From Ceylon Today - By Dyan Pathiravithana
It did come eventually. The defeat faced by Sri Lanka at the hands of Bangladesh; of which, writings were on the wall for some time. What is salt on the wound for Sri Lanka is the fact it was a dream come true, not only for the Tigers, but more for their coach who was discarded by his own country.
Remember the famous story when tempers flared and then President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) D.S. de Silva who had no vision for the future for Sri Lanka's cricket, wanted Hathurusinghe to get lost fast! That same Hathurusinghe has been able to get the more inexperienced Bangladesh up the ladder now, even ahead of Sri Lanka.
Mathews, the man who had to take the brunt of the two games lost in the Asia Cup, now comments that it was the selectors and Lasith Malinga that chose the squad. In reply to that, Malinga says they chose the best possible side. If they were the best available men to pick the squad from, how was it that Sri Lanka, the holders of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, got stewed here?
Malinga says it is the lack of experience playing in franchise cricket that caused Sri Lanka's losses. There were 13 Sri Lankan players in the IPL 2013. So with 13 playing the IPL franchise cricket we won the T20 World Cup and lost the chances of playing in the 2015 IPL Series because of that. There was not even a murmur from Malinga on that.
How many young Sri Lankan cricketers have Malinga, using his influence, introduced to the IPL to gain experience? What has he done to promote any other young Sri Lankan just out of schools in Galle?
Bangladeshi boys went on to topple the much fancied Pakistani side to mark their entry into the first T20 final of the Asia Cup after losing to the Paks by just two runs in the 2012 ODI. With Pakistan beating Sri Lanka they had to be satisfied at the bottom with lowly UAE.
In the Indian game there is nothing but positivity, and leading it all is Virat Kohli. Whatever he does it is all to do with a set mind of mapping out a win with all his moves. The only thing that would go against him is the selfless attitude he possesses, that is an almost look alike selfishness, but, all that he grabs goes to favour the team.
That is what makes him comfortable in the middle when battling bowlers, because he is able to put his head down to good deliveries bowlers send down, with that attitude of his. He does not mind what goes on in the minds of his opponents, who he knows will eventually be collared by him. It is so Bradman-like when he is in the middle with the hunt that goes on for runs. India plays a good team game and Bangladesh also does it well enough to match India. With Mahela and Sanga gone Sri Lanka has lost all that.
Although Hathurusinghe has brought the Bangladesh team to the top of this tournament, they are still a bit of a raw side. To have polished them up would have been time consuming. But, they were good enough to compete here. The Bangladesh players had cricket in their heart and soul and that is what went to help the coach to advance them internationally.
Their young set of school players that were trained, yet again by Sri Lankans, that came through the Under-19 National Side three years ago have been set up well and that was helpful. Now they have a side that understands the game far better compared to their players who, although were talented, had no idea how to cultivate the game to the needs in hand. It is a far too dangerous situation faced by Sri Lanka today, with school cricket in the wrong hands, and that is why we see no more talent coming up through local school cricket.