Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 29 November 2009





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ICC comes out in poor light again

The International Cricket Council has a liking to come out in poor light. When the Indian players objected to the 'Umpire decision review system', in the on going series against Sri Lanka, the ICC acted like lambs and without a murmur withdrew the system.

Now one could understand the hurry by the ICC to withdraw the system, when all what they had to do was to stand their ground and tell the Indian players that the ICC are the ones running the game and that they have unrolled a system and that the series should be played with that system in force.

But the ICC did not seem to have the guts to do just that and the Indian players were having a laugh of having once again cocking a snook at the sheiks in Dubai. Now the question asked is - when or how will the ICC get the Indian players to agree to this system?.

While the Indians would be enjoying their success, it is inexplicable that the ICC has got Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia and West Indies to agree to play to the new review system in the series now on in New Zealand and Australia. Why the double standards?

New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia and West Indies would not have been faulted had they too followed the example of the Indians and refused to play to the new review system. How the system will go in Kiwiland will be interesting to watch.

Good on Sri Lanka Cricket

Good that Sri Lanka Cricket has finally decided to take the " Umpire Decision review system", first mooted by our own Seneka Weeraratne and seek authorship. It was Weeraratne, an Attorney at law by profession who first hit upon the idea of this system.

But sadly his appeals to the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket to act on his behalf fell on deaf ears and with the IC SLC remaining silent, the International Cricket Council too did not take note of this important system and acknowledge that this system was the brainchild of Weeraratne.

But after many articles appeared in the local media, the SLC has finally made it their business to give muscle to this system as coming from a Sri Lankan and it is hoped that Nishantha Ranatunge will make strong representations on the Weeraratne Referral System to the ICC and endeavour to make the ICC see reason and acknowledge and call it the "Weeraratne Umpire decision review system".

Weeraratne a keen cricket fan worked his brains overtime and came out with this system. He had many articles published in the media here and abroad, but could not make the people who matter to see reason.

It is better late than never it is said, and SLC must be congratulated for deciding to finally move in the matter and get the recognition that Weeraratne deserves. Had Weeraratne been in some other country he would have been enjoying celebrity status.

Let's wait and see how the ICC reacts and whether they would accept that this system was first mooted by an Asian by the name of Senaka Weeraratne from SRI Lanka.

A surfeit of cricket

At the time of writing there is a surfeit of Test cricket being played. Sri Lanka is playing India in India, Australia fronting up to West Indies in Australia and New Zealand hosting Pakistan in New Zealand.

The First of Three Tests between Sri Lanka and India ended in a high scoring draw in Ahmedabad. The Second Test is on and it is likely that the Lankans would have suffered an innings defeat which would be galling.

While Associated Features Press and Reuters are giving the Sri Lanka- India Test series a lot of coverage, cricket fans are saddened that the two agencies have been deprived of giving exposure to the Australia-West Indies and New Zealand-Pakistan series.

The Australia- West Indies series is something special and cricket fans are dejected because they cannot read the expert comments and enjoy the pictures that these two agencies provide to all readers.

This is not the first time that it has happened. Apparently the agencies and Cricket Australia have failed to come to an understanding on acceptable terms of accreditation.

However it is hoped that the warring parties would not stick to their guns but indulge in consultation, compromise and consensus because cricket fans are waiting to read and collect the pictures appearing in newspapers.

AFP client advisory

We would like to reproduce the AFP client advisory - Australia v W.Indies cricket series for the information of our readers appearing on November 26.

"We regret to inform subscribers that AFP is unable to provide coverage of the 2009 - 10 Australia cricket season, including the Test series against the West Indies starting on Thursday, because we have not been able to reach agreement with Cricket Australia -CA- on the acceptable terms of accreditation .

CA has declined to amend certain terms that international news agencies believe impose unreasonable restrictions on news reporting and distribution. This refusal comes despite an Australian Senate Inquiry's warning in May that there are real concerns, which affect matters of public interest and media freedom, arising from recent innovating in accreditation practices by some sports.

AFP hopes Cricket Australia will review its decision and remains ready to resume discussions with CA at any time. AFP is disappointed not to be able to cover Australia cricket for the second year running, but we cannot sacrifice editorial integrity and principles of press freedom. We will keep clients advised of developments.

Pallekelle Stadium ready for World Cup

The Pallekelle Stadium where work is on fast track will be completed in time for the playing of 2011 World Cup matches. Pallekelle along with the Hambantota and R. Premadasa Stadiums will look a picture when World Cup time comes around.

There is a lot of infrastructure work to be completed. But according to former Antonian and BRC cricketer C.P.P. Raj, the Operations Manager of the Kandurate Cricket Development Centre of Sri Lanka Cricket, every thing would be tickety boo when the umpires call 'play'.

Thilanga Sumathipala who put up the Dambulla Stadium was the man behind the creating of the Pallekelle Stadium when S. B. Dissanayake was the Minister of Sport. But when every thing was ready for work to begin it ran into problems and work was halted.

Then Lakshman Kirielle when he was Minister of Sport tried his luck in getting the work going. But he too failed due to various snags and financial constraints and that was it.

But now finally work has begun apace and the Pallekelle Stadium when once completed would be able to hold its own with the best cricketing stadiums in the world.


LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
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