Island Cricket

Friday, October 31, 2008

Zimbabweans wait in earnest for Murali

Enock Muchinjo of the Zimbabwe Independent speaks glowingly of Muttiah Muralitharan and the spin wizards exploits on Zimbabwean soil. Read the full article here, a few excerpts below.

The biggest attraction of any Sri Lankan visit, the great off-spinner — Muttiah Muralitharan — will thankfully, be part of that Zimbabwe tour again. Murali — as he is affectionately known by millions of fans throughout the world — is a living legend of the game despite previous question marks over his bowling action.

He is Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker, and in 2002 was rated by the respected Wisden Cricketer’ Almanack as the world’s greatest ever Test bowler.

Muralitharan’s inclusion in the Zimbabwe tour squad is a relief to his local fans after his omission from an ODI tour of West Indies earlier this year led to speculation that he may be mulling concentrating on Test cricket only. Were that the case, the great man would not be coming to Zimbabwe because the African side is currently in Test exile.

by Hilal

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[Video] Mendis Magic takes the cricket world by storm

courtesy CricketCrowd

Posted by Hilal

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ECB offers Bloomfield CC £500 to host Monty

England's Monty Panesar, hoping to fine tune his skills as a spinner, was scheduled to play club cricket in Sri Lanka.

The Sun reports of the paltry compensation offered to Bloomfield CC and how the deal has hit a road block.

Bloomfield president Upali Dharmadasa said: "We were going to sacrifice one of our players to accommodate Panesar so we told the ECB to compensate us with something so that the club and the player will benefit.

"Initially they came to us and said they would pay £500. - The sun

Read more here.

By Hilal

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 67 Vs Pakistan 1997

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

India - Sri Lanka ties fall apart over IPL

Miffed at the "hostile" statements from Sri Lanka Cricket officials against Indian Premier League, the BCCI has decided to put on hold India's all future bilateral series against Sri Lanka. - PTI

According to news reports from the Press Trust of India the BCCI has decided to 'put a hold' on future tours involving the two nations. The decision apparently stems from what Lalit Modi and Niranjan Shah deem as 'damaging statements' made by SLC officials towards the IPL and Arjuna Ranatunga's 'attitude' towards the IPL.

"Mr Modi and Mr (Niranjan) Shah were very puzzled and shocked at the attitude of Sri Lankan cricket towards the BCCI and had serious concerns with regards to some of the press statements which had been released by some SLC officials," - PTI

It has now come to a state where one cannot express any dislike towards the Indian cricket board or it's IPL tournament without serious repercussions. This is not the first time India has threatened to boycott or call off tours if it did not get it's way. Earlier this year the BCCI threatened to call off it's on going tour in Australia if Harbhajan Singh was found guilty of racially abusing Andrew Symonds. Click here to read The Sydney Morning Herald's piece titled 'Cricket's Day of Shame'.

WORLD cricket authorities have caved in to the game's financial superpower, India, and Cricket Australia has incurred the wrath of its own Test players by pressuring them to drop a racial slur charge against Harbhajan Singh.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had even chartered a plane to take its players home tomorrow if the Indian player's three-Test suspension - for calling Australia's Andrew Symonds a monkey during the Sydney Test - had not been overturned at yesterday's appeal in the Federal Court in Adelaide.

Cricket Australia was anxious to have the charge dropped because it feared its board would be sued for a figure understood to be about $60 million if India quit the tour. - SMH

It could be argued that as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Ranatunga was duty bound to agree upon and sign the deal with the ECB. With SLC running on it's bank over draft it would have been ridiculous for Ranatunga to turn down such an offer for the IPL tournament. The player's representation in the IPL did not benefit Sri Lankan Cricket or it's governing authority financially.

I previously mentioned that the IPL's stance was one of International Cricket first and IPL second. This reaction from the BCCI and the IPL has put an end to that perspective. Ranatunga's comments may have been detrimental to the image of the IPL and BCCI but the actions of the BCCI's hierarchy has caused damage to more than just their image.

By Hilal

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lasith Malinga receives contract for 2008

The Sunday Times reports that Lasith malinga has finally been offered a contract for 2008. The contract is to be back dated which means Malinga will be duly compensated for this year.

