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The Downfall of Sri Lankan Cricket: Cricket

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This is from my blog and it’s my first attempt at writing anything. I wasn’t able to post the link but I want you guys’ opinion so I copied and pasted it. Tell me what you think and how I can improve it. Also tell me if I’m wrong or something I can add

Punching above their weight

Sri Lanka is a country with one of the lowest cricket populations. With only 22 million inhabitants, they have won a Cricket World Cup and reached multiple World Cup finals. That’s certainly a big achievement for a country with the second-lowest population of any test-playing country

star players

Sri Lanka at one time had people like Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga and multiple stars. In the later eras (perhaps the best) players M6ahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tm Dilshan came up with an unparalleled bowling attack consisting of Chaminda Vaas, Rangana Herath and Muttiah Muralitharan.

The beginning of the end. The first-class structure

Well, there are multiple reasons for the demise of cricket in Sri Lanka. But if I had to attribute it to one reason, it’s the top-notch structure. There are 25 first-class teams in Sri Lanka. Yes, you read that right, 25!. With a country of 22 million inhabitants, 25 first-class teams is an exaggeration.

Australia has a population of 25 million and the number of first-class teams is 6. 25 teams in Sri Lanka dilute the competition resulting in a large gap between the national and international circuit. The domestic players cannot adapt to international cricket and are having a hard time.

Kumar Sangakkara said Sri Lankan cricketers on the international stage are learning how to play test cricket rather than getting brushed up on first-class cricket. This statement speaks volumes about the current system

PITCHES

Now that I’m talking about the first-class structure, it’s also time to talk about the bad places in the same first-class structure. Most fields are dust bins and spin a lot. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t expose the current lot of cricketers to quality fast bowling. Bowling quickly becomes almost pointless and gets no wickets.

About 50% of the matches in the FC tournament ended in less than three days, with 90% of the top 10 wicket takers being spinners. This speaks volumes about spider dominance. This has been the same for years. This is the most recent tournament held

Premier League Tournament Tier A, 2019/20-2020 Cricket Team Records and Stats | ESPNcricinfo.com*Read about records, /, Premier League Tournament Tier A, 2019/20-2020, /, Most Wickets Cricket Team records only at *stats.espncricinfo.com

Pitches that are spin dominant is not bad, but this means that the spinners of Sri Lanka that come out of the first-class system have stats that are out of this world. Seekkukge Prasanna, for example, has an FC average of 22 and a List A average of 24. Those are some exceptional numbers and you would probably assume he had the potential to be one of the best spinners in the country, but that is not the case. He has gotten a decent run in odis with 40 odis under his belt and he has an average of 55. This is just one example but this basically shows that the players coming out of the system are not able to handle the variations. developing spinners from other countries because of the spider-friendly sites. This is not ideal.

Consistency in selection

Since the 2015 World Cup, Sri Lanka has used the most number of debutants of the full-fledged countries.

TeamDebutants usedSri Lanka37West Indies36Pakistan31India29South Africa26Australia24England22Bangladesh20New Zealand16Afghanistan15

As you can see, Sri Lanka has the most number of debutants of all countries. The big problem is that they don’t have the maximum number of debutants, but the bigger problem is that they don’t have a stable playing field even in 2021. The selection committee continues to make “revisions” to help the country’s cricket, but it never helps. They recently fired all players over the age of 32 (including the captain Dimuth Karunaratne) and got a new group of players with a new captain in Kusal Perera to play odis.

During the recently concluded series England you could see what I was talking about. None of the youngsters looked up to the task. Don’t mind the youngsters, even the senior cricketers were beaten for the pace. You rarely see that on an international level. Unless major overhauls are made to the first class and list a system, I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Captain’s armband and coaching

For a cricket team to be successful, a stable coach and captain are needed. No cricket team can improve and strive to be the best unless there is a strong leader group. Sri Lanka has had 12 different captains since the 2011 World Cup. That is the most of all full-fledged nations. In addition, they also had 4 coaches. This lack of stability doesn’t help an already messy system to succeed. Look at the test team for comparison. It has had a relatively stable captain in Dimuth and the Lankan test team looked solid compared to the team in LOI formats. The other part is that the board is unable to coach their former “great players” and get directly involved in the system. Players like Mahela Jayawardene flatly refused to work as a coach for cricket in Sri Lanka because of the corrupt and unprofessional system.

Talent

You may be thinking why Sri Lanka couldn’t keep the momentum on its side when players like Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela retired? Looks like the path was paved for the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal to become superstars. These players certainly had the talent, but in my personal opinion they lacked guidance and stability. These players should have been the group of players that Sri Lanka had to build around, but the poor management did not allow talents like Thirimanne to develop. Thirimanne was always used as a floater in test cricket throughout his career and had to play from all positions from 1-5. This meant he had no obvious side role and had to keep hitting in different positions. The same kind of treatment was done with different running players

What needs to be done

Sri Lanka has probably bottomed out and they have nothing to lose at this point. All Arthur and Co have to do is give talented players a longer run and give each player a specific role and support them for a long time. Even a little support can go a long way.

(ps and of course the fc system needs to be fixed, but I’ve said that over 100 times already.)

Thank you

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Cricket/comments/oos3yi/the_downfall_of_sri_lankan_cricket/

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