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Sri Lankan cricket board’s proposed changes slammed by first-class teams

Colombo, Nov 12(ANI): The Sri Lankan cricket board’s planned changes to their first-class and premier one-day tournaments will see a number of clubs who have helped discover talent for decades for the national side lose their first-class status, which could crop up conflict.

The changes will see Sri Lanka’s first-class tournament reduced from 20 clubs to 10 by the 2014/15 season, with a focus of making the first-class tournament a province-based one, according to Ranjan Paranavithana, who is the coach of the first-class team Badureliya Sports Club.

Paranavithana, a respected coach on the island with more than two decades of experience, said the new format will make it very hard for his side to retain their first-class status, and added that the provinces are unprepared and that it is unwise to rush into such a drastic change.

“Having a provincial system is good. But before you implement such a system, you need to improve the infrastructure in all provinces,” PakPassion.net quoted Paranavithana, as saying.

“Most of our provinces don’t have grounds, training facilities or even management. Our cricket came to this level because of our first-class club system,” he added.

While the clubs have agreed to amalgamate the first-class club tournament, Paranavithana said the clubs, who have voting rights at SLC elections, will oppose any move to axe the first-class club tournament altogether for a provincial tournament.

Every year, two first-class tournaments are held in Sri Lanka a provincial tournament and a club tournament. Sri Lanka Cricket, the governing body of cricket on the island, hopes to reduce it to a single tournament under the Sri Lanka Premier League umbrella. (ANI)