Coach calls for changes at Sri Lanka Cricket

By Staff Writers

Trevor Bayliss
Trevor Bayliss says Sri Lanka needs better administrators to help the cricket team succeed (file photo). AFP PHOTO/Sanka VIDANAGAMA.

April 7, 2011 (Island Cricket): Sri Lanka’s outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss has criticised the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee, claiming that the players were faced with several distractions off the field.

Bayliss said that he was “amazed” at the recent performances of the players, despite the obstacles.

“On the field, we’ve done pretty well for past 18 months,” he told AFP recently. “Getting to the World Cup final itself is an achievement, though we lost.”

“Good teams like Australia usually have got strong or good management backing the team up. That’s an area we can improve here,” he added.

“I am constantly amazed how well the players do, with all the distractions put in front of them. It seems to be the sub-continent way. That’s a skill in itself.”

Since May 2005, when the then sports minister dismissed elected officials at SLC, replacing them with individuals whom he deemed as fit; the administration that governs cricket in Sri Lanka has been a constantly changing, non-elected group of individuals chosen by a single politician – the sports minister or the president.

The current administration, led by chairman Somachandra de Silva and secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, has come into heavy criticism in recent times, with allegations of financial mismanagement and nepotism marring their records.

The chairman’s nephew Suraj Dandeniya was appointed director of the World Cup secretariat in Sri Lanka in a non-transparent process and was later responsible for numerous delays in completing construction at World Cup venues, which hindered Sri Lanka’s preparations for the 2011 World Cup tournament.

DS de SilvaSimilarly, another nephew of the chairman, Kapila Dandeniya, too, was handed a position of authority at the World Cup secretariat in Sri Lanka. He stands accused now of being involved in a ticket scandal. The Island newspaper alleges that he had stolen tickets, which were purchased and paid for by the general public, for his personal use.

In December last year, in an interview with The Nation newspaper in Sri Lanka, Chandika Hathurusingha, who was being groomed as a future national coach, claimed that he was ordered over the phone to change the team combination during a triangular series in Zimbabwe, earlier that year, by the chairman and suggested that his contract may have been terminated for not following through with the order.

“I told him I didn’t have the power to change team combinations because I was the third person on the tour after the coach and assistant coach,” Hathurusingha said at the time.

“I don’t know whether that reply offended him and made him take this action against me.”

Hathurusingha’s sacking prompted captain Kumar Sangakkara to appeal to the Sri Lankan administrators for his reinstatement but the request was flatly declined.

Upon their return home, after the World Cup final against India in Mumbai, Sangakkara and vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene stepped down as captain and vice-captain. The selection committee headed by Aravinda de Silva has also resigned.

“I think it’s a shame. They are the best two guys to take Sri Lanka forward. They probably had enough of putting up with distractions,” Bayliss said of Sangakkara’s and Jayawardene’s decision to step down.

“These days the role of a captain has to deal with issues that sometimes have got nothing to do with cricket. They have done a great service to Sri Lanka. [I] guess they deserve a break.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s new sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told the Sinhalese language news channel AdaDerana, earlier today, that the interim committee would continue governing SLC and that there will be no changes.

© Island Cricket


Lahiru Harishchandra's picture

This is all the president's doing! Why does the government have to ruin our cricket!!?? Please get rid of all Rajapakse's goons and have the clubs conduct elections!

Ranjan Rodrigo's picture

You politicians ,what do u know of the intricacies of cricket other than thonking Polladi batsmen hitting sixes and sixes and crowd erupting in raptures is the be all and end all of cricket. I left SL 25 years ago and have no respect for even the opposition leader. The government is strong enough internally to be in power so why are you meddling with Cricket and hoping to be in Podium if SL wins Even the sports ministers have changed thrice in 3 years. Cobbler, stick to your last. Likewise Cricketers turned politicians or administrators are more often misfits as they do not have an education or admin experience.OK, see Dilshan if next captain will take cricket from frying pan to fire.You are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. I for one will not follow SL cricket if Dilshan is appointed.
The officials from Kumar downwards like true gentlemen resigned due to interfernce but will never admit it and the Caravan moves on as the corrupt interim committee (one exempted) has a licence to engage in malpractices taking a cue from the politicos.
I know the time when Cricket was confined only to Colombo and has spread its tentacles to the outstations thanks to minimal interfernce. Now either the presidnet or Sports minister appoints the entire interim committee. I can go on and on but there is a limit to my time being in a foreign country. I ask myself why am i pouring water on a ducks back.
Ranjan Rodrigo, Sydney
Ranjan Rodrigo, Sydney

