Domestic cricket overhauled
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka Cricket on Saturday conducted an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and the stakeholders of the game unanimously ratified a new domestic tournament structure.
The new competition that has been drafted with the blessings of Cricket Advisory Committee is expected to remain in the system for ten years but there are fears of interference when relegation is around the corner.
At present, we have 24 teams playing First Class cricket and many former greats had raised their concerns for having too many teams playing at the highest level resulting in the competition being diluted and the gap between Test cricket and First Class cricket widening.
What we have right now is instead of teams being stripped of First Class status, two more teams being added to the system with 26 teams enjoying First Class cricket. What that means is that the country will have more than 300 players engaging in First Class cricket which is way too much.
With a relegation system, the authorities expect to cut down two teams by next season and eventually will be left with a system where only 15 teams play First Class cricket. But there lies the problem. Over the last few years, we have seen that clubs not playing by the rule book and once they are relegated underarm tactics being used to remain in the elite league.
Smaller clubs like Baduraliya for example points out it’s unfair on them as they play with limited resources while bigger clubs like NCC have a prestige problem. These are just two teams who have made behind the scene moves to remain in the top league. It has happened once and you can be assured that it will happen again and there are enough politicians in our part of the world to promote these causes.
When NCC was facing relegation, the team’s iconic player Kumar Sangakkara was Sri Lanka’s Test captain. He was also world’s number one ranked batsman at that point. It would have been embarrassing for Sangakkara not to be representing a team that plays First Class cricket but the great man he is, Sanga vowed to remain at Maitland Place. “NCC was my first club and NCC will be my last club,” he said.
According to the new system, the 26 teams will be divided into two groups and each team will play 12 games in a season. The top two teams will play the final while the bottom two side will be relegated.
The inter-club tournament is expected to be completed by January next year with SLC hoping to get Ministry of Health permission to continue with the season.
This will be followed by the much looked forward to Inter-Provincial tournament. That will be the highest standard of domestic cricket. The yardstick for selection for Provincial teams will be the performances of the club tournament while Sri Lanka selections are expected to be made on the performances of the Provincial tournament.
The restructuring of the domestic tournament was one of the urgent needs in putting the sport back on track and it is hoped that this structure addresses many troubles facing our cricket.
Pasindu wins digital stimulator E Racing in Thailand
Pasindu Marasinghe, the delegate of the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) at the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) organized Region II Ideas Forum, won an ECARS Digital Racing Car Stimulators competition at the 44th International Motor Show in Thailand Organized by Motor Sports Club of Thailand (RAAT) on Saturday.
Twelve members from the Asia Pacific region participated in this competition. The winner was presented a Medal by Anothai Eamlumnow, Executive Committee Member and Chief Production Officer of the Grand Prix International Public Company Limited.
The world’s largest mobility and motorsports organization, Federation Internaionale De L’Automobile (FIA) organized Region II Ideas Forum was held from March 22 to 25 in Thailand. Automobile Association of Ceylon, which is the affiliated club in Region II was invited for this conference programme.
This programme commenced on March 24 at Studio 4 MAA-LAI Kimpton Hotel Thailand. It was a knowledgeable and effective forum with discussions by experts on insights with capacity building in regions and resources available to clubs through FIA University Mentoring Programme and also to discuss AA Philippines Tourism Start up Experience. AA delegates attended this Conference.
On Saturday (25), the AA Delegates, who were invited to attend the 44th International Motor Show in Thailand Organized by the Motor Sports Club of Thailand (RAAT) as VIP Guests and were introduced to take part in the ECARS Digital Racing Car Stimulators, which was a grant offered to this club by Federation Internaionale De L’Automobile (FIA). Simulator training provides experience to drive Formula Grand Prix.
Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club is 85 years old
One of the oldest outstation tennis clubs in the whole country, the Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club (KLTC) celebrated its 85th anniversary at a special function held at Kalutara Garden Beach Hotel on Saturday, 25 March with the participation of its senior and junior membership.
The event was presided over by the club’s current Acting President Roche Fernando and Vice President Dulip Wijayanayake.
The Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) President Iqbal Bin Issack also addressed the gathering on video conferencing and congratulated the club on reaching the remarkable milestone.
Among last eight in All-island Inter-club Tournament –
By the time the KLTC celebrated its 85th birthday, the club tennis team, led by Ashan Fernando, had already reached the 2023 All-island Inter-club Doubles Tournament Division-5 Quarter-finals. That too by finishing as table leaders of their Group, Group B of Division-5. The Quarter-final stage of the Tournament, organised by the SLTA, is to be staged from mid next month onwards.
