Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cricket - What's up with us?

So, I went for Sunday's match, we lost. I watched a bit of yesterday's match. We lost. Now, before you think... Hmm it must be you, NO! I'm not the bad luck charm because I didn't watch the Dambulla match, and we still lost!

1996 - stuff of legend. Made some cricketing legends for sure. After that, it was a downward spiral. A lot of the oldies said farewell and a bunch of new guys came on. But how often, do we reminisce about that World Cup team? Asanka Gurusinghe's Sixer flying through the night air... Sanath achieving Master Blaster status.. Arjuna preferring to walk instead of run during the Finals... Aravinda letting Arjuna hit the winning runs..

I was 12 but I remember all of it. Watching the highlights on YouTube now, it makes you so proud!!! Then came the period that we'll all rather forget with purposely dropping catches and what losing to Kenya was it?

Now, we have a good team. We have excellent batting. We have legends in Jayasuriya, Murali and Vaas. But in all our sporting arenas, why are we not training up young talent as well as we should? Why are we relying on 30 year olds to bring us Olympic Golds? Close to 40 year olds to save matches? It shows a severe lack of interest by the ruling parties to invest enough money on training up young talents.

I don't know abt running, but I'm pretty sure there must be a few untrained Sanath's out there. With the high incidence of cricket games in this country, its a high probability that another Kalu or Gurusinghe is out there. But we don't locate them and we don't train them. Why else would players like Chamara Silva who held such hope during last year's World Cup fall to the background? We are lucky to have found Malinga and Mendis. But are they really the new Muralis? Do they have the determination and dedication to the Sport to succeed as Murali has? Malinga got his contract withdrawn for his bad behaviour on tour. Where's the dedication?

Right now, our team is inexperienced. Some say let them get trained up they'll be great. But will they? Are the right resources available for these players to hone their talent and become their best? I'm not sure. Mahela is a remnant from his generation of cricketers. His compatriots all come and gone. Sanga is off the era after Mahela.

Once Sana, Vaas and Murali decide enough is enough, will we really have that much hope? Shouldn't our infrastructure improve to support these sportsmen who clearly have the talents yet lack the resources? Its a sad state of affairs when we lost after 25 years to India in our own country. If this doesn't alert the authorities to sit up and do something about this sport that has provided us all with so many heroes, so many proud moments, I don't know what will.

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