Home > Features >

Unpaid Lankan players deserve highest credit for their focus and national pride

Unpaid Lankan players deserve highest credit for their focus and national pride

Kumar Sangakkara (L), Mahela Jayawardene (C) and Tilakaratne Dilshan have been commendable role models in setting a fine example for the youngsters © Getty Images

By Karthik Parimal

“The international cricket management hit a new low when the Sri Lankan players were forced to play on an empty stomach for almost eight months while being on national duty” - Rameez Raja

While it’s a regrettable fact that the Sri Lankan players weren’t paid for their services for more than a year, it’s heartwarming to know that they’ve performed fairly well despite all such hindrances. The recent One-Day International (ODI) series triumph against a formidable Pakistani side exemplifies the side’s focus and spirit of national prides. Not many sides would have gone on to perform like the way Sri Lanka did without grumbling about the injustice that’s been meted out to them. The fact that they’ve delivered as a team throughout this series is all the more pleasing to know.

While Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan scored on a consistent basis in this series, it was young blood like Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews who delivered during crunch situations of a game. Perera’s hat-trick during the fourth ODI to derail a steady Pakistan while defending a modest total of 243, and Mathews’ unbeaten 80 to steer Sri Lanka home during the final ODI despite his fellow teammates failing to contribute much speaks volumes of this side’s desire to perform.

Youngsters like Mathews and Perera could be motivated by the fact that they get to don the national colours at a young age and by the desire to stay at the top for a long period of time. But, it’s amazing how senior players like Sangakkara, Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene, who’ve been playing for a considerable amount of time now, haven’t let their performance levels dip despite the problems surrounding Sri Lankan cricket. They’ve set a fine example for the youngsters to follow, and they should be proud of that. If presented by a similar conundrum in the future, there is a high possibility that the youngsters in the Sri Lankan side will circumvent such issues and deliver for their country.

However, a few from the cricket fraternity aren’t impressed by Sri Lanka’s current performance on the field. “Naturally, their performance and morale took a beating! Just look at the results of the team during the period they were not paid: Sri Lanka lost to Australia at home, were beaten by Pakistan in Tests, ODIs and T20 and taken down by South Africa,” said Rameez Raja after Sri Lanka lost the first ODI against Pakistan. Agreed, Sri Lanka haven’t won many series post the 2011 World Cup, but one must remember that they came close to doing that on multiple occasions.

Sri Lanka did lose to Australia at home, but that was because their payment issues had just begun back then. Nevertheless, they later did well to trouble Australia and almost clinch the Commonwealth Bank (CB) Series before knocking World Champions India out of that tournament. They had a bad series against Pakistan prior to that, but they did well to recuperate on time. They lost the Test and the ODI series against South Africa in the latter’s backyard, but they did manage to beat the hosts in the second Test by a massive margin of 208 runs – a feat very few teams can boast of even at their peak.  They lost the ODI series 2-3, but not many remember the fact that the third ODI was lost by a narrow margin of just four runs, thanks to the Duckworth-Lewis method. That series could have gone either way.

It’s true that nobody remember the runners-up, but the point here is that Sri Lanka have performed in a decent manner despite the issues surrounding them, and that deserves applause.

They must take this confidence they’ve gained from the ODIs into the Test series. Moreover, Misbah-ul-Haq’s absence from the first Test will be a huge bonus to the home side. They have the ammunition to topple Pakistan, and they’ve proved the fact that they are a mentally strong unit. Since the last one year, the Sri Lankans have played 11 Tests, out of which they’ve won two, lost five and drawn four. They’ll certainly want to better the record. Their last series against World No.1 England ended in a draw under Jayawardene’s captaincy. There is every chance that they can win this series and they’ll leave no stone unturned to do that.

(If cricket is a religion and has many devotees, Karthik Parimal would be a primary worshipper. His zeal for writing and love for the sport of cricket is what has brought him here. Karthik can also be followed on Twitter)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live Cricket Score Asian Games 2014 semi-final: Rain interrupts play

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

Australia undergo grueling practice session ahead of UAE tour

Live Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Streaming: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

HPCA still awaits security clearance for India-West Indies 4th ODI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

iOS 8 reportedly causing Bluetooth connectivity issues: Report

Internet in Iran, a daily struggle against censorship

Asian Games 2014: Indian men’s kabaddi team in 7th consecutive final

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

NGOs pursue education for all

Devotees perform Kumari puja across Bengal

Ebola in Liberia: First staffer dies of ‘probable’ Ebola, says UN

Bang Bang movie review: Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry makes this action flick worth watching!

Revealed: Sonam Kapoor looking daintier than ever for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo!

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Defending Champions India through to Kabaddi Finals of both men and women events respectively

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here