Archive for October, 2014


Caribbean Coach a committed Buddhist

October 30, 2014

VASBERT DRAKES --A KEEN bU Vasbert Drakes, one of the  West Indian A team coaches, receives a pirit nula at Moratuwa


A First! The First Turf Wicket in the North with SL Army SLC Cooperation

October 30, 2014

turf wkt in NPSri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday took a vital initiative by opening the first ever turf wicket in the North at the St Patrick’s College Jaffna by Chief Guest and Postal Services Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya. The guests of honour SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, Security Forces Commander General Udaya Perera, and Principal of St Patrick’s College also participated at the event.

The Blessing of the Turf was done by Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam. This turf wicket was a concept of former Test captain and current Chairman of National Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya MP. Read the rest of this entry ?


Murali Harmony Cup 2014 sprouts more buds

October 26, 2014

Courtesy of the Sunday Leader, 26 October 2014 …

murali harmony The Third Murali Harmony Cup, a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, the spirit of fair play and service to disadvantaged rural communities in post-war Sri Lanka will be held from 29 October – 5 November in Northern Sri Lanka. Championed by legends of Sri Lankan cricket Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, and handled by the Foundation of Goodness and Red Dot Tours, the Murali Cup unites both local and international cricketing counterparts to galvanise outstation schools’ cricket development in Sri Lanka. Read the rest of this entry ?


Hit for six by spectacular Sri Lanka

October 17, 2014

Ian Botham: “Hit for six by spectacular Sri Lanka …” SEE AND at

BOTHAMS --REX PICS   Pic from Rex Features 

Quotable Quotes from Ian Botham:It’s incredibly child-friendly – as child-friendly as destinations like Spain or the Caribbean. We wanted to show the grandchildren that life isn’t easy, that terrible things happen but you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.

The Sri Lankans are the best example of this – they’re always smiling and there’s no bitterness about the unfair hand they’ve been dealt, with the civil war and tsunami. They are the reason my wife Kath and I keep returning.” ALL THE BEST --KEEP SMILING



West Indies Rift means Split from India … and Boost to Sri Lanka

October 17, 2014

Nagraj Gollapudi, in ESPNcricInfo where the title is West Indies pull out of India tour”

Cricket - India v West Indies 4th ODI Dwayne Bravo said at the toss that it was “time to make a decision”

The West Indies tour to India has been called off suddenly due to the ongoing payment structure dispute between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and WIPA. The fourth ODI in Dharamsala will be their last game of the series, which was scheduled to have a fifth ODI, a Twenty20 international as well as three Tests.

India will now play five ODIs against Sri Lanka between November 1 and 15, after Sri Lanka Cricket accepted the BCCI’s invitation to fill the void.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Dobell on Sticking Points and Dilemmas in the New Regime on Chucking

October 15, 2014

George Dobell, in ESPNcricinfo,  14 October 2014, where the title is Secrecy the sticking point as ICC falls out with testing centre”

The ICC’s recent concerted campaign against illegal actions has brought it into a position of significant professional disagreement with the agency long involved in its tests. Experts at the University of Western Australia (UWA), whom the ICC relied upon for the last 20 years to develop models and protocols to test illegal bowling actions, have criticised what they call the “ridiculous” secrecy surrounding the new procedures and say they have raised doubts over the reliability of the recent tests that have seen several bowlers suspended from various levels of the game.

C15 Murali as Bionic Man Jacqueline Alderson of Uni WA measures Murali

The dispute provides a disturbing backdrop to the sudden toughened approach towards the monitoring of potentially illegal actions by the ICC only a few months before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Leading offspinners such as Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake have been called in international cricket, while West Indies’ Sunil Narine was reported in the Champions League T20.

As new ICC testing centres are rolled out in Brisbane, Cardiff and Chennai, UWA biomechanists have branded the ICC’s approach as “extraordinary” and have expressed concerns that the testing could be carried out by relatively inexperienced staff with limited training. The result, they fear, is that the recent tests may be based on unreliable evidence. Jacqueline Alderson, an associate professor in biomechanics at UWA, suggests that her team is “astounded” by the limited opportunities for peer-to-peer reviews of the model used to measure elbow extensions, and by a general lack of information provided to the home boards or the testing centres carrying out the work.

