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Mahesh Weerasinghe re-elected as Kandy Sports Club President

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Mahesh Weerasinghe was re-elected as the President of the Kandy Sports Club for the third consecutive year in their 146th Annual General Meeting held recently in Nittawala.

Kandy SC, the giants in the local rugby circuit will once again be led by fly-half Nigel Ratwatte in the 2020/2021 season. Ratwatte led the defending champions in the 2019/2020 season as well. The new season is expected to begin in November or December.

The following names have been elected to take positions in the committee of Kandy Sports Club for the year 2020 / 2021.

Patron – Ranjith Page

Trustees – Malik Samarawickrama, Udaya Balasuriya, Sarath Perera

Office Bearers – Mahesh Weerasinghe – President, Lasantha Wijesuriya – Vice President, Janaka Pathirana – Vice President, Sanjeewa Liyanage – General Secretary, Anizal Laphir – Treasurer, Upali Silva – Bar Secretary, Arafath Abdeen – Pavilion Secretary, A.R.A.Rasheed – Ground Secretary, Anuruddha Ranasinghe – Social Events, M. M. Jeffry – Legal Consultant

Committee Members – Sanjeewa Tennakoon, Anton Nanayakara, Shyam Siddik, Channa Jayathilaka, Milroy Mendis, Anura Welikala, Fazil Marija, Sajeewa Marasinghe, Malar Selvan, Asoka Jayasena, Saliya Kumara

Rugby Committee – Lasantha Wijesuriya – Chairman, Kapila Silva – Rugby Team Manager, Fazil Marija – Head Coach, Viraj Prasanna – Assistant Coach, Nigel Ratwatte – Rugby Captain

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With IPL gone, SLC now focus on LPL

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Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has expressed his willingness to take part in LPL although official negotiations are yet to begin.

With their hopes of hosting this year’s Indian Premier League event now gone, Sri Lanka Cricket is firmly focusing on successfully running their own franchise based T-20 competition – Lanka Premier League.

SLC has allocated a three week window for the event – from 28th August to 20th September. Although the organizers are running against time in getting sponsors and television producers for the event, SLC has received some positive feedback from interested parties. In a media release, SLC said that they have been able to attract 70 overseas players and ten coaches for the event.

The five team competition named after cities such as Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will be played at RPS, Dambulla, Pallekele and Suriyawewa.

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan had expressed his willingness to take part in the event although he indicated that there had been no formal discussions with organizers.

Two years ago, when SLC had mooted the idea of conducting a franchise based tournament of their own, the board had received the blessings of Board of Control for Cricket in India to have Indian players in the competition.

It was supposed to be the first franchise based tournament outside India to have the participation of Indian players. Former Test cricketer Russel Arnold was put in charge as Director of the event. However, the tournament was postponed due to various reasons.

The outbreak of COVID -19 pandemic had seen SLC losing out on several home series. The Test series by England and Bangladesh were postponed while India and South Africa too delayed their limited over commitments in Sri Lanka.

With the country battling the pandemic relatively well compared to their Asian counterparts, SLC had expressed willingness to host IPL with BCCI deciding that the tournament had to be held overseas due to health reasons. However, UAE was preferred over Sri Lanka to host the event.

SLC is now hopeful that LPL will be the first cricket event to be held in the island since the outbreak of the pandemic. The board officials are set to meet health authorities to discuss the measures that need to be taken to resume cricket.

The bilateral series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is expected to be played soon after the LPL.

 

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Stuart Broad ‘100%’ considered retirement after being dropped

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England seam bowler Stuart Broad says he considered retirement after being dropped for last month’s opening Test of the summer against West Indies.

Broad, 34, was left out at Southampton, where West Indies won by four wickets.

He returned for the final two Tests, both won by England, and took 16 wickets to pass 500 for his career.

“Were there thoughts of retirement going round my head? 100%. Because I was so down,” Broad told the Mail on Sunday.

“I was expecting to play, which is always a bit of a dangerous thing in sport but I felt I deserved to play.

“When Stokesy [Ben Stokes] told me I wasn’t playing, I felt my