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Arjuna vs the Indian Cricket Mafia

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Let's look at some facts

-Sri Lankan Cricket is running at a 600 million rupee bank overdraft.

-SLC sets up a potential money-earning series with England for May 2009 to help solve their financial troubles.
 

-Which clashes with the IPL also set for May 2009, meaning most of the big names from Sri Lanka would miss the 2nd IPL season. 

-The ‘Players picking IPL over country’ debate begins.

-Lalit Modi and the BCCI decide they are going to have none of this and set up a 70 million dollar deal with the SLC for letting the Lankan players take part in the IPL and the Champions League for ten years.

-Arjuna, meanwhile, goes on a trigger happy crusade against the IPL T20, 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 T20 for India losing the Test series in Sri Lanka.

-BCCI and Lalit Modi start to dislike Arjuna.

-ECB’s David Morgan says SLC’s agreement with the BCCI over the 70mil is ‘unacceptable’ since 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 Modi dislike Arjuna even more.

-Modi and BCCI say the deal will not go ahead if Arjuna is around.

-They threaten to cut bi-lateral ties with SL.

-Hint they can “buy off” any Sri Lankan player if they want to.

Dead Lock.

The message is clear. India controls the money and they have the power. They are the mafia of cricket right now, threatening to bump off or buy off anyone who dares to go against them. Their reach is growing and it's all about muscling out whoever 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 and got their way.

They are doing the same with lowly SLC- so 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, and 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 it's quite obvious that the most amount of money will flow from the IPL and the BCCI at the moment.

When Arjuna came to 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 eating triple upsized 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. However, when big brother offers a hand this big I think we ought to take it so we can survive.

The England series was never in the FTP schedule. Arjuna dug himself 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 off is initiated discussions with the BCCI and IPL regarding the participation fees he claims the SLC never got.

And SLC needs money.

It's 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. And not just literally!

He is clearly not the man to lead the SLC, he runs his mouth off which makes the board and the country look bad in ways it can't afford.

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.
 
(DamithS can also be found at his regular blog www.theflyslip.net. Click here to know more about him)
 


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