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Jayawardena calls for change after Pant IPL incident

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Mumbai Indians coach and ICC Hall of Famer Mahela Jayawardena wants to see greater communication between video umpires and on-field adjudicators and has called for change.

Jayawardena, speaking on The ICC Review, has made the recommendation on the back of the controversial finish to the IPL match between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals last week, where the umpires on the field seemingly missed a clear-cut waist-high full toss in the final over of the run chase.

The DC camp were infuriated with the missed call, as skipper Rishabh Pant displayed his displeasure from the bench and assistant coach Pravin Amre stormed onto the field to approach the umpires about the decision as the Royals held on for the victory.

Both Pant and Amre were fined 100 per cent of their match fee for their behaviour and Amre was also handed a one-match ban for entering the field, a move condemned by Jayawardena.

Clause 21.5 of the ICC Playing Conditions states “The third umpire shall review television replays of the bowler’s front foot landing and, if he/she is satisfied that any of these three conditions have not been met, he/she shall immediately advise the bowler’s end umpire who shall in turn immediately call and signal No ball.”

However, the clause makes no mention of the third umpire being able to check for waist-high full tosses and Jayawardena has urged authorities to use the incident in the IPL as a wake-up call to make better use of video umpires in the future.

“It is something going forward that I think we need to look at,” Jayawardena told Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.

“Is there an option for the third umpire to look at these things and inform the main umpires that it is a delivery that should be checked?

“It was disappointing to see that when you stop a game and have people come on to the field, but I honestly believe it was just emotions carrying over in the last over.

“A couple of sixes were hit and there was an opportunity that probably the umpires did get it wrong.

“But the rules say you can’t go to the third umpire to check on those things.”

Jayawardena said it was not a good look for the game to have Amre enter the playing field to dispute the decision.

“The spirit of the game and to see things moving forward, it is never an option for a player or a coach to come on to the field,” Jayawardena said.

“We (coaches) have the ability to come on to the field during the strategic time out at the IPL and that should be the only time that coaches or anyone else should be allowed on the field.”

Jayawardena said he discussed the incident with his Mumbai Indians squad and reminded them of their obligations during a match.

“We saw it on television. Most of the guys were watching it together and afterwards we had a chat,” the Sri Lanka legend said.

“We probably would have reacted similarly in the dugout, but it is never an option to go on to the field.

“That is not the way things should be and I am pretty sure that both Rishabh and Pravin would both regret what happened.

“I think Rishabh said it was the emotions and I think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt and move on.”

Jayawardena’s current thoughts are on trying to help his side move off the bottom of the IPL table and register their first win of the tournament.

The star-studded MI have yet to gel through eight winless matches and Jayawardena said his team’s batters need to lift their performance.

“For us, it is mainly with our batters, and that has been highlighted in the last few games as well,” he said.

“We have been in positions to win but have not been able to execute.

“It is tough for both coaches and players as well because every game becomes even more harder to cross that line and get that first win.

“We are taking it one game at a time, trying to settle everyone down and the players need to trust their ability and back themselves more as the tournament progresses.”

Jayawardena has already won three IPL titles as a coach in Mumbai but admits he is still working on finding the right way to pass on the advice given to him by the likes of former coaches Dav Whatmore and Tom Moody to his side’s younger players.

The Sri Lanka great, who was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at the end of last year, said each new day as a coach provides him with fresh challenges and outlooks that he attempts to pass on to his players.

“There are quite a few different ways you have to approach this new generation,” Jayawardena acknowledged when asked about his modern coaching philosophies.

“It helps me to know what I have learnt and how it can be transferred to the new generation because the game has different demands at the moment with all the different formats.

“Every day we are learning about different competitions and different tactics.”

(ICC)



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‘I have accomplished my job’ – Yupun on his sub 10 seconds  

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by Reemus Fernando   

Sprinter Yupun Abeykoon who became the latest member of the exclusive sub 10 seconds club in the men’s 100 metres said that he has accomplished the target he had set himself and all achievements from here on would be bonuses.

Speaking to his fans on a social media platform, the first South Asian athlete to run the men’s 100 metres under 10 seconds said that running sub 10 seconds in the athletics’ glamour event was what he was working hard on and he felt a sense of accomplishment after stopping the clock at 9.96 seconds in Switzerland on Sunday. His first sub ten seconds feat and the 10.16 seconds performance he achieved in 2020 to get the Sri Lanka record under his belt will always remain special to him.

Abeykoon smashed his own national record and became the first man from South Asia to run the men’s 100 metres under ten seconds when he clocked 9.96 seconds to win the men’s 100 metres at the Resisprint International.

It is also the fastest performance by an Asian this year overtaking the two Japanese sprinters Ryuichiro Sakai and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown who are yet to clock sub 10 seconds this year.

“I am really happy to have accomplished the target. I knew that I could do it this year. It was not a coincidence. It was a result of a three year plan with my coaches. No one can perform magic in this sport. By last year we knew that we could reach the target this year,” said Abeykoon beaming from ear to ear when he came on live on Tuesday.

“I tried to reach the target from the start of this season. I missed the opportunity on a number of occasions. I was waiting for the ideal condition.

“I do not know how you will take this. I have finished my job. From now on what I achieve, my victories will all be bonuses,” the 27-year-old said.

He said that the 10.16 seconds and 9.96 seconds will remain special to him.

He said the plan for this year was to win an Asian Games medal, reach the Commonwealth Games final and to feature in the semi-finals of the World Championships in Oregon.

The 9.96 seconds result proves that the training schedules had gone according to plan as he tops the Asian 100 metres sprinters list and is placed among the top 15 athletes in the world in his pet event.

