Island Cricket

Friday, November 28, 2008

[Video] Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at Harare - 3rd ODI - 2008

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mahela wins a game with his brain

Yesterday's game could have gone horribly wrong for Sri Lanka. It didn’t.

If anyone deserves a pat on the back for the that tantalizing win it should be Mahela.

10 to win off the last over.

Mahela calls up Thilan Thushara and hands him the ball. I watched Mahelas body language at this point, wondering what was going through his mind. With So much drama back home with the media, Arjuna and his players. Here he was, stuck in a country where he probably didn't want to be in. Playing a team he probably dint want to be playing. Getting out for 4 against bowlers he could probably play in his sleep.

His team was about to lose to the lowest ranked team in international cricket. And he was about to make a calamitous mistake.

I watched him put the ball in Thilans hand. Talk to him about field placings and from his gestures I could see he was thinking the same thing I was.

The Zimbabweans were flashing their bats at everything, with the added pace there was a big chance of someone getting an edge behind the keeper that went for four.

So he did what any good captain would do, he asked himself that all important question that will now be the yardstick for every captain in international cricket

“What would Ricky Ponting do?”.

Mahela went into that zombie pose of his. You know the one, where he stares at the ground like his trying to do a long division sum.

He got his answer. Ponting would bowl Thilan. Of course the trick to the question is, once you know what Ponting would do, you do the exact opposite.

Murali had an over in hand, Mahela changed his mind and threw the ball to him

Sri Lanka win by 5 runs.

Decisions like those change games. Its good to know that Mahelas head is still grounded and is thinking clearly.

by DamithS

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Monday, November 24, 2008

[Video] Muttiah Muralitharan - KFC commercial

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cricinfo's website management contract in Sri Lanka will not be renewed

Sri Lanka Cricket has chosen not to renew Cricinfo's website management contract in Sri Lanka. The contract is to be handed over to PixelTray which is a subsidiary of the Maharaja Group. It is rumoured that Arjuna Ranatunga chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee has close ties with the Maharaja Group.

Cricinfo managed a database of over 400 players in Sri Lanka and provided live scorecards and ball by ball coverage of Sri Lanka's premier league tournament.

By Hilal

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mendis more dangerous than Murali - Utseya

Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya speaking to media on the eve of their five-match one-day series believes that Mendis is more a threat than Murali.

"We were lucky to play Mendis in a four-day game and we have an idea of what to expect from him," Utseya told reporters on Wednesday.

"Murali didn't play in that warm-up game, but I don't think he's as effective as Mendis. But basically it's all about us reacting to whatever they dish out."

Early this week Zimbabwe-A skittled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 235 in 48 overs. Contributions from Jehan Mubarak(88*) and Upul Tharanga(71) saved the Lankans from total embarrassment.

By Hilal Suhaib

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Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe Preview

Sri Lanka enters its summer of minnow trumping with 5 ODIs against the Zimbabweans.

We followed the progress of the Lankans in the warm up game leading up to the series here.

If ever there was a one sided contest this would beat the crap out of that series and then stamp on its throat until its jugular split open and left it tasting its own blood.

I will chastise Sri Lanka if we do not win this series with thumping performances in every game.


Sri Lanka- Strong

The absence of the great Sanath will not be missed as Sri Lanka are in the able hands of Mahela and Sangakkara to lead the charges.

The one good thing about this series is that its given the selectors a chance to blood some of the youngster who were making a name for themselves in the A team to show their wares in the international game.

Comeback kid Upul Tharanga will be looking to seal his spot in the team with some good performances.

Partnering him will be young Mahela Udawatte.

A fine stroke maker who tends to loose the plot when the ball moves around a bit. Udawatte will be fighting for the openers slot with Upul when Sanath does return so this will be a mini battle that will keep me interested.

The middle order is where the Sri Lankans are at their strongest. Sangakkara and Mahela have been under immense pressure in the media back home. This will give them a chance to put those things aside and rattle up the runs. It will be interesting to see if these two have been mentally affected by any of these issues.

Thilina Kandamby makes a welcome return to the team. Currently captaining the SL A team, Kandamby has been in devastating form with the bat for the A team as well as his club.

