Sri Lankan cricketers return exposing bankrupt leadership | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankan cricketers return exposing bankrupt leadership

12 January, 2020
Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga

Sri Lanka’s cricketers return to the island not just after being routed in India but exposing a bankrupt leadership that never seems to be on a mending course over the past decade.

The question could not have been put forward any better than in the words of new coach Mickey Arthur who called for a drastic change even before the drubbing in the third and final T20 match in front of a packed stadium on Friday.

“The players need proper leadership and proper direction”, he said pleadingly after defeat in the previous match.

But it is being feared that it will not be a surprise if Arthur’s words are swept into the dust bin by some of the pundits running Sri Lanka Cricket who have shown very little desire to take public views into account.

Current T20 skipper Lasith Malinga to some experts must be like the proverbial cat-with-nine-lives syndrome where the captaincy is concerned.

Sometimes brilliant with the ball in hand, Malinga was never meant to be in the role of leadership, an aspect that was ignored many times with Sri Lanka being the place where mere emotions and seniority take centre stage over merit and capability.

Winning the toss and inviting the Indians to bat first, Sri Lanka under Malinga was expected to keep the host in check with some kind of strategy akin of a captain.

But all Malinga could do was gamble with the bowlers and fielders only to lose out with India not making the mistakes and posting a runaway 201 in the 20 overs which was never challenged.

Independent experts now say that it was not Malinga to blame, but arrogant Sri Lanka Cricket officials who persist with him despite a string of 12 defeats from 13 matches which makes him the most defeated captain in the world while the team Selectors don’t have the wisdom to look beyond.

Head selector Asantha de Mel may also find it difficult to get away from any accusation of living on borrowed time taking into account the selection of Angelo Mathews and then forcing him out of the team for the first washed-out game.

He could not find a place for the second game which may have been understandable to De Mel, but if Mathews was not good enough to be around in the first place, why on earth was he ever picked.

What was worse, was that batsman Kusal Mendis touted by Arthur as having the makings to be the world’s best was unwillingly in the comfort of the pavilion without swinging a bat at all.