Commenting on the photo he published recently with Yohan Blake on facebook he said that he was shocked to hear that Blake had watched and followed his races.

The Jamaican who had run 9.69 secs (-0.1 in 2012) is considered the second fastest man ever to have competed in the men’s 100 metres behind compatriot Usain Bolt.

“Generally competitors would not wish his opponents but Blake wished me for my race. He had watched some of my previous races.”

Yupun said that he would try his best to do well at future events to bring a smile to his followers.

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Spin legend Warne’s  legacy lingers long after Sri Lanka tsunami

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Shane Warne’s brother Jason greets locals at Seenigama during a visit early this week. Philanthropist Kushil Gunasekara, who runs the Foundation of Goodness is also in the picture

No foreign cricketer is likely to ever capture the hearts of Sri Lankans quite like Shane Warne did.

Yet, of all the heartfelt tributes paid to the spin great on the island he had helped to rebuild from its worst ever natural disaster, the late spin great might have been most touched by a quiet moment in the small village of Seenigama this week.

Back in early 2005 at the urging of Muttiah Muralitharan, Warne had visited the seaside community on Sri Lanka’s south coast, one of many that had been flattened by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

Among the most memorable vision captured by a 60 Minutes film crew during his visit was four-year-old Dilini Wasana kissing Warne on the cheek as he handed out food and toys.

On Monday, four months after the sudden death of the Victorian, Dilini was in the same spot where she had met Warne seventeen years ago.

This time she greeted his brother Jason, who was visiting the Foundation of Goodness; the embodiment of Shane’s contribution to the country.

“It’s been pretty emotional,” said Jason Warne, standing on a small cricket ground the Foundation built in the aftermath of the tsunami.

“We’re here because of what Shane did in 2004. It’s been great to come over here and get a sense of why he wanted to do it.

“(From) the footage that came out of Shane’s visit, there was one little girl (Dilini) who gave him a kiss on the cheek, you could see she was so happy.

“She was saying she would love to be able to say thank you one more time. To go there today and see her, was pretty special.”

The spin legend’s visit back in 2005 to Sri Lanka shone a light on the destruction to lives, homes and the Galle cricket ground where Warne had taken his 500th Test wicket less than a year earlier.

It prompted a wave of donations from Australia and his continued efforts in the ensuing years have not been forgotten.

Kushil Gunasekera, the long-time manager of Murali who runs the Foundation of Goodness, has used the proceeds to build community facilities across ten sites in rural Sri Lanka.

One of the graduates of the Foundation’s educational programs was Ramesh Mendis, born in nearby Ambalangoda and whose off-spin saw him take four wickets against Australia in last week’s first Test.

“He was the first one to come,” Gunasekera said of Shane on Monday, as he gave Jason and his wife Shay a two-hour tour of school, health, dental and sporting facilities in Seenigama.

“What Shane did when he came with 60 minutes, and because of the way he presented the case, it went all around Australia.

“And as a result Master Builders came, the Victorian Government came, and we were able to get help from so many people.”

Since his brother’s passing, Jason Warne has heard countless stories, tributes and messages of gratitude from around the world about the leg-spinner’s impact on other’s lives.

For the first Test in Galle, the ground the late Warne had helped raise $1 million for, posters with his and Murali’s faces were stationed around the ground while seven members of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team were on hand for a commemorative plate presentation before play.

“It was hard not to notice the Warnie portraits up all around the ground,” said Mitchell Swepson, one of the few leg-spinners to play Test cricket for Australia since Warne.

“All the work he did for the Sri Lankan tsunami fund, he’s had a massive impact on this country with his cricket and off the field as well. It was great to see them pay tribute and see how much they respect the man

“I’m in no way shape or form trying to be Shane Warne, he is the best we’ve ever had … but when people ask me what I do, I tell them I bowl leg spin it’s ‘Oh, like Warnie”.

“That’s just the mark he left on the game, he’s a legend.”

Some tributes have even surprised Jason Warne, most notably the announcement from the United Nations at the MCG memorial service that a wildlife conservation grant would be named in the late cricketer’s honour.

“It’s sometimes hard to get your head around that my brother, who I used to just go up to the nets with and have a bit of fun, has left such a legacy,” said Warne.

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Sri Lanka men’s and women’s teams ready to contest FIBA Asia Tournament

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by a Special Sports Correspondent

The Sri Lanka Men’s and Women’s basketball teams took flight to Singapore on Tuesday for the FIBA Asia 3×3 Basketball tournament.

The two teams have been in preparation since April and are being coached by Ajith Kuruppu.

The men’s team has to first prove its worth against China and Tonga and one more team before qualifying for the main tournament. “It’s going to be a tough tournament, but the men’s and women’s teams have been practicing well. Our preparations were good and we want to make an impact at the tournament,” said Kuruppu. According to the Sri Lanka teams’ coach China will be a tough challenge in the men’s segment of the tournament.

“We’ve been gelling together as a team during training and the players have a good understanding when playing as a unit,” said Sri Lanka’s Mens’ Team skipper Shehan Fernando.

Sri Lanka’s women’s team has made a direct entry into the tournament. Sri Lanka Women’s team skipper Anjali Ekanayake said that the ranking of the players in the national 3×3 team is good. “These players have got much exposure playing in this format of the game. We’ve been focusing on nutrition and shooting over the past few months. Training went well for the tournament,” said Ekanayake.

Coach Kuruppu took this opportunity to thank Vaaj Fitness for sponsoring the two national teams to Singapore and for making their gym available for the players to do strength and conditioning training.

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