At a recent Interim Committee meeting however it was decided to back date the contract and take Malinga into the fold with the grade II contract to the value of $60,000.

Originally Malinga was overlooked for the full contract as a result of a SLC heavyweight being against him being included in the list. - Sunday Times

by Hilal

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Friday, October 24, 2008

[Video] Ajantha Mendis | This is Cricket

Download Link:

Click here for alternate version.

by Hilal

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tier A Preview : SSC


Last year the reins weren't exactly stable. Avishka Gunewardene was captain for the season, he later joined the ICL. A move which did not find much favour with the SLC.

Sri Lankans very own Probot extraordinaire, Thilan Samaraweera got the nod thereafter, but he too left for international duty and more probotting around the world.

The keg fell to Tharanga Paranavitana, and he led the team to Tier A victory as they regained the Tier A championship from Colombo Cricket Club.

This year though, I would like to see the captaincy going to Thilina Kandamby, who has led the A team with distinction and is proving himself to be a strong candidate for the job.


The top 2 run scorers for last season came from SSC.

In Paranavitana and Jeewan Mendis they have strong opening pair. The middle order is solid with players like Kandamby, Kaushal Silva coming into their own in the A team in recent times.

Big numbers are on the cards.


23 year old off spinner Sachithra Senanayake was the only bowler to get 50 wickets in Tier A. A repeat of the same dose is expected.

Backed up by current internationals Thilal Thushara and Dammika Prasad, SSC can expect a few early wickets on a consistent basis. Prasads big made and fires it at a quick pace, and Thusharas in your face attitude and left armers add great variety.

Kaushal Lokkuarrachi offers the leg spin option.

SSCs got all the bases covered.

Right of Passage
In Shalika Karunanayake, SSC has a player who has come up through the ranks. A star in the U-19 team this will the season he takes things by the balls.

At 21 hes still plying his trade. A genuine medium pacer and a strong batsmen I expect consistent and dominant performances from the kid all season as he grows his pubes and enters into manhood.

Sachithra Sennayake was a sensation last season with 50 wickets. More of the same pls Sachithra.

Tier A- 1st or 2nd.

by DamithS

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Monday, October 20, 2008

IPL gives SLC the finger

Sri Lanka's sports minister Gamini Lokuge and The Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association (SLCA) worked out a proposal which could bring in $70M over the next few years - in return the IPL would be guaranteed Sri Lankan representation for all it's T20 events. The deal if worked out would have put a definite end to Sri Lanka's 2009 tour to England and seriously jeopardised the ICC and it's International tours.

The move was criticised by David Morgan president of the International Cricket Council. Speaking to the Telegraph Morgan said that the deal was "quite unacceptable behaviour against the background of Sri Lanka's signed agreement with the ECB".

A four man team comprising SLC's CEO Duleep Mendis, Sidath Wettimuny, Greame Labrooy and S. Liyanagama have just returned from a meeting with Lalit Modi and other IPL officials in Bangkok. The IPL has not agreed to such a deal.

Shock?? Not!

The IPL's stance has always been one of International Cricket first and IPL second. Therefore it does not surprise me that this proposal failed. The IPL cannot afford to play a game of tug-o-war with the ICC. In order to function on the long term as a successful business entity the IPL requires every bit of support from the ICC and creating a rift in the cricket world would not be the way to go.

This is an eye opener to players considering IPL over international cricket. Any move on the part of these individuals to jeopardise international cricket by choosing IPL over national representation may result in an abrupt end to their careers leaving them with a less lucrative alternative. The IPL may consider terminating contracts of those who bring the IPL into disrepute -- Lalit Modi and crew would hate the IPL to appear as the death of Cricket. That is just not the kind of image you would want for any business. The IPL stands to gain more on the longer run with the ICC on it's side and the loss of 10 players would not harm it on the longer run.

by Hilal

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

[Video] Marvan Atapattu 103 (127) Vs Zimbabwe - 2003

Marvan Atapattu's 10th ODI century

ICC World Cup - 50th match, Super Sixes
Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe

by Hilal

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Sri Lankan cricketers arrive leaving trophy in Canada

The Nation reports that the Al Barakah trophy was left behind in Toronto due to it's size. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority would not allow the Trophy on board due to it's size and weight.

