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What are the lessons we can learn from Australian cricket?

As we know, the Australians won the ICC Champions Trophy in convincing fashion. They played quality cricket and showed the world that they are superior to other cricketing nations. They won all their matches except one against India. Due to rain that match ended in a no decision. I am sure if they played that particular match to a finish, Australia would have carried all before them.

Why did this Australian team become so strong and difficult to beat? In their own country, there is a concrete plan for their cricket. They always prefer to include young blood into their National side. Also their ‘A’ team is as good as their first team.

More than five members of their 2007 World Cup winning side have retired from Test and limited overs cricket, but still they have enough talent to feed the National team.

The Australian selectors don’t depend on old horses, because they have prepared enough young talent to walk into the shoes of senior players. Most of their senior cricketers know when to retire and they do it gracefully.

The best part of it is, they hang up their boots when they are in top form. They love their country and they want to give the youngsters a place and build up the National team. By making way for up and coming cricketers, they make sure that their National team remains a champion outfit. Also, the Australian cricket selectors and players always give top priority to their nation. So it is only natural that their cricket is always far above that of other countries. When people are not money hungry or power crazy they give their best to the job they perform.

Why cannot our Interim Committee learn something from the Australian Cricket Board? Our senior cricketers should follow in the footsteps of Australian cricket veterans and retire with their heads held high. That will make way for young blood. Also, it will help our country to form a formidable side.

The Australian selectors are not afraid to show the red card to a player who is not delivering the goods. They are men of principle. They do not bow down to politicians or any external power. If a player is talented and performs well he can make it to the National side. Can we say that the same thing is happening in our country?

Sometimes, our selectors try to please the politicians or their favourites. By doing so, they bring down the standard of cricket.

In Australia, politicians don’t interfere with the cricket board. It is just the opposite, in this island. Often, the Minister of Sports interferes. Every now and then, he appoints people to this Interim Committee. It is high time that our country goes for an election and appoints an independent cricket board to run cricket in Sri Lanka. It looks to me that the Interim Committee has done nothing for Sri Lankan cricket. There are more problems now and the standard of cricket is deteriorating day by day. If something is not done and done soon, there is no future for Sri Lanka cricket.

Hope all concerned will open their eyes and come forward with specific plans to put our cricket on the world scene.

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