A consistent performance through out the series will do his claims for a test spot as well as securing a permanent spot in the ODI team no end of good. Specially now that Chamara Silva and Dilshan cant hit the ball off the square if their life depended on it.

Zimbabwe- Like a knife through butter.

The burden fell on Chikinbura, Matsikenyeri and Masakadza when things fell apart in Zimbabwe.

Young and inexperienced it will be a very tough task for these young players to make any sort of impact against a formidable Sri Lankan attack.

With talisman Taibu in doubt for most of the series, the Zimbabwe batsmen are up against an almighty battle.


Sri Lanka- Its all about Splendid.

Yes, Ajantha Mendis will be looking to break all sorts of records when he gets the ball in his hands, or should we say fingers.

I had to contain my self from not making this another post entirely about him, but having had a look in at the warm up game where he picked up 8 wickets, with his eyes closed, Splendid will be the main threat to the Zimbabweans.

How many wickets will he get. I’m going with 25+,

Provided they get past- Dammika Prasad and Thilan Thushara. Thushara has been quite the revelation with bat and ball. With Chaminda Vass not playing this gives these young quicks a rare opportunity to give the selectors a headache.

Oh and then there some guy called Murali who some say is quite useful.

Zimbabwe-unknown quantity

Elton Chigumbura medium pace will be an important part of how well the Zimbabweans tame the Sri Lankan firepower.

The new ball should fall to Mupariwa, who has been impressive in his short ODI career to date. If he can nip out a few Sri Lankans early then things might get a little interesting in Harare.

One to Watch

Angelo Matthews

21, bursting with talent and raring to go in the national team.

Its funny how the Asian teams blood their youngsters so early in their careers. But Matthews has been in the big leagues since 16 when he played for the U19 team.

Following a magnificent time in SA. Matthews will look to seal his spot in the middle order with some good performances. As an added advantage he can bowl some medium pacers as well.

Elton Chigumbura

-In a side with next to no hope of winning, Elton stands out as a promising medium pacer who can deliver the goods against the big teams.

Zimbabwe will depend on him quite a bit if they are to avoid a drubbing.



To Sri Lanka.(In case anyone is confused)

by DamithS

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sri Lanka to tour Bangladesh in December

The tour to Bangladesh will include two Test matches and a series of ODI matches in a Tri-series which also includes Zimbabwe.

1st Test - December 25th 2008.
2nd Test - January 3rd 2008.

The triangular tournament begins on January 10.

By Hilal

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

'We were given assurances that no tours would be added to Sri Lanka’s FTP that would clash with dates for the IPL' - Mahela

In a letter to The Island publication Mahela Jayawardena reveals that SLC had assured the players tours outside of the ICC's Future Tours Program will be scheduled in a manner that it will not clash with the 2009 and 2010 seasons of the Indian Premier League.

We had a meeting on 12 June, weeks before the ECB offered an England tour, with SLC Chairman, Chief Executive, Interim Committee members, SLCA representatives and several senior members of the Sri Lanka National squad in which we openly discussed our three-year IPL contracts and were give assurances that no future tours would be added to Sri Lanka’s Future Tours Program (FTP) that would clash with dates for the IPL in 2009 and 2010. At the same meeting, the players also committed to playing over 75% of the Provincial Cricket and also accepting a central contract salary freeze in lieu of our availability for the IPL. - The Island

Posted by Hilal

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SLC Junior High

Yesterday at around noon, Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara become victims of another vicious attack by the play ground bullies. The bullies threw their toys on the floor and chucked their lunches into the sandbox.

Mahela and Kumar had been so looking forward to their chicken sandwiches but had to go home in tears.

When the PTA meeting was called to find out why these two are being bullied so much, Mahela's rich dad and mommy showed up in raging anger.

They asked the rest of the parents "Why are you abusing our son ? Just because he is the captain of the cricket team it does not mean you can bully him like this.

He is a very sensitive boy and his feelings have been deeply hurt."

When a heckler made a comment about the size of Mahelas eyebrows, Mahela started weeping and cried out for his mother.