The ICC, however, insists that a clean-up of bowling actions is both necessary and justifiable, and that it now has a system in place that is more scientifically advanced than the previous methods. It says it is utilising some of the best qualified biomechanists in the world to review its procedures and that the UWA has only been excluded due to the deteriorating relationship between the parties.

It also privately justifies taking the testing process “in-house” as an attempt to develop testing centres with a consistent approach around the world and to end a system of over-reliance on one provider. Most of all, it insists that the adapted process is more accurate and, while empowering umpires, also allows bowlers the opportunity to remediate and return to the game.

On the charge of secrecy, the ICC says that testing protocol has been provided to “a number of institutions”.

CHUCKING -getty Pic by Getty

The belief at the Perth centre, which was for so long the ICC’s only resource in the fight against illegal bowling actions, that their methods have been unsatisfactorily adopted and adjusted is also officially rejected by the ICC, which states that “the new protocol is based on research, know-how and available literature”.

What is undisputed is that the disagreement has brought about a breakdown in relationships between UWA and the ICC to the extent that lawyers have been involved. As a result, UWA voluntarily withdrew its testing services to the ICC – the break is believed to have taken place in March this year. “We have withdrawn our services,” Alderson told ESPNcricinfo. “We were initially aggrieved by the ICC leveraging our research without our knowledge or permission. However that is now compounded by the lack of transparency surrounding the current testing.”

One of the key areas of mistrust concerns the methodology used to place markers on the bowlers’ bodies to determine whether a delivery is illegal.

The UWA team also states that the ICC is throwing its support behind replicating already existing methods that rely on rolling out “old technology”, and lacks “vision” with respect to the “holy grail of quantifying illegal actions during match play”.

In search of that “holy grail”, Alderson is researching the potential to compare 3D footage in laboratory tests with 3D footage in matches – although the current relationship with the ICC makes it improbable that such research will be utilised.

Biomechanists at UWA insist that they strongly support a clampdown on illegal bowling actions – to the extent that they freely contend that the ICC’s laxer approach in recent years had been a contributory factor in recent events as they seek to make amends for years of relative inaction.

Fig2-Murali22 by Ravi Fig4-Murali by Ravi 44

Specifically, UWA expressed concerns about the monitoring of Ajmal’s action after it had cleared the bowler in a previous assessment in 2009 – including comments it made to Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s general manager of cricket, earlier this year. The ICC, however, does not regard it as appropriate for a testing centre to pass comment on monitoring procedures, which it regards as outside its jurisdiction.

Marlon Samuels is another player whose action has been an issue. He was cleared by the ICC to bowl deliveries falling under a certain speed, a decision the UWA now presents as flawed. As one academic told ESPNcricinfo, “We did not think his report was valid as he, in our view, appeared to not replicate his match action in the lab testing. But the ICC didn’t act. We found it ridiculous that he was cleared to bowl deliveries under a particular speed given the error associated with measuring speed via speed guns during a match.”

The ICC defends the decision to concentrate on Samuels’ quicker deliveries by quoting from the report provided at the time by UWA, which stated: “It is the view of the UWA biomechanics testing team that Mr Samuels should not be permitted to bowl until he has undertaken remedial work to address excessive elbow extension, specifically in deliveries where ball speeds exceed 80 km/h.”

One of the key areas of mistrust concerns the methodology used to place markers on the bowlers’ bodies to determine whether a delivery is illegal.

Alderson states that individuals conducting the testing are not fully aware of the influence that marker placement – or misplacement – might have on the result. “Indeed, the black box approach [software tests where the method of evaluation is not revealed to the testers] being rolled out means the testers can have no real understanding of how their actions might influence the results,” she claimed. “These are important issues concerning the level of confidence that can be placed in the data coming out of these facilities.”

Alderson argues that concerns will be heightened once Dr Andrea Cutti, tasked with developing the ICC’s new model, and a colleague abandon the ‘initial training programme’ they have undertaken, being present at all the tests so far.

Not so, says the ICC, which insists its biomechanists are suitably qualified and will be perfectly capable of independent assessments. The governing body added: “An extensive accreditation procedure and detailed documentation on marker placement has been developed by the ICC and now forms part of the accreditation of Brisbane and Chennai.”

The seeds of the current issue were sown long ago. After a disagreement between academics over the most effective testing process – the UWA had one belief; academics in Loughborough, in England, which is currently seeking ICC accreditation status, another – both groups were asked to nominate independent examiners to decide which testing protocol the ICC should implement.

