Why SL will struggle to qualify for World Test Championship



Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials have had a detrimental impact on Test cricket due to the manner in which they have set about their task cancelling several high profile Test series.

A case in point is the canceling of the three match Test series against world’s number one ranked Test team South Africa. Some reports suggest that SLC had put off as many as ten Test Matches in a period of 12 months. I recall the last time the Proteas were here in 2006. Our cricketers thrashed them to win the series. Even in 2004, Sri Lanka won the series comprehensively. One of these series I think Sri Lanka won without Muttiah Muralitharan who was injured.

It would have been an ideal opportunity for Sri Lanka to beat South Africa in the recent series and improve on their rankings immensely.

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews, former captain Kumar Sangakkara and spinner Rangana Herath have all criticized SLC’s decision to cancel the Test series.

SLC in a bid to maximize profits cancelled some of these Test Matches, like the series against South Africa, which was scrapped to accommodate now defunct Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).

Eventually neither the SLPL nor the Test series took place. SLC had been barking up the wrong tree not being able to separate the wood from the trees.

With the ICC World Test Championship scheduled in 2017, it is unlikely that Sri Lanka will have a good chance of qualifying due to cancelation of these important series. Currently Sri Lanka is ranked number seven.

The fact that the ICC thinks that Test cricket should get priority and has come up with a Test Championship should send a strong message to those square pegs in round holes running SLC.

That prestigious World Test Championship that the ICC is planning will only include the top four ranked teams in the world.

Sri Lanka’s authorities seem to be in complete dark as to a World Test Championship is on the cards as there doesn’t seem to be very many Test series lined up against stronger teams.

By playing teams that are ranked higher than Sri Lanka only the country can improve on the rankings and not by playing Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

South Africa Captain Graeme Smith said something interesting. "It’s fantastic to have a pathway clearly identified for the ICC World Test Championship."

His remark should open the eyes of those who run Sri Lanka Cricket. South Africa have given top priority for Test Cricket and that has enabled them to reach the top. The cancellation of several Test series by SLC is a stumbling block for country’s march towards qualification of the ICC Test Championship.

Let SLC be run by competent men.

by Rex Wijewardene


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