“We were forced to leave behind the Cup and along with it the replicas of the cup which all the team members received. They will be sent to us by the Sri Lanka consular general in Canada Bandula Jayasekera who undertook the responsibility,” said Ranatunga.

According to Ranatunga the Canada Cup which Sri Lanka won for emerging champions of the four-nation T20 tournament held in Toronto was about five feet in height and weighed over 20 kilos.

“One person couldn’t comfortably carry that trophy,” said Ranatunga. He said the Cup was expected to arrive by next week.

This is the first time the Sri Lanka cricket team had returned home without their prized silverware.

posted by Hilal

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England tour crisis deepens - Lankan cricketers will not change their stance

Pramodya Wickremasinghe president of the Sri Lanka Cricket Players Association speaking to the Sunday Times states that changes to the tour itinerary is the only option that SLC has put forth thus far - that change however is not feasible as the next T20 World Cup begins on the 5th of June 2009. Pramodaya goes on to state that with the current situation the only available option is to play a 3 match ODI series between May 26 and June 5 2008.

The IPL tournament is scheduled to end on the 26th of May 2009

Posted by Hilal

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Windies girls to tour Sri Lanka

The West Indies women's cricket team will be in Sri Lanka for a 2 week tour. They play five One-Day Internationals against the Sri Lanka women’s team.

The itinerary is as follows:

November 3: Warm-up match vs winners of Sri Lanka Division 1 League – BRC Ground, Colombo
November 5: 1st One-Day International – Rangiri Dambulla Stadium
November 7: 2nd One-Day International – Rangiri Dambulla Stadium
November 9: 3rd One-Day International – Rangiri Dambulla Stadium
November 11: 4th One-Day International – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
November 12: 5th One-Day International – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

by Hilal

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Ranil Abeynaike, Canucks and Cricket

One of the exciting aspects of cricket for me is the commentary. Over the years a very select few have tickled my fancy. My expectations are the same as any cricket enthusiast - A good command of the English Language, a thorough understanding of the game, unbiased views and a keen eye is sufficient to satisfy me. The likes of Bill Lawry, Charles Colleville, Tony Grieg and from the Asian subcontinent the likes of Ravi Shastri, Sanjay manjrekar and Rameez Raja have kept me glued to the TV screens of late. A few however have represented Sri Lanka on international broadcasts and none deserve a mention. That's not to say Sri Lanka did not have any fine commentators of the game, I was blessed enough to have heard my former neighbour Skandakumar in action and Aubrey Ebert, two fine commentators who never hit the international stage.

It appears that international broadcasters have finally realised that there is more to cricket commentary in Sri Lanka than just Ranjith Fernando. I have no malice towards Mr. Fernando but years of hearing Ranjith stating the obvious and not being able to get his thoughts in sequence fast enough to construct a sentence has worn out the mute button on my remote control.

This post is not about Ranjith or my preference in commentators, it is to laud the arrival of Sri Lanka's finest commentator ever. Ranil Abeynaike without an iota of doubt is the finest English language cricket commentator Sri Lanka has ever produced. His knowledge of Sri Lankan Cricket and the game in general is refreshing.

Apart from Cricket commentary Ranil is a columnist for the Sunday Times. In last week's entry he wrote of his departure to Canada and his appointment as a commentator for the T20 series in Canada. He goes on to reminisce how passionate Cricket fans back in the day were, how they were glued to their Short Wave radios to tune into Ashes Cricket commentary and the plight of associate cricket nations struggling to find some normalcy.

A few excerpts of the article can be found below, click here for the article in full.

On his departure to Canada

The Canada Cup, as this twenty over tournament the Sri Lankan team is playing in was organized in a rush when the Champions trophy got called off. Not being a test playing nation Canada is not in a position to make arrangements to conduct a tour of this nature. It is an event organizer who has taken over that responsibility. That company has to sublet each of the arrangements to another professional organization and so it is non stop action when all has to be done within a few weeks.

