All national cricketers need to learn English to speak fearlessly on Podiums – by Sunil Thenabadu (Sports editor – eLanka)

All national cricketers need to learn English to speak fearlessly on Podiums – by Sunil Thenabadu (Sports editor – eLanka)


All national cricketers need to learn English to speak fearlessly on Podiums - by Sunil Thenabadu (Sports editor – eLanka)

sunil thenabadu

Cricket was begun by the English remains a sport since the 17th century, where the language in use is of course was English. Countries like England, Australia, South Africa,West Indies,Zimbabwe( formerly Rhodesia) had no problem with the English language where everything connected to the game was in English .Lately with the advent of Asian countries viz India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh the players ,administrators had to be versed in English jargon which most did up to the end of the 1990 decade. All our past cricketers were able to converse well in the English which was the accepted language at international matches particularly for speaking at previews by the skippers, post- match presentations at press conferences when one is adjudicated as “the player of the match” had to answer to questions posed by the presenter at the podium. From the beginning of the 2000 decade it has been noticed that some players from the Asian countries Pakistan and Sri Lanka in particular were not equipped to answer to questions posed at the podium. Either they make horrible grammatical errors or they needed an interpreter, another player or an official for this purpose. It is time the administrators of SLC take rigorous procedures to prepare the players who represent our country to be conversant in the English language as the game essentially is English established from the late 18th century. 

All our cricketers in the past era were from Colombo schools who had no problem with English. Unfortunately, most present-day cricketers come from outstation schools and from families where the vernacular was purely Sinhalese. Hence naturally they were lacklustre in speaking English .These cricketers should be groomed by the authorities of the SLC by organizing classes and allowing them to watch international matches on television, listen to running commentaries to grasp cricketing phrases. It is not a cumbersome workout as many past cricketers who hailed from outstation schools did pick up the cricketing terms in no time. What is needed is to learn cricketing expressions to be fearless leaving  backwardness, shyness aside.  

With the ICC conducted T 20 WC in progress some Sri Lankan novice players who contributed to the success of our team spoke well on the podium.The manner Charith Asalanka spoke after been adjudicated as the ‘Player of the Match’ against Bangladesh  was commendable, spoke very fluently. Also the words expressed by Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva also on the podium after a match was  also commendable too.It should be said about Bhanuka Rajapaksa who spoke in both languages at a post-match media conference was very striking.  

In is however prudent to mention about our own Test players in the 1990 decade like Aravinda,Arjuna,Marvan, Gurusinghe, Mahanama ,Madugalle,Sangakkara,Mahela etc all hailing from popular schools, were well eloquent in English  equal to the counterparts in western countries. It is pertinent to mention about Madugalle and Mahanama who were even elected as Match referees in the ICC elite panel, did bring laurels to motherland. The former is now the Chief Match Referee of the ICC.  

In the contest of the above the authorities of the Sri Lanka Cricket should take steps to groom the national cricketers in spoken English in order they would not have any fear when called upon to speak on the podium.  

Sunil Thenabadu

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