Island Cricket

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ticket Sales Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20

Cricket fans hoping to attend the Canada Cup T20 tournament found themselves in total confusion today when Pakistani media reported that 50% of ticket sales were already sold out. The general public here in Toronto were left in the dark and as appalling as it seems the news had to arrive from Pakistan.

My mates over at SLCricket have informed me that ticket sales begin tomorrow the 1st of October. See flyer below for more information.
Click to enlarge

By Hilal

A Video of the venue can be found here

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Cubs v Seth Efrica, the round up

The cubs mauled the Seth Efricans.

To the tune of 4-1.

That’s a complete drubbing by anyone's standards.

After a very unfortunate loss in the unofficial test series the young cubs showed their class in taking out the ODI series with a comprehensive victory.

The cubs only slip up resulted in them faltering in the 2nd test which eventually led to the series loss to the south Africans as the lads went down 1-0. It’s a safe bet to say that the A’s dominated this whole tour. Except for that one game.

The round up.
Thilina Kandamby needs to be in the Sri Lankan test and ODI teams pronto. The mans been making runs like Ferrari makes mistakes in a Grand Prix. A hell of a lot... On a consistent basis..

He piled on the misery with 391 runs in the test series at 91 with 2 centuries.

The cubs leading run scorer in the series.

As if to prove a point in the ODIs he smashed a further 394 runs at 91 in 5 innings. Three of those innings reaped in 50s. In the last game he buried the Saffers good and proper. Having sealed the series 3-1 in the 4th ODI, the cubs were set 294 in the last game.

At 6-94 things weren’t looking pretty. 203 runs later- the A’s had won the game. Thilina had 128 off 125 and the South Africans were looking for a bridge to jump off. Cubs win by 4 wickets. Herath added 88 not out to the party as well.

Such was the dominance of the captain. Talk about leading from the front. If the Sri Lankan selectors, Sports ministers and Arjuna Ranatunga can get their heads out of their arses they would know this. Instead they are busy with ‘other matters’.

Kandamby doesn’t even have a central contract. While the failure-duo, Silva and Dilshan does. This a joke of epic proportions that its stopped being funny a while ago.

Tharanga Paranavitana also impressed with some big numbers 298 at 56 in the test series. He is also looking like a major prospect for the first team middle order. An overall career average of 42 doesn’t hurt either.

The dominance of the Sri Lankan batting was a highlight of the series. The cubs consistently got scores of over 300 in the test series. At one point amassing over 700. In the ODIs scores were consistently over the 250 mark. Understandably their lowest total came in the only game they lost in the ODI series at 218. The 2nd lowest was 274.

Ambul has pressed his claim to be back in national colors. He was instrumental in getting the A’s off to good starts in all 4 of the games he played. 250 runs at 80 with a huge 100 that Hilal reported. A strike rate of over 100 did nicely as well.

Kaushal Silva and Anjelo Matthews are also ones to watch. Kaushal looks to be the illusive replacement for Sangakkara when he does hang up the boots. At 22 years of age Id argue that he still should play a few more games for the Cubs before he really gets an opportunity in the first team.

Anjelo Matthews from Colts continues his impressive display of all round skill. Chipping in with a few useful half centuries and a handful of wickets. At 21 the kids got a way to go.

The bowlers from both teams took a thrashing as the test and ODI series were dominated by the bat. However, impressive displays from The Don aka Ishara Amarasinghe did impress. His 13 wickets in the ODI series was clearly the difference between the two sides. A clear sign of his international experience being put to good use. With Malinga and Maharoof on the come back trail after injuries, Ishans fine display puts him into contention for the ODI team.

Rangana Herath's experience also helped the cubs butcher the Saffers as his spin played another important role in the middle overs in the ODIs.


The cubs are guns. Or rather were gunnish in this tour.

No doubt.

Thilina Kandamby should get a central contract. Dilshan and Silva should be sent home to watch re runs of each of Kandambys 700 runs.

Ambul should be recalled to the ODI team.

The quicks need some work and Paddyhouse needs to develop more if he is to be the long term replacement for Vass. At 27 time is still on his side, But not for too long.

Bottom Line.

In a 5 match series with the National team the series would end 3-2.
To the cubs.

