The national cricket selectors picked the team for this month’s limited overs series in Sri Lanka yesterday. It’s not something they expected to do a few weeks ago, considering the surprise announcement by the Indian cricket board.
A lot of cricketers and experts have opined that meaningless one-day cricket will ruin the game because it only adds to the workload of the players. If they needed an example of meaningless cricket, the forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka is a classic one.
Consider this. Members of the Indian team have hardly recovered from the arduous Indian Premier League. Where is the need for a tour of Sri Lanka of all places, where Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co will visit this September for the ICC World T20?
The logic behind the tour appears to centre around the ‘importance’ of making the Sri Lankan and Indian cricket boards richer.
Chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth (not the Board secretary Sanjay Jagdale in his email to the media) informed the Press that Sachin Tendulkar decided to skip this series. On one hand, Tendulkar shouldn’t be allowed to pick and chose series. On the other, meaningless series gives him every reason to do so to conserve his energy for stiffer challenges.
For the record, Indian teams have visited Sri Lanka every year since the last 10 years except in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Considering the regularity, the Indian and Sri Lankan boards should decide on an annual one-day series there and have a trophy in honour of a great player. At least there will be something meaningful to fight for — like the M J Gopalan Trophy initiated in 1952 involving Tamil Nadu vs Ceylon.