At this point, Kumar's father stepped in "Listen here, I am Kumars father and I am a very important man and I know more big words than Kumar, so you will listen to what I say.

Our boys just want to play cricket for their country in a peaceful manner. Why are you sending them bouncer after bouncer like this. It is wrong..". As his voice got groggy and eyes started to well up, his wife put a loving arm around him and his son and asked who ever it was to own up.

It was then that Rex's dad stood up.

"Ok fine, it was my son. But you know why no body likes your son?"

"You say he is the captain of our team but we found out he has been secretly playing for the team across the road"

"Has he no sense of loyalty or does he only care about maximising his profit making opportunities". said Rex's dad.

"My son bullied your son and I'm proud of it.". Rex stood up at this point, beaming.

The rest of the parents yelled "Amen to that !!".

Kumar and Mahela clung to each other, sobbing uncontrollably, snot and drool wetting their tight fitted t-shirts.

"Please just leave us alone...we just want to play cricket....sob...we only wanted to make some that so wrong..sob..sob...".

"It was Arjuna who told us we could play for the other team".

It was then that, Jabba the hut, Arjuna's dad, said "My son said no such thing ! How dare you little rich rascals accuse my son !"

Someone throws a chair at Jabba the hut, which bounces off his belly and hits Rex square in the face. Who throws a rotten tomato at Kumar and Mahela.

A fight breaks out...

Thus ends another day at SLC Junior High.

by DamithS

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

[Video] Muttiah Muralitharan bowling with an arm brace

In 2004 Murali voluntarily performed a series of tests with live video cameras. Micheal Slater and Ravi Shastri witnessed it all unfold. Murali showed he could bowl all his deliveries including the Doosra with a brace on his elbow. The brace prevented any straightening of the elbow.

By Hilal

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Jayasuriya heads to South Africa

Sanath Jayasuriya will touch down on South African soil on Thursday the 13th of November. Jayasuriya is in South Africa as the Dolphins overseas signing. Sanath's first match of the season will be against The Lions in Potchefstroom, on Friday(14).

The first of the MTN Domestic Championship matches start this week with the Nashua Dolphins playing the bizhub Highveld Lions in Senwes Park on Friday 14 November 2008.

An exciting addition to the squad, is the renowned Sri-Lankan batsman, Sanath Jayasuriya, who will make his debut playing for the Dolphins in this 45-over game. - Dolphins.

by hilal

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Monday, November 10, 2008

[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 48 Vs India 2000

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Sri Lankans arrive in Zimbabwe

The Chronicle in Zimbabwe reports of team Sri Lanka's arrival at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport. Click here for the full news report, a few excerpts below.
They arrived in two batches at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport. The first batch, which included captain Mahela Jayewardene, his deputy Kumar Sangakkara, Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Ajantha Mendis, Muthiah Muralitharan and Upul Tharanga arrived at 1pm.

The second group with 14 players and officials touched the ground later in the afternoon.

The Sunday News of Zimbabwe reports of how Cricket fans in Bulawayo have been 'robbed' of an opportunity to watch the series after organisers moved all 5 ODIs to Harare for logistical reasons. Click here for the full story.

Bulawayo fans have been reduced to watching mere warm up matches and will not get an opportunity to watch stars like spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, new kid on the block Ajantha Mendis and Lasith “Slinger” Malinga in action.

It seems the “Bambazonke” mentality – the belief that the best facilities and best journalists are in Harare - is not only at the Zimbabwe Football Association but has also crept into other sports as well.

Posted by Hilal

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Players speaks out on SLC - IPL conundrum

Arjuna's comments against the players' sports agents, and his suggestion that the SLC will eventually be the sole representative of all national players has not gone down too well with the players.

Secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers Association (SLCA) Graeme Labrooy termed this move as a direct intervening by the SLC on the players’ fundamental rights.
“It is the choice of the individual players to ascertain as to who is to be his manager. Managers for various sportsmen have been around for well over the past four decades handling various aspects of their careers. Some sportsmen even have their own media managers,” he said. - Sunday Times
Labrooy stated that the job of the sport's agent was to market the player and also ensure the player has financial income long after the player's days as a national sportsman has ended. “For this, every single sportsman has the right to choose his own manager,” said Labrooy.