Bowled by DamithS

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Monday, September 29, 2008

[Video] Upul Tharanga 68 (73) Vs New Zealand 2006/07

ODI no. 2468
Sri Lanka in New Zealand ODI Series - 1st ODI
New Zealand v Sri Lanka 2006/07 season
Played at McLean Park, Napier, on 28 December 2006 (50-over match)
Result Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets (with 60 balls remaining)

By Hilal

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ajantha's 'Carrom Ball' may find a place in the Collins dictionary

Sri Lanka's 23-year-old right arm off-break and leg-break spin bowler Ajantha Mendis' Carrom Ball delivery which has mesmerised the batsmen may find a place in the English dictionary, writes Bipin Dani for CricketNext.

"While I cannot say without further research in our databases if the word (Carrom Ball) has attained sufficient frequency in the language to merit a place in the actual A-Z text, a look at the frequency in Google alone seems to indicate that the word has already achieved some currency, so the chances are quite good. It now remains to be seen whether it has longevity as well as originality," - Says Cormac McKeown, the Senior Editor of Collins Dictionary.

Posted by Hilal

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"The cupboard is not full with young players" - Ranil Abeynaike

In his weekly column for the Sunday Times Ranil Abeynaike discusses Sri Lanka's squad for the Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20 and the lack of youth in a squad playing a young man's game. The article in full here and a few excerpts below.

Looking at the Sri Lankan squad to play in Toronto, my judgment indicates that only four players are under twenty five years of age. Four of them are beyond thirty and the average age must also be around that figure. That is more of an average age of a test team these days!

A definite criticism is not selecting a recognized wicket keeper. Young Kaushal Silva has in the past five years performed at every level that he has played at. Currently playing with the ‘A’ team in South Africa, he has had success there too. With Kumar Sangakkara having a break, recovering from surgery on a finger, it was the ideal opportunity to give Silva a break as a wicket keeper batsman.

The cupboard is not full with young players. This is mainly due to domestic tournaments not being established and not producing players of quality at a young age. They need some years to perform, because its experience that gets them there. Players like Thilina Kandamby, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Kaushalya Weeararatne, Thilina Thushara who are selected for this tour have taken a long while to mature. Jeevantha Kulatunge who gets an opportunity to wear national colours for the first time is thirty four years of age for all his efforts over the years he deserves a place, but it is not a medium of long term investment. It is time to take stock and invest in younger players who have the potential and have performed when the opportunity has been afforded. The time is ripe to throw some new faces into the ring.

Posted by Hilal

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[Video] Chaminda Vaas 5-61 v West Indies - 1st Test - 2007/08

From Sri Lanka's 2008 tour to the Caribbean.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ranatunga gets his way Nishantha appointed as team manager

More confusion! Reuters reports Nishantha Ranatunga, brother of Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Arjuna Ranatunga, has been appointed the new manager of the Sri Lanka team.

Gamini Lokuge who initially rejected the squad stating there was no mention of a team manager on the selection sheet was quoted by local press as stating that he would not allow the brother of Arjuna Ranatunga to fly to Canada as manager.

The recent appointment of Nishantha as team manager drew criticism from various quarters citing favoritism from Arjuna.

Posted by Hilal

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Sri Lanka squad for Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20

TM Dilshan is set to handle the wicketkeeping duties and Indika De Saram has not been selected despite his letter to the sports minister.

It is not yet clear who the team manager for the tour will be, sports minister Lokuge had refused to allow the brother of Arjuna Ranatunga to travel to Canada as the team manager and as a result rejected the original squad that was sent to him for approval. This is the second occasion the selectors have sat down to pick the squad however no changes to the squad have been made.

Sri Lanka squad

Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan (WK), Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Udawatte, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandamby, Farveez Maharoof, Thilina Thushara Mirando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, Jeevantha Kulatunga, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Kaushalya Weeraratne.

By Hilal

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Cubs have done it !

They've done it !

The cubs have become the first team to win a series in South Africa.

Lets bask in the glory.

A great day indeed.

Report to follow.

Bowled by DamithS

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Cubs set to make history

So the cubs are in the rainbow land.

Doing swimmingly in fact. They are all set to achieve something so monumental today, that I must forewarn you to sit down.

Its big.

If the cubs win today, looking at their performances so far it could prove to be quite tight, it will the first time a Sri Lankan team has won a series in South Africa.

Brilliant innit?. Murali, Sanath, Sagakkara, Mahela all tried. And failed.
But not the cubs.

