|Prepare our national team for World Cup 2003
This has been a long overdue measure unforseen for a decade or two. I wish the new re-appointed committee all success, to implement novel features of this type.
An open letter to BCCSLs new interim committee.
From the BCCSL first interim committee headed by Rienzie Wijetileka upto the previous committee chaired by Vijaya Malasekera the main theme in the selection criteria, was to infuse young blood to the A team and also the national team. As a result of this vision, there arose a host of budding cricketers from various parts of the country. Some of them were schoolboy cricketers at the time of this selections and theres still a category of players, still in their twenties, who had been tried once or twice in various tournaments in both versions of the game, prior to this interim committee. Some of the names that come to my mind are: Eric, Lanka, Rangana, Dinuka, Ian Saram, Indika, Malinda, Malinga, Akalanka, Dinuka, Prasanna, Hewage, Dilshan, Pushpakumara, Niroshan, Dulip, Sajeeva, Boteju, Kaushalya, Kulatunga, Van Dort, Sajith, Upeka, Weera-koon etc. etc.
All of them are presently scattered in the gambling slot of the selectors and have continued to be in and out of the teams, like stop gap players. This has been the order of the day, since these interim committees came into being. All these guys have been able to deliver the goods, at one time of their assignments. Among them are record holders too. It is worthwhile to take note of them without sending them to the cricketing wilderness. Let us recall some of their achievements.
Today we talk of Laras great performances during the recent Windies tour here. I can well remember, how one of the half baked guys above mentioned namely Eric Upashantha grabbed this price wicket on home soil a couple of years ago, for a cheap score. Prasanna Jayawardena and Hewage were sometimes the A teams heros, after a youth world cup tour. So was Ian Daniel. All of them had been exposed to the initial taste of international cricket somewhere, sometime.
We have a lot of variety in them such as quick bowlers, spinners, able batsmen, good keepers in the calibre of Prasanna Jayawardena and good fielders. Now it is upto the officials of the new interim committee especially the Tournament Committee, to get the maximum possible use of these much talented youth, for next years practice matches, coaching clinics, etc. You can form two evenly poised teams for both versions of the game by making a useful blend. Make Year 2002, a good nursery of rich soil, to give our current national team sufficient serious domestic match practice for them to get ready for the great expectation of the 2003 W.C. The tailenders of the national team, can be given sufficient time to remain in the crease and learn how to build up good innings, sending them as openers and middle order in these matches.
They never get this chance at the international scene, when they face the last deliveries of the game. The notable cases are Murali, Nuwan, Suresh, Dilhara, Niroshan, Akalanka, Rangana, Ravindra, Buddhika and Nissanka who are the current tail enders or reserves.
During this process, these youth who now happen to be white elephants roaming in the pool, can make their grade, by gaining sufficient experience, know-how and expertise, to be next-in-command, for the national team, when current senior players like Sanath, Marvan, Vaas, Hashan, Murali, Russel, Dharmasena, Chandana, Mahela and Kalu quit the game. This step has been an overdue responsibility of cricket administrators over the years, spanning for over a decade.
Let the dawn of year 2002, look turned to this achievement, as it will serve many purposes and solve many problems, in the betterment of future cricket. If this is materialized even belately, these poor scattered youth, will be benefitted as well as national cricket.
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