My job as a commentator was confirmed only ten days ago! The e-ticket to fly reached me less than ten hours before the flight! The bags were packed thereafter and the journey half way across the world commenced. How much the world has progressed since they shot the movie “Around the world in eighty days”, some fifty years ago!!

In less than twenty four hours the destination, Toronto, was reached.

On Television's impact on Cricket and Sri Lanka's passion for the game.

Many men used to glue their ears on to the big radios to the voices of John Arlott, Brian Johnston. Lindsay Hassett, Alan McGilvray and others who used to describe those Ashes battles.

When a father is such a devout follower of the game, then the sport gets into the blood of a four or five year old. He does not have to be a participant or former participant, the keenness and enthusiasm is good enough an influence. That situation has changed now. Youngsters have the opportunity to follow the fortunes of the national team and all other international teams thanks to television. That is a huge advantage, with the game being brought to the doorstep.

On the reverse side it does not make you desperate to have it. It is there and so much of it, maybe even an excess, so why bother? The radio and the Ashes, was the only way then and it simply could not be missed. The coverage started early in the morning when played in Australia and when played in England the games went late into the night. This meant the entire household gets affected!

On Canada's development or the lack of it.

Let us not forget that Canada played in the first World Cup in 1975, with Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka had the men to take them on from strength to strength. Canada did not and they are in the same position they were thirty three years ago. So it is difficult for any nation to get close to the major playing nations. A few generations must absorb the sport before successful candidates emerge, to get on to the world stage.

By Hilal

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Just fix it

For months we have been watching Sri Lankan cricket spiral out of control.

We heard the stories about the lack of money and so we begged India.

We then had the whole IPL v England tour saga. Lets not beat around the bush. The players need the money and they are were obviously going to pick that over playing for Sri Lanka which will pay them nothing.

It hurts for me to see that happen as a fan but that is the reality we live in.

Then we have Gamini Lokuge, brandishing his new found power and meddling in every single predicament facing SLC -- be it team selection , be it changing decisions made regarding the ICL players. You name it. His got his dirty fingers in every piece of the pie.

The ICL player dispute ensued. And now the final nail in the coffin has been knocked in.

Overturning Badureliyas demotion to Tier B has to be one of the gut churning decisions ever made. What has followed is chaos, 18 of the 20 clubs that play in the premier league are threatening to boycott the whole season. Rightfully so too, why should a team like Sri Lanka army fight neck and tooth and sweat it out not to get their deserved promotion.

Shouldn't Ajantha Mendis play in Tier A? This is a new low even by our standards.

Reasons regarding the decision are still sketchy.

I for one am sick to the stomach with all these side shows.

Stop mucking around and fix it. I dont care how, or who you need to bribe, bump off etc...

If we are to host international stars like Monty in our domestic game, is this the state our cricket should be in? Its a real shame and a dark day for Sri Lankan cricket.

Just fix it.

By Damith

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

[Video] Coca-Cola Champions Trophy 1999 - 4th match Sri Lanka v West Indies

A match to remember, Sanath and Kalu put on an opening stand of 128 runs. Not sparing the likes of even Curtly Ambrose.

Curtly Ambrose was taken for 22 off his opening 4 overs and Mervin Dillon went for 40 in 6 overs, which included two sixes off his last which cost 15.

ODI no. 1515
Coca-Cola Champions Trophy - 4th match
Sri Lanka v West Indies 1999/00 season
Played at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium (neutral venue) on 17 October 1999 - day/night (50-over match)
Result Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets (with 132 balls remaining)

Courtesy Apni Community

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[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 40(34) Vs Pakistan T20 Canada 2008

Cometh the hour cometh the man. 39 year old Sanath yet again sets the stage up for an important victory.

This was yet another Jayasuriya Vs Akthar confrontation -- Shoaib Akthar hit Sanath Jayasuriya on the helmet with a delivery clocking 142 KM/H, bruising Sanath's upper lip. Jayasuriya's response was typical, he finished Akthar's over with back to back sixes. One was off the tournament's fastest delivery.

