“He is a very talented cricketer; he’s got great hands and superb hitting ability. His fielding, however, is not international standards. His fitness levels too are not at required standards.”
Coach wants Bhanuka to give up chocolates
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka Head Coach Mickey Arthur comes out as a friendly, jovial and nice guy but when it comes to work ethic, he does not tolerate anything below par. He is famous for dropping of all players Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson during the tour of India in 2013 for breach of discipline. As a result, cricket’s lexicon had a new term – ‘Homework gate’. Arthur, a stern advocate of fitness, during his previous stint with Pakistan axed Umar Akmal in 2017 for poor fitness levels. A team known as not the fittest in world cricket improved their standards remarkably and went onto win the Champions Trophy in England beating arch-rivals India in the final.
Arthur’s fitness regime in Sri Lanka has resulted in a few players getting axed for failing fitness tests such as Dilruwan Perera, Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa. It has upset a few people and after being overlooked for the tours of West Indies and United Kingdom, Rajapaksa expressed his disappointment in a YouTube interview with journalist Danushka Aravinda.
“When you run on the gym or work out on the gym, I don’t think you can improve your performance… For 12 years I have not suffered a major injury or broken down during a game. I have been given step motherly treatment. The board sorts out my visa and everything to go on tours, but in the last moment I am told that I can not make the tour because my skin folds are high,” Rajapaksa had said.
“When I was dropped, the Head Coach told me that I was running with the gloves in hands and that I didn’t have commitment for running between the wickets,” Rajapaksa had added.
asked Arthur for a comment. “First of all, I want this on record. I don’t want discuss players on public forum. But when a player has a one-sided interview, I feel I need to respond. Bhanuka is a comfort zone player. In Sri Lanka we cannot afford that. His fitness levels are not there where it has to be,” Arthur said.
“He is a very talented cricketer; he’s got great hands and superb hitting ability. His fielding, however, is not international standards. His fitness levels too are not at required standards. We are building a culture to push the players to be the best they can be. We want our best players on the field. He would be in our T20 squad. But at the moment his skin folds have gone up and he’s got to work on it,” Arthur explained.
“Bhanuka has got to make some commitments and he’s got to look after his diet. His excuse has been that he loves chocolates. If you want to be one of the finest cricketers, then you have got to make some sacrifices. We had a diet plan for him and we expected him to look after himself but his skin folds have gone up again.”
Asked on his reservations about Rajapaksa having gloves in his hands while running between the wickets, Arthur was unimpressed with the sloppy attitude. “I was upset that he was running with gloves in hand. It highlights the fact that he didn’t push the first run hard. It was just sloppy cricket and I don’t like sloppy cricketers. That shows me his attitude as he jogs the first run. If someone has scored 120 in 40 degrees heat, I can understand that. But I want our players to get out of their comfort zones.”
“Bhanuka failed the skin folds test and went home without doing the rest of the tests. Just shows me the attitude and the short cuts he is looking to take.
“Kusal Janith has lost 15 percent of his skinfolds. In that humidity of Dhaka, the other day, he batted for 42 overs and scored a match winning hundred. If he is not at the best standards, he gives it away at 60 odd. Fitness gives you the base to score those runs and be electric on the field.”
Australia T20 captain retires from international cricket
BBC reported that former Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from international cricket.
Opening batter Finch, 36, was Australia’s T20 captain, having retired from one-day internationals in September..
He represented Australia in five Tests, 146 one-day internationals and 103 T20s, leading them to their first T20 World Cup title in 2021.
Finch said it had been “incredible honour” to play for Australia.
He is set to continue playing in domestic T20 competitions, including in the Big Bash League (BBL) for Melbourne Renegades.
Fun Run announcing Asian Games at Port City today
The official Fun Run announcing the 19th Asian Games will be held under the patronage of the Olympic Council of Asia Director General -Dr. Husain Al-Musallam and a host of dignitaries at the Colombo International Financial City (Port City) today.
The quadrennial Asian Games which was originally scheduled for September 2022 was postponed in May due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in and around the host city of Hangzhou in China. The Game will now be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8, 2023 under the motto of “Heart to Heart, @Future.”
