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Dilshan joins Gamer.LK’s Singer Esports Premier League

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Dilshan to mentor Sabaragamuwa Knights PUBG Mobile team

One of the most innovative batsmen of all time – T M Dilshan has joined Gamer.LK’s Singer Esports Premier League as the mentor for Sabaragamuwa Knights. The Sabaragamuwa Knights is a franchise Esports team that competes in the annual league. Sri Lanka’s top Esports athletes compete for a prize pool of Rs. 1 million in the mobile game “PUBG Mobile”, which is played by over a million Sri Lankan youth today.

Dilshan is one of six cricketing legends to have announced their affiliation with Gamer.LK’s league, with the others being Russel Arnold, Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews. The mentors will be inspiring and guiding the Esports athletes who get recruited to the team, and shining a spotlight on the players and the league as a whole.

“Excited to have Dilshan onboard as mentor for the young athletes in Sabaragamua Knights. Dilshan’s wealth of sporting experience will play a major role in shaping the team’s esports journey,” said Raveen Wijayatilake, CEO of Gamer.LK and the founder President of the Sri Lanka Esports Association.

Esports has been growing at a rapid pace in Sri Lanka over the last decade thanks to Gamer.LK’s consistent efforts in organising tournaments and activities around the sport. There are an estimated four million gamers in the country. Esports was recognised by the Sports Ministry of Sri Lanka as the 70th national sport in 2019.

Over 2,000 esports athletes are expected to compete for a spot in the 12 franchise teams. The event will be held completely online throughout August, September and October of this year. Gamers wanting to take part in qualifiers are able to get more information on the official website at epl.lk.

Singer has come on board this year as the title sponsor of the Esports Premier League. Sri Lankans have come to know Singer as the go-to location for durable goods for decades. Singer now takes a bold step forward in catering to the Sri Lankan gaming population to create, maintain and grow their gaming lifestyle – whether you’re an esports athlete or a casual gamer.

Moose Clothing Company, a big supporter of Sri Lankan Sports, has stepped up to sponsor the Esports league as the Official Clothing partner. Sprite, the refreshing partner, has come onboard to keep players chilled while they play. Two high-end mobile phones are being given away by Sprite during the event for gamers that take part in the Sprite social campaigns held throughout the event. Samsung is the Official Smartphone partner, as players will be competing on mobile devices. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are the official Food Partners, providing fast delivery of delicious food straight to players’ homes. Dell Gaming, with their lineup of G5, G7 and G15 gaming laptops, is the Gaming Laptop partner. A brand new Dell G15 gaming laptop will be given away during the event. Daraz, another strong supporter of traditional sports, is the Digital Partner for the league. The banking partner for the event is FriMi.

Gamers interested in taking part can visit https://epl.lk to register for the open qualifiers. Registrations close on 28th August.



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Gateway felicitates coach for making Sri Lanka proud 

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Gateway’s top coaches Tharindu Fernando, Thilanka Jinadasa and Pradeep Nishantha are pictured here

Pradeep Nishantha, Assistant Head of Sports of Gateway College Colombo was felicitated by the school for his remarkable contribution in producing two medal winners at the recently concluded Paralympic Games in Japan.

The national anthem was played for the very first time at an Olympics when Dinesh Priyantha Herath who was trained by Pradeep Nishantha won a gold medal with a new world record. Pradeep has been employed at Gateway since 2005 and he has been responsible for producing many national athletes from Gateway.

Gateway students are blessed to be coached and guided by professionals of the highest caliber. Thilaka Jinadasa, the Team Leader – Sports development for the entire group represented Sri Lanka in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

Among Gateway’s team of coaches are a number of top Sri Lankan coaches. Tharindu Fernando, who was recently appointed National Basketball Coach for the Under 23 Sri Lankan side is among them.

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Dialog and SLC release T20 World Cup song ‘Ape Kollo’ 

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Amali Nanayakkara, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC hands over the first CD of the ‘Ape Kollo’ song to Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa, Vice President, SLC. Also in picture artistes and Dialog brand ambassadors who performed the ‘Ape Kollo’ song, (L-R) Madhuvy, Sanka Dineth, Sanuka, Sajitha, Santhush, Upul Nawaratne Bandara, Head of Marketing, SLC, Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager, Brand and Media – Group Marketing, Dialog Axiata PLC, Bathiya, Umaria, Senali and guest performer, Roy. Absent - Yohan

The national cricket team’s sponsor and Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata, together with Sri Lanka Cricket, recently released ‘Ape Kollo’ the T20 World Cup song in support of the Team on their T20 World Cup campaign which will commence on the 18th of October 2021 in the United Arab Emirates.

