Archive for the ‘politics and cricket’ Category

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Captaincy Stakes: How the Burden landed in Dimuth’s Lap

April 22, 2019

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 17 April 2019, with this title How Sri Lanka’s search for a World Cup captain ended with Karunaratne”

Where most teams are merely working out which of their fringe players will make the trip to the World Cup, Sri Lanka had a bigger question to answer: who will captain the team? Over the past two years, the captaincy has changed hands at a dizzying rate, with Angelo Mathews having had it in two stints, Dinesh Chandimal also helming the ship twice, Lasith Malinga getting the job in late 2018 (after having been stand-in captain once, in 2017), while Thisara Perera and even Chamara Kapugedara have also led the team. It’s been like a game of spin-the-bottle, except instead of embarrassing teenage consequences, Sri Lanka have had embarrassing losses. Since the start of 2017, they have lost 41 and won only 11 ODIs.

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Sri Lanka’s World Cup FIFTEEN

April 19, 2019

Sunday Times News Item, 19 April 2019 = http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1084444/slc-releases-name-of-15-member-squad-for-icc-world-cup-2019

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Australia’s World Cup Squad Chosen

April 15, 2019

James Maasdrop for ABC, 15 April 2019

Smith and Warner return to the international fold following 12-month bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that erupted in South Africa last year. However, there was no room for Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner or Kane Richardson, who all toured India and the United Arab Emirates last month.Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson are named in the squad subject to fitness, while Josh Hazelwood misses out completely.

The 15-man squad announcement comes as Australia looks to defend its World Cup title that it won on home soil four years ago — its fifth title.The squad heads to England for the tournament beginning May 30, with an Ashes tour following immediately after.

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When Sri Lanka had to ‘mankad’ Buttler and Co.

March 31, 2019

Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 31 March 2019, where the title runs “Marvan on ‘Mankading’ Buttler in 2014”

There are certain places visiting teams would hate play overseas. As for Sri Lankans, they avoid Wanderes in Johannesburg like the plague as it always seams around there. So is Edgbaston in Birmingham where the seam bowlers come into the equation all the time. Sri Lanka have played at Edgbaston on five times but won only once. That win came in 2014 in a bitterly contested ODI. These days teams tend to make most of the scheduling and invariably the hosts would want to play the final game of a series at a venue that favours them, just in case if that happens to be a decider. So was the case in 2014. The five match ODI series was squared 2-2. Sri Lanka won a low scoring thriller with Lahiru Thirimanne and Mahela Jayawardene posting half-centuries to wrap up the series 3-2. Rather than celebrating a famous series win, the cricketing world was busy discussing the ‘Mankading’ of Josh Buttler. Some ex-England players found fault with the Sri Lankans.

Sachithra Senanayake gestures to the umpire after ‘mankading’ Jos Buttler.

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Premature Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s World Cup Squad: The Fifteen

March 24, 2019

Michael Roberts

 PREAMBLE: On the 21/22nd March I organised my thoughts on Sri Lanka’s potential ODI squad for the World Cup in England. This was a premature move – before the final two T20 matches in South Africa and without inside information of what had transpired behind the scenes in New Zealand and Australia in ways that led the new selection Committee headed by Ashantha de Mal to insert some radical changes in the squad for South Africa.  

I sent some queries to cricketing friends as soon as this draft was completed; while also posting it confidentially to some of them. Since then a searching interview with Ashantha De Mel by Champika Fernando in the Daily Mirror has provided some crucial information on the events that led them to recall Chandimal. More vitally, it has provided illuminating insights into the new Selection Committee’s thinking. His comments should serve as a testing yardstick for my reflections below so that we can then move further forward in the light of the second and third T20matches against the Safs.

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Volare! Afghanistan beat Ireland in Historic Test Match

March 18, 2019

ONE: Item in The Hindu, 19 March 2019

Afghanistan’s cricket team claimed their first Test win on Monday, beating Ireland by seven wickets inside four days. Rahmat Shah, who made 76, and Ihsanullah Janat with an unbeaten 65 put on 139 for the second wicket as they chased down 147 to win the match played in Dehradun.. It was Afghanistan’s second Test outing after making their five-day debut last year when they lost to India inside two days in Bangalore. Ireland have also played two Tests.

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Lessons for Our Cricketers & Cricket Managers

March 16, 2019

Rohan Wijeyaratna in Island, 15 March 2019,

Of late, Mangala Samaraweera has been in the news. That is not strange given the colourful character  he is. In a parliament that is progressively getting stuffed with those who are boringly similar, it is not surprising those who dare to be different from the herd hardly get any noteworthy mention. Mangala does not fear to be different. And he does not make any bones about it.

The chief reason why so many Sri Lankan batsmen suffered blows on their heads was the absence of proper technique when playing short pitched bowling. On each such occasion they transgressed two cardinal rules applicable to the issue. They failed to get inside the line of flight, and they took their eyes off the ball. In short, they appeared sitting ducks to get hit.

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