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Engineers defeat Lawyers by five wickets in final



Champions of the 2022 Professional Cricket League (Engineers)


An all-round performance by Vihanga Kalhara (3/33 and 32 off 28 balls) and an unbeaten 37 off 21 balls by skipper Rumesh Madushanaka helped Engineers defeat Lawyers by five wickets to emerge champions of the 2022 Professionals Cricket League at the Colts ground on Sunday evening. In a high scoring game played at the same venue in the morning, Doctors downed Aviators by 24 runs to take third place.

Invited to bat first in the final, the Lawyers were dismissed for 156 with a ball to spare. Akkila Jayasundera anchored the Lawyers innings with 79 off 48 balls (4×7 and 6×5). Vihanga Kalhara and Geeth Sankalpa captured three wickets each.

In the chase Dimuthu Lasintha, Sahan Perera and Vihanga Kalhara made useful contributions to take the Engineers to 110/5 in 15 overs after which Rumesh Madushanka smashed two boundaries and three sixes to clinch the game with 7 balls to spare.

The Professionals Cricket League was first played in 2015. The Lawyers emerged champs in the inaugural game

while in 2017 and 2021 Engineers defeated the Lawyers and the Doctors respectively to win the league. The Doctors too have figured in four of the seven finals played to date and won the league in 2016, 2018 and 2019

In the match played to decide the third place Doctors were propelled to 236/7 with quick fire knocks by Thilina Samarasinghe (33 off 13 balls), Isuru Gunathilake (46 off 22 balls), Rajive Nirmalasinham (29 off 15 balls) , Kasun Wijegunawardena (24 off 9 balls), and Nilupul Bimsara. (32* off 17 balls). in the chase Malith Silva scored an unbeaten 61 off 41 balls while Rizan Rahim scored 46 off 18 balls but the Aviators fell short by 22 runs.

Vihanga Kalhara was adjudged the player of the final and the best batsman of the tournament while Rajiv Nirmalasinham was adjudged the player of the tournament.

Justice Buwaneka Auwihare PC was the Chief Guest of the evening.

Scores –


defeated Lawyers by five wickets in the final


156 in 19 5 overs

Ershan Ariyaratnam 27, Akkila Jayasundera 79, Thilina Nupahewa 2/11, Vihanga Kalhara 3/33, Geeth Sankalpa 3/23


160/5 in 18.5 overs

Dimuthu Lasintha 21, Sahan Perera 22, Vihanga Kalhara 32, Rumesh Madushanaka 37 not out; Kulunu Rodrigo 2/17

Doctors claimed third place with a 22 run win over Aviators

Doctors 236/7 in 20 overs

Thilina Samarasinghe 33, Isuru Gunathilake 46, Rajive Nirmalasinham 29, Kasun Wijegunawardena 24, Nilupul Bimsara 32 not out; Rizan Rahim 2/35


214/6 in 20 overs

Sandesh Gunasekera 39, Chaminda de Zoysa 27, Malith Silva 61 not out, Ranil de Zoysa 23, Rizan Rahim 46; Kasun Wijegunawardena 2/28

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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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Brian Lara joins West Indies management as ‘performance mentor’



Cricket West Indies have roped in legendary batter Brian Lara as a ‘performance mentor’, who will work across formats with the international teams as well as with the academy. Lara will assist the various coaches with regard to “providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense”. He will also work with Jimmy Adams, the Director of Cricket, on ICC World Cup tournament strategic planning.

“Having spent time with the players and coaches in Australia and in discussions with CWI, I really believe that I can help the players with their mental approach to the game and with their tactics to be more successful,” Lara said.

The 53-year-old Lara’s first assignment in the new role will be with the Test side on the tour of Zimbwbwe, where he has already joined the squad ahead of the first Test in Bulawayo on February 4. Lara will take a short break in the middle to discharge his duties as the head coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad during IPL 2023.

Lara was recently appointed on a CWI review panel following their early exit at the 2022 T20 World Cup. They were subsequently swept 2-0 by Australia in a Test series and now seek a course-correction as they build towards this year’s 50-over World Cup in India.

“I am really looking forward to Brian making a significant contribution to our cricket system by providing invaluable guidance and advice to our players and coaches,” Adams said. “We are confident that Brian will help to improve our high-performance mindset and strategic culture that will bring us more success on the field across all formats. Everyone is excited to have Brian involved in supporting our players.”


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