At least not yet.

They currently posses a hard fought lead of 2-1 in the series and tonight they play the 4th Unofficial ODI. Its a day nighter as well. So, much chance for drama.

The first match was won by the cubs by a mere 3 runs at a venue that if you successfully pronounce in the first try, will win you a prize.

Try it - Potchefstroom.
Sorry that is incorrect. No prizes for you.

The 3 young rising stars of Sri Lankan batting once again proved their worth as Kandamby, Anjelo Matthews and FlySlips very own Ambul (already a risen but since fallen star) scored 50s.

The cubs ended with 276 thanks to their efforts and took the field later in the day to be faced by the Saffer duo of Imraan Khan (that ain't no typo and not to be confused with the legendary mystero from Pakistan) and Heino Gunther Kuhn (Potential split personality Ala Gunter Nel if ever there was one).

After a steady start the Don sprung into action!
That's Don Ishara Amarasinghe to you sir.

With venom that only a recent national discard possesses Ishara triggered a mini collapse and had the South Africans at 129-4. The cubs seemed well on the way to a win.

However some later order resistance needed Ishara to come back and finish the game off. 7 needed in the last over with 2 wickets remaining he managed to get wickets with the 1st and 5th ball of the over to earn SL A a win by 3 runs.


The 2nd game played at an equally difficult venue to pronounce (Try Peitermaritzburg) saw another closely contested game. Sri Lanka were restricted to a mere 218 and once again Angelo Mathews (53), Kandamby (51) and Kaushal Silva(80) impressed.

The game seemed to be heading for a tight ending with the Saffers losing wickets on a regular basis and at 129-4 it seemed to be any ones game. But Dean Elgars 89* saved face for the home. team

The Don once again pipped in with a 2fer.


Sanity resumed as finally a game was played at a relatively mundane venue name.

Although Buffalo Park..
(Hilal says no more jokes. Party pooper)

Ambul, it seems is hell bent on not giving me more material for the Ambul Thiyal-Anga series as he cut,drove, hooked, hoicked, switch hit his way to a career best 173.

He and Paranavithana added 91 for the first wicket and the cubs rode on Ambuls knock to 335. Kandamby lent in with another solid 30.(Why is he still playing for the cubs again ?).

It was a day for the openers as Saffer opener Bodi belted the cubs into a hiding as he unleashed a devastating assault on our opening bowlers.

So it seemed inevitable that the Don make an appearance again along with side kick Ranga Herath as they cleverly dismissed the batsmen at the other end while ensuring Bodi got enough 4 balls to keep the crowd pleased at the other end.

The Don ending up with a 3fer.

Bodi ended up with 153, to which he got with a 6 off Herath, who later dismissed him to bask in sweet revenge.

The RRR shot up and the saffers faltered. Cubs win by 26


Watch this space to see if the Cubs make history.
Good luck to them !

Bowled by DamithS

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Banditown vs BigGay

I hate Gamini BigGay.

The evil demon has gotten too involved in our cricket and now it seems he’s the guy running the show.

Why bother with Banditown?

Why bother with selectors?

BigGay knows best.

Has he ever lifted a bat in his hand other than his own?

He changes teams that have already been picked.

He overrules decisions that Banditown makes.

Bandi and Banditown must be pissed as. I know I am.

When he first took office he said he wont meddle with cricket. Now it seems all he does is that. Doesn’t Sri Lanka play any other sports for this idiot to get involved in. Netball? Football ? Anything!?

Bandi should sit on Mr.BigGay so that he suffocates to death.

Bowled by Damith S.

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Doubts persist over Sri Lanka series

Richard Hobson of The Times writes of the chaos associated with Sri Lanka's ill planned tour to England. Scroll below for a few excerpts of the article. Read it in full here.

The situation in Colombo appears to have reached an impasse with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), which is understandably keen to press on with a trip that would earn a fee of about £1 million from the ECB. Players, on the other hand, insist that before the England tour was agreed they were promised the chance to play in the IPL.

Gamini Lokuge, the Sports and Recreation Minister, instructed SLC this week to stop its IPL-contracted players touring England while at the same time saying that he did not want the series to be cancelled. Twelve players have signed for the franchises, the latest being Ajantha Mendis, the ICC Emerging Player of the Year.

