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Sent in to e’Lanka by Keith Bennett who never ever fails to “spin-up” a satisfactory yarn for each and every Sri Lankan who loves Cricket (I am still looking for one who doesn’t), so, thank you for this one, Keith.

As I have said before, and reiterate for the umpteenth time,

Cricket is only a GAME, and, like any other game, you WIN some, and LOSE some. Sri Lanka is on a losing curve at the moment, but hold on to your caps, for the tide to turn shortly, and we can cheer our team onto victory, no matter which team they are up against. In the meantime, let us just say “good luck, guys, don’t forget to keep on, keeping on, for old Sri Lanka, you are a great team, no matter what !!.

As much as it is a safe bet that a large percentage of our fellow Australians are familiar with the surname Kelly its much shorter odds that the entire population of expatriate Sri Lankan Australians in Melbourne are even more aware and cognisant of `Mr. Music’ – Desmond Anthony Carl Kelly – to name him in full. I am privileged to claim greater familiarity and call him `Dessa’ since becoming a fond and firm cyber-friend with him from the beginning of the current century. Indeed I can claim to even closer almost familial relationship with Dessa as I also began another cyber relationship - in the previous century - with his younger more rumbustious, heavier and younger brother Ian . The latter calls himself `Mala Kelly’ and for other s who have known him well before he self-exiled back to Mother Lanka a decade ago - that’s a spot-on description for a true extrovert. He doesn’t have the vocal timbre of Des but when it comes to singing bawdy Sinhala Baila `young’ Ian is uncontestable. Trust me...I do know what `naughty as’ is. To get more `formal’ and `serious’ (neither of which are preferred aspects of my personality) I wish to focus on the great musical nous and talents of Desmond Anthony. He’s styled as the Editor-on-Chief of the excellent E-Lanka Newsite that keeps growing in readership on the back of its twice-weekly appearance. Recently even myself – of whom my many critics reckon has Van Gogh’s ear for music – has been drawn into listening to the many videos of the Country Music that have been posted by Des on E-Lanka Des cherishes the Country stuff and says its music plays out the Story of Life and Love and will last for eternity – evidence for which he cites the stats that in the USA there are 248 radio stations that play ONLY Country! . Long before he was once Melbourne’s top Sri Lankan singer-entertainer – songwriter – presenter Dessa was a young Housewife’s Favourite in then Ceylon with his perennial hit Dream World and a slew of several other record sellers. Des strummed his strings and sang his rich baritone as a virtual teen-age member on the pay-list of all the Big Bands that were in action at all Colombo’s top venues. .However I shall not dwell longer or wax more bull on Des the Performer - he has done his bit – lit up the stages and now in busy retirement still makes time to `educate’ musical novices like me take a livelier interest in his abiding passion – Good Old Country Music of the Des Kelly Genre. To illustrate this I have to appeal to the readers of this literary`garbage’ by me to open up the video-posts `Kelly Klassics. & Singalongs’ links that appeared in the recent editions of ELanka and lend your ear (NOT the VanGogh one) to Des’s choices of `Jealous Kind’ sung by Rita Coolidge ...`Ravishing Ruby’ by Tom Hall and a classic `I’ve Got You’by singers Waylon Jennings & Anita Carter. Until he enlightened me I did not realise that the HARMONY being sung to these recordings was taped and sung by Dessa himself......Good long suffering readers – we’ve to hand it to Gentleman Des – the Lovely Bloke’s a GENIUS...and long may he continue to be with us..

Desmond Kelly.
(Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.

What’s up MJ’s sleeve?


It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the national cricket team. They were thoroughly outplayed in Australia while the Indians have given them a hiding in the opening encounter of the three match series in Lucknow. The manner in which young Indian players walk into the senior side and punish the bowling has stunned many. There’s nothing to be surprised as India’s domestic structure is one of the best in the world whereas we have a system where players score more triple hundreds in a year than Sir Don Bradman has done his entire career.

Sanga and MJ are big stakeholders of the sport having considerable say in how cricket is run in the country. However, under their watch instead of the number of teams engaged in domestic cricket being reduced, it has increased. When they were not in administration they were vocal critics when Thilanga Sumathipala doubled the number of First Class teams in 2015.

Sanga and MJ have argued that the number of teams will be reduced eventually thanks to the promotion and relegation system. It’s only wishful thinking. They should know better. There are enough Sumith Pereras hanging around Maitland Place to get an interim injunction stopping First Class tournaments once their team is relegated. Then, it will be all back to square one. Instead, you should have the single mindedness of Imran Khan who wasted no time in bringing down the number of domestic teams in Pakistan to put cricket back on track. Shame on our legends!

The highest paid employ of any cricket board is their captain or the senior most player. But in Sri Lanka it is not Angelo Mathews or Dimuth Karunaratne. It’s MJ. But his commitment to Sri Lankan cricket could be questioned. Tours of India and Australia are the toughest ones. But he’s not in the dressing room when players need him most. He’s supposed to be providing instructions virtually. When he pulled out after the qualifying round of the World Cup in UAE due to family reasons, people didn’t ask questions. But now you get the feeling whether he’s pulling a fast one. Surely, Ambanis are not going to allow him to take a break middle of IPL.

MJ has basically got everything that he has asked for. The Chairman of Selectors is his puppet who has little clue. All coaching appointments are made after consultation with MJ. That’s too much power given to one man. That’s not bad. But with too much power one should also be held accountable.

You also sense that with MJ being a central figure in decision making coaching positions are given to those whom he can control. Chaminda Vaas not being given an extension probably is not a coincidence. It maybe that Vaas is too tough for MJ to handle. Hence, enter Lasith Malinga, no matter how much doubt you have about him being able to fit in as a team man.

Is cricket headquarters heading back to Perera Gardens?

Rumesh Ratnayake is one of the nicest men in cricket circles but him as a head coach was no brainer. He is so outdated that one day the Aussies had announced their playing eleven the day before the match while Rumesh was playing his cards close to his chest. Maybe he was thinking that he was letting out a state secret.

Clearly Sanga and MJ have faulted in not naming a Head Coach on time. The problem with these gents is that they are fixed with certain theories. They want us to believe that a crook like Charlie Austin is in fact a paragon of virtue. They would not look beyond Tom Moody, Graham Ford and Paul Farbrace when given a chance to headhunt a coach.

It is their fault that Sri Lanka does not have a Head Coach at the moment. Having too many sharp brains is one of the best things that happened to cricket. But at the same time, having too many cooks can mess things up.

A professional organization to succeed you can’t just have yes men. There will be people who disagree with your opinions. Healthy rivalry is in fact good for an organization.

Soon Sanga and MJ will be joining their IPL franchises. Their contribution towards Sri Lankan cricket over the next two months will be little. But there are other former captains who can make contributions. Is there any chance we can make use of their services?

Sanga and MJ stand accused of blocking the return of Sanath Jayasuriya back into the cricket fold. Let them be reminded that there’s no saint without a past and no sinner without a future.

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