February 26, 2020
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    Limit to what we can do in a short time - Wettimuny

    May 19, 2015

    Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee is fighting against time to fulfil the tasks they have set out to achieve after sports minister Navin Dissanayake assured the stakeholders, who met him last week to forward their grievances, that elections would be held by January.

    The interim committee, headed by Sidath Wettimuny, was appointed last month by the sports minister on the grounds of corruption and malpractice by the previous administration.


    The minister's decision to hold elections by January next year means that the Wettimuny-led interim committee will have barely six months to fulfil the tasks they hope to carry out. "There is a limit to what we can do as members of the interim committee within a short time frame," Wettimuny said. "Within this period we hope to make some sensible decisions and assume the stakeholders will co-operate otherwise there is nothing we can do.


    "We should structure our cricket in such a way that there is stiffer competition at every level, that's the principle of it. More quality cricket is the key and how to get there is the idea. Mahela [Jayawardene] has made a proposal which is a good one. We have to get the timeline going to have it ready by the end of the year to set it in motion. I hope to have a meeting with the stakeholders and explain this concept and try and get them to buy into it a long-term solution to help our cricket. A big responsibility lies in their hands.


    "Like the 19th amendment where the two political parties got together and agreed for the betterment of the country. Likewise all these stakeholders who are split into so many sides must sit together and say this is what is good for Sri Lankan cricket, let's do it.


    "They can put it on trial for a year or two and see how it works. Let the clubs get involved in managing cricket. Club administrators should become head of provinces and then work themselves towards a top position in Sri Lankan cricket, not come to hold positions by throwing money or come through politically strong connections. It has been the practice over the years."


    Wettimuny said the core issue he saw was that the clubs felt that their prominence would be reduced. "That's my gut feeling. When there is a provincial tournament they feel there is something above them. It's very unfortunate."


    The former Sri Lanka Test opener said that he has already got the cricket side of things in motion, ESPN ports Media reported.


    "We'll have the indoor nets and swimming pool at R Premadasa Stadium finished within the six months and hopefully get work started at Pallekele and Dambulla as well," Wettimuny said. "We got a trainer for the national team [Michael Main], Champaka [Ramanayake] is handling the bowling and the selectors have been given a clear message which Kapila [Wijegunawardene] is handling very well.


    "We also have a super soft skills program going which is an opportunity for the young cricketers to educate themselves. They are given 11 areas of knowledge like etiquette, speech, grooming, yoga, IT skills, cricket history etc. so that they go out more confident to face the world. It's a weekly program for all cricketers from the senior team downwards. "Most of the cricket-based things are done. The key is to consolidate and not for the next guy to come and undo it."

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