During Saturday’s celebrations, the KLTC Committee felicitated its distinguished former Presidents and members such as Camillus Silva, the late Elmo Fernando, Sumanasiri Fernando, Renuk Nanayakkara, Srimantha Fernando, Priyantha Fernando, Laksiri Peiris, Dasantha Fonseka, Janaka Fonseka, Sunil Geeganaarachchi, Chaminda Fernando and Chamila Iddagoda.
The KLTC is one of the handful of British colonial-era public tennis-playing institutions presently surviving in the island. It was founded as the ‘Senior Officials’ Club’ or SOC in 1928 by the then British government officials working in the area. In 1938, it was rechristened the Kalutara Lawn Tennis Club and opened its doors to non-government-service members too.
St. Joseph’s beat Mahinda, Kusal hammers 168 for Trinity
Under 19 Cricket
Kusal Wijethunga top scored with 168 runs for Trinity to amass 449 against Maris Stella and spinner Lahiru Amarasekara completed a match bag of 11 wickets in an outright victory for St. Joseph’s as they shared the batting and bowling honours of the day in the Under 19 traditional cricket encounters on Tuesday.
In reply to Maris Stella’s 268 runs, Trinity amassed 449 runs in 83 overs with Wijethunga and Dinusha Peiris scoring centuries. Wijethunga and Peiris were involved in a partnership of 171 runs for the third wicket. Wijethunga’s knock included 16 fours and eight sixes. With batsmen dominating in both innings the match ended in a draw.
At Galle, St. Joseph’s declared their innings on 255 runs (9wkts) after adding 123 runs to their overnight total. Muditha Dissanayaka and Lahiru Amarasekara were responsible for the bulk of it. Amarasekara then joined Yenula Dewthusa to restrict the home team to 142 runs leaving their batsmen a target of just 15 runs to chase.
At Boyagane, Moratu Vidyalaya earned first innings honours against St. Sylvester’s as they restricted the latter to 177 runs.
Meanwhile, in another traditional match started at Katugastota, St. Anthony’s posted 352 for nine wickets declared against St. Peter’s as their top order batsmen, namely Mohomed Aaqil (32), Kavindu Shehan (54), Induwara Galapitage (47), Thisara Ekanayake (54) and skipper Lahiru Abeysinghe (73) clicked together.
At Galle: St. Joseph’s record ten wickets win against Mahinda
Mahinda 127 all out in 57 overs (Ranmina Hettiarachchi 33, Chandupa de Silva 29; Lahiru Amarasekara 5/34, Muditha Dissanayaka 2/23, Yenula Dewtusa 3/32) and 142 all out in 51.4 overs (Hareen Achintha 32, Dhanuja Induwara 26, Dulana Rajapaksha 32; Lahiru Amarasekara 6/79, Yenula Dewtusa 3/23)
St. Joseph’s 132 for 4 overnight 255 for 9 decl. in 67.5 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 53, Naren Muralidaran 41, Muditha Dissanayaka 64, Lahiru Amarasekara 41; Shehan Hasaranga 3/72, Dhanuja Induwara 2/09) and 15 for no loss in 1.2 overs
At Welisara: Trinity amass 449 against Maris Stella
Maris Stella 268 all out in 93.5 overs (Kaveen Fernando 26, Shean Adithya 83, Anshen de Silva 28, Ramith Bandara 33, Nethum Basnayake 26, Levin Fernando 22; Jayavi Liyanagama 2/40, Dinuka Tennakoon 5/74) and 30 for no loss in 5.2 overs
Trinity 9 for no loss overnight 449 all out in 83 overs (Kusal Wijethunga 165, Rahal Amarasinghe 39, Dinusha Peiris 105, Vathila Udara 28, Jayavi Liyanagama 45; Sadew Hasthika 5/113, Chirath Adithya 3/51)
At Boyagane: Morau Vidyalaya take first innings honours
Morau Vidyalaya 249 all out in 93.1 overs (Vihanga Nimsara 82, Rasindu Ilukshana 54; Isuru Gunasekara 2/28, Pansilu Bandara 2/50, Akila Wickramasinghe 3/48, Khanka Wickramasinghe 2/31) and 99 for 4 in 21 overs (Isuru Fernando 20, Vihanga Nimsara 38; Akila Wickramasinghe 3/16)
St. Sylvester’s 5 for 1 overnight 179 all out in 59.3 overs (Charuka Ayeshan 77; Malith Shehan 2/29, Isuru Fernando 2/27)
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