The history between the two has taken a similar course, Shoaib has always attempted to knock Sanath off with speed and Sanath uses that speed to his advantage with well timed flicks and late cuts.

During the inaugural IPL season Sanath carved Akthar for 23 runs in an over. As much as I would like to highlight this moment with a video The Indian Premier League however does not appreciate free promotion of their event and as a result they have removed all videos of this event from video hosts such as YouTube and Google Video citing copyright infringement. One cannot hope to ban or shut down every cricket fan in the world -- I did come across the video I had originally edited (prior to being informed of copyright issues,) it can be found here.

by Hilal

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[Video] What's my name?? | Udawatte Vs Gul

A prolific run-getter for Ananda College, Mahela Udawatte's talents as a top-order batsman were not immediately recognised when he was overlooked for the Sri Lankan Under-19 team in 2003 despite scoring more than 1000 runs for his school that season. He got his break after he joined Chilaw Marians SC straight after school. Promoted to open the batting - he had batted at No. 3 at school - he reeled off three hundreds in five matches in the 2004-05 U-23 tournament, and was rewarded with a place in the Development Squad. He soon made it into the A team for the tour to England in 2007 after top-scoring for his club in the Premier final against SSC in 2005-06, making 67 out of 172 against an attack which included Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Zoysa. A powerful and attacking batsman who likes to take on the quick bowlers, Udawatte is seen as a future prospect for the Sri Lanka one-day side, perhaps as a replacement for Sanath Jayasuriya. Rated highly by experts in Sri Lanka, including Mahela Jayawardene, Udawatte earned a call-up to the national squad for the tour of West Indies in 2008 and was later included in the probables for the Champions Trophy.

Sa'adi Thawfeeq for

by Hilal

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

[Video] T20 Canada 2008 - final - Sri Lanka V Pakistan

1st Session

2nd Session

Presentation Ceremony

T20I no. 76
T20 Canada - final
Pakistan v Sri Lanka
2008/09 season
Played at Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City
(neutral venue), on 13 October 2008 (20-over match)
Result Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)

by Hilal

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[Video] Toe crushing yorker | Dilhara Fernando

From the Canada Vs Sri Lanka T20 encounter in Toronto -- Fernando delivers successive Yorkers to dismantle the Canadian top order.

By Hilal

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Monday, October 13, 2008

[Video] T20 Canada - 6th match Sri Lanka vs Canada

T20I no. 74
T20 Canada - 6th match
Canada v Sri Lanka 2008/09 season
Played at Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City, on 12 October 2008 (20-over match)
Result Sri Lanka won by 15 run

By Hilal

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2008 Blogger's choice awards | Best Video Blogger

I was nominated for the 'Best Video Blogger' category for the 2008 Blogger's choice awards. The support I received thus far has been overwhelming, thank you.

The voting is now drawing to a close and the winner will be announced on the 16th of October '08 - being in the top three alone is some achievement for a nobody like me and to win this would be special.

Click here to track my progress and cast your vote.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

[Video] Mendis Magic in Canada 2008

Mendis is now the highest wicket taker in the ongoing Al Barakah Canada 20/20 Cricket Series.

Most wickets

T20 Canada, 2008/09

Player Mat Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 4 5
BAW Mendis (SL) 2 8.0 1 32 8 4/15 4.00 4.00 6.0 2 0
Umar Gul (Pak) 3 11.0 0 39 6 4/13 6.50 3.54 11.0 1 0
HS Baidwan (Can) 3 11.0 0 86 6 3/15 14.33 7.81 11.0 0 0
Fawad Alam (Pak) 2 4.0 0 20 4 3/7 5.00 5.00 6.0 0 0
MF Maharoof (SL) 2 8.0 0 41 4 2/18 10.25 5.12 12.0 0 0

By Hilal

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[Video] T20 Canada - 4th match Sri Lanka v Pakistan

T20I no. 72
T20 Canada - 4th match
Pakistan v Sri Lanka
2008/09 season
Played at Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City
(neutral venue), on 11 October 2008 (20-over match)
Result Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)

By Hilal

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[Video] T20 Canada - 1st match Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe


T20I no. 69
T20 Canada - 1st match
Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe
2008/09 season
Played at Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City
(neutral venue), on 10 October 2008 (20-over match)
Result Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)

Courtesy Apni Community

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Al Barakah Canada 20/20 Cricket Series - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

If you recall my first visit to the venue in late September (video) the maple leaf Cricket ground was nothing but a large open field - much has transpired since that visit.

