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Doors not closed on senior players: Arthur



Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur, on Thursday (May 27), said that the ‘door hasn’t yet closed’ on senior players and they can make a comeback into the ODI side.

The visitors had left out several seasoned campaigners for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh. However, Sri Lanka suffered back-to-back losses to slip to another ODI series defeat.

‘’Dropping is a harsh word. We have looked at a way we can go forward without them (the seniors). There’s no dropping. The guys can come back at any given time,’’ Arthur told reporters.

‘’We have lacked a little bit through the middle, but we have some senior players. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis have played a lot. Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have played a fair amount. Those are the guys we are banking on to become those players. The doors are not closed on anybody. Certainly some senior players can come back at any given time depending on performances,’’ he added.

Arthur also praised the efforts of Wanindu Hasaranga, and observed that the think-tank is looking towards to the future, especially the 2023 50-over World Cup. Incidentally, the all-rounder cracked an impressive fifty under pressure in the first ODI.

‘’Hasaranga is a very good cricketer. We have to understand that this is a very young team. They will develop. We have started a journey with them and we want them to develop. It goes for a guy like Hasaranga as well. He is only learning the game now, but he is a very exciting talent.

‘’We are trying to create depth within our side. Everybody puts pressure on each other, so that they can become the best that they can possibly be. This is a young team which we are building up to 2023. We can back them, but we need something back to show that we are on the right track to take them forward.

Arthur also hoped that the batsmen can play with more freedom. In both the games, the visiting side’s batsmen struggled to come to terms with the slow nature of the tracks. In particular, in the second ODI, Sri Lanka’s batters found it difficult to force the pace and ended up with a below par score of 141 for 9 in 40 overs.

‘’We battled to come to terms with the spinners, which is very surprising for me. The batsmen I see out in the nets are totally different to the batsmen who have gone out in the middle. Whether it is performing under pressure or fear of failure – those are the things you have to take out of your mind. They are all very skilled batsmen, particularly against spin. They haven’t shown that yet, but I am looking for a really good performance tomorrow.

“There are no dead rubbers with the World ODI Championship and qualification for the 2023 World Cup. Every ODI is worth 10 points. We want to close off here with a good, hard, disciplined performance tomorrow. We want to take a win home,’’ he noted.

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India crowned champions of inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup




The Shafali Verma-led side beat England in the final by seven wickets

Titas Sadhu, Archana Devi and Parshavi Chopra took two scalps each while Gongadi Trisha and Soumya Tiwari made useful scores as India Under-19 scripted a memorable seven wicket win over England Under-19 to seal the inaugural Women’s Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom. India U19 chased down the paltry target of 69 in the 14th over.

Brief scores:

England U19 68 in 17.1 overs (Ryana Macdonald Gay 19; Titas Sadhu 2-6) lost to India U19 69/3 in 14 overs (Soumya Tiwari 24*; Alexa Stonehouse 1-8) by seven wickets


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ICC names all-woman panel of match officials for 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup



The upcoming women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa will have an all-woman line-up of match officials, in what will be a landmark first in the game.On Friday, the ICC announced the panel of three match referees and ten umpires, featuring officials from seven countries. The match referees are GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa) and Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka). The on-field and TV umpires will be Sue Redfern (England), Eloise Sheridan (Australia), Claire Polosak (Australia), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Kim Cotton (new Zealand), Lauren Agenbag (South Africa), Anna Harris (England), Vrinda Rathi (India), N Janani (India) and Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka).

Selecting this panel was part of the governing body’s “strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket,” an ICC statement said.

The panel will also have the most number of women umpires and match referees in a global ICC tournament, four more than the nine who are at the ongoing women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup.

“Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level,” Wasim Khan, ICC’s general manager of cricket, said. “This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport.

“We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament.”

The eighth edition of the women’s T20 World Cup begins with hosts South Africa facing Sri Lanka on February 10. Defending champions Australia are in Group A with Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Arica. Group B has England, India, Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies. The top two teams from each group will move into the semi-finals.The matches will be played in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Paarl with the final scheduled for February 26 at Newlands.


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ACC to meet in Bahrain on Feb 4, call on Asia Cup expected



The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Bahrain on February 4. A decision on the Asia Cup is expected at the much-awaited meeting where the representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be present. It could be a stormy affair in the Persian Gulf city of Bahrain, with the two boards having been at loggerheads.

The hosting right of the upcoming Asia Cup, which will be an ODI championship among the continental sides, has been a bone of contention, with the BCCI and the PCB being at odds over the venue. The August-September championship was allotted to the PCB but in view of political tension between India and Pakistan, the BCCI had declared that the Indian team will not be in a position to travel to Pakistan.

The BCCI’s refusal was initially escalated by former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who threatened to boycott the World Cup in India later in the year. A similar stand seems to have also been taken by Najam Sethi, who succeeded Raja, but there seems little support from other ACC members to the PCB position.

The BCCI and the PCB sparred recently after Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and ACC president, announced the schedule of the council. It was responded with sarcasm by Sethi who said in a social media post, “Thank you @JayShah for unilaterally presenting @ACCMedia1 structure & calendars 2023-24 especially relating to Asia Cup 2023 for which Pakistan is the event host. While you are at it, you might as well present structure & calendar of our PSL 2023! A swift response will be appreciated (sic).”

The PCB chairman’s comments were rejected by ACC which declared that Shah’s post was not unilateral. “It has come to our knowledge that PCB Chairman Mr Najam Sethi has made a comment on the ACC President unilaterally taking the decision on finalising the calendar and announcing the same. The ACC wants to clarify that it has followed well established and due process. The calendar was approved by its Development Committee and Finance & Marketing Committee in a meeting held on December 13th, 2022.

“The calendar was then communicated to all the participating members individually, including Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), via an email dated December 22nd, 2022. While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC,” the ACC said backing Shah’s position.

With the meeting in Bahrain happening in such a backdrop, it could be a stormy affair. A BCCI official, who was in Mumbai for the unveiling of Women’s Premier League teams, confirmed a final decision on the Asia Cup will be taken in Bahrain on February 4.


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