The situation was further confused yesterday when the Pakistan Cricket Board announced details of a three-year deal to play triangular limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the new Dubai Sports City stadium from next April - another possible clash with the IPL, due to run from April 10 to May 29.
Posted by Hilal

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[Video] Marvan Atapattu 52 (46) Vs New Zealand 2006

MS Atapattu run out (sub [NJ Astle]) Runs:52 Balls:46 4's:5 6's:0

By Hilal

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Tharanga deserves a permanent spot

Moments ago Sri Lanka-A ended their 1st inning in the 3rd unofficial ODI against South Africa-A. The star of the show was Upul Tharanga. He remained unbeaten on 173 in just 149 balls scoring at a strike rate of 116.10 - the knock consisted of 20 fours and 4 sixes.

Upul and Sanath jayasuriya hold the world record for the highest ODI partnership in history. They plundered an English bowling attack to all parts chasing 322 to win.
Tharanga and Jayasuriya piled up 286 in 32 overs, a record opening stand in one-day internationals and the third-highest for any wicket; Sri Lanka overtook a seemingly imposing 321 with an almost ludicrous 75 balls to spare. - Wisden Almanack
Click here for the video.

Upul Tharanga's last ODI appearance for Sri Lanka was during the tour to West Indies earlier this year. His score of 40 in his final ODI turned out to be the highest score by a Lankan batsman in the match. Why then would you drop your highest scorer for the following match and choose to open the batting with Sangakkara?

Both Kumar and Mahela being the smart enterprising blokes they are should take some responsibility in sidelining Upul's career. The skipper picks the final eleven and the vice captain prefers to open batting in ODI's - leave the rest up to our selection committee and Tharanga misses out on the recently concluded Indian tour for no apparent reason.

Upul was picked to tour West Indies for the ODI series and he managed a top score of 40 in two matches averaging 25.00. I understand that is nothing special to warrant selection for the Indian tour but click here note how other batsmen from our top order didn’t do much better either on the same tour.

The only point I'm trying to make is that other batsman in our current batting line up have had a string of low scores extending beyond 5 consecutive games none of them have paid the price as Upul has. This is a batsman who has represented NCC since the age of 15, a cultured player who has come through the ranks and a cricketer Sri Lanka has heavily invested upon he should hit this rich vein of form playing for Sri Lanka not Sri Lanka-A.

It's time we dismiss talks of flaws in his technique and give the bloke the assurance of a long run in the playing eleven, at 23 years of age he is our future.

By Hilal

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[Video] Avishka Gunawardene 73 (62) Vs Wayamba 2007

In four games during the 2007 Inter-provincial Limited over tourney Avishka averaged a paltry 21.25 with this knock of 73 being his highest score of the season.

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Trouble in Banditown

Enter Banditunga.

Whats Bandi gone and done now then. SLC , which will from now on be referred to as Banditown, has lifted the ban imposed on the ICL players, allowing them to take part in domestic competitions .

Or in laymans terms Bandi has gone and stuck his fat finger up the rich boys arse.

Im fully behind him, as much as anyone could be of someone who is gonna have rather smelly finger right now.

First of all banning ICL players from international cricket was nothing but a big power play by the big bully who doesn’t like share his toys with the rest of the world. How odd when it’s the IPL who stole the ICL idea in the first place. There’s irony for you.

Second of all…..ok so there isn’t really a second of all to this story. The gist of it is that Ranatunga has mildly upset the balance of the force by daring to poke his Bandi where it does not belong. As with all Bandi’s actions it was Bandi before thinking.

Banditown, catchy aint it, has very close ties with the rich boys club up north. It’s a well known fact that when lads get together for a drink and a kick about in between discussing whether Zimbabwe should still play cricket or whether Bangladeshi’s should sent to Mars for taking the game to new lows, Banditown and the rich boys always stick it out together.

And when Bandi needed some short change for a Briyani from the local ‘hotel’ he asked his rich friends for some kitty.

In short, they are tight as. Rather they were.

The rich boys have woken from their slumber , fresh from putting one over England and they are not happy.

Which brings me to my point, yes there was a reason why I wrote all this.

However noble Ranatungas actions are, I cannot help but wonder if this would alienate Banditown , specially since virtually no one else supported their move except media darling Atappattu.

Could all this affect the relationship between the boards up to a point where India will no longer consider us in their good books. The early signs are not good.