In under three weeks the organiser hired a Toronto based company to set up bleachers and stands necessary to accommodate a large audience. The temporary seating commonly known as bleachers were similar to that used in the Formula One Grand Prix in Canada.

The big screen at the venue also provided a nice addition and the fans caught a glimpse of replays and the live action.

The replays of the 3rd umpire referrals however needs more looking into -- the replay appears on the giant screen prior to the 3rd umpire ruling and as a result the players and the spectators were aware of the outcome before the ruling.

(Click images to enlarge)

The bad

Tickets were priced at $35 on the first day of the tourney as opposed to the $40 general admission rates for the remainder of the tournament; even with Pakistan playing their first international match in months the turn out for the opening day was low. A sign perhaps of high priced tickets. One would know for certain on Saturday where the organisers expect a full house.

The spectators found that parking was an extra $10 -- travelling to King city via public transportation is not feasible. The car park is located on the premises it however is nothing but a muddy field. The images below show volunteers and event staff frantically digging out vehicles from the mud under foot -- the driveway has no paving or tar and the there is just one gate which serves as an entrance and exit.

TIP: Parking at Seneca College which is a 5 minute walk costs a flat rate of $4.50 it is a secure environment with gated access.

The presentation ceremony took an insane twist when the announcer called upon the winning captain to accept the prize money. Mahela Jayawadene and his team were nowhere to be found; The Sri Lankan team was escorted out by the organisers as the match ended and they were not aware of the presentation ceremony that was taking place. Ajantha Mendis eventually strolled out to collect his 'Man of the Match' award.

Organised Chaos at the post match presentation

The Ugly

I visited Maple Leaf Cricket ground on the 9th to see what kind of progress had been made, what I witnessed there was the ugly.

Moments after my arrival I noticed a gathering of people arguing and screaming - profanity being hurled in all directions. I could not help but let curiosity get the better of me, upon questioning an onlooker it became evident that members of the organising committee were having a verbal showdown with a group of volunteers who were brought in as event staff.

"They (organisers) made us drive all the way from Oakville and wanted us to lend a hand as volunteers for tomorrow, after making us wait outside in the cold for 3 hours now they are refusing to give us passes and say they don't need any more volunteers," claimed one of the ladies present.

"We have driven for hours to get here to help them -- we have taken time out of our own jobs and school to be treated like this and now they have locked us out in the cold with no explanation" said another.

It appears that some members of the organising committee had invited interested parties to volunteer as event staff - a group of 20 individuals had been instructed to come to the venue. Once at the venue they had been instructed to wait for a prolonged period of time before being asked to exit the building with no further instructions - hours passed and eventually some could no longer take the bitter cold or the step brotherly treatment and decided to confront the organisers.

The organisers claim they had too many volunteers - when it takes 4 men to dig a car out of a muddy ditch wouldn't you reckon 20 more volunteers who are willing to work for FREE would count as a blessing?

By Hilal

Like my work? Click here to vote for me as the Video Blogger of the year! Winners announced on the 16th of October 2008!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hathurusingha Concurs

Cubs Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has given his verdict on the tour to South Africa.

We concur Chandika.

Sri Lanka A's recent tour to South Africa has unearthed three potential players for the future, according to coach Chandika Hathurusingha.

Hathurusingha, who played 26 Tests and 35 ODIs for Sri Lanka, has identified allrounder Angelo Mathews, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal and opener Tharanga Paranavitana as possibilities to represent the senior side.

"What is so unique about them is that they are intelligent, pick things up very quickly, and they are quite matured for their age," Hathurusingha said. "They seek information and absorb it very quickly. They should go a long way."

Full article

We said.
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.

And as if to prove a point in the ODIs he smashed a further 394 runs at 91 in 5 innings. 3 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.

