Sanath has been led up the ‘Gum Tree’ – Shammi Silva


Shammi Silva, the President of CCC and a member of SLC Executive Committee has sent us the following reply in response to an interview we carried with former cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya titled ‘We should have listened to Jayantha’ on Sunday.

It is with deep regret that I write this in response to an interview which appeared in the Sunday Island of 16th February 2013 titled ‘We should have listened to Jayantha.’

It is quite apparent that going through the contents that Sanath Jayasuriya has been used as a scapegoat to restore the prestige of SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa who has now been exposed well and truly for totally mishandling the ICC episode.

SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa attended the ICC meeting on January 9th and until 23rd of January 2014 he kept the Executive Committee Members totally in the dark except the Office Bearers saying that the Legal Advisory Committee of SLC is studying the Reforms. When the Ex-Co members forced the President to come out with what took place at the ICC meeting, SLC President chose to remain silent on a matter of utmost importance. There were no Emergency Meetings called up to discuss this serious issue until the 23rd of January 2014.

The Ex-Co members learned only through the media that there were proposals to bring in drastic changes to the governance of the ICC and the distribution of funds which would have far reaching consequences to countries like Sri Lanka who had laboured hard to achieve Full Member status.

Mr. Dharmadasa failed to realize that the Executive Committee Members are the representatives of the stakeholders of Sri Lanka Cricket who have been democratically and legitimately elected to those positions. By choosing to suppress information from the Executive Committee Members, he not only failed in his duties as President to discharge his duties in an impartial manner, he created further doubts amongst the Ex-Co Members that something fishy was going on. That prompted me to write to His Excellency the President Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Jayasuriya goes on to say that "after attending the January 9th meeting in Dubai, Dharmadasa told the Executive Committee Members that he had been put under intense pressure to support the proposed changes at the ICC meeting and that he had read the situation well". Jayasuriya further goes on to say that "Jayantha is a leading businessman and people have to respect his decision making ability. He knows what he is talking"

It is very very unfortunate that Jayasuriya has failed to realize that unlike him there are many individuals in the current Executive Committee with unblemished track records, who value principles and are competent enough to take wise and intelligent decisions without bias.

The very fact that Jayantha said that he had been put under intense pressure and therefore SLC should support the proposals is ample testimony that he is not competent or capable enough to create an impact or forcefully present the views of the SLC at ICC meetings.

Jayasuriya has the audacity to say that we should move with the times rather than trying to swim against the current and had we listened to Jayantha we would not have faced the current predicament. Jayasuriya is talking with his foot in his mouth or he had been fast asleep when the delegation that went to Singapore consisting Vice President Mohan de Silva, Hony. Secretary Nishantha Ranatunge and the Treasurer Nuski Mohamed explained the success achieved through negotiations and damage control without compromising our principles and the stand we took.

Oh tempora Oh Mores

I am at a loss of words to hear that SLC has earned the wrath of BCCI as once again Jayasuriya has been misinformed as not only SLC has been successful to have the clause that could have prevented a country from visiting another if the home board broadcaster was engaged in litigation with the visiting country completely removed from the resolutions.

In the interview, Sanath has tried to paint a picture that SLC should have supported the resolution brought up by the Big Three - India, England and Australia. However, when a meeting was called for all stakeholders of SLC, including past captains to discuss the implications and the dangers that confronted Sri Lanka Cricket, with the proposed resolutions, Jayasuriya unfortunately was not present and all those who attended including Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon, Ranjit Fernando,Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Thillekeratne unanimously endorsed the views of SLC to oppose the resolutions.,

Had Sanath put forward his concerns before we decided not to support the draft, we could have discussed the matter further and taken Sanath’s concerns into consideration. He is trying to be wise after the incident.  

SLC Executive Committee has enough and more competent people to negotiate with India if necessary and Jyasuriya’s popularity with the cricket fans in India has absolutely no bearing in administrative matters of this nature.

My humble appeal to Mr. Jayasuriya is to concentrate on your role as Chairman Selectors which job you are doing to our entire satisfaction without trying to be the mouthpiece for others.

Your statement to say that Jayantha Dharmadasa was told not to attend the meeting in Singapore is totally false and it was Jayantha himself who declined to go and requested Nishantha Ranatunge to go along with Nuski Mohamed. The Executive Committee then proposed that Vice President Mohan de Silva also to join the delegation.

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