By Amindha de Alwis
Recently appointed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Director of Cricket Tom Moody said that while currently in a rebuilding phase, he is confident that cricket in the country is capable of being taken back to its glory days.
He made these comments at a media briefing held at the Taj Samudra in Colombo on Thursday during which SLC’s Technical Advisory Committee led by Aravinda De Silva revealed the areas of priority that they intend to focus their attention on in the coming future.
“It is very clear that Sri Lanka is in a position where they need to review reflect and rebuild and I feel that with the various experience I have had, which really started here in this country as the Head Coach of an international side and has progressed through that opportunity into a variety of different things, I feel that I am well equipped to support the committee, support Sri Lankan cricket and make significant change.”
“Now that change is not going to happen in a heartbeat. It will take time and careful planning. It’s going to take good people, but I am sure if we stick together through that process, we will find ourselves back to where we want Sri Lankan cricket,” Moody said.
Moody also stressed that the cricketing infrastructure in the country is in need of review.
“In the three weeks I have been involved so far, I have got some very good people involved in the system. It is not so much the people or the players, it is the infrastructure we need to review and if we get that infrastructure right, and have accountability for all of us through the whole process, I am sure we will find ourselves back competing at the top,” he stated.
Moody also remarked that structural changes to Sri Lanka’s First-class system will be high on his agenda.
“Having done quite a bit of research and a lot of discussions with a lot of people that understand the First-class and the domestic game here in Sri Lanka it is clear that it is not a system that supports excellence and that is something that is very much a priority with regards to our rebuild. And once you provide a system that provides excellence, you allow talent, which this country is not short of, to thrive.”
“It is a very big ask to ask any player – regardless of how many club runs he has got – when there is a 26-club competition, to step onto the international arena. It is an enormous gulf. We are currently finalizing a reviewed structure. You will see a new domestic structure roll out this year to make a significant step forward in what we intend to do,” Moody stated.
Meanwhile, the four-member Technical Advisory Committee comprising of Aravinda De Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan, Roshan Mahanama, and Kumar Sangakkara which was appointed by Youth and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa on February 5, communicated the areas relating to cricket in the country to which they feel attention needs to be directed.
Committee Chairman Aravinda De Silva said, “The areas which we have actually identified are the First-Class structure, youth development and creating a pathway all the way from school cricket, then looking at the current player contracts, the support staff, and also the coaching philosophy which I think we need to try and work on, then looking at the club structure and also to focus a fair bit on Women’s cricket which is growing all over the world.”
De Silva further expanded upon the question of player contracts, stating that performance-based incentives will be included in the next round of player contracts which are expected to be awarded soon.
“We have introduced a system for player contracts which will have performance-based incentives alongside their basic contract value. The incentives will be largely team-based as opposed to individual-based, with an emphasis on winning matches. We have designed the contracts in such a way where incentives for match/series results will be dependent on the ranking of the opponent,” De Silva revealed.