Full Article

By DamithS

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

[Video] Sri Lankan Cricket team arrive in Canada

The Sri Lankan Cricket team touched down at the Pearson International Airport this evening for the Al Barakah four-nation Twenty20 tournament.

By Hilal

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Monday, October 6, 2008

[Video] Malinda Warnapura 120 Vs West Indies, Guyana 2008

Malinda Warnapura loves the providence stadium in Guyana. He notched up a century and a half century during the warm up matches at the venue before scoring his maiden test century, that too in only his 3rd Test match. Malinda's test record is impeccable in seven Tests he averages 54.20 with two hundreds and four fifties.

by Hilal

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[Video] Chamara Kapugedera 63 (65) Vs Ruhuna 2007

Chamara's highest score in the 2007 Inter Provincial Limited Over tournament.

The lofted off drive - off speed merchant Lasith Malinga for six highlights the man's remarkable timing. He finished the tournament averaging an impressive 50.66 in 5 matches at a Strike rate of 100.66

By Hilal

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The 2 Tier system- a review

A year ago we saw the birth of the much debated Premier league tournament. The gist of the structure was that a two- tier system was to be implemented, with the last team in tier A are relegated to the lower tier B and the winner of tier B gets promoted to compete with the creme de le creme of Sri Lankan club cricket.

The league which split up the 20 clubs that currently play cricket in Sri Lanka, was devised to increase the competition between the clubs. Thus ensuring that the standard of the game increased, the gap between club and the intense international game was narrowed and Sri Lanka were well on their way to world domination.

But is it really working?

Last year Tier A was won by unquestionably the dynasty of Sri Lankan club cricket, SSC. There was stiff competition from Moors and Tamil Union but SSC prevailed to win a memorable treble. All the headlines naturally focus on Tier A as most of the best cricketers in the country are playing in that particular league.

In much of the same as Div 2 in the English county game, no one, except the teams playing in the lower league, actually care about the Tier B. Performances are often scuffed upon due to allegations and perceptions of a lower grade of cricket being played.

So then is it fair that only 1 team from the Tier B gets the chance to show their wares in Tier A every year?

Current Tier B champions, Sri Lanka Army, will definitely be upsetting the comfortably numb balance in Tier A this year. They won more games than SSC , they had more points than SSC and looking a major title challenger this year. Led by spin duo, Ajantha Mendis and Seekkuge Prasanna, the Armys strong point is in their bowling. Sadly now it seems that Mendis might miss most of the season due to international engagement. One thing is for certain, the Army boys will be chomping at the bit to have a go at their more prestigious colleagues.

What of the Panadura lads, who pipped at as a healthy runner up in Tier B. Once again with more points than Tier A no2, Moors. It seems almost unfair that a team that did not loose a game the whole season, who have out gunned, at least in terms of points their counter parts in Tier A, and clearly a better side than some of the teams hanging on in Tier A at the bottom, do not get a their chance.

Teams like Bloomfield, Ragama, Nondescript won less games than Panadura yet remain safely in Tier A, and more importantly within the peripheral vision of the selectors. It would come as no surprise that NON of the centrally contracted players for Sri Lanka come from a team outside Tier A. Mendis doesn’t have a central contract as yet. Once he does he might make a move to one of the Tier A teams in case he is forgotten.

So what does it all mean ?

Simple, more teams from Tier B need to get into Tier A.

Will they survive in the deep end? Maybe not.

Do they deserve their shot ? Sure as hell they do. Without a question.

Ideally at least 2 teams should get relegated or promoted. Maybe even 3 with a play off scenario. That is to say the 3rd and 4th from bottom in Tier A enter a end of season play off. The loser gets relegated. Winner stays on.

Similarly the 3rd and 4th teams in Tier B enter a play off. I suspect you can do the math from there.

This would ensure that Tier B teams would get a prime opportunity to engage in some real cricket, that people and selectors care about. The standard of Tier A will improve. The gap we talked about earlier will reduce.