And it seems people outside Banditown have also started taking an interest in the matter.

Its interesting to note at this point that India and Sri Lanka have close political ties as well, so perhaps its not so surprising that the sports minister is once again stepped into where he is not wanted to publish his opinion on the matter.

The good minister went on to state that

"I don't want our board to be against the BCCI and the ICC. I want us to be loved by all because we are nice island people with a smile on our face all the time”

Meanwhile there are rumors abound that either Uncle Lalit (head of IPL) or Bandi2 (Pawar) had called Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse to arrange for a meeting between Banditown and Co and the sports minister. Apparently a new election for the board might also be on the cards.

So the bottom line it seems is that the bans that were lifted might now be re-imposed on the poor ‘rebels’ in the hopes of being loved by the rich boy club again.

Lifes a b**** for people like Atapattu.

Happy times are short for these rebels

Brought to you by DamithS


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Monday, September 22, 2008

[Video] The Venue - Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20

In little under two weeks Sri Lanka, Pakistan & Zimbabwe will descend on King City Ontario for The Canada Cup Four Nation 20/20 tourney. I drove down to King City in order to provide the readers of this blog with a first look at the venue.

The venue which was established in 1954 has not lost it's old-fashioned charm but will the facility have the the capability to handle such an event?

The Pakistani fan base have been starved of cricket since the Asia cup and the Sri Lankan fans look forward to the Lion's first official visit to Canada. A large turn out is guaranteed considering the fan base in Ontario alone, there is even talk of fans flying in from as far away as Florida.

17 days and counting Cricket Canada needs to pull it's socks up information on ticket sales and broadcasters are yet to be announced. No mention of the event has been made on the Cricket Canada website as of Monday the 22nd of September.

The fans find themselves in the dark as the event nears.

20/20 has the potential to boost interest in the sport within Canada, it however appears even this opportunity is squandered - the lack of publicity for an international sporting event is baffling.

All of the above can be rectified but not the weather; The locals rarely play cricket two weeks into October mid September generally draws an end to the year's cricket season here in Canada. Having said that the weather of late has been extremely unpredictable and one can never be certain of anything in these parts for cricket's sake let's hope for the best. Do expect bitter cold mornings ranging from 10°C - 15°C.

Sri Lanka face yet another selection crisis.

It bores me to death to write about yet another crisis at SLC having gotten over Hashan Tillekeratne's two day tenure as the team's manager we are now faced with more of Sports Minister Lokuge's antics. How often do you hear of a sports minister from Australia relaying information to the press when his own selector's are left in the dark?

Minsiter Lokuge claims the selection sheet for the Canada Cup was missing the name of the Team Manager and as a result he has rejected the selection. All this apparently has absolutely nothing to do with Indika De Saram protesting to the sport minister about his non-inclusion to the squad for Canada.

Why does Sri Lanka Cricket require the services of a selection committee when we have the sports minister deciding the squad?

By Hilal

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[Video] Upul Tharanga 103 (125) Vs New Zealand 2006

Upul Tharanga's second ODI century.

By Hilal

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

[Video] Shanuka Dissanayake 88* (85) Vs Wayamba 2007

Shanuka Dissanayake
Full name Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Gimhan Shanuka Dissanayake
Born May 10, 1977, Ragama
Current age 31 years 134 days
Major teams Basnahira North, Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

At 31 years of age Shanuka is somewhat of a veteran in the Sri Lankan domestic game.

Having played over ten years of 1st class cricket he is a cultured middle order batsman and a dominant off side player. His quickfire unbeaten 88 along with the contributions of Ruwin Peiris and Avishka Gunawardene ensured Bas. North posted a dominant total (298/6).


Basnahira North trounce Wayamba with all-round display

By Hilal

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

[Video] The Googly | Ajantha Mendis Vs Avishka Gunawardene 2007

Action from the 2007 SLT inter-provincial tournament.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

SLC lifts ban on ICL players but...

Sri Lanka Cricket has lifted the previously imposed ban on players who took part in the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

The Indian Premier League which is the official 20Twenty tournament organised by the Indian Cricket board is the only T20 tournament to be recognised by the ICC in India - the privately operated ICL is yet to be approved as it does not have the blessing of the Indian board, it's rivals.

