Saturday 1 June 2013

Malinga, Cricket and Sri Lankan Mentality

Malinga, Cricket and Sri Lankan Mentality

Few weeks ago, FB users introduced a new villain in Sri Lanka who supposed to be battered and humiliated by so called FB pandits and media. 

That is none other than Lasith Malinga. 

Once a glorious hero and even hair-style provider for Sri Lankan youths, Malinga needed few words to be dragged himself into the villains role. 

Many people were commenting that this cricketer with unprecedented talent, has forgotten his past and some people were even harsh in making utterly disgusting statements about Malinga's childhood. 

For many of his personal critics, it is because of the fans and the country that Malinga is where he is today. He first came to Colombo in a crowded bus and today he drives a millions worth BMW because of the country and it's people..!! 

There are many thousands that daily comes to Colombo by bus. Hundreds of them play cricket, tens of them may come to Colombo to play cricket.  

How many of them return by BMW? 

The country or the fans do not make Cricketers of Malinga's caliber. It is the person himself who could achieve such status. Then both the country (I mean the authorities of what ever subject area; in this case SLC) and fans come after the hero 'cause they have no other option. 

In many solo or paired-player games such as boxing, tennis, golf etc. players develop their name as professionals, independent of the country that they represent (or country of birth). 

Even in team games like football the player's club comes prior to the country that he represent. Many people think Lionel Messi belongs to Barcelona, not Argentina. 

Soon this player-prior culture will storm Cricket as well. With mass-scale corruption of Cricket boards, sidelining of good players due to personal favour, political interference and now with wrong public attitude, players will naturally be pushed towards pure professional cricket rather than national cricket. 

Actually players bypassing the country and becoming highly successful at club level is not new to Sri Lankan cricket. 

In the 80s Gehan Mendis from Moratuwa area who was never been selected to a national side became one of the best batsmen played for Sussex and Lancashire so far. 

His First-class match record is decorated with 21436 runs, 41 centuries and 108 half-centuries. I really wonder whether there are any Sri Lankan Cricketer even as of today has such brilliant English County record. 

However, now we are 3 decades forward. A new version of cricket has emerged and there are many tournaments where players are given handsome money for playing at club level. In other words Cricket has become a professional game. Thus, professional cricketers are emerging independent of country representation. 

There were few occasions where IPL success forced national selectors to consider players to be given places in the national sides; Ravindra Jadeja and Rahul Sharma. A dashing striker like Gehan Mendis would have been payed over million dollars at IPL whether he is in the national team or not if he were playing cricket today.

As a last note of this article, I would like to take you to the Sri Lankan music scene. There was a time that the sole rights of giving birth to a singer was vested on SLBC. 

Those who passed their youth-hood in the 50s to 70s know very well the dark grey picture behind the microphone that existed during this era. 

The nation never had a chance to hear many splendid voices which could have taken the music of the country forward,  due to the "black tapes" that stretched over the studios of SLBC during that time. 

In the 80s the situation started changing as the private sector entered into the music scene breaking the SLBC monopoly. The next breakthrough came in the last decade with TV based reality shows. Many hidden talents started pouring out. 

Today, I think more than 95% of the singers emerge beyond the peripherals of SLBC.  There were "bad singers", who were forced into the ring by businessmen, solely for commercial benefits  However, they could not survive long, while real talents like Santush-Bathiya duo and many others moved even into the international arena.

As per the experience of my life, the world, whatever the corner we see, will become beautiful and glorious when the red tapes and black tapes are taken away.

No comments:

Post a Comment