The Five Year Plan must continue, says Sumathipala


Thilanga Sumathipala, the President of Sri Lanka Cricket, has urged his successor to continue with the Five Year Plan on which his administration embarked in June 2003. Releasing a letter through his personal public relations manager, Sumathipala also re-confirmed that he will not be standing for a fourth term in office during the forthcoming cricket board elections.

Sumathipala pledged his support for members of the current committee: "He [Sumathipala] will personally support the best candidates and give them his fullest co-operation to help Sri Lanka Cricket achieve its vision of being the best cricket playing nation in the world. The Five Year plan will ensure the success of Cricket in Sri Lanka. It is important that the new committee focus on the five key building blocks to take the game to greater heights in the world arena and to help Sri Lanka realize its ambition of being the Asian capital of cricket."

Sumathipala's letter highlighted what he believed were the major achievements of his administration. They included: the appointment of a new coach, physio and physical training, which he said had "significantly improved their performances and the competitiveness from each and every player"; international exposure for the Sri Lanka A, Under-23 and Under-19 teams; and the setting up of the Provincial Tournament.

In the development field, he outlined a series of improvements to the island 's cricket infrastructure: "The second floodlights was inaugurated in Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, a new scoreboard at CCC was completed, the sprinkler system was introduced at SSC, and, in keeping with SLC's policy of improving outstation cricket, two strip indoor nets with bowling machines and gym were opened at Moratuwa and Kurunegala with another to be opened shortly at Ratnapura. Such facilities are to be provided in all 24 districts. A high-performance training center, called the "Cricket Campus", is to be built on 5 to 7 acres of land in Rajagiriya."

He outlined administrative changes too: "The administration of SLC is an area that requires considerable work and the priority was to limit wastage, increase productivity and adhere to transparent reporting standards by setting up a much more efficient staff and also increasing the management staff. The appointment of Duleep Mendis as chief executive, a former captain and administrator, is in line with this broader vision. In keeping with current trends, the BCCSL also changed its name to Sri Lanka Cricket and launched a new corporate identity and logo.

Financially, despite an unresolved USD $ 11 million lawsuit with WSG Nimbus, Sumathipala said the board was in better shape: "In the year 2002, the board incurred a loss of Rs.200 million and has gone through a series of financial crises during 2003. A finance committee of eminent people was appointed to work out a three-year business plan from 2004 to 2006."