of a trial and hey presto there is a team and a captain selected and a tour undertaken leading to disaster.
The close comparison is the Under- 19 team where the players kept out after a competitive schools season. They were then assembled together and played in two trials which had to take second place as the better cars from the schools were run in the Mercantile Sevens. That also begs me to ask a question “how long have you to be in a corporate before you play in the tournament.”
It all boils to the greed and the need than the longer term of the human being. Schoolboys rushed early to extend the hand for money while most of those who dish out shout from freezing their offices on Social Responsibility with less Social Conscious.
Sri Lanka despite the non- participation, has been retained in Division 1 15- a- side of Asian Rugby and will play in April. The aim should be to plan to win this and keep the road open. For this it is not just hoping with a few days practice but with a solid plan for five or say three years. That is where the middle class of young rugby players who are the natural resources coming out of schools rugby be the material in a long term plan. It is not getting the old Mercedes and hoping to win as the sleek bodies now run like the Maruti.
In the midst there is news that the captain of the Under-19 team has been slapped with a two-year suspended sentence for the deviant behavior. Sri Lanka Rugby has been prudent not to put a delinquent behind bars but to allow him to be rehabilitated while allowing him to play and be counseled for one year. If as they say he is a good player, he needs to be disciplined. That also means that he should not be slotted in to the National stream immediately as the sword will hand over his head as people will always look his way.
Give him time to get over and for the dust to settle and tell him why he is kept in the waiting room to be readied for delivery. The bigger question however is what about those who slotted him to a team and also made him captain when according to the head of schools rugby responsible people were informed of the truant behavior. Probably they only looked at the body of the vehicle and not the sum part that makes the vehicle ready to win a race.
Though it is less of a David against Goliath battle the fight for the top is a virtual two centered battle. There is the ruling class of eight clubs with no middle or working class that will take the game forward. From a local perspective despite wayward skills by some the games are close enough to tickle the diehards. The Expected Never Happens – A Twist in the Tale, Jeffrey Archer.
Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, Coach and an Accredited
Referees' Evaluator IRB
Sri Lanka last played in the Asian 15s in 2017 and will have a tough task in facing the top teams this time around - File pic