The song will be sung by a stellar line-up of artistes and Dialog brand ambassadors including, Bathiya and Santhush, Umaria, Yohani, Sanka Dineth, Sajitha, Sanuka, Madhuvy and guest performer, Roy Jackson. With lyrics written by Triad, the Sri Lanka Cricket T20 World Cup song is an initiative powered by Dialog Axiata connecting the wishes of every Sri Lankan.

Dr. Jayantha Dharmadasa, Vice President of Sri Lanka Cricket said, “I would like to thank Dialog Axiata for materializing the T20 World Cup song into existence. This tribute will be an immense morale boost for players and fans alike. The team over the past few months have been playing tourneys and trial games which have been instrumental in selecting the best combination for the T20 World Cup in UAE.”

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Sri Lanka will qualify, but can they reach semis?  

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by Rex Clementine

The cricket fans of Sri Lanka are truly amazing. They know pretty well that the chances of the team reaching the semi-finals in UAE is as low as that of Maithripala Sirisena winning a future Presidential election, but they keep believing that their team will deliver. It is only fair that the players come up with a decent show, unlike Maithripala.

If the IPL is any indication, there aren’t going to be too many high scoring games over the next four weeks and spin is going to play a huge part. That will certainly be a good indication for Sri Lanka’s bowlers.

Their batsmen, however, it remains to be seen what lessons they have learnt on sweeping. Grant Flower seemed to be having little tricks up his sleeve on the advantage of the sweep, both the conventional, paddle and reverse. Hopefully, now that Sri Lanka have a fine sweeper in their coaching staff in Mahela Jayawardene, the issue has been discussed at length.

Lack of smart options against spin has been one reason for Sri Lanka’s decline in the shorter formats of the game. Ours was a team where the sweep was the batsmen’s bread and butter and it’s quite perplexing how the current lot have forgotten to sweep and the coaching staff have failed to address the issue.

Avishka Fernando has been tremendous to watch. He has always been an exciting player and such a shame that he failed a fitness test in January and was banished from the team hotel. He was so close to making his Test debut against England and failing the fitness test was a bitter pill to swallow. But glad that the selectors and the coaching staff had the conviction to do it. They have spared the rod and spoilt too many young children. Avishka has bounced back; leaner, fitter, stronger and hungrier. IPL teams will be watching and the gut feeling is we are talking of a future billionaire in this space.

There is some school of thought that Avishka should bat at number four. He has come up with some consistent performances in that position this week. It’s true that he is Aravinda’s heir apparent, but Sri Lanka has to make the most of the Power Plays and Avishka should open batting with Kusal Perera to make most of the field restrictions. You sense that you have enough fire power in Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga and Chamika Karunaratne to take care of the death overs.

Oppositions will focus a lot on Hasaranga’s leg spin as he has had quite a bit of success in the lasts 12 months and ended up earning a contract in the IPL. World Cup is a superb occasion for him to stamp his authority as one of world’s leading wrist spinners.

Maheesh Theekshana, the new kid, has a bit of surprise element in him and could trouble teams that have not seen him much as he proved during his debut against Proteas last month. It will be interesting to see how teams that do not play spin that well handle him.

The last minute decision to include Akila Dananjaya while axing Praveena Jayawickrama hasn’t gone down too well with some supporters. But it’s a smart move. There’s no denying of the fact that Akila has looked a pale shadow of his former self since remodeling his action and in recent months has looked awful. But then, Sri Lanka have to qualify. The team is thin on experience after our selectors chased away half a dozen seniors and Akila has a surprise element about him and that could come in handy; particularly in the qualifying round.

The spin trio is not Sri Lanka’s only strength. Their main weapon is pace with Dushmantha Chameera picking up wickets with the new ball consistently and he will be their key weapon. Such a shame that the team will miss the services of Nuwan Pradeep, a clever bowler in death overs.

All hope is not lost for Sri Lanka though. One good thing is that they are not playing any Asian teams. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all in Group ‘B’. Sri Lanka will have Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa and one more qualifier and if their spin fires, they could spring a few surprises. Can they go onto book a semi-final berth?

In T-20 cricket anything can happen. So don’t just rule out the Sri Lankan team. The same can be said of our voters. Don’t rule out Maithripala.

A land like no other!

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