In another twist to the story Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara were part of a press conference in which the players spoke out in regards to an article published by the local press. Some quarters in the media claimed the players duped the public and the sports minister in claiming the SLC was aware of their 3 year IPL contracts when they agreed to the tour of England. The SLC claiming no knowledge of a 3 year deal subsequently issued a press statement which claimed the players had only received a 1 year no objection certificate to take part in the inaugural season of the IPL.

"Yes, we were auctioned (with IPL) for three years. We were auctioned at a certain price and every single player who played in the IPL signed a three year contract," said Sangakkara. - PTI
Sangakkara made it clear that the SLC knew of the 3 year contract with the IPL but the players only sought clearance for 2008 as they were only bound by annual contracts with Sri Lanka Cricket.
"The SLC knew that we had signed a three-year contract, but our contract with the SLC are yearly contracts," Sangakkara said on Thursday.

"I was very perturbed by what went on in these months as a player. You always try as player to stay away from controversy, to do what is right and to play our cricket in peace," he said.

"But there was an article in a newspaper under the heading 'did the country's top cricketers dupe the public and the government'. (The article also published the letter written by Jayawardene and the SLC)."

"There are certain things that we can ignore and take and even though we worry about it basically (we are) not making any comments. But we may be accused of misleading the public and the government of Sri Lanka. I think it is time to clear that," Sangakkara said. - PTI
by Hilal Suhaib

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[Video] Hong Kong Sixes - Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan

Plate Semi-Final: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Kowloon - Nov 9, 2008

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[Video] Understanding Muttiah - Murali - Muralitharan

By Hilal

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Gilchrist has tarnished his own image - Marvan Atapattu

Former Sri Lankan skipper Marvan Atapattu speaking to the Press Trust of India has hit back at Adam Gilchrist for calling Murali a 'chucker'. Atapattu called it attention seeking tactics.

"I think this is an absurd thing to say. ICC did the right thing by supporting Murali and it was their decision. There was no pressure from the Sri Lankan Board nor did they threaten to give racial colour to the episode," Atapattu told PTI.

"Everyone has his own opinion and is free to express it. But if someone says something bad about great players like Murali and Sachin (Tendulkar), it won't change anything. They are great players and have served the game well so one should not pay heed to something, which is said deliberately just to draw attention," - Atapattu.

Posted by Hilal

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[Video] Exposing Adam Gilchrist's True Colours

You may pause the video at any time to read at your own pace.

The purpose of this video is to fact check Adam Gilchrist's allegations in his autobiography. The following links are unbiased news sources which were used to verify Gilchrist's claims.

Click here to see Murali bowling with an arm brace which prevents any straightening!

ICC defends 'chucking' procedures - BBC

Bowling Report — Mr. Muttiah Muralitharan - The Hindu

ICC study reveals that 99% chuck - Wisden Cricinfo

Brace yourselves for new footage that may prove Murali's not bending the law - Sydney Morning Herald

By Hilal

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

[Video] Spectacular run out | Dravid - Jayasuriya

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Not the first time this has happened to an Indian Batsman. Sehwag was run out in similar fashion not creasing his bat. To Sehwag's credit [NOT] he had his back turned to the fielder. Click here to see that dismissal.

by Hilal

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Arjuna Vs The Cricket Mafia

Lets look at some facts

-SLC is running at a 600 million rupee bank over draft.

-SLC sets up a potentially money earning series with England and the ECB for May 2009 to help in their financial troubles.

-Which clashed with the IPL also set for May 2009, meaning most of the big names from SL would miss the 2nd IPL season.

-The ‘Players picking IPL over country’ debate begins.

-Lalit Modi and BCCI have were going to have none of this and set up a 70mil dollar deal for the SLC, over ten years for letting the SL players take part in the IPL and the Champions League.

-Arjuna meanwhile goes on a trigger happy crusade against the IPL 2020, calling it nothing more than instant noodles - which we must all agree is one of the best analogies ever made.

-Arjuna then goes on to blame the IPL 2020 for India losing the test series in SL.