"We keep getting requests from private organisations for allowing them to organise events. ICC traditionally allows its members to run cricket. ICC does not interfere if a member board disciplines or does not discipline its players," Malcolm Speed was heard stating to the press in 2007.
In August of 2007 Sri Lanka Cricket decided to ban player's taking part in the ICL stating they were worried that player's would have issues maintaining two employers.

"It will be a problem if the players start going into different leagues and they can't have two employers," Mathivanan said speaking to AP in 2007.
Mathivanan the former secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket also went on record in 2007 to state that the ICC has asked individual national bodies to decide their own policies on the issue independently.

So it comes as no surprise that after much thought and with the ICL heading into it's second season that the board has decided to soften it's stance on the players involved. They now have the ability to represent their domestic teams within Sri Lanka however international cricket appears to be some distance away.

Why prohibit them from playing international cricket when the ICC has no issues with players representing the ICL.?

Since when was it illegal to represent a leaugue which stands as competition to a league organised by the Indian cricket board? Are players just out of luck if they aren't picked up by an IPL franchise? Do I hear you scream illegal monopoly!?

The second season of the ICL kicks off on the 10th of October 2008 players such as Russel Arnold, Marvan Atapattu, Avishka Gunewardena and Upul Chandana can be seen in action. Click here for the official ICL website.

By Hilal

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[Video] Ravi Ratnayeke 3/59 Vs West Indies 1986

Played at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium (neutral venue) on 3 December 1986 (45-over match).

Joseph Ravindran Ratnayeke claims the prize wicket of Viv Richards cleaned bowled in a spell which he picks up 3 wickets.

Scorecard (Courtesy Cricinfo)

By Hilal

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

[Pic] Scenes from 'Victory'

Scenes for ‘Victory’, a story of a small town boy who dreams of playing cricket for India, were shot in Colombo last week with actor Harman Baweja playing against Sri Lanka’s national team.

Apart form the cricket stars Sri Lankan tourism ambassador Alston Koch and cricket commentator Roshan Abeysinghe are also featured in the film.

The final scenes in the film shows the hero in the cricketing epic played by Harman Baweja receiving his award for the 'Man of the series' from the Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism & Tourism Ambassador Alston Koch on the awards podium especially erected for this film at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo.

This famous ground has witnessed the cricketing talents of Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott, Colin Cowdrey and Rohan Kanhai and the great man Sir Donald Bradman who was dismissed for a 'duck' at the venue.

By Hilal

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

[Video] Flicked for Six

Sri Lankan batsman are known for their innovative stroke-play; Chamara Silva & chamara Kapugedera don't disappoint.

Posted by Hilal

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A Sri Lankan Selectors Hand book v0.1

With all the talk of the Muppets and jokers one wonders what kind of pressure a Sri Lankan selector is under when he signs up for the job. How do his interviews go? Is there a vigorous training these guys under go or is it just on the job training where mistakes are acceptable?

Basically how does a selector (or one who wants to be one-although we are not sure why you’d want to) go about their job.

So to help our budding selector wanna-be's we have come up with the essential hand book for a Sri Lankan selector.

1.Before applying for the job, make sure you are someone with absolutely no cricket background. In the unfortunate event of you having some cricketing knowledge and know how-lie about it, or at the very worst make sure its at a very minimum.

If you are currently playing cricket-quit now if you want to pursue being a selector

2.It is essential that you know the political situation in Sri Lanka and especially important is knowledge on who is on whose payroll (Without this you are basically a batsmen with out a bat.).

3.Know your Player stats- No, not the runs or wickets he has taken- rather their family name i.e. who are their fathers (or mothers) and what sort of power do they have in Sri Lankan politics and how deep are their pockets.

Where was the player born- USA/UK take priority over anyone born in Sri Lanka.

4.Know your geography- Sri Lankan geography that is. Its well established fact that players from outside of Colombo are basically useless. So any players doing well in the outstations should not even get a look in until they move to Colombo and are capable of indulging in the much higher living expenses in the capital.

If you are not aware that clubs exist outside Colombo this will be seen favorably

5.Homesickness unwelcome- If you are the sort to get homesick do not consider applying. As a selector you will be required to travel extensively around the world. What you do once you reach the touring country is your business but the board will make sure you are given enough cash to go shopping and pick up that saree or two for the wife back home.

Sometimes you will be required to actually attend tour matches but these inconveniences are rare.

