Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

If you are the sort who tends to look for a conspiracy in everything, then you’d love to live in Sri Lanka these days. One recent incident in particular jumps up like a cat in heat. The ICC word cup!

Team Selection : Sana and Vaas were included in the preliminary squad. Now my 10 year old girl could have told you how stupid that was – and she does not even follow cricket! Why have them included? Well I reckon they wanted everyone to start taking about cricket – y’know, any publicity is good publicity right?

Venues : They created a whole new ground in Hamba just for the world cup instead of spending 0.0001 of that money on getting floodlights fitted in to SSC. There are two theories here. One is that MR wanted to show off – reminds me of Asterix and Cleopatra story where Cleopatra bets good ol’ Julius that she can build a great palace in 3 months… or something like that. Secondly, some big-wig(s) would have thought “What a great opportunity to get some decent commission?”. I don’t even want to discuss “Pallekele”.

Tickets Fiasco : I tried to find out how I can secure some tickets since early January. I was given a different date to call every time I called the cricket board. After three unsuccessful attempts I gave up. My previous unsavory encounter with the cricket board didn’t help me to summon up my courage to try one more time. I later heard that out of the 30,000 capacity at Premedasa stadium, only 8,000 tickets are available for sale to the general public. WTF? My theory is that MR, Ministers and Cricket Board Officials must have friends, relatives and debtors who collectively make up the rest of the 22,000.

Banned Items : I agree that one should not bring knives and even glass bottles to a cricket ground, but what about the humble Beer and Papare? Who on their right mind would spend one full day outdoor in blistering heat and 90% humidity without cold beer available like running water? And Papare? When did Sri Lanka ever play a single cricket match without the unmistakable Papare music in the background? I remember carrying a banner which in bold letters announced “Warne is a Wimp!” when we played against Aussies at the Premadasa in 1996 – how can you deprive a teenager that privilege? The theory? They wanted to create an outrage so huge that subsequently when they lift the ban, the fellow who lifted the ban can become a household name instantly. That works out well especially when there is yet another election around the corner.

Jeez, my head is spinning just by thinking about other possibilities. Time to have a cold beer and enjoy the re-runs of Lions crushing hapless Canada. Oh how I wish I had a Papare CD. Cheers!