Connect with us

Sports

The need to review the reviews

Published

on

by Rex Clementine

Many things in our cricket have fallen apart; including common sense. Here’s a case in point. Jerome Jayaratne has been a career coach and his loyalty has been with Sri Lanka Cricket for over two decades. His thesis on coaching was recognized by the International Cricket Council and that’s the one that modern day coaches follow. For some strange reason, SLC opted to take him out of coaching and put him in administration. They wanted to accommodate a British national as head of the coaching department. It didn’t work out. Sanity prevailed and Jerome has returned to coaching.

That’s not the only area where we have lacked common sense. Our choice of reviews over the years have been appalling.

It is now up to the likes of Jerome and Head Coach Mickey Arthur to do a review on Sri Lanka’s recent use of reviews. Statistically, we would fare badly compared to most nations. It is common knowledge that Sri Lanka in recent times lost quite a few series due to poor fielding and below par fitness levels. Poor use of reviews too has contributed heavily towards this. Maybe, the Bangladesh series is an opportunity for us to correct this.

When Sri Lanka were whitewashed by England 3-0 at home in 2018 it was a bitter pill to swallow for most fans. Galle had been a strong fort for Sri Lankan cricket and for ages given the scorching heat there, the Englishmen barely lasted three days. But in 2018, they won in Galle and went onto complete an emphatic series win.

No doubt England played some terrific cricket but Sri Lanka committed hara-kiri with their poor use of reviews. Often, Sri Lanka would have exhausted both their reviews even before the team’s number one bowler – Rangana Herath had been introduced to the attack. The main culprit of poor use of reviews was Niroshan Dickwella.

The point was conveyed to the team management then but it was difficult to convince them. They seemed to be more hooked onto the idea that the bowlers were not creating any opportunities. No wonder they didn’t last long.

Now, Dickwella is one of the brightest talents around and there’s no doubt that he should play in all three formats of the game. But, he needs to watch his enthusiasm for reviews. Often, when urging the captain to go for a review, his immaturity and compulsive nature become too evident. Every appeal, according to Dickwella it seems, should result in the umpire raising the finger. He has forgotten the golden rule that reviews are there to rectify the glaring blunders.

It’s a catch 22 situation for Sri Lanka. Your wicketkeeper is in the best position to tell the captain whether to review or not. It appears often that Dickwella rather than weighing the merits and demerits of an appeal, goes with the gut feeling and urges the captain to consult the third umpire.

The captain had to be firm with Dickwella driving home the point how vital reviews were and the negative impact their improper use was having on the team.

It’s a pity because Sri Lanka was one of the countries that used reviews so well when it was introduced first. Playing against India when Decision Review System made it debut in 2008, Mahela Jayawardene had an amazing success rate compared to his counterpart Anil Kumble.

Given how poorly the Sri Lankans have reviewed in recent years, it is not a bad idea to give bowlers, captain and the keeper bit of training on the matter. It may sound bizarre but what else could you do when you have given away so much of advantage to the opposition due to poor reviews.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Lashmika, Rusanda guide St. Peter’s to final

Published

on

Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ Semi-Final

by Reemus Fernando

A vital knock of 96 runs by Rusanda Gamage and a six-wicket haul by Lashmika Perera powered St. Peter’s to convincing 105 runs victory over Mahinda in the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ semi-final played at Thurstan College ground on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 262 runs to win Mahinda lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowed out for 156 runs with nine overs remaining in their innings.

Introduced to the bowling attack as the seventh bowler, spinner Lashmika Perera rattled the batting line up with a six-wickethaul. After being 106 for three wickets at one stage, Mahinda collapsed dramatically only to see the last wicket pair of Arosha Udayanga and Kaveen Rukshan delaying the inevitable for ten overs.

They added 37 runs for the last wicket before Perera trapped Rukshan lbw for 23 runs to take his sixth wicket. His figures read 6-0-19-6.

Earlier batting first, Gamage was the key for St. Peter’s as he top scored with 96 runs. Gamage held their batting together till late facing as many as 125 balls before being stumped off the bowling of Tharusha Dilshan. Dilshan with a four-wicket haul was the pick of the bowlers for Mahinda.

Gamage also had the support of Sanshay Gunathilaka with whom he added a 100 runs partnership, while Shannan Rodrigo made a quick-fireknock of 49 runs inclusive of three sixes.

St. Peter’s will now meet Thurstan

in the Tier ‘B’ final.

Scores:

St. Peter’s

261 for 9 in 50 overs (Vishen Helambage 26, Rusanda Gamage 96, Sanshay Gunathilaka 23, Shannan Rodrigo 49, Kavika Jayasundara 19; Tharusha Dilshan 4/47)

Mahinda

156 all out in 41 overs (Dinura Kalupahana 36, Dhanuja Induwara 20, Ranmina Hettiarachchi 22, Kaveen Rukshan 23; Lashmika Perera 6/19)

Continue Reading

Sports

Sri Lanka’s direct World Cup qualifying chances fading away

Published

on

It remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka bring in spin-bowling all-rounder Dunith Wellalage for today’s must-win game.

Rex Clementine at Pallekele

Following Sunday’s torrential rain here at Pallekele, Sri Lanka’s hopes of winning the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan vanished and the hosts now can only hope of squaring the series by winning today’s final game. Afghanistan had won the opening encounter by 60 runs after Sri Lanka’s middle order failed to show up and although the second game looked to be in their hands after Afghanistan were reduced to a modest 228, rain squashed Sri Lanka’s hopes.

