SLC says no media ban


I refer to the above story published on the Sports page of The Island of 31 August 2011.

You have stated quote "The Island learns that the Interim Committee officials were acting on the instructions of their political bosses" unquote. For Sri Lanka Cricket the Political head is the sports Minister and he has not given a ruling banning any players from talking to the media. We refused a "one on one interview" based on fact that it was the penultimate day of the Test match.

The Media is given a pre/post match player interview; hence follow the usual practice, by consulting the Media Manager to coordinate this facility. A "one on one "interview will be considered with the player in attendance after the Pre or Post match Press Conference  depending on the availability of time.

It is unfair for you to state that I played it safe avoiding calls from the Journalist, because I answer many calls from scribes, and must have missed your call due to my personal heavy schedule and a Test Match at hand.

I hope you will appreciate that all of us have our busy schedules, and all organizations including Upali News Papers and SLC for that matter have a corporate policy to abide by.

I would greatly appreciate if you could publish my views on your Sports Page with same prominence and the picture published to give the impression that our players are banned from speaking to the Media.

Upali Dharmadasa

Chairman SLC

Sports Editor’s note:

We were told by two SLC officials that Media Interviews other than press conferences were banned on a request made by the Sports Minister. Media Manager of SLC is witness to these proceedings.

The practice of conducting one on one interviews is nothing new. It is done after consulting the player about his availability followed by permission from the Team Manager. The Island interviewed Upul Tharanga the day before the first ODI against Australia at Pallekele. We also interviewed Angelo Mathews the day prior to the T-20 International in Bristol during Sri Lanka’s tour of England. Kumar Sangakkara was interviewed the day prior to the Lord’s Test Match while Lahiru Thirmanne was interviewed prior to the Southampton Test Match. All these interviews were done with the pure motive of promoting Sri Lankan cricket depending on the availability of the players and after permission from the team manager.

We would like to state here that both players whom we requested to interview on this instance confirmed their availability subject to permission from team management.

However, we regret stating that Mr. Dharmadasa avoided our call and appreciate his corporation with journalists always.

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