Lets look at some facts
-SLC is running at a 600 million rupee bank over draft.
-SLC sets up a potentially money earning series with England and the ECB for May 2009 to help in their financial troubles.
-Which clashed with the IPL also set for May 2009, meaning most of the big names from SL would miss the 2nd IPL season.
-The ‘Players picking IPL over country’ debate begins.
-Lalit Modi and BCCI have were going to have none of this and set up a 70mil dollar deal for the SLC, over ten years for letting the SL players take part in the IPL and the Champions League.
-Arjuna meanwhile goes on a trigger happy crusade against the IPL 2020, calling it nothing more than instant noodles - which we must all agree is one of the best analogies ever made.
-Arjuna then goes on to blame the IPL 2020 for India losing the test series in SL.
BCCI and Lalit Modi start to dislike Arjuna
-ECB’s David Morgan says SLC’s agreement with the BCCI over the 70mil is ‘unacceptable’ stating the ICC reaffirmed that Test Cricket was to be the number 1 priority for the boards.
-Arjuna says the English test series will go ahead.
-And then does the unthinkable and lifts the ban on ICL players playing domestic cricket in SL.
BCCI and Modis dislike Arjuna even more.
-Modi and BCCI say the deal will not go ahead if Arjuna is around.
-Threatens to cut bi-lateral ties with SL.
-Hints it can “buy off” any Sri Lankan player if it wants to.
The message is clear. India control the money and they have the power. They are kinda like the Mafia of the cricketing world right now. Threatening to bump off or buy off anyone who dares to go against them. Their reach is growing and its all about muscling out who ever they want to, to make as much money as possible.
India’s reputation of threatening to cut ties, boycott series and tours is growing. They exercised this power in Australia- Got their way.
They are doing the same with lowly SLC- surely they will win this time as well.
Arjuna is caught in the middle. He needs to make money for the SLC. Please the ECB, Please the BCCI and the IPL and his players all at the same time. That will never happen.
We argue a lot over the fact that cricket is only about the money these days. In this case- it HAS to be about the money. SLC needs money and its quite obvious that the most amount of money will flow from the IPL and the BCCI at the moment.
When Arjuna came into power I thought it would be a good thing. He always spoke about how the game in SL needs to improve to play with the big teams around the world. He seemed to have a vision.
But somewhere between his triple up sized breakfasts and predicting India will win the 2007 WC, he seems to have lost his mind.
The IPL and the BCCI don’t care about cricket, they care about Break Even points and balance sheets and we are nothing but a small country in Political turmoil and financial crisis. When big brother offers a hand this big I think we ought to take it.
The England series was never in the schedule. Arjuna dug him self a hole by hastily arranging it. And although I was ecstatic that we would tour England again and annoyed that players seemed to be picking the IPL over the country on hindsight you have to try and see the bigger picture.
The big picture is that the IPL will give the SLC more money over a longer period of time than one test series in England ever could. What Arjuna should have done instead of shooting his potty mouth is to have initiated discussions with the BCCI and IPL regarding the participation fees he claims the SLC never got.
And SLC needs money.
Its strange because ONLY the SLC have publicly announced that they did not get any fee. Were the other boards given this money and SLC ignored ?
Arjuna is not a business minded man, he has a big ego and does not enjoy anyone going against him. He is revered in SL cricketing circles because of what he achieved as a player. And he enjoys using that power to get his way to the front of the buffet line- so to speak.
But he is clearly not the man to lead the SLC, he runs his mouth which makes the board and the country look bad.
If I were Arjuna I would step down , because that would be in the interest of cricket in Sri Lanka. It is however unlikely and as long as he heads the board Sri Lankan cricket will be in turmoil in one way or the other.
Sri Lanka Cricket