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AUSTRALIA’S TOUR OF SRI LANKA, 2022 – Strife hit Sri Lanka banks hopes on Australia’s tour



The worsening economic and political situation in Sri Lanka has cast doubts over Australia’s tour to the country next month although both Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Cricket Australia (CA) are maintaining that the month-long series will go ahead.”At present the tour will go on as planned. We will be looking at the developments in the next couple of days and decide what to do,” Mohan de Silva, the secretary of SLC, told Cricbuzz on Wednesday (May 4).Australia are to play three T20Is, five ODIs and two Tests from June 7 to July 12.The uncertainty, which even the SLC official is conceding, is because of the situation at ground zero. There has been an acute shortage of essentials, fuel, food stocks; the people are having to experience long hours of power outage. There was a 12-hour power cut last month but the condition has seemingly improved with a fluctuating scenario of three hours, give or take. There was no power cut on May Day.In that backdrop, there were questions if the SLC should have the day-night games in the first place with a few stakeholders of the SLC of the view that the white-ball games could be converted into day games. De Silva said a call will be taken on that soon, but an SLC official said the board is not dependent on the national grid.

“We have our own generators and we don’t depend on the government’s power. It will be a different case if there is a fuel shortage,” said Charith Senanayake, a former manager of the Sri Lanka national team. “The political situation has no bearing on the game and the SLC is always apolitical.”

The SLC is also planning to start its full-fledged domestic season on May 22.

“Whether day or day-night game is up to the host nation,” said a spokesman of the CA confirming that the tour will take place. “There is no change to the status of the tour. Our head of security confirms that there are no concerns about the tour proceeding as scheduled from either side. The squad will arrive in Sri Lanka in June.”

The option of moving the series out of Sri Lanka was considered but UAE is not the right place for cricket in June-July because of extreme heat.The CA and SLC assurances notwithstanding, Cricbuzz can confirm that both boards have expressed apprehensions internally with their stakeholders saying a lot will depend on how the situation pans out going forward in the next 30 days.

“One month is too long a time to predict anything because we do know what will happen in the next week. Like in any civil unrest, life moves on and that is happening in Sri Lanka too. The country has gone bankrupt and the political situation is volatile and unclear. The political activists are agitating outside the president’s office but I don’t think he is anyway concerned.

“The law enforcing authorities, with their past experience, are accommodating and there is no unrest on the streets. The people are listening to music at home and they will watch cricket too. But it will take one insane person to disturb the quietness, so we can’t predict what will be the state of affairs when the series is scheduled to begin in a month ,” says Colombo-based Malinda Seneviratne, a political analyst.The series is important for the cash-strapped SLC. The overseas value of the tour is about USD 2 million. The internal media rights worth would be of about USD 300,000 and through ground advertisements and other sources of income, the Lanka Board can raise up to USD 3 million overall. But the production outlay would be just as high too. At the end of the series, the SLC could be left with USD 1 million revenue, substantial amount by all means considering that the country is left with only $50 million foreign exchange.


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Dushmantha Chameera’s four wickets leads bowlers’ party as Sri Lanka wrap up series




Dushmantha Chameera finished with 4 for 63

Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara blasted out Afghanistan’s top order, the spinners took care of the lower order, and then Sri Lanka’s top three raced to the target of 117 in 16 overs. It wasn’t much of a workout ahead of the World Cup Qualifier, which starts on June 19; but having lost the first match of this series, the resounding nature of their victories to end the series will nevertheless give Sri Lanka some confidence.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 120 for 1 (Dimuth Karunaratne 56*, Pathum Nissanka 51; Gulbadin Naib 1-19) beat Afghanistan 116 (Ibrahim Zadran 22,Mohammed Nabi 23, Gulbadin Naib 20; Dushmantha Chameera 4-63, Wanidu Hasaranga 3-7) by nine wickets

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Novak Djokovic & Carlos Alcaraz to meet in French Open 2023 semi-finals




Carlos Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title at the 2022 US Open (pic BBC)

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz will face Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals after crushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up the highly anticipated clash.

Spain’s Alcaraz, 20, won 6-2 6-1 7-6 (7-5) against the Greek fifth seed.

Serbia’s Djokovic survived a quarter-final scare from Karen Khachanov to keep his bid for a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles title alive.  Djokovic, 36, was in danger of falling two sets behind against the Russian but prevailed 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-4.

The third seed could become the first man to win all four majors at least three times. But if he is going to do that he must come through his toughest test yet when he meets US Open champion Alcaraz in the last four on Friday.

(BBC Sports)

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Sri Lanka confident World Cup qualifiers will go well



Angelo Mathews bats during training at Suriyawewa ahead of the third ODI against Afghanistan.

Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa

Having failed to qualify automatically for the World Cup later this year, Sri Lanka will be flying shortly to Zimbabwe to secure one of the two remaining slots for the sport’s showpiece event. But before that they have got to finish off the ODI series against Afghanistan and the former champions will be hoping that they will be able to clinch the series prior to flying off to Harare.

After losing the first ODI by six wickets, Sri Lanka bounced back to square the series with a 132-run win on Sunday. That was a match where they basically produced the perfect game and ticked all the boxes.

The top order gave a solid start before the middle order capitalized on it and the lower middle order finished things off in style scoring 109 runs from the last ten overs. Sri Lanka piled up 323 for six and Afghanistan were never in the hunt as they were shot out for 191.

“The last game was a perfect exhibition of our plans. Everything was executed well. Since we had wickets in hand we could take risks. We could double the score and that was the plan. That’s what we want to do,” Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Naveed Nawaz told journalists.

Prior to this series, we had a free period and we worked a lot on players’ fitness at the High-Performance Center. During this series we brought in a dietician and planned our food patterns. There is also a psychologist around. This is all done in a bid to establish whatever we have lost in the last few years,” Nawaz added.

While Sri Lanka are fretting over World Cup qualifications, there’s no such trouble for Afghanistan. Their captain Hashmatullah Shahidi told journalists that they will be one of the dark horses during the World Cup.

“Our ratings are improving day by day and match by match. We believe that we can do something special in this World Cup. We will be one of the best teams in the World Cup. We are the dark horses. The Asian conditions will suit our spin bowlers and we are excited,” Hashmatullah Shahidi said.

For today’s series decider leg-spinner Rashid Khan is expected to make a comeback having missed the first two ODIs due to a back injury.

“He is obviously our star performer. We didn’t want to take any risks with him as we have the Asia Cup and the World Cup. We will assess his situation during training and make a call whether he is ready to feature in the final game. It will mean a lot to us to come here to Sri Lanka and beat them in their own backyard,” the Afghan captain said.

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