BCCI and Lalit Modi start to dislike Arjuna

-ECB’s David Morgan says SLC’s agreement with the BCCI over the 70mil is ‘unacceptable’ stating the ICC reaffirmed that Test Cricket was to be the number 1 priority for the boards.

-Arjuna says the English test series will go ahead.

-And then does the unthinkable and lifts the ban on ICL players playing domestic cricket in SL.

BCCI and Modis dislike Arjuna even more.

-Modi and BCCI say the deal will not go ahead if Arjuna is around.

-Threatens to cut bi-lateral ties with SL.

-Hints it can “buy off” any Sri Lankan player if it wants to.

Dead Lock.

The message is clear. India control the money and they have the power. They are kinda like the Mafia of the cricketing world right now. Threatening to bump off or buy off anyone who dares to go against them. Their reach is growing and its all about muscling out who ever they want to, to make as much money as possible.

India’s reputation of threatening to cut ties, boycott series and tours is growing. They exercised this power in Australia- Got their way.

They are doing the same with lowly SLC- surely they will win this time as well.

Arjuna is caught in the middle. He needs to make money for the SLC. Please the ECB, Please the BCCI and the IPL and his players all at the same time. That will never happen.

We argue a lot over the fact that cricket is only about the money these days. In this case- it HAS to be about the money. SLC needs money and its quite obvious that the most amount of money will flow from the IPL and the BCCI at the moment.

When Arjuna came into power I thought it would be a good thing. He always spoke about how the game in SL needs to improve to play with the big teams around the world. He seemed to have a vision.

But somewhere between his triple up sized breakfasts and predicting India will win the 2007 WC, he seems to have lost his mind.

The IPL and the BCCI don’t care about cricket, they care about Break Even points and balance sheets and we are nothing but a small country in Political turmoil and financial crisis. When big brother offers a hand this big I think we ought to take it.

The England series was never in the schedule. Arjuna dug him self a hole by hastily arranging it. And although I was ecstatic that we would tour England again and annoyed that players seemed to be picking the IPL over the country on hindsight you have to try and see the bigger picture.

The big picture is that the IPL will give the SLC more money over a longer period of time than one test series in England ever could. What Arjuna should have done instead of shooting his potty mouth is to have initiated discussions with the BCCI and IPL regarding the participation fees he claims the SLC never got.

And SLC needs money.

Its strange because ONLY the SLC have publicly announced that they did not get any fee. Were the other boards given this money and SLC ignored ?

Arjuna is not a business minded man, he has a big ego and does not enjoy anyone going against him. He is revered in SL cricketing circles because of what he achieved as a player. And he enjoys using that power to get his way to the front of the buffet line- so to speak.

But he is clearly not the man to lead the SLC, he runs his mouth which makes the board and the country look bad.

If I were Arjuna I would step down , because that would be in the interest of cricket in Sri Lanka. It is however unlikely and as long as he heads the board Sri Lankan cricket will be in turmoil in one way or the other.

by DamithS

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Adam Gilchrist's feeble attempt at selling his autobiography

What better way to market your own autobiography than to feed the Aussie public's dislike towards sub- continental cricketers? The publishers of any cricket autobiography - from down under - would warrant some form of controversy or who would buy a book on Adam Gilchrist's life story barring a few hardcore fans?

Thus far his book has been marred with controversial claims and name calling. Initially Accusing Sachin Tendulkar of unsportsmanlike conduct and being dishonest and now calling Murali a Chucker. What better way to sell a book than to call Test Cricket's highest wicket taker - Pariah to all oblivious Aussies - muttiah muralitharan a chucker? The direct excerpts of his book and Gilchrist's statements show that he has not an iota of knowledge behind the tests which cleared Murali or the subject.

Understanding Murali's action - Sky News

Cricinfo quoted Gilchrist as saying "the argument that Murali's suspect action was an optical illusion was legally correct, it was a direct attack to the spirit of the game". It is evidently OK to disregard scientific evidence and fact to defame another sportsman to sell your own book, all that apparently is well within the spirit of the game.