According to ESPNcricinfo sources, a majority of nominated experts favoured the UWA method, largely due to the more extensive published research they were able to demonstrate, and, between 2010 and March 2014, testing was conducted exclusively using the UWA approach.

The ICC was concerned, however, that the only testing centre was in Perth, Australia, which is geographically isolated and where the testing was reliant on the skills of one academic. It was also keen that the UWA adopt a few recommendations – believed to relate to testing protocol – from the expert panel.

Eventually, frustrated by the failure of UWA to adopt such recommendations, it privately resolved in a medical committee meeting in May 2013 to open more centres. It hired the independent assessor nominated by UWA, Cutti, an Italian biomechanist with no previous cricket experience, and he was tasked with creating the “new model”.

For a more detailed look at the sticking points between UWA and the ICC on the testing process, click here.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo


A Grandstanding Autobiography that burns all his bridges: Kevin Pietersen

October 7, 2014

Andy Bull, courtesy of The Guardian, 7 October 2014, where the title is “Kevin Pietersen: the book, the chief, his knife, uncovered”

KP: The Autobiography is the most comprehensive act of bridge burning since William Holden parachuted into the River Kwai. But no one has come out of this well … … The main emotions I felt when I finished the thing were exactly those Pietersen says he experienced after his conversations with Flower. “Depressed. Disappointed. Annoyed. Patronised.”’

Kevin Pietersen Photograph: Matthew Impey/Wired Photos/REX

Kevin Pietersen is a shallow, abrasive, man who loves to grandstand. We know this because Pietersen tells us exactly that in his autobiography, which, as all but the most attentive members of the cricket-loving public may be surprised to hear, is being published this week. It is not a book anyone is going to come to with an open mind. The lines are already drawn, and the splits in opinion between the two camps as deep as any in English cricket since Geoffrey Boycott, a “giant among pygmies” as his supporters called him, was fired from Yorkshire in 1983. What a desperately sad, squalid, and sorry business it all is. Read the rest of this entry ?


Reflections on Marvan’s appointment as Coach

October 6, 2014

Samat in The Sunday Leader, 5 October 2014

THE only thing questionable about Marvan Atapattu’s appointment as Head Coach last week was why it took so long in coming. As far back as end-June he had emerged a strong candidate, shepherding Sri Lanka to a historic Test series triumph in England, as well as a 3/2 victory in the ODI series, not to mention of the success in the solitary Twenty-20 – an astonishing sweep for one who was hustled into the job scarcely a month before the English tour, a consequent of the sudden resignation of his predecessor..

ATAPATTU MARVANThe home series against South Africa in July was lost, but both the Test and ODI series against Pakistan was won comprehensively, 2/0 and 2/1 respectively – and with the World Cup looming, commonsense called for the confirmation of Atapattu’s role as Head Coach in the first flush of the victorious Pakistan series in end-August. Read the rest of this entry ?


Cricket GOLD at Asian Games …. Talking to Romesh

October 5, 2014

Dinesh Weerawansa reporting from South Korea for Sunday Observer, 5 October r2014

Sri Lankan team asian games -Getty

Eighteen years ago, he was a member of the Sri Lanka national team, led by Arjuna Ranatunga, which beat Australia in the final by seven wickets in Lahore to win the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup. Almost two decades after that cherished moment in Sri Lanka cricket, he was instrumental in becoming a stakeholder of another memorable moment in his country’s sports history as the coach of the Asian Games gold medal-winning Sri Lanka team. That’s none other than that explosive opener who innovated the art of pinch hitting with fellow opener Sanath Jayasuriya at the 1996 World Cup, Romesh Kaluwitharana, affectionally known as ‘Little Kalu’. Read the rest of this entry ?


Chucking! A New Inquisition?

October 5, 2014

Quintus De Zylva, …”Darrell Bruce Hair? To be recalled as an advisor?”

Darrell Hair was dumped when the ICC announced it’s elite panel of umpires in 2002. Rumour has it that moves are a foot to have him re-called as an advisor to the umpires in the forthcoming World Cup 2015. He called Murali for chucking in the 1995 test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the MCG and later with Billy Doctrove he accused the Pakistan captain of ball tampering – an accusation that was dismissed by the ICC.

HAIR noballs murali Read the rest of this entry ?