Persons responsible for fiasco have to personally bear loss - Jayasekera

Cancellation of nine cricketers’ air tickets


by Zacki Jabbar

The loss caused by the cancellation of air tickets for nine national cricketers to participate in the forthcoming one day International series with India, will have to be borne personally by the person or the persons responsible for not following the rules and regulations, Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said yesterday.

The Sports Minister told the post-Cabinet press conference at the Information Department that according to the law any team that participates in International tournaments, had to obtain the Sports Minister’s approval 21 days prior to departure.

"The list of selected cricketers led by Captain Thissara Perera was sent to my office after 5 p.m last Friday and the team left for the airport on Monday afternoon," the Minister noted, adding that the excuses provided were not acceptable.

He emphasised that respect for established laws, discipline and fitness had to be maintained. "It is the key to winning. The person or persons responsible for this fiasco, will have to personally pay the airline the penalty that has been imposed for cancellation of the air tickets."

In response to a question Jayasekera said Cricket Board President Thilanga Sumathipala had told him that he was not aware about established procedures not being followed.

He pointed out that the selection panel which included the Captain as well was duty bound to tell the public why a particular player considered for selection was not eventually picked. "Otherwise, I would be blamed for that also."

Some captains, the Minister said, had smuggled their friends into the national team. The selection of the final squad had to be based on fitness and performance, he stressed.

Warning that he would end the practice of clubs controlling the election of the Cricket Board President, which had led to various issues, Jayasekera vowed to put things in order and develop cricket at the provincial level to select the national squad.

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