Gavin's blog

Somachandra de Silva's power trip led to Hathurusingha's axing

Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Somchandra de Silva called Chandika Hathurusingha via team manager Anura Tennekoon's mobile phone and asked him to change the side after Sri Lanka lost to India on May 30, 2010 - in the second match of the Zimbabwe Tri-Series, according to explosive revelations made by the former 'Shadow Coach' Chandika Hathurusingha.

This Christmas will either make or break Suraj Dandeniya

When Christmas comes this year, the highest paid man at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Suraj Dandeniya, will know his fate.

Will the nation remember Mr. Dandeniya as a scoundrel who plundered the resources of our beloved sport and brought our nation to disrepute at the 2011 World Cup, or will he come out more like Santa Claus bearing the R. Premadasa Stadium as a gift, ready in time for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011?

Dandeniya is Somachandra de Silva's nephew. He was recruited by SLC to be a part of the World Cup Secretariat for a whopping fee of $5000 USD/month and other perks.

Somachandra de Silva is the man President Rajapaksa appointed as the Chairman of the Interim Committee. de Silva appointed his nephew sans an interview nor an assessment of his qualifications for a crucial post; Dandeniya is responsible for the R. Premadasa Stadium which is currently in a shambolic state. But he does have till December 31 to pull off a miracle.

How Darrell Hair timed his no-ball call to gain maximum mileage

Peter Roebuck has conducted a good interview with Muttiah Muralitharan for the Sydney Morning Herald.

In it, Murali talks about many things, but interestingly, Murali pointed out something that we may have not known before.

Murali said that when he was first no-balled by Darrell Hair in the Boxing Day Test Match, 1995, in front of 55, 000 people, it was not the first time the umpire had the opportunity to no-ball him if he felt that Murali was a chucker.

ICC error triggers war of words between Nishantha and newspaper

When the ICC released the ICC Playing Handbook 2010-11 ( you can download a copy here), it had incorrectly published Nishantha Ranatunga as the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket. This prompted The Island newspaper in Sri Lanka to run an article titled: 'Now, Nishantha takes ICC for a ride'.

In the article, the paper accused the current secretary of the interim committee, Nishantha Ranatunga, of hoodwinking the ICC into thinking that he was the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.

The paper pointed out that Ranatunga always took the place of Sri Lanka Cricket's CEO at ICC meetings that were meant only for CEOs of member countries. It also accused Ranatunga of kicking out former CEO, Duleep Mendis, and replacing him with the current, largely ceremonial, Ajit Jayasekara.

Sri Lanka Cricket's underhand tactics prevented at CEAT Cricket Awards

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has changed it's mind - last minute - and will not felicitate a group of individuals at the CEAT Sri Lanka Cricket Awards, 2010, according to a LakbimaNews exclusive.

The paper says on it's website that the plan was to hand out the awards/felicitations (including Rs. 200,000 for each award) to a select group of people who also have influence in the cricket clubs in Sri Lanka.

Someday when elections take place to replace this current interim committee, which was appointed by the government after Ranatunga's sacking, those bribed with awards and prize money at this year's CEAT Awards will return the favour by voting for the unscrupulous.

Who is to blame for the complete breakdown of discipline in Sri Lanka Cricket?

In early September, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a statement on its website titled, 'Media reports implicating player misbehaviour'.

In the statement, SLC claimed that certain media organisations were misleading the public by publishing allegations pertaining to Dilshan's behaviour on a tour to Zimbabwe in May/June 2010.

“As a responsible administrative body of Sri Lanka Cricket, we would like to state, that we do not take disciplinary action against players based on baseless allegations that are vindictive with an objective of character assassination of individuals,” the statement read.

Reading the papers in Sri Lanka of late, it becomes evident of how active SLC has become responding to various allegations published in the papers and news sites. Going by the manner SLC has been recently utilising the right of reply, it appears as though even this government run institution has taken the route of blaming everything, including the behaviour of Sri Lankan players, on the media.