What’s a bigger headache for Sri Lanka is that their hope of qualifying directly for next year’s World Cup in India is fading away fast. Afghanistan secured automatic qualification for the sport’s showpiece event following Sunday’s result as both teams shared the ten points available from the game. They are currently placed seventh with 115 points while Sri Lanka are languishing at tenth place with 67 points and four games left.

Three of those games are in New Zealand and Sri Lanka need to win three of the remaining four games to have any hopes of qualifying directly. That will be a tough ask against a New Zealand side in their backyard.

In case Sri Lanka don’t make it, they will have to play a qualifying round involving West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Zimbabwe and five other teams that come through from a lower league. The top two teams in this ten-nation tournament will then progress to the World Cup.

It remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka bring in spin-bowling all-rounder Dunith Wellalage for today’s must-win game. The hosts had been backing seam-bowling all-rounder Dhananjaya Lakshan for the first two games.

The wicket looks dry, and Afghanistan could back left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmad for today’s clash. The Chinaman bowler is no stranger to Sri Lanka having featured in the Lanka Premier League.

Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka and Kasun Rajitha, who travelled home from Kandy for their engagements and wedding on Monday returned to Kandy the same day and were at training at Pallekele yesterday.

Sri Lanka:

(Probable XI) Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya Lakshan or Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara..

Afghanistan:

(Probable XI) Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi (Captain), Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai or Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Umpires:

Nitin Menon (India) and Lyndon Hannibal (SL)

Third Umpire:

Ravindra Wimalasiri (SL)

Match Referee:

Ranjan Madugalle

Continue Reading

Sports

Straight bats and brickbats

Published

on

Rex Clementine at Pallekele

People who never in their lives played with a straight bat want us to embrace ethics. Sportsmen all over the world are taught to maintain ethical behaviour although there have been few exceptions.

Australians play sport so tough that they hate losing. They are friendly people but they suffer from what people call ‘white line fever’. That means once they cross the boundary rope, they are a different beast. Certain eastern European countries are accused of providing dope to their athletes in a bid to win medals at showpiece events like the Olympics. At home, we have the classic example of Fr. Trevor Martin of St. Peter’s who adopted a win at any cost culture that prompted some to comment that Fr. Le Goc, a French Missionary and the founder Rector of St. Peter’s, must be spinning in his grave.

Sports teach you more things than winning. It teaches you to remain grounded. It inculcates the virtues of patience and perseverance. It helps you to build an attitude of hanging in there. It reminds you to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. These are lessons that will stand you in good stead in life where you meet success and failures to a good share.

Those who have not played the sport in the right way when they were young are the ones who play spoil sport when they grow up. For example, we have a person who thought that carrying the captain’s bag would earn him a place in the side rather than talent alone. Eventually, he ended up playing more games than the wickets he took. Now he is talking of ethics in sport.

The same person plotted a bloodless coup to bring down Ashantha de Mel, who in his twin role as Manager cum Chairman of Selectors had to leave sooner than he was supposed to.

Then having ousted de Mel, the straight bat sought political intervention to get to the powerful position. General Shavendra Silva who had the final say in nominating people to sports bodies vehemently opposed. However, there was too much political pressure to ignore Mr. Straight Bat.

You may not have agreed with Ashantha all the time, but he had one virtue that is to explain his decisions and his expectations. When his methods didn’t work, he was the first one to owe up to his mistakes.

De Mel had little idea that men in his own committee were leaking information. Now the same men who adopted underarm tactics to seize power are preaching about straight bats.

The only thing they know in life and sports are brickbats and if they have got no skeletons to hide let them come openly and explain their decisions. Their flawed policies may have cost Sri Lanka automatic qualification for the next year’s World Cup. Let them be held accountable.

The same people who boast about the Asia Cup win and being ranked third in the Test championship have conveniently forgotten that under their watch Sri Lanka lost Mohali and Bangalore Tests inside three days. A nation’s reputation was ruined because they didn’t follow the simple rule that an injured player needs to return home without fiddling around dating apps. Having compromised on discipline and fitness, now they are washing their hands off without taking responsibility. Of course, you can talk discipline only with people who have discipline in their lifestyles. Not the ones who assault board officials who are your father’s age. Certainly not from those who cut acres of pristine forest land for banana cultivation or defraud government institutions by going against the tender process.

Cricket more than any other sport, reminds us of fair play and being above board. When people without an iota of self-respect are at the helm what more can we expect.

The same individual ran a campaign against the administration a few years ago with a newly formed body called Cricketers’ Association. He couldn’t win a cricket election so he came through an interim committee promising to look after the retired cricketers, a pension scheme for players, decent salaries for players and much more. Once he got power, all his pledges were forgotten and instead he was at daggers’ drawn with the players themselves.

The Cricketers’ Association was used as cat’s paw to gain power. Once they got the power the body ceased to exist. There’s no active cricketers’ association at present and many are the senior cricketers who have got to go around with the begging bowl to look after their medication and other needs.

Biting off the hand that once fed them is nothing new to these new rich. Their memories of Tichborne Lane have faded fast.

Continue Reading

Trending