Poor boy Harin; he has a prob­lem at hand

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

In the In­dian subcontinent, there may not be any­one who does not know the Kisa Go­tami story. When her child died she thought that the lit­tle one was only sick and wanted some­one to treat him. She ap­proached the Bud­dha and said, “My name is Kisa. I have been look­ing ev­ery­where for medicine for my son.”

The Bud­dha looked at the lit­tle bun­dle in Kisa’s arms. How could Kisa be helped to re­alise the truth that her lit­tle boy was al­ready dead?

“Kisa, if you want to make some medicine, you must have some mus­tard seeds,” said the Bud­dha. “Go into town and ask at each house, but you must only ac­cept seeds from a house in which no one has died.”

There is an­other episode that runs in the same vein now in 2018 – what we de­scribe as mod­ern times. Here in lit­tle Sri Lanka we are search­ing for some­one to head the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of Sri Lanka cricket. We may not find a can­di­date once we sift through the hand­ful of mus­tard. It ap­pears that ev­ery­one in that list of as­pi­rants has sinned!

Some charge that for­mer SLC chair­man Mo­han de Silva, who is head­ing the Thi­langa fac­tion, has some skele­tons in his cup­board while oth­ers say that there is some­thing wrong with K. Mathivanan also. The third is Jayan­tha Dhar­madasa. He is sup­posed to be in­el­i­gi­ble on a tech­ni­cal point. Some are even burn­ing ef­fi­gies against Nis­han­tha Ranatunga who is eye­ing to be­come the sec­re­tary.

The irony is that this lot is the same flock that has ruled cricket in Sri Lanka since 1996. Some­times they were plums in the same pie. Some­times they were in dif­fer­ent camps but, all of them are re­spon­si­ble for cricket’s ills we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing now.

Nev­er­the­less, if we ask the pub­lic whether Sri Lanka Cricket needs a change of face, the ‘yes’ an­swer would be over­whelm­ing. Some said that the woe was that the game got too politi­cised. Sadly, the sta­tus quo is even deeper than that.

May be, when for­mer Sports Min­is­ter Faiszer Musthapha had the key in his hand, he started to drive on the re­verse while dent­ing ev­ery lamp post in sight. He made things com­pli­cated while agree­ing with the ICC to go in for an elec­tion by Fe­bru­ary 2019. At that time, he ap­peared pro­gres­sive and thought of heal­ing this fes­ter­ing wound. He had more tricks than one. Yet, he opted to go moon­walk­ing with a com­pe­tent au­thor­ity and var­i­ous odd com­mit­tees that wielded no real pow­ers. Only if Musthapha had come up with a pre­sen­ta­tion to the change the cricket con­sti­tu­tion of Sri Lanka, the ICC would have adopted a dif­fer­ent stance.

With time run­ning out fast; new sports min­is­ter Harin Fer­nendo’s dilemma is real. Be­ing a per­son who knows what the sports ma­chine needs, he ini­tially pressed the right but­tons. He be­gan to talk with per­sons in the cal­i­bre of Roshan Ma­hanama, Si­dath Wet­timuny, Ban­dula War­na­pura , Ku­mar San­gakkara and Ma­hela Jayawar­dena, to men­tion a few. Yet, the win­dow that opened was only as a pin­hole. No one wanted to head an in­terim com­mit­tee to bell the ail­ing cat. Yet, the Sports Min­is­ter did dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­i­ties with the world cricket au­thor­ity, but, the ICC was po­lite, but, firm. The ICC said the elec­tions should be held on due date or Sri Lanka Cricket has to face the reper­cus­sions.

But, re­mem­ber the ICC fully un­der­stands what’s go­ing around. The ICC is fully aware who the black cats and who the pumas are, but, it is em­broiled in cer­tain pro­ce­dures that it must ad­here to.

An out­sider who is also an in­sider who knows the in­side out is for­mer SLC In­terim Com­mit­tee Chair­man Si­dath Wet­timuny. We are aware that he al­ready has had a one-one-one with Min­is­ter Fer­nando. He said, “I gather the ICC wants the SLC to have its elec­tion. Any­way, if that is the case, there is no way out. The min­is­ter should ap­point a com­mit­tee to look into the pos­si­bil­i­ties of amend­ing or re­plac­ing the con­sti­tu­tion with ex­per­tise from an in­de­pen­dent body and have it passed in par­lia­ment. Then he can go ahead with the sit­ting ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee un­til such time the changes are made”.

Then there was an­other out­sider, who was also a for­mer in­sider with a rather cheeky idea. He said, “I ar­rived at this con­clu­sion when I read the re­cent news­pa­per ar­ti­cles on the sub­ject. We read that Mo­han de Silva is not el­i­gi­ble and he has been re­ported. Mathivanan also has been found fault with an­other is­sue, which I think is not fair, by gen­eral stan­dards, but, nev­er­the­less some­one has com­plained about his pres­ence there. Then Jayan­tha Dhar­madasa has been trapped by a ruse that was de­signed by a for­mer sports min­is­ter -- may be ex­clu­sively for this pur­pose. Against that back­ground, how if some­one de­cides to get a court in­junc­tion claim­ing that there are charges against all as­pi­rants and none is suit­able to hold of­fice?” There are chances of this very thing hap­pen­ing within the next few days.

By and large, the sit­u­a­tion is com­plex. The ICC is not happy with the present con­text, but, pro­to­col must be fol­lowed. The gen­eral pub­lic in this coun­try is more than cheesed- off about the sit­u­a­tion – 2014 World T- 20 cham­pi­ons hav­ing to play a round of qual­i­fiers to take part in the real thing. Yet, pol­i­tics apart, even the sports min­is­ter can­not do any­thing pos­i­tive be­cause of the com­plex­ity of the prob­lem which was de­signed by, I sup­pose, the pre­vi­ous sports min­is­ter Faiszer Musthapha.

With time run­ning out fast; new sports min­is­ter Harin Fer­nendo’s dilemma is real. Be­ing a per­son who knows what the sports ma­chine needs, he ini­tially pressed the right but­tons. He be­gan to talk with per­sons in the cal­i­bre of Roshan Ma­hanama, Si­dath Wet­timuny, Ban­dula War­na­pura , Ku­mar San­gakkara and Ma­hela Jayawar­dena, to men­tion a few. Yet, the win­dow that opened was only as a pin­hole. No one wanted to head an in­terim com­mit­tee to bell the ail­ing cat. Yet, the Sports Min­is­ter did dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­i­ties with the world cricket au­thor­ity, but, the ICC was po­lite, but, firm. The ICC said the elec­tions should be held on due date or Sri Lanka Cricket has to face the reper­cus­sions.

ICC Anti-Cor­rup­tion Unit's Cor­di­na­tor of In­ves­ti­ga­tions, Steve Richardson held a meet­ing last week for lo­cal cricket fra­ter­nity in Colombo fol­low­ing an in­vi­ta­tion made by the new Min­is­ter of Sports, Harin Fer­nando

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