Sangakkara comes to Charlie Austin's defence

In wake of all the recent allegations about match fixing and the Zimbabwe incident, there have also been various rumours being spread that Kumar Sangakkara's agent Charlie Austin is somehow behind a plot to tarnish Dilshan's name.

"It is in this fertile climate that we are now seeing an endless stream of conspiracy theories, one of the most recent being that even player managers are cooking up an elaborate plot to attack a national cricketer’s integrity," Sangakkara wrote on his blog attempting to set the record straight.

Betting scandal hits Sri Lanka Cricket

As the Pakistan betting scandal is being exposed, it is alleged that a senior Sri Lankan player has brought the island's most beloved sport to great disrepute. Join me as I dive into the facts and attempt to unravel the scandal.

Sangakkara backs Chandika Hathurusingha - wants 'shadow coach' back

Chandika Hathurusingha was appointed 'shadow coach' of Sri Lanka to become an understudy to the two foreign coaches, but earlier this year during the tri nation series in Zimbabwe, the shadow coach wa

Expect changes to the interim committee after world cup

When first appointed in May this year Sri Lanka's sports minster created the impression that he was going to clean things up in a corrupt institution. In fact, CB Ratnayake made big changes in his very first week.

Ratnayake sacked the existing selection panel and appointed Aravinda de Silva as chief selector replacing Ashantha de Mel.

He then publicly labelled Sri Lanka Cricket a corrupt institution, but shortly after instead of sacking those in charge, he extended Somchandra de Silva's tenure as chairman and also allowed the controversial Nishantha Ranatunga to remain as secretary of the interim committee that runs Sri Lanka Cricket.

Dhoni hides from media after embarrassing loss to Sri Lanka

This is perhaps the first time that a losing skipper has avoided the post match press conference.

MS Dhoni has managed to turn even the Indian media against him after suffering one of the most embarrassing defeats in India's ODI history.

Where's the common sense, Brian Thomas?

According to the Sunday Times, fast bowler Lasith Malinga is understood to be unhappy with the central contract offered to him. Despite being Sri Lanka's most lethal pace bowling option, Malinga had been awarded a Category 4 contract.

Ajantha Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Thushara, Rangana Hearth, Prasana Jayawardana and Thilina Kandamby were also awarded a Category 4 contract. And going by those names, it's clear that Sri Lanka's fastest bowler, and by far the best fast bowler in the country deserves much better.

Sri Lanka Cricket in hot water, Premadasa Stadium raises concerns ahead of World Cup

Andy Atkinson who is the ICC pitch consultant has expressed his concerns over the progress of R. Premadasa stadium in Khettarama, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The stadium has been under renovation for the ICC World Cup 2011 starting in seven months with stands being demolished to accommodate more spectators, and according to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) things were all going as planned.

How many wickets do you have Mr. Bhogle?

The man has never played competitive cricket, but is considered a cricket pundit and a good commentator amongst Indians. With India bringing in the biggest bucks, Cricinfo also needed to ensure it's money making audience is happy. Such is the making of an once unknown, non-entity in cricket, Harsha Bhogle.

Never has he been this vocal in his support for Muralitharan, but today Bhogle has the nerve to criticise Muralitharan for reacting to years of verbal abuse and derogatory remarks from an Indian spinner with 266 wickets.

Banning Sri Lankan players from foreign leagues; thoughtless decision making

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) recently announced that they would be banning it's 76 contracted players from playing in foreign leagues before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Seven months ahead of the ODI World Cup, the decision makers at SLC have convinced themselves that it would be best to hit the pockets of a select few players, not all.

According to AFP, the decision to enforce the ban came after consulting the team management and the selectors. But, interestingly, the ban does not affect Chaminda Vaas or Sanath Jayasuriya who are currently playing in England for Northamptonshire and Worcestershire respectively. And it will it not hurt the pockets of those playing in the Champions League in India!