Island Cricket

Monday, December 17, 2007

SLC embarks on ambitious plan to promote the game

Daily Mirror (LK): Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is embarking on an ambitious plan with the intention of promoting cricket at provincial and district level. All arrangements have been finalized to conduct three provincial tournaments and the initiative will start with the Inter-Provincial limited over tournament which is scheduled to get underway from December 29 onwards.

This will be followed by the Twenty/20 tournament and then a four day tournament. All these tournaments will be played on a league basis culminating with the final. Five teams will take part in all of these contest. Western Province will have two teams Basnahira North and Basnahira South with Southern, North Central and Central Provinces fielding one each Ruhunu, Wayamba and Kandurata.

The brainchild of this new concept is the provincial committee of the SLC headed by former test bowler Pramodaya Wickramasinghe which includes Sidat Wettimuny, Nishantha Ranatunga and Prasanna Fernando. With a lot of spade work done the committee has attracted corporate sponsors, to make this tournament a success.

Sanjeewa Ranatunga speaking on the occasion stated that the arrangements were finalized after a thorough research was done by the committee members, taking inputs from club players, coaches, club and district representatives and past and present national players. He further stated that eighty percent of the national players since 1982 were either born in the outstations and started playing cricket in the outstations as well.

It was also felt that a change in direction was needed to sustain, develop and improve the existing domestic cricket structure. The present club format is not competitive enough to face international challenges hence the gap between international domestic must be bridged. Even though there are nine provinces in the country only four are involved in playing competitive cricket. With these in mind the committee decided to introduce this new concept.

They are aiming four goals within a period of two years. In 2008 they hope to have chief operational officers at each provincial centre. In 2010 they plan to have seven provincial teams and have a minimum of 90 full time cricketers while all SLC provincial and district coaching activities will be operated and managed from these provincial centres.

To make this new concept a reality joining hands with the SLC are six corporate sectors with Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel being the title sponsor. The other five sectors will sponsor the five teams E-Wis (Basnahira North), Lexmark (Basnahira South), MAS Holdings (Kandurata), Hirdaramani (Ruhunu) and Lanka Bell (Wayamba).

The five teams will be led by Sri Lankan cricketers Chaminda Vaas (Basnahira North), T.M. Dilshan (Basnahira South), Kumar Sangakkara (Kandurata), Sanath Jayasuriya (Ruhunu) and Mahela Jayawardena. (Wayamba). Each side comprises a squad of 15 players who have been selected from the areas they were born.

Five base stadiums R. Preamadasa Stadium, De Zoysa Stadium Moratuwa, Welegedera Stadium Kurunegala, Galle Stadium and Pallekella Stadium will function as the provincial centre of excellence for the five teams. The matches will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Galle Stadium, SSC and Welagedera Stadium. Of the ten matches scheduled five will be played under floodlights.

The tournament will start off with a day and night encounter on December 29 between Wayamba and Basnahira North after the official tournament launch set for that day at 1.00 p.m. Thereafter the matches will be played on December 30, January 2 2008, January 5, January 8, January 11 with the final slotted to be played on January 13 at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

The teams

Basnahira North - Chaminda Vaas (Capt), Avishka Gunawardana (VC), Ian Daniel, Thilina Kandambi, Ruwan Peiris, Angelo Mathews, Kaushalya Silva, Danuka Pathirana, Gayan Wijekoon, Shantha Kalavitigoda, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Shanuka Dissanayake, Muthu Pushpakumara, Malintha Gajanayake.

Basnahira South - T M Dilshan (Capt), Malinda Warnapura (VC), Dilruwan Perera, Chamara Silva, Hashantha Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardana, Milinda Siriwardana, Nisal Randika, Nuwan Zoysa, Ruchira Perera, Madura Lakmal Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Malinga Bandara, Tharaka Kottahewa, Chanaka Komasaru.

Ruhuna - Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt), Upul Tharanga (VC), Saman Jayantha, Indika Seram, Anil Redigammanage, Gihan Silva, T.N.. Sampath, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Lasith Malinga, Sujeewa Silva, Thahanga Laksitha, P.H.K.S. Nirmala, Sachithra Senanayaka, Sajeewa Weerakoon, Kosala Kulasekara.

Wayamba - Mahela Jayawardane (Capt), Jehan Mubarak (VC), Michael Vandort, Mahela Udawatte, Jeewantha Kulatunga, Lanka De Silva, Sameera Soysa, Harsha Vithana, Shalika Karunanayaka, Farvees Maharoof, Ishara Amarasinghe, Chanaka Welagedara, Rangana Herath, B. A. W. Mendis, Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

Kandurata - Kumar Sangankara (Capt), M. Muralitharan (VC), Tharanga Vithana, Chamara Kapugedara, Sajith Fernando, Thilan Samaraweera, Chinthaka Jayasingha, Kanchana Gunawardena, Kaushalya Weerarathna, Nadheera Nawala, Thilina Thushara, Akalanka Ganegama, Chaminda Vidhanapathirana, Nithisha Rupasinghe, Suraj Mohamed.


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