Muralitharan's action not clean - Gilchrist

Gilly goes on to fuel more conspiracy theories in his autobiography ironically titled True Colours by claiming that Murali - a cricketer from a poor third world Island nation - " seemed to enjoy a kind of political protection." I don't blame Gilchrist for mistaking Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans for India. The all powerful Indian board may seem to get it's way in today's cricketing world but Murali was in no means cleared by asian authorities nor was he cleared due to any political influence.

Ian Chappel's view on Murali's action

If you read my post titled Muttiah Murali Muralitharan | Debunking The Urban Legend you will know that the the suggestions to amend the chucking laws came from non other than the scientist from the University of Western Australia and a six man panel which included the likes of Tim May (AUS) and Micheal Holding (WI). The rule change was also authorised by the MCC.

ICC defends 'chucking' procedures

Gilchrist called the rule change "horse crap" and said the situation had reached an absurd point where the laws were changed to accommodate Murali. "When I heard that the rules would now allow degree of straightening - 15 degrees to be exact, a fraction more than Murali's straightening had been measured at - I thought 'That's a load of horse crap. That's rubbish." - Cricinfo

What Adam clearly does not seem to know is that 15 degrees is the point that the human eye can detect any flexation or jerk in the bowling action. One does not expect athletes to know much about science or dwell deeply into facts. Therefore it doesn't surprise me to hear Gilchrit's opinion on Murali's action. It however would make for one hell of a defamation case in a court of law considering Murali has the game's governing body, prominent Australian bio-mechanist and the MCC on his side. For too long has Murali remained quiet when others have utilised him as a pawn to gain media attention and for commercial gain.

By Hilal

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Monday, November 3, 2008

[Video] Avishka Gunawardene 57 Vs Pakistan 2001


He timed the balled crisply on a flat Sharjah track, on his way to 57 against Pakistan in the 2001 Khaleej Times trophy.

by Hilal

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Canada put to shame by the antics of Tamil Tigers

This being a sports Blog I chose not to give this story any mileage when it first took place what changed my mind was Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardena's entry in his tour diary. The tour diary can be found on his official website located here. Mahela talks of Sri Lanka's first cricket tour to Canada.

"The one sour note in the trip was when the tour bus was stopped by LTTE protesters and eggs and stones were thrown at us," writes Mahela on the tour diary.

"We are sportsman and we dont want to get involved in politics. We tried to just forget about it, but it was a bit upsetting," he added.

Mahela is right. Sportsman are not responsible for politics or the actions of their government. Team Sri lanka represents all Sri lankans regardless of caste, creed, race or religion. Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan an ethnic Tamil is a Sri Lankan sporting icon and is considered a national hero by all.

This is not the first time that international sportsman have been targeted by extremists. How could one forget the Munich massacre back in 1972? Members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered by a militant group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization. This incident in King City, Ontario however is a first on Canadian soil - where an international sports team was attacked due to the lack of security provided by the Canadian police and the event organisers. As the story goes the team manager Nishantha Ranatunga called police for assistance from within the tour bus.

At the Maple Leaf Cricket Ground Sri Lankans of all ethnic backgrounds including many moderate Tamils celebrated Sri Lanka's victory. Alas, it only took the deeds of a few to put all of Canada to shame.

by Hilal

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[Video] Charitha Buddhika Fernando clean bowls Mohammad Yousuf

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by Hilal

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Modi Vs Ranatunga

Lalit Modi's abrasive and confrontational approach is fuel to the fire for a bloke like Arjuna Ranatunga. Recent media reports stated that Lalit modi had withdrawn a lucrative financial deal between IPL and SLC due to comments made by Arjuna Ranatunga. Modi claimed the comments were damaging to the Indian Premier League.

Earlier Modi and Co offered SLC a lucrative package in order to secure the participation of Sri Lanka's top cricketers in the IPL, this subsequently led SLC to postpone a tour of England. Modi then pulled out of the proposed dealing with SLC claiming SLC chairman Ranatunga's comments were hurting the IPL and the BCCI. The BCCI then chose to 'put a hold' on future tours to Sri Lanka scheduled outside of the ICC's future tours programme.

