Sound draining system a must

Elmo Rodrigopulle

30 June 1998

We applaud the Cricket Board for endeavouring to take the game of cricket to every nook and corner in the country. With cricket being the most popular sport it needed to be taken to all parts of the country.

Since our attaining Test status the game has been taken seriously and there is no school that is not playing it. Roads, dried up paddy fields and even cemeteries are not spared.

Wherever there is space the game of cricket is being played. With so much interest being generated, the Cricket Board has done well in attempting to spread it.

But the idea of taking the game all over the country by itself won't do. The board when taking it to the outstations must see to it that the stadiums they build for cricket are playable.

Now take the Galle Cricket Stadium. While it is picturesque and certainly has every right to conduct international games, the infrastructure seems to be sadly lacking, especially when the heavens open.

True the Cricket Board and for that matter no one has control over the rain gods. That the rains came to spoil what would have been exciting one-day internationals between Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand is just one of those things.

Even the Test match that was played earlier was spoilt to an extent because the ground did not have a sound draining system. Those in their anxiety to conduct a Test did not lay emphasis on first doing up a sound draining system, before laying the ground.

In any ground the most important thing is a good draining system. If there is no draining system, then a slight shower is enough to ruin a game. And this was evident in the Test while the one day games were completely washed out.

Most of the grounds in all Test playing countries have good draining systems. This is a requisite and it is a pity that the Galle International Cricket Stadium lacked this.

Now that GICS will join the SSC, Premadasa Stadium, Asgiriya, P. Sara Stadium and De Soysa Stadium, Moratuwa in bidding to conduct Test and one day internationals, the authorities concerned must immediately get down to laying a draining system so that when it comes to bidding they will not be turned down for lack of a good draining system.

The International Cricket Council is very keen that not a minute of play in limited overs or Test matches are lost. That is why they even tried to introduce bringing out the lights when a game is threatened by bad light.

Spectators in Galle have shown that they are very keen fans and that they will support the game by flocking in their numbers. Therefore they must not be allowed to turn back disappointed in not being able to see their local and international heroes in action.

With more money promised by Minister of Samurdi, Youth Affairs and Sports S. B. Dissanayake for further development of the stadium, the Galle authorities must immediately get down to doing the draining system and other necessities.

The Singer Akai Nidahas Trophy which is gathering momentum will now shift to Colombo and the SSC and it is hoped that the weather will relent and allow everyone to watch exciting and interesting cricket.

As skipper Arjuna Ranatunga says every outing is important to them because they are endeavouring to get their best possible one-day outfit first to England, then to Australia and finally pick a team that will help them to defend their world champions tag in England next year.

Cricket selectors the world over in whatever sport are known to act in mysterious ways. It is no different in Sri Lanka. If this is not so how can one explain the installing of Sanath Jayasuriya as vice captain and then relieving him of this post.

Jayasuriya will now have to wait at least till the World Cup next year is over to know his fate.

It certainly must be unnerving to the present vice captain Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya who has been deposed to be treated this way!

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 30 Jun1998 - 10:17