Bowled by DamithS

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

[Video] Thilan Samaraweera 71 Vs Ruhuna 2007

As an offspinner, Thilan Samaraweera lived in the shadow of Muttiah Muralitharan during the early days, only sporadically playing in one-day matches. But since scoring a Test century on debut against India in August 2001, an innings that helped Sri Lanka to a 2-1 series win, he has carved out a reputation as a specialist Test batsman. An adhesive and well-organised player, he took a particular liking to his home ground, the SSC in Colombo, where he scored three centuries in his first six Tests. With the departure of Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Tillakaratne from the side, he has cemented his place in the middle order, where his patient and no-risks approach provides a useful counterpoint to his more flamboyant colleagues. Samaraweera has also impressed while leading the A team. Opportunities in the one-day team have been limited and he has been branded a Test specialist by the selectors. His steady off-spin is rarely used now, although he has a developing reputation as a partnership-breaker and clearly has the talent to become a more-than-useful support bowler. Inconsistent performances through 2006 resulted in him being dropped after the tour of England. He was recalled after more than a year for the tour of Australia. He announced his comeback on the tour of West Indies which followed, making a century and a fifty. He was back in the fray in the one-day squad when the probables for the Champions Trophy was announced. - Charlie Austin Cricinfo

Posted by Hilal

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Ambul Thiyal-Anga lets his hair down...

As you are no doubt well aware by now I have been banished to play in this A team..

Upon close inspection it was revealed that this was a clerical error. My name had been switched with another of my colleagues by mistake.

However, Ambul Thiyal-Anga is not one to complain and it gave me a great opportunity to show off my wares to these youngsters who are no doubt attempting to emulate me.

Having done just the same, I decided to let my hair down in the last match of the tour - secure in the knowledge that I had been picked to once again grace the world of international cricket with my presence!

It seemed the world had missed me.

And so they should... So they should....

When the time came for me to bat, my opening partner found me in the TV room, playing cricket 2007 with a fellow South African. Xbox rules!

I grabbed my bat, chucked on some pads, borrowed someone else’s gloves and walked out. Not for me the restraints of a thigh pad or helmet. Not today...

Today I will treat this crowd to an Ambul Special. One that they will not forget in a hurry and will live on in South African folklore for centuries.

Nay, eons.

I could sense the uneasiness of the bowler as a strode out with a serenity offered only to a legend like me. I smiled inward. ‘You wont know what hit you boys’ I think to my self.

The umpire asks me what guard I want.

‘Wont be needing one today sir’

He caught the glint in my eye briefly. He knew. Today was to be a special day. The umpire nods back at me.

He understood.

Briefly I inspect the fielders around me. A mental note is made. It is exact. There will be no hits to fielders today.

I nod to the bowler, I am ready.

It seems he is not. He knows also.

I smile inward.

The bowler runs in, instinctively my foot finds the line, the back lift immaculate, I ride the bounce. And leave the ball.

A bouncer to start. The cheek. He will be sorry.

The bowler runs in, it is wide off peg. I am in line in a split second. The sound of willow on leather echoes through out the ground. The ball is sent skyward. The crowd gasps.

“He will be sorry”
I think to my self.

I close my eyes to revel in the applause that are to come.

In that instant I see a fielder dive to his right, arms out stretched, he is air borne, his right arms grasps at the ball. It sticks in his finger tips.

The appeal follows

The dreaded finger comes up slowly, even the umpire is not sure. I stare at the fielder and umpire in turn in disbelief, it is no use.

I am out.

I stand there, bat in hand. Resolute. I hear the slow murmur of the crowd start to spread.

I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.

But that I could not.

Bowled by Damith S

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Friday, October 3, 2008

[Video] Shalika Karunanayake 5/58 Vs Basnahira South 2007

Karunanayake made his one-day debut for Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club when he was 16 and his first-class debut a season later. He represented Sri Lanka at Under-15 level and quickly became a key player in their Under-19 squad. On the 2005 tour of England he made 58 batting at No. 10, in a one-day international at Old Trafford, to confirm his all-round talent, followed by a five-wicket haul in the second Test at Scarborough. - Andrew McGlashan for Cricinfo

Player profile (Cricinfo)

By Hilal

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