6.Know your enemy- Although as a cricket selector you might naturally expect to have a carefree life its not always rosy. There are many people who will question your every move and every player you drop. Usually these enemies or nemesis comes in 3 forms

    -The sports minister: He is the only one who has more power than a selector when picking a team. Dont be surprised if the good minister goes behind your back to bring back a player you have dropped. But thankfully these occasions are few and far between.-Arjuna Ranatunga: Arjuna is a bit of a wild-card. There is absolutely no logic in the way this man behaves, which eventually means there is no knowing when he may or may not attack a selector using the media and his political influences. He will usually always doubt the system that you have set in place and will almost always doubt the player you pick. Be strong when this happens because Arjuna usually looses stamina due to his over grown belly

    Disgruntled ex-Players: These guys are the real cry babies. When you drop them they will use the media to attack selectors and call them names. Disgruntled Ex-players and the sports ministers have a unique bond that can never be broken, so dont be caught off guard if they tag team you from the blind side.

    E.g. include: Marvan Atappatu, Upul Chandana,Roshan Mahanama

7.Practice makes perfect: When you pick a certain player and he fails consistently over a period of time dont be disheartened. Keep picking him till he gets those once in a blue moon 50s regardless of other more consistent players.

Tip: One 50 is more than enough to secure a place of said player(s) for the next tours.

8.Talent Spotting: You will be required to know how to spot talent from the youngsters coming through the system. Pls do keep in mind that Pts 2, 3, 4 are essential when even considering a young player for selection. Failure to meet any of the said 3 pts means an automatic disqualification of the player.

Players who average 20s (Batting) and high 30s (bowling) are generally considered good international material. If a certain youngster is averaging better than this, an immediate compliance check of pts 2-4 is necessary.

Otherwise do not hesitate in picking a player with a lower average over a player who is considered good by the rest of the country.

Note: Pt 6 may (or may not) play a part in talent spotting. The enemies mentioned in pt 6 may try to distort your vision of who you think is a good player. Usually they will engage in media warfare using out-dated reasoning like comparing player averages/consistency and “form”.

9.Drop that Superstar: A time will come in your career when you need to drop a superstar player. Regardless of how much the team needs him or his record or his status and his importance to the team do not hesitate in dropping at least one superstar in your career.

Usually this decision will be reversed by the Sports minister (Refer pt 6).But that is of no concern as you will be guaranteed a “cult-following”, especially from the ever growing online Sri Lankan cricket community.

10.Chairmans word is Final: It is your responsibility to obey the instructions of the chairman or else your work permit will be terminated and no longer receive further wages.

Do exactly as the chairman orders.

Eg: If there is a fire in the SLC building and the chairman orders you not to leave the building, do not leave the building!

Usually the chairman will handle the media so PR expertise is not a pre-requisite. Also more often than not nobody will even know who you are unless someone from Pt 6 mentions your name in the media (usually Arjuna or Disgruntled player) or unless you carry out pt 9- in which case you will become The Superstar.

Bowled by DamithS

Special thanks to Thushal for his contributions

Await v.0.2 of the Handbook !

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Interested in taking up cricket? Men need not apply..

Whilst all eyes remain focused on the men's national eleven women's cricket in Sri Lanka steadily improves with little or no attention.

I recently came across a posting advertising coaching lessons for women at the Palink School of Cricket.

The school boasts of unearthing over 100 top class players and over a dozen national players including two national captains since 1998.

"Enroll your daughters and see them becoming international cricketers" - Palink

This scorecard outlines the school's ability to produce top players; 26 year old Sumudu Ishari Fernando being the highlight for me.

The round up of the Sri Lanka Women's Cricket Limited Over Tournament, 2007/08 season can be found here.

By Hilal

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[Video] Ajantha Mendis 4/10 Vs India, 5th ODI 2008

There were numerous reports from the Indian press claiming the Indian batsman had unraveled the mystery of Mendis.

This video features action from the 5Th and final ODI from the IDEA Cup series. This was Yuvraj Singh's chance to prove that Mendis was not on top of him, to prove that Dhoni and Raina's cautious batting at the top didnt just mean caution but a total dominance of Mendis, it was not to be. Mendi's castled Yuvraj off his first ball and has claimed Yuvraj's wicket 4 times in all!

