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Jayantha to assume duties as SLC Vice-President today

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Businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa will take over as Vice-President of Sri Lanka Cricket today after K. Mathivanan stepped down from the post on Wednesday. A two time President of SLC, Dharmadasa is a vastly experienced cricket administrator having served as a Director of the ICC. He also served as Chairman of the Asian Cricket Council.

Dharmadasa first came into cricket administration in 2005 and during his tenure there were many highlights for Sri Lankan cricket such as whitewashing England 5-0 in their own backyard and reaching the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007. He stepped down after a three year tenure and returned to SLC in 2013 as President.

More recently in 2015 he functioned as Vice-President but stepped down in 2016 after his efforts to rope in former Test captain Bandula Warnapura as Manager of the national cricket team were shot down.

Dharmadasa was a strong critic of the Big Three takeover of the ICC in 2014 and raised his concerns openly, “SLC has specific concern that the tenor and scope of the Purported Resolutions are in conflict with the fundamental principles upon which the ICC was founded,” he said at that point.

Sri Lanka Cricket sources said that it is likely that Dharmadasa will be put in charge of international cricket again.

Dharmadasa returns to SLC at a crucial juncture when the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has seen the cancellation of several bilateral series. While England’s two Tests were pushed back to February next year, tours by South Africa, India, Bangladesh and the Asia Cup have been indefinitely postponed. One of SLC’s prime targets is to bring India back as early as possible as this ensures them television revenue

SLC is also attempting to launch the inaugural Lanka Premier League – a franchise based T-20 competition. The board said that around 70 overseas players and ten coaches had shown interest in taking part in the competition. The tournament is expected to start in August.

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Department of Sports Development conducts workshop for netball coaches

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The Department of Sports Development commenced a workshop to upgrade the knowledge of netball coaches at the Torrington Sports facility on Wednesday. The second in a series of such workshops the three-day programme attracted some 40 coaches from various parts of the country.

The coaches attached to the Department of Sports Development, Provincial Councils and the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka were participating in the workshop which was inclusive of both theory and practical sessions.

“For several years there had been no workshops like this to upgrade and share knowledge. We found this an ideal time to conduct such a workshop as the Covid 19 pandemic has halted most of the training programmes around the country,” said Department of Sports Development official .Jayantha Siyamudali who conducted a session on modern warming up methods in the morning yesterday.

National Track and Field coach Y.K. Kularatne conducted a lecture on training principles which was followed by a session on netball techniques and skills development conducted by Chandrani Pathiraja.

Director of Sports of the Moratuwa University, C. Rathnamudali was scheduled to speak on training planning today.

The Department of Sports Development conducted a similar workshop on conditioning for coaches of all sports recently.

The workshop which concludes today was coordinated by project officer Thamara Liyanage.

The attendees included prominent coaches who are working with the junior national teams and former national coaches. Asian Junior Cup team coach Kumari Gamage, coaches in the current development pool namely Prasadi Nalika and Lakmini Samarasingheand former national coach Deepthi Alwis took part in the programme with fellow coaches from elsewhere. (RF)

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Rohit set to open with de Kock in IPL 2020

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Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians skipper, confirmed that he’ll open the batting during IPL 2020. In an online press conference, which both the captain and coach Mahela Jayawardene attended, Rohit said although the team is keeping “all options open” when it comes to their batting, he will start the 13th edition of the tournament as an opener.

“I opened for the entire tournament last year and will continue to do that. As a team, we keep all options open. I’m happy to do what the team wants. I enjoy batting at the top of the order and I’ve been doing it for a while. But even when I play for India, the message to the management is to not close any door and keep all the options open, so I’ll do the same here,” Rohit said on Thursday (September 17), two days before the IPL opening game against Chennai Super Kings.

With Quinton de Kock set to partner Rohit at the top of the order, Chris Lynn will have to wait on the sidelines. Lynn, who was roped in for his base price of INR. two crore, didn’t really get going on the slow pitches during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League. He aggregated 138 runs playing for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, scoring his runs at an average of 17.25 with a highest of 34.

“Lynn is a great addition to the squad, but the combination of Rohit and Quinton did a phenomenal job for us last season. They complement each other well, they’re consistent and both of them are experienced. They’re good leaders as well, so why would you want to fix something that isn’t broken? We will continue to go with that,” said Jayawardene.

“Lynn as an option gives us flexibility in the squad and that’s what we’ve always done. We try and add more value to the team, give more options so that we can be unpredictable when it comes to tournaments and big matches. Quinton and Rohit as a combination have been brilliant.”

Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, will miss the services of Lasith Malinga who pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons. While mentioning that Malinga’s shoes are big to fill, Rohit said MI will try to make up for his absence with the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson.

“For anyone, it’s hard to fill his boots. What he has done for MI and Sri Lanka is remarkable. He has been a match-winner for MI, whenever we were in trouble, Malinga bailed us out. His experience will be missed and what he did for MI is unbelievable. Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson and Dhawal Kulkarni are some of the names who can be his replacement. What he did for MI cannot be compared and he cannot be replaced,” Rohit said.

Rohit also spoke about the challenges of playing the tournament in a bio-bubble and praised the team management for keeping the team mentally fresh. “It’s going to be a different IPL. We were mentally prepared for it. Even before we came here, we discussed with boys about the bio-bubble guidelines. We are following all the protocols set by BCCI. Mentally it’s tough. Credit to Mumbai Indians management to have worked it well for us. Mentally we are fresh and not drained in our hotels with the facilities. Hats off to the team management for doing a fantastic job.”

About playing in the UAE, Rohit said: “The challenge for us would be to adapt to these conditions. Not a lot of cricketers from our group have played here. People who have been here need to share their experience with the players who have not played so far. Mentally, it’s about going there and understanding the pitch is doing. We have played some practice matches here and we know what to expect there. Reading the pitches will be very important.”

 

(Cricbuzz)

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Dimuth on pains of not playing sport

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by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has spoken of the mental struggles of not playing international sport for more than six months now. Dimuth was drawing up plans with Head Coach Mickey Arthur for the two match Test series against England when the tourists were forced to return home less than a week to go for the opening Test match with the pandemic creating havoc in the UK. Since then, five series have been postponed while Bangladesh’s visit to the island is one the fence and Sri Lanka might not tour South Africa later this year.

“These are tough times for all of us. We are from morning to night focused on the game all the time. You can stay away from cricket for a month or so but not more than that. This has been tough. I feel as if that I have lost a large portion of my career,” the 32-year-old told The Island.

“Fortunately we have started training and that’s some relief. We are still wondering when we will play a series. Mentally it’s been really tough. Most cricketers are professionals and you can imagine what happens when you do not engage in your profession. I am not talking about money. SLC has taken good care of us as we are contracted. But it’s stressful that you don’t compete at the highest level. Some players are wondering whether we will play any cricket at all this year and there are some of them who want to give up the game and focus on something else.”

“As a country, we have done really well to combat the pandemic. But some of the other cricket playing nations are not so fortunate and you never know when we will tour again.”

“These are best years of my career. I have matured and I feel I am reaching my peak. Then this happened. As a team, we were shaping up well after the World Cup. Personally, I was getting into a groove in ODIs and now I have to start all over again. We have not played for so long and I have forgotten some of the laws dealing with one-day cricket.”

“I am hopeful that whatever the series that has been postponed will be played. SLC is doing well to reschedule them. We have to be patient as we have to follow health guidelines in a bid to resume cricket. Hopefully, will play soon.”

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