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Arjuna the Indomitable: Challenging Aussie Skulduggery in 1995-98 … and More

April 25, 2017

Andrew Fidel Fernando, courtesy of The Cricket Monthly, at ESPNcricinfo … http://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/1087120/arjuna-versus …where the title is “Arjuna Versus”

 January 1999: Sri Lankan supporters show Ranatunga some love outside Adelaide Oval, where he was facing a disciplinary hearing

v Australia, 1995-96
Sri Lanka have played in higher-octane, better contested and far more watchable series, but for pure watershed value none has left its mark on the island’s cricket like this pre-World Cup thrashing in Australia. If Ranatunga had not been at the helm, things might have gone very differently; it was the kind of tour that can run teams aground.

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Ranjit Mellawa’s Pursuit of Cricket Luv’ly Cricket

April 24, 2017

Elmo Jayawardena, with the title Winds Behind The Willows – The Full Monty to Cricket

One has to know something about cricket to enjoy this magnificent book. Suited me ideally as I do not know much about cricket matters but like almost all Sri Lankans I too am connected umbilically to international cricket and especially when the home country is at the crease. Let me try and express my views on author Ranjan Mellawa writing a book. I can categorically state that if not the bull’s eye, he certainly has hit pretty close to it as a new author in his maiden venture on cricket journalism.

The man has managed to vagabond his way to be present at six World Cup finals. That alone gives him credentials to be somewhat an expert on the international scene from a spectator’s point of view. Ranjan has been an ardent cricket fan. He’s played too, starting with a plastic bat as a kid to rustic cricket in neighborhood tennis-ball matches. From there he graduated to club level domestic league. Hence, his story begins at grass-root level and then blossoms and spreads wild and wide taking him to the world of international cricket as a die-hard knowledgeable fan. Read the rest of this entry »

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English Cricket Governors target Kolpak Imports

April 19, 2017

Simon Burnton,  courtesy of THE SPIN, where the tile is “ECB’s Kolpak clampdown is the latest gambit in 100 years war”

News the England and Wales Cricket Board is planning to tighten regulations to prevent county sides becoming flooded with Kolpak imports marks the start of another skirmish in the never-ending battle between domestic cricket’s governing body, the counties and the international sides the latter would like to plunder. The words of Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of Cricket South Africa, when Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw announced their moves to Hampshire in January were particularly striking. “We invest huge sums of money in every individual,” he said, “and if you take Rilee, by way of example, in the last I don’t know how many months we’ve been treating his injuries, we’ve been investing in him. Sadly there’s no return for us in the years to come.”


 Rilee Rossouw, whose Kolpak move to Hampshire was announced in January, along with that of his South Africa team-mate Kyle Abbott. Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Media Madness in Sumathipala

April 19, 2017

Andrew Fidel Fernando,  in ESPNcricinfo, 19 April 2017, where the title runs Why is SLC in public-relations overdrive?”  … and the by-line urns: “Thilanga Sumathipala’s board has done as much for Sri Lanka’s cricket as any other, but the chairman’s desperation for the limelight does them no favours;”

Five men stand in front of the sponsors’ backdrop at the presentation that follows Sri Lanka’s T20 win over Bangladesh. Four of them are holding cheques; the man who holds nothing is Thilanga Sumathipala, SLC president and unelected deputy speaker of the House. He stands closest to the presenter, and his presence seems gratuitous at first. When proceedings begin, however, it becomes clear that the camera is smitten with Sumathipala and that he is smitten with it. When Kusal Perera comes up to be interviewed about his Player-of-the-Match performance, there Sumathipala is, looking paternally over the player’s shoulder with a benevolent grin. While other awards are being handed out, the camera may stray, but as if bound by fate, it always has a way of finding its way back to Sumathipala. It captures his coy smirks and his firm handshakes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Indrajit Cooomaraswamy’s Harrow Innings at Lords

April 17, 2017

Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News, April 2017, where the title reads Winning against Eton was the highlight of my career– Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy”

The rare honour of Rahul Wijeratne captaining the prestigious Harrow School at cricket during the 2017 English season has not gone unnoticed. S Skandakumar, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia writes to reveal that it is 50 years ago that the first Sri Lankan had the honour of captaining Harrow. He was none other than Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the present Central Bank Governor. Skandakumar writes: “What a fine achievement……FIFTY years after the first ever to do so! Our own Central Bank Governor Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy! No surprise that we have such a straight Bat driving that revered Institution!!  SS”

 Indrajit seemingly stumped?

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India’s Rise to Heavyweight Status in Cricket, 1970s-2010s

April 17, 2017

Ian Chappell, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, 16 April 2017, where the title is “How India became a cricketing heavyweight”

India’s Umesh Yadav, left, Karun Nair, second from left, celebrate with teammates the dismissal of Australia’s Matt Renshaw during the third day of their fourth test cricket match in Dharmsala, India, Monday, March 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

Watching India defeat Australia in a highly entertaining series reconfirmed how far the home side has progressed as a cricket nation in the years since I played against Tiger Pataudi‘s men in 1967-68. Pataudi led a side that had two fine spinners, Erapalli Prasanna and Bhagwath Chandrasekhar (much like the current Indian team does), and they soon added a third in Bishan Bedi. The one advantage Pataudi’s team had over Virat Kohli‘s group was close catching; no one could match the bravery and skill of Eknath Solkar. He used to field so close at leg slip, you felt like telling him, “Ekky get out of my back pocket.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Chandika Hathurusinghe: A Temptestuous and Triumphant Journey

April 13, 2017

Rex Clementine… in a wide-ranging review which slashes the SLC cricket administration … Island, 9 April 2017

Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ team made a huge impact when they toured South Africa in 2009. No Sri Lankan team has done so well in South Africa. The fast and bouncy wickets in that country has always proved to be the undoing of batsmen who had been brought up on low and slow surfaces. The man who guided Sri Lanka to that unprecedented success was Chandika Hathurusinghe. That team was captained by Thilina Kandamby and included players like Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal and Tharanga Paranavithana.

 

Kumar Sangakkara was the captain of the national team at that stage. Sanga took immediate note and requested the Board to relieve Hathurusinhe of ‘A’ team duties and allow him to work with the national team.
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