The ‘Fun Run’ which acts like a baton relay of sorts was announced at a function held in Colombo yesterday.
The Fun Run will be held at the presence of Wu Jianzhong -Deputy Director of Games Services Department, Ge Jianyang -Staff of Press and Public Relations Department, Bao Hanyuan -Staff of Games Services Department and delegates from the Olympic Council of Asia. The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka will be represented by its President Suresh Subramaniam, Secretary General NOC Sri Lanka Maxwell de Silva along with the executive committee of the NOC Sri Lanka.
To liven up this colourful pageant there will be a surfeit of sports and cultural activities involving over 700 persons. The highlight of the day’s activity will be a Jet Ski show presented by Sri Lanka Navy and a traditional Martial Art -Angampora Demonstration recited by the Army sports division. The President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Suresh Subramaniam aired the importance of the Fun Run. He said “the presence of the Olympic Council of Asia Director General -Dr. Husain Al-Musallam who is the main cog behind Asian Games 2022, signifies how serious they are about the success of the event. Besides that, there is a host of other Games Officials who will await eagerly to see the successful completion of this event and report back as to what Sri Lanka is capable of delivering. For us this is a momentous opportunity and we are taking it with both hands”.
Commenting on the significance of the event, NOC Sri Lanka Secretary General Maxwell de Silva said “akin to the Olympic Day Run or the Commonwealth Games Baton relay or the Asian Games Fun Run is very significant. In reality the “Fun Run” is the flag-off of the event and the Lankan leg of the baton that will take place at the Port City, Colombo.” The Olympic Council of Asia is stepping up its “Asian Games for All” promotional campaign right now.
A major part of this campaign is the Asian Games Fun Run, which is held throughout the continent and brings together elite athletes, social runners, students/children and sports officials. The OCA is working closely with the National Olympic Committees in all five zones to create a Fun Run calendar in order to promote the upcoming Asian Games and involve all levels of the community in a family-oriented activity. To this end, the OCA has released a schedule for February and March taking in two of the five zones: South Asia and South East Asia. The programme is still being assembled for the three remaining zones -West Asia, Central Asia and East Asia -in conjunction with the NOCs and will be released shortly.
Amameth century propels Mahanama
Under 19 Cricket
by Reemus Fernando
A century by Kavindu Amameth was the highlight of the day as Mahanama posted 363 runs against De Mazenod on day one of the traditional cricket encounter at Kandana on Monday.
Amameth top scored with 126 runs (in 173 balls, 9x4s, 4x6s) and put on a third wicket stand of 206 runs with Inuka Karannagoda as Mahanama dominated proceedings on day one.
In the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ match at Uyanwatta, St. Servatius’ cemented their top position in Group ‘Z’ by scoring a first innings points against Devapathiraja.
St. Servatius’ earn first innings points against Devapathiraja at Uyanwatta
113 all out in 35.3 overs (Gimhan Rasanjana 24, Pawan Sandesh 24, Tharush Damindu 3/18, Kushan Wijerama 4/25, Chathum Bimsara 2/32) and 151 for 8 decl. in 36.2 overs (Darshaka Sandeep 46, Jeewaka Shashin 31; Chathum Bimsara 2/21, Kushan Wijerama 3/34, Thisan Dewmith 2/40)
92 for 6 overnight 123 all out in 48.3 overs (Mithila Charles 39, Vishwa Supun 23, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 25; Irushka Thimira 6/47, Puljith Wathsuka 2/34) and 110 for 4 in 26.2 overs (Mithila Charles 27, Diniru Abeywickramasinghe 36, Chiran Neththaru 23n.o.; Puljith Wathsuka 2/38)
Mahanama dominate day one proceedings at Kandana
363 all out in 92.1 overs (Kavindu Amameth 126, Inuka Karannagoda 75, Rashmika Perera 52, Chamika Heenatigala 24, Eshan Withanage 24; Kavindu Kaushalya 4/97, Thushan Udayanga 3/64, Sithum Fernando 3/71)
2 for 1 in 5 overs
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