Namal Gamage's picture

Sangakkara and Jayawardene are probably the two weakest captains in Sri Lanka cricket history. No other captain in our past would have taken the president, his son or the the president's goons at SLC interfering with selection and other matters. Past captains have always spoken out or spoken in private to the media to get the true story out. Sanga and Jayawardene just covered up for these fellows and destroyed our chances of winning a WC! Even Bayliss has the balls to say something.

ranjan rodrigo's picture

Namal, you are totally mistaken re K and M.It is Aravinda who selects and has major say but he was not influenced in his tenure, hence Sanath was not in.Mahela had a hand in dropping Sanath rightfully a few years ago but Sports M who knew no cricket brought him in thus depriving Upul of mauch needed matches..That was the start of disruptions which Bayliss speaks of. Bayliss also speaks of pol. interference. Our defeat is a wake up call and K and M were sick of political interference hence diplomatically have left their posts and go be unto SL, Dilshan a stooge of the President will be next captain. The incompetent interim appted by Minister is responsible for the fiasco and thanks to strong leadership of Kumar that we came to finals. It is said K wanted to resign if Sanath was taken last year.
Namal, u and I agree only on political interference and so do 80% of comments one sees.I wish the polies read different views coming fro all over the world.
Ranjan Rodriog Sydney

Anonymous's picture

If not for the big blunder done at the world cup replacing Mathews, we would have done with a happy ending by winning the world cup. But politics did everything to prevent our win like what has happen to Sri Lanka right now.Inter/ Com; Chairman's Nephews has played havoc in Sri Lankan cricket according to this article. It leaves something to think about team selection too.These are highly political issues and free comments cannot be made as responsible people(Genuine)in the Board or Team level.Sorry to say about skin saving comments made by Sanga, Mahela, and Aravinda. They become set of jokers although they are gentlemen cricketers.They have taken gentlemen decisions, but at the cost of future cricket of Sri Lanka.If they were bold enough to say about politics in Cricket more than 19 Million people would have been with three of them and at the end Cricket would have won the future of Cricket.
It's very rare to meet and hear the voice of people like Arjuna who speaks for the future of cricket.He mentioned few day before the finals about the interference and there were some people and media to condemn his comments. Now he is correct and some pandit are silent about his prediction.If we won the game by now Arjuna would have been attacked physically.So this is in short form my idea about cricket in Sri Lanka.It will be the same with Sri Lanka as there is only few to speak the truth openly like Arjuna for 22 million people of this country.But, if they are free to sound their voices it's not only Cricket, no one will be able to stop Sri Lanka in self sufficient.Still I request Aravinda, Sanga, and Mahela to speak the truth without going away from this opportunity.It will do good more than what you have already done for cricket.

Anonymous's picture

@namal gamage);sanaga and mahela are not weak,they value their famalies and their lives,if they raise their concerns to media,they will end up in Walikada like gen.Fonseka,accusing of some match fixing, etc...

Anonymous's picture

@Namal : Whilst it's appreciate that you must highlight the fact that Sri Lankan cricketers should be outspoken, I'm amazed how you can take a swipe at Mahela & Sanga(M&S). You are refering M&S to take on the moth ruthless family regime every to rule this country. I wish I can type the actual reasons of there suddent exit, but I fear the worst. Fear is what we have live with & it's with fear that M&S decided to safegaurd the family regime. Pls don't forget M&S have their own families to protect, which I'm sure they would not bat an eye-lid to protect.True enoght Bayliss had the balls to say what he should've said long time ago. I guess Bayliss was never given the oppertunity. I think I don't need to state much further, but will allow you to sit back at watch the unfolding episode during the coming days. THe family is spreading their tentacles!!!BEWARE........

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
35 weeks 2 days

Namal, I think it's unfair to criticize the captaincy of Mahela and Sanga for not speaking up about political interference at SLC.

The political landscape in the country is different now. No sensible cricketer will ever dare to take on the might of the Rajapakse political apparatus, whether privately to media or otherwise.

The coach, Trevor Bayliss is talking now because his term is over; he wouldn't have said a word if he had renewed his contract.

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
35 weeks 2 days

Namal, I think it's unfair to criticize the captaincy of Mahela and Sanga for not speaking up about political interference at SLC.

The political landscape in the country is different now. No sensible cricketer will ever dare to take on the might of the Rajapakse political apparatus, whether privately to media or otherwise.

The coach, Trevor Bayliss is talking now because his term is over; he wouldn't have said a word if he had renewed his contract.

Anonymous's picture

some of these comments above me are a tad bit harsh, had sanga or mahela spoke up against the government they would have had their heads chopped off. They are really sending a strong message to them by resigning their posts as captain and vice captain, that being, 'dont mess with us, where not going to have anything to do with this rubbish.'
it sickens me that politics has to interfere with cricket though, notice at the post match conference after world cup final sanga thanked 'his excellency' mahindra rajapakse? rajapakse wants the praise for everything, most egotistical man on earth.

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