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Court moved to restructure SLC’s governing and voting structure 



Four former Presidents of Sri Lanka Cricket; Ana Punchihewa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Vijaya Malalasekara and Sidath Wettimuny along with some prominent and well respected individuals moved the Appeal Court to change the governance and voting structure of Sri Lanka Cricket. 

by Rex Clementine 

Sri Lanka Cricket hierarchy that came in for a severe censure last week by the Parliamentary watchdog COPE has received another blow with a group of well respected individuals moving the Appeal Court requesting for a restructure of the governance and voting structure of Sri Lanka Cricket. 

The group of petitioners includes some high profile individuals like world’s highest wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, former SLC Presidents Ana Punchihewa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Sidath Wettimuny, former captain Michael Tissera, Sri Lanka’s former High Commissioner to Australia S. Skandakumar, eminent President’s Counsel Dinal Philips and many others. 

The petitioners point out that cricket is now a million dollar business and the alarming decline of the sport in Sri Lanka can be only addressed through a complete revamp. 

It has been pointed out that a new constitution needs to be put in place for cricket with the support of the ICC bringing independence, integrity, transparency and accountability.

The petition has gone onto prove that the government can be told to act with regards to the sports body through an intervention of judiciary as it happened in India whereas a direct involvement by the government could result in the suspension of SLC by the ICC like it happened in Zimbabwe.  

The well researched petition goes onto show that from the 1st of January 2016 to 31st January 2021, the national cricket team has lost 118 of the 194 international matches they have been involved in with a winning percentage of 30%. The root cause of the decline in the sport is poor governance, it has been argued.  

The petition goes onto show that the system we have in place encourages office bearers of SLC to satisfy the clubs – their vote base and further points out that that SLC is a body of the clubs, by the clubs, for the clubs.  A more appropriate name for SLC, the petition says, would be Cricket Clubs of Sri Lanka (CCSL). 

On gender equality it has been pointed out that the national female population is 52% but the role of women in governance of the sport is zero. 

Several former greats have pointed out that a diluted First Class tournament is not helping cricket in Sri Lanka but SLC has failed to act as reduction of First Class teams would anger their vote base; clubs. It is strange that how for a population of 22 million Sri Lanka has a monumental 24 First Class teams and comparatively for a population of 25 million, Australia has just six First Class teams. 

Another pertinent point to come out of the petition is how India with a population of 1.3 billion has a vote base of just 38 whereas with a population of 22 million, Sri Lanka has 146 votes at the cricket elections. 

The petitioners point out that they intend to drag SLC into the 21st century from its anarchic amateur practices of the 19th century. 

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa  and the Executive Committee of SLC have been named as respondents in the petition. If the Sports Minister, who has promised to address cricket’s decline, agrees that changes need to be done at the next court hearing, cricket is set for a massive revival. 


Silverwood applauds problem solver Asalanka



His ability to debate makes him a cut above the rest – Arthur

By Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood and his predecessor Mickey Arthur heaped high praise on middle order batsman Charith Asalanka, whose stunning 83 not out helped Sri Lanka to complete the highest successful run chase ever at home on Wednesday.Set an improbable target of 314, Asalanka played a blinder smashing five fours and four sixes during his 72-ball knock with the last six sealing Sri Lanka’s victory with two balls to spare.

Asalanka made his Sri Lanka debut in England during Arthur’s time as Head Coach last year. Although a top order batsman, Arthur made him to bat at number five, a position where you have to absorb pressure, especially during run chases. What factors in Asalanka impressed Arthur?

“Charith worked so hard when he came into the team. He is always willing to take on information, listen and ready to debate if he wasn’t convinced on something. That’s a very good feature in a young player. I like that kind of attitude. He has this aura about him. Dasun Shanaka is doing a fine job right now but one day when he is finished Charith is the guy who is going to take on the reins of leadership,” Arthur told Sunday Island.

The former Head Coach currently lives in UK where he coaches English county Derbyshire. He is in Colombo for the Lanka Premier League that gets underway next week.

“What prompted us to fit him in the middle order is that a left-hander gives you so many positives. Charith has this ability to switch gears. Increase and decrease the tempo. He is a wristy player and can manipulate things when he is out in the middle. He can hit boundaries at any given time with his ability to find gaps and he is good at rotating the strike. He has worked very hard on sweeping and he is now able to score all-around the wicket.”

While Arthur is in Colombo, Silverwood is back in the UK spending time with family for Christmas. Although he is from Yorkshire, he lives now in Essex, half hour drive from London. Silverwood won the County Championship with Essex, a title that they won after 25 years.

“I am looking for people who want to put their hands up and get the team over the line. The way Charith went about his business was superb. The influence he had on Dunith was a strong one as well during the run chase. He took calculated risks and showed what a fine player he is,” Silverwood added.

“Charith is a problem solver. He can find answers for any tough situation. He is a strong character and a good thinker.”

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World Cup 2022: Did it cross the line? Germany out as Japan and Spain progress



Did the ball cross the line?

That is the age-old World Cup question for Germany, who crashed out as Japan beat Spain thanks to an opinion-dividing winner that left many scratching their heads.Kaoru Mitoma’s cutback for Ao Tanaka’s tap-in happened just after the ball looked to have crossed the byeline.

Even after cropping and zooming it looked incredibly close. Eventually it was ruled that the ball had not fully crossed the line.

In other words, if you drew an imaginary line upwards at 90 degrees from the far edge of the whitewash, it would have still passed through the curve of the ball – albeit only just – even though the part of the ball that touched the ground had fully crossed the line.The goal was initially ruled out by the assistant referee after a long pause, then the video assistant referee (VAR) intervened and ultimately Japan’s lead would stand – and they would go on to win.

“I have seen a photo that must have been tampered with, it cannot be that this photo is real. It has to be manipulated,” said Spain boss Luis Enrique.

“I felt that something fishy was going on when the VAR took as much time as it did to decide… I have nothing to say.

“Luckily, the team only goes into collapse mode once every four years, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to cope.”

The controversy evoked memories of Frank Lampard’s “ghost goal” against Germany in 2010, when England went out in the last 16, and – no doubt for German fans of a certain vintage – of 1966 and Geoff Hurst’s extra-time effort when England won the World Cup.

In Qatar, those three points for Japan meant Germany were out, the four-time winners falling at the group stage for a second consecutive tournament.It was just one moment on a World Cup night full of spine tingling drama.


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Vishen Halambage could be next big thing in cricket



St. Peter’s take on Thurstan College in the under-19 finals today at Colts Cricket Ground and all eyes will be on young Vishen Halambage, who has been making headlines as a prolific run scorer in schools’ cricket.
The right-handed opening batsman is the leading run scorer in the competition having scored 456 runs with two hundreds and one fifty. He is also a handy leg-spinner and has taken 18 wickets in the tournament.
Vishen hails from Ambalangoda, a town that has produced many fine cricketers. He had his initial education at Stafford International before shifting to St. Peter’s to pursue his cricketing ambitions. He has done well in all age groups at St. Peter’s and has got one more year in the under-19 set up.
Vishen is in the national selection panel’s radar and has been shortlisted in the initial pool of 30 to take on West Indies in the bilateral series. He is also expected to feature in the next ICC Under-19 World Cup and could go onto skipper the Sri Lankan team having already captained the national under-15 side.
Cricket is in Vishen’s blood. His father Kumara Halambage played cricket for Dharmashoka, Ambalangoda and First-Class cricket for Singha SC. His uncle, Premasiri Halambage, was the President of Galle District Cricket Association.

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