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High profile cricket committee named

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Two of the finest players produced by the country – Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva will be part of the newly formed Cricket Committee.

By Rex Clementine

The Sports Ministry yesterday brought Sri Lanka Cricket down a notch by appointing a high profile Cricket Committee. While Cricket Committees in the past used to be an advisory arm for SLC, the role of the body has been diluted in recent times with eminent former players not wanting to be part of the set up.

However, following recent poor showings and a series of on field and off the field controversies, a committee comprising former greats Aravinda de Silva, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan have been brought in to address the slide.

Sources said that the committee will be more than an advisory body and its recommendations will be put into action without any delay or sabotage. The Island learns that during a meeting between SLC officials and Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, the former were told to support the Cricket Committee or face the consequences – the appointment of an Interim Committee.

 “We are here to look at all cricketing matters. Obviously, we need to restructure First Class cricket, but looking at the sport at grass root levels is equally important. We will come up with short term, mid term and long term solutions to some of the problems we face,” Aravinda de Silva said speaking to The Island.

The Cricket Committee is expected to meet the Sports Minister next week before taking charge.

Introducing a competitive First Class tournament, giving frequent exposure to ‘A’ team, under-23, under-19 team and putting up a structure for women’s cricket are said to be some of the areas the new committee is looking at.

Several former captains had declined offers to take over the national selection panel and sources said that with a  high profile Cricket Committee in place now, the trend will change.

Aravinda has been heavily involved in cricket having functioned as Chairman of Selectors and Vice-President of SLC but since 2017, he distanced himself from the sport. Sangakkara  had a brief stint as a selector but has been reluctant to get involved in cricket administration. Roshan Mahanama, who stepped down as an ICC Match Referee a few years ago has been a vocal critic of the way the sport had been governed. This is his first stint in administration since quitting as Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach 20 years ago.



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Navy men and women record wins at Inter Club rugby matches

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The men’s and women’s rugby teams of the Navy secured two more wins in their encounters over the Air Force in the Sri Lanka Rugby Nippon Paint Inter Club League Rugby Tournament at the Navy Rugby Ground, Welisara.

Navy men scored a thrilling 32-31 victory over Air Force where T.M. Weerasinghe added points through three conversions and two penalties. Further, S.J.F. Gregory, R.A.N.U. Perera, M.A.F.M. Mushin and G.D.J. Laksara also made a try each.

In the meantime, Navy women recorded a comprehensive 55-0 win over their Air Force counterparts. In this encounter, A.H.S. Madumali scored three tries and collected points through five conversions. In addition, R.S.H. Kumari scored two tries and P. Dilani, M.R. Kumudumalee, G.G. Randunu and W.R.W. Vithana too scored a try each.

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Dinara, Sajida win first-round matches

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ITF Junior Circuit Week I Tournament

Dinara de Silva and Sajida Razick won their respective first-round matches of the ITF Junior Circuit Week I tournament which commenced at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Monday.

De Silva beat Silvia Caliman of Spain 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round and Sajida Razick overcame India’s Gagana Mohal with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in her match.

The tournament is set to conclude on February 5.

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St. Anthony’s in command against Ananda

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Under 19 Cricket

Kaveesha Piyumal and Induwara Galapitage shocked Ananda sharing six wickets between them as St. Anthony’s, Katugastota contained the home team to 56 for eight wickets at stumps after posting a commanding 268 on day one of the Under 19 traditional match at Ananda Mawatha on Monday.

Mohomed Aaqil (73) and Kavindu Shehan (46) gave the hosts an ideal start adding 90 runs for the first wicket after they decided to bat first. Lahiru Abeysinghe, Rayan Anthonyzs and Janith Rathnasiri then made vital contributions for them to reach 268 runs.

In their essay home team were rocked by the visitors as Piyumal grabbed for wickets for 17 runs to rattle the middle order.

Scores:

St. Anthony’s

268 all out in 54 overs (Mohomed Aaqil 73, Kavindu Shehan 46, Lahiru Abeysinghe 47, Rayan Anthonyzs 27, Janith Rathnasiri 36, Charuka Ekanayake 21; Kithma Sithmal 3/86, Ashinsa Nainayake 2/57, Ayesh Shashimal 5/40)

Ananda

56 for 8 in 32 overs (Kaveesha Piyumal 4/17, Induwara Galapitage 2/11) (RF)

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