Sri Lanka Cricket gains nothing financially by allowing it's players to take part in the IPL - the cash strapped board regularly sets up tours outside of the ICC's future tours programme in order to fund it's development. As such the last minute tour of England which collided with the second season of IPL was not something that was constructed by Ranatunga due to his disliking for T20 Cricket. It was more a genuine attempt to fund a cricket board running on it's bank over draft.

Ranatunga has been quoted in recent media reports stating that SLC lost 3 Million USD due to the IPL- Clearly he has scant regard for Modi's opinion and he doesn't mind making statements that are detrimental to the IPL.
"The SLC would have got USD 3 million including USD 2 million for TV rights which we have been deprived off as our senior players are contracted to play for the Indian Premier League and our tour to England has been cancelled," Ranatunga told PTI.

He said it was "unfair" the SLC does not gain any money for releasing its players for the IPL even while agents get commissions from the fee paid to players taking part in the BCCI-backed tournament.

"One thing the players should remember is that they are employees of SLC. Every year, we sign about 40 cricketers from the national and 'A' teams. We give them very attractive contracts.

"It is SLC that looks after the players from the junior level and brings them to the level of national cricket by spending a lot of money. SLC should get some money from these cricketers rather than allow them to make payments to some outside agent.

"This way, we will safeguard our cricketers and make use of the money for cricket development," - PTI
Unlike Cricket Australia which bent over backwards to accommodate the BCCI and it's boorish ways Sri Lanka cricket will not. This is a certainty with someone like Ranatunga at the helm - in his playing days and as captain of Sri Lanka Ranatunga always stood firm in what he believed was the best option for Sri Lanka cricket. This time wont be any different.

He has already spoken of doing away with 3rd parties who act as the players Sports Agents. Ranatunga claims the agents stand to gain more by signing the players up for tournaments like the IPL when the SLC looses out. More importantly Ranatunga will have more control over player participation in tournaments like the IPL.
“We are going to help the players by being their agent from next year. At the moment various individuals who have no connection with the development of cricket are lurking in the shadows and grab the players to become their agent. They make a cool ten percent commission by exploiting the player. We are hoping to a put a stop to it” said Ranatunga.

“SLC is bringing the player up to the international level by supporting them from the grassroot level. So, it is only just that SLC should get a commission if there is any. We have planned this as a mode of income generation for the next year” explained Ranatunga.
It is clear that Ranatunga will eventually even the playing field with Lalit Modi and Modi may have to reconsider his stance with SLC if he wishes Sri Lankan participation in the event.

"Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL," Modi said speaking to Cricinfo earlier today.
"Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL," Modi told Cricinfo. "At a meeting held in Bangkok a few weeks ago where BCCI officials met the Sri Lankan management - both board and government representatives - the BCCI secretary (N Srinivasan) had clearly pointed out that it had no idea why such hostility exists. We are looking for answers. We hope to find a solution which is beneficial to both boards at the earliest. The officials were also quite perturbed that the situation had escalated to where it is today and were also looking for answers."
Modi and the BCCI seem to have this preconceived notion that Sri Lanka agreed to tour England due to Ranatunga's disliking for the IPL. As I mentioned previously SLC has always planned tours in haste in order to fund it's cricket. Sri Lanka's ODI series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi after a gruelling World Cup 2007 campaign springs to mind. Not to mention the ODI series tour to Netherlands following a long tour of England. Furthermore the SLC has always maintained that it had cleared it's players for the first season of IPL - SLC claims they never authorised a three year contract which the players have subsequently signed into.

This stand off between Modi and Ranatunga may hurt the players income significantly and the players stand to loose out the most. Sri Lanka Cricket's pay package is barely lucrative in this day and age, the players require their agent's assistance to source sponsors and much needed revenue. The IPL has always maintained that it's tournament is no place for retired cricketers for it does not want to be the reason behind a mass exodus with players leaving International cricket for the IPL - so an early retirement is not an option. It will be interesting to see how all this will pan out. One would hope that for the sake of our sport that Modi and the BCCI comes back to the discussion table to bring some life in to their defunct proposal.

By Hilal

Sri Lanka Cricket

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