Former captain of Sri Lanka Aravinda has said that one of the main reasons for India’s success in international cricket is because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is financially strong. He said that the Indian Premier League has obviously helped Indian team and board grow.
“It’s a lot to do with confidence also because the IPL has obviously helped them to be playing against the best players in the world and that’s possible because they were able to bring in all these international players because of the monetary capability of the Indian cricket board. It’s a good thing for cricket and for the players to be able to have that opportunity, and for cricket in the future. But at the same time, they all bring in the best knowledge into one country because all the best coaches are available during the IPL. You get the best knowledge, the best competition, everything in one package. That enhances your talent from a very, very young age,” he to Wisden India.
In an interview with Wisden India, De Silva said that IPL has brought best players and coaches to India and that has helped in improving the grassroot cricket as well.
“People even from the grassroots level, when they are picking teams, selections, they have to be up to a certain level, so they work hard. That has given India that little edge over most of the subcontinental countries. Again, it is because of the financial capabilities you have. So I guess credit to them for doing it and coming up with a concept such as that,” he said.
Talking about the current state of the Indian team, De Silva said that what Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev did was helped by Sachin Tedulkar and MS Dhoni who took it to differenet level.
“They are a well-balanced side, moving with confidence starting from the captain. It was the same situation when Sunil (Gavaskar) and Kapil (Dev) won the World Cup and gave a boost to Indian cricket and from there, Sachin (Tendulkar) and (MS) Dhoni took the team to the next level. To be able to sustain that and performing well, this team has that confidence gained from those great players. One sad thing is that to develop and be a (top) cricketing nation, you need to be financially strong. That is the part where the ICC should step in and look at it seriously and make sure that some of these (monetary) distributions are done in a manner where countries get a certain standard,” he said.
To grow cricket he ueged ICC to make equal distribution of revenue so each nation can improve in cricket.
“To lift the level of coaching, we need to improve standards. It is like education; in schools now, sport has changed into a business and commercial venture. You need to look at it that way from the grassroots level. Kids and parents make sacrifices and they want to see something, they want them to go all the way and we need to give them some facilities, facilities for the children who are talented. The ICC needs to monitor and support some of the ventures. They should act like the World Bank, be transparent in what they spend and fund projects that have a purpose. Funds should be given for improving cricket and it should be done in a more meaningful manner,” he said.
De Silva also talked about the falling standards of Sri Lanka cricket and said that they need to look at the long-term process and the juniors should know what they are playing for.
The interest is there, there is no doubt about that. We are going through a rebuilding process but you can’t be saying that forever, you need to be up to it, sooner or later. Unlike earlier days, you do know where things have gone wrong and you need to set them right faster. The longer you wait, and more short-term processes you do, this wait will get longer. Short-term is good for a few months, one or two series, but not for the future. We need to seriously look at the team in the long-term and stick to that long-term and not keep chopping and changing. If that happens, these issues will be sorted out,” he said.