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LPL gets bigger and better



IPG Group CEO Anil Mohan addresses a media briefing. Tournament Director Samantha Dodanwala, SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva and CEO Ashley de Silva are also in the picture.

by Rex Clementine

Although Lanka Premier League has been a resounding success heading into its fourth season, the fan participation has been somewhat dented in previous editions due to COVID and the fuel crisis, but the organizers are expecting full houses this time around.

The franchise tournament has benefited Sri Lankan cricket in many ways. While there has been a financial windfall, more importantly, the league has enabled the selectors to identify new talents and the fourth year will see the tournament getting bigger and better.

SLC is set to earn a sum of US$ 2.37 million this year as rights fee alone.

International stars like Babar Azam, David Miller, Matthew Wade and Fakhar Zaman and Lungi Ngidi have already confirmed their participation as this year’s tournament enables franchises to pre-sign a maximum of four players – two overseas signings and two local players.

Players representing the same team for consistency’s sake has also been ensured through three-year contracts although the parties can part ways through mutual understanding.

Most franchises have decided on their pre-signings and the tournament auction is expected to take place in a fortnight’s time.

The tournament will be played from 30th July to 20th August at RPS and Pallekele.

There are two new owners for this year’s event with Softlogic Group that owned the Colombo Stars team pulling out. The Colombo team has been renamed as Colombo Strikers. There is a change of ownership in the Kandy side as well, but that team will continue as Kandy Falcons.

The addition of a sixth team has been mooted for a while now but that has been put on hold for the time being until the next season. There’s also a plan to make LPL a city-based tournament with teams playing home and away games.

The LPL has created a lot of interest among fans so far and this year’s event is set to be a memorable one.

The details of the tournament were announced during a media briefing held at Sinhalese Sports Club yesterday with the participation of SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva, CEO Ashley de Silva, LPL Tournament Director Samantha Dodanwala and Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO of IGP Group.

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Australia and India set for showdown at The Oval




The winners of the World Test Championship final will receive £1.29m in prize money and the losers £644,000 (pic BBC)

Australia and India will meet at the Oval on Wednesday (07) for the ICC World Test Championship 2023.

The winners of the World Test Championship final will receive £1.29m in prize money and the losers £644,000.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadakt, Umesh Yadav.

(BBC Sports)


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First sprinter to run 100m in under 10 seconds dies




Jim Hines held the world record in the men's 100m for nearly 15 years (pic BBC)

US sprinter Jim Hines, the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, has died at the age of 76.

He broke the record in 1968 when he recorded a hand-timed 9.9 seconds at the US Championships. Hines then broke his own record shortly after while winning gold at the 1968 Olympics, where an electronic timer in Mexico City recorded him at 9.95. His record held for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith ran a time of 9.93 in 1983.

That is the longest length of time an athlete has held the record for the men’s 100m since the International Amateur Athletic Foundation began keeping track – 110 years ago.

His death was announced in a statement by World Athletics. The organisation said it is “deeply saddened” by the news. Both the Olympics and USA Track and Field shared tributes to Hines on Twitter. “The sport has lost a legend,” USA Track and Field said.

Hines was born in the state of Arkansas in 1946 but was raised in Oakland, California.

He had an early love of sport, namely baseball, but showed a real talent for sprinting as a teenager. He attended Texas Southern University where he ran for the Tigers track team before competing in national championships and the Olympics.

In addition to winning the 100m at the Mexico Olympics, he was also part of the US 4x100m relay team which won a gold.

He ended his sprinting career shortly after the Olympics and joined the NFL. He spent three years in the league, playing for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

(BBC Sports)

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Silverwood promises to address dot ball issue



Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa

Leading up to the World Cup Qualifiers starting in less than two weeks’ time in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood promised to address the team’s dot-ball woes.

In the first ODI against Afghanistan which the hosts lost by six wickets here on Friday, there were 158 dot balls with the batters struggling to rotate the strike. That is a huge amount coming up to more than 25 overs. Although the number was cut down to 128 in the second game, Sri Lanka would like to do better than that.

“The dot ball issue is something that we are addressing. A lot of people are talking about it I know. We need to rotate the strike better and put the pressure back on the bowlers. The boundary percentage went up in the last game. Getting a balance between the two will help us to score above 300,” Silverwood told journalists.

Silverwood, the former England Head Coach, also welcomed the return of seniors Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne back into the side bringing more stability to the batting unit. Mathews was left out for game two, but that appears to be part of the team’s strategy to give everyone in the squad a go.

“Angelo was brought into the squad to boost the batting lineup and bring confidence into the side. He has experience of playing big matches. The fact is we must prepare the whole squad to cover ourselves to face any situation.

“Dimuth is making a comeback into the ODI side and he played superbly. He had a good Test series against Ireland. His tempo is very good. He gave us something to build on. The openers added 80 plus for the first wicket. Every partnership after that was scored at less than run a ball. It shows what we can do when we have a good start,” noted Silverwood.

Dhananjaya de Silva came up with a match-winning effort in the second game bowling his off-spin so well picking up three wickets that included the prize scalp of Ibrahim Zadran and earlier his less than run a ball 29 had helped Sri Lanka to a match-winning total of 323 for six.

“Dhananjaya is at six and has to adapt to situations whether it be setting a target or chasing one. The first game he played a superb inning. Today we saw him capitalizing after we had a great start. He kept the momentum going. Obviously scored quickly which is exactly what we need to get over 300. We want to keep pushing the barriers. When it comes to his bowling, he has been threatening to do it for a while.”

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