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Lasith Malinga retires from franchise cricket

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Lasith Malinga has retired from franchise cricket, his IPL team Mumbai Indians revealed on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan speedster informed his decision to the Mumbai Indians management earlier this month, making himself unavailable for the upcoming season and wasn’t retained in the squad.

Malinga has been a part for Mumbai Indians since the second season of IPL, missing only two editions – 2018 and 2020. He served as the bowling mentor of the side in 2018 before returning to playing duties and delivering Mumbai a title win – his fourth with the team – with what has turned out to be his final delivery in the competition. He missed the 2020 season due to personal reasons but remains the highest wicket-taker in the tournament’s history with 170 scalps to his credit, from 122 appearances.

The Sri Lankan speedster has also been a part of Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Khulna Tigers, Rangpur Riders and Melbourne Stars among other T20 franchises around the world. With 390 wickets in 295 matches, he is only behind Dwayne Bravo in the list of leading T20 wicket-takers. His last T20 appearance came in March 2020, when he led Sri Lanka against West Indies, and hasn’t played any games during the pandemic.

Speaking of his decision Malinga said: “After discussing with my family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now.

“I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.

“Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 % in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field.

“I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Mrs Nita Ambani, coach Mahela Jayawardene, Akash Ambani and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season.” (Cricbuzz)

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Open semis today, semi-finalists found in U12 category

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SSC Open Ranking Tennis

The men’s and women’s open singles semi-finals of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament will be played today with fifteen-year-old Dinethya Dharmarathne seeking a final berth against fancied counterparts.

Dharmarathne, who is also competing in the Under-16 age category singles, will encounter Janali Manamperi in the top semi-final of the women’s open singles. The other match will be between Savini Jayasuriya and Tania Doloswala.

Sankha Atukorale, who is the top seed in the men’s singles, will meet the Vibuda Wijebandara in the top semi final. Kiran Vairavanathan will take on Luca Knese, the champion of the recently held 105th Colombo Championships.

Meanwhile, the semi-finalists were found in the Under-12 girls’ singles, the lowest age category event, of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament as two girls from Negombo schools and two girls from Musaeus College won their respective quarter-finals on Friday.

Movindi Fernando from Newstead College, Negombo, Githmi Fernand1o of Ave Maria and Musaeus College players Sandithi Usgodaarachchi and Gehansa Methnadi booked their spots to fight for a place in the final

(RF).

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More crisis as SLC forced to name new captain

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Sri Lanka’s T-20 skipper Dasun Shanaka  could miss the T-20 series in the Caribbean.

By Rex Clementine

Less than a month after Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) severely censured officials of Sri Lanka Cricket for inefficiency and lack of transparency, the sport’s governing body has been exposed once again after the captain they named for the upcoming series in the Caribbean has been left stranded in Colombo unable to get a visa to fly to West Indies.

Dasun Shanaka was named as the captain for the three match series in the Caribbean and there was indication that he might hold onto the job at least till this year’s World Cup in India.

The team, however, travelled to the Caribbean on Tuesday without the captain. Sri Lanka team arrived in Antigua on Thursday after transits in Qatar and New York but the man who is supposed to lead them is still in Negombo.

The laws in Antigua, the home for Sir Viv Richards and Sir Curtly Ambrose is that tourists need to be in isolation for 72 hours before being allowed to train and the Sri Lankan team’s quarantine period ends tomorrow.

The first T-20 International begins on Wednesday (3rd March) and even if Shanaka leaves Colombo today, he is unlikely to meet quarantine regulations in time ahead of the game. Sources said that Shanaka could end up missing the entire T-20 series if he is unable to fly by Monday.

The latest development comes as another blow for SLC who were involved in a bitter public spat with former great Chaminda Vaas hours before the team departed for the Caribbean. Vaas was a last minute replacement for Australian David Saker as Bowling Coach and requested for a raise of his daily allowance. SLC would have ended up only paying US$ 5000 but took the fight onto Vaas and stopped short of calling him a traitor in a media release that went viral.

As for Shanaka, why only his visa had been delayed is because the all-rounder had been issued a previous US visa but he had lost that passport. The US embassy in Colombo is investigating whether anyone had misused the visa on the stolen passport.

Sources said given the issues that Shanaka would face in obtaining a US visa, the practical thing to do would have been to fly Shanaka to London and let him catch a flight to the Caribbean after he was unable to fly with the rest of the team. Gatwick airport in London flies to all Caribbean islands from Antigua to St. Vincent’s.

When contacted by The Island, a senior official of SLC said that there was a delay in Shanaka submitting his passport to the US embassy as he was made to quarantine after attending the wedding of cricketer Sadeera Samarawickrama.

However, another source said that the selectors had submitted the names of 35 probables for the Caribbean as early as 20th January. The practice is to get visas for all 35 but for some reason, SLC had severely delayed the process.

The selectors will consult Head Coach Mickey Arthur before naming a new captain. Sources said that the choice is between two players who had captained the team before.

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Dinethya shocks seniors to book semi-final place

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by Reemus Fernando

Fifteen-year-old Dinethya Dharmarathne turned tables on Oneli Perera and Vonara de Alwis to secure a place in the women’s singles semi-finals of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Thursday.

The Visakha Vidyalaya player beat Vonara de Alwis 7-5, 6-3 in the quarter-final yesterday after turning tables on Oneli Perera, the Under-18 champion of the recently concluded Colombo Championships.

In the third round, Dharmarathne overcame a first set defeat to beat Perera 3-6, 6-0, 10-4. The semi-final place is the highest achievement by the emerging player so far. Incidentally, it was Perera who eliminated Dharmarathne in the quarter-finals of the Colombo Championships.

Dharmarathne is the youngest in the semi-final line up now.

She is set to meet number one seed Janali Manamperi who beat Sethmi Sumanaweera 6-1, 6-0 in her match. The other semi-final will be between Savini Jayasuriya and Tania Doloswala who recorded victories in their matches.

In the men’s singles, Luca Knese, Sankha Atukorale, Vibuda Wijebandara and Kiran Vairavanathan completed the semi-final line up.

Atukorale is the number one seed of this Championship, which will conclude on March 7. While Knese beat number four seed Thehan Wijemanne, Wijebandara eliminated number three seed Savit Weerasinghe.

 

Results

Men’s Singles Quarter-finals

Luca Knese beat Thehan Wijemanne 6-2, 6-4

Sankha Atukorale beat Dumindu Dilum 6-2, 6-0

Vibuda Wijebandara beat Savit Weerasinghe 6-4, 6-2,

Kiran Vairavanathan beat Gayanath Senadeera 7-6, 6-2

Women’s Singles Quarter-finals

Janali Manamperi beat Sethmi Sumanaweera 6-1, 6

Dinethya Dharmaratne beat Vonara de Alwis 7-5, 6-3

Savini Jayasuriya beat Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-0, 6-1

Tania Doloswala beat Nelini Jayasuriya 6-4, 6-3

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