By Hilal

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why Sanath is good for Dolphins

Someone like Jayasuriya can help mould young players in the Dolphins squad, just as Malcolm Marshall did when he spent a few seasons with the Durban team, writes Archie Henderson Of The Times (SA).

Click here for the full post.

Posted by Hilal

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The Sanath factor excites The Dolphins

Speaking to SuperSport of South Africa Dolphins coach Yashin Ebrahim speaks on the team's acquisition of the game's most explosive batsman.
"The KZN Cricket Union has been very supportive in acquiring an overseas professional," Ebrahim said. "When I attended a spinner's coaching clinic in Mohali [India] in June through Cricket South Africa, I made various contacts there. Then, through our hosts - the Global Cricketing Academy - I got in touch with his agent. Negotiations then began in mid-June regarding terms and conditions. Once this was agreed upon and the permission from the Sri Lankan Board was received, the deal was signed."

"I did speak to Sanath a few days ago and he is keen, he sees it as a challenge and is very excited about coming here. Besides performance, he'll bring knowledge and experience. The younger players will be able to learn from him. He is a professional who loves winning and can bring that winning habit here, and will also assist the union with coaching as well," Ebrahim said.
Posted by Hilal

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Mendis keeps things simple

He has easily been his country’s biggest revelation since Muttiah Muralitharan. But despite the impact 23-year-old Ajantha Mendis has had on the cricketing world in recent months, the young Sri Lankan spinner insisted life is as simple as it was before his arrival on the international stage, writes Rohan Alvares of the Dubai publication the Express.

"Nothing has changed. I’m still the same person and I want to continue to be who I was before," said Mendis.

Posted by Hilal

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[PIC] Mahela and Christina jayawardena at the ICC Awards 2008

Image courtesy ICC

Mahela and Christina jayawardena pose for a picture.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

[Video] Understanding Murali's bowling action

By Hilal

The Sky news special explains the uniqueness of Muttiah Muralitharan's action and his body's remarkable adaptation - Murali combined his skill, a congenital deformity of the elbow, helicopter type wrists and an abnormal shoulder to his advantage to become the world's leading Test wicket taker.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

[Video] ICC Awards 2008


Posted by Hilal
Courtesy Apni Community

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

[Poll] The greatest No - 4 Batsmen ever in ODIs

Best No3 results are in

The XI So far

1.Sanath Jayasuriya
2.Adam Gilchrist
3.Ricky Ponting

Time for No 4.

You know the drill!

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[Video] Murali (Australasian Dance Mix) - Alston Koch

Australian music legend Alston Koch's Murali song was originally released in late 2007 to honour the achievements of Muttiah 'Murali' Muralitharan.

Since the early part of 2008 Alston and I have been working together to produce the above video for the Australasian Dance remix - readers of my Blog get the first look at this exclusive video. This version of the song is found on the original CD release by Powerush Records.

The song 'Murali' is already acclaimed by music critics as a classic, the track can be purchased and downloaded via Creative Vibes or the iTunes store Worldwide.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of the CD and DVD will be donated to the 'Foundation of Goodness', a Sri Lankan Charity run by Murali, Kushil Gunesekera (Muralitharan's manager) and other Sri Lankan cricketers.

By Hilal

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mahela wins Most sensible cricketer of the Year Award

Bowled by DamithS

I don’t like 20-20 aka 2020Benty aka HitandGiggle.

Neither does Mahela.

Ok, so he doesn’t dislike it like I do. But he doesn’t care for too much of the stuff.

In fact he just wants to play one 20-20 tournament a year, admirable in these times.

Others are chopping at the bits to play in the IPL, EPL ICL and whatever other perverted league that is bound to pop a few years down the road.

Some yobbos down under would apparently even quit international cricket to play in the blasphemes version of the game run by the BCCI and movie stars.

Which even startled the easily irritable Pidgeon.

People love money so does Mahela. He doesn’t shy away from that, which is good. At least he’s honest about it.

Mahelas solution is to pile up the money from the IPL, Stanford Bonanza, EPL etc into one big mother load of cash and have a winner takes all type of tourney.

Wait. We have something like that already…The thing that India won and paraded on for about year. Oh ya, the 2020 World Championship.

Of course this would mean one giant step for cricket and one gigantic step for the BCCI – i.e. working together with the ICC.


Mahelas stock has gone up in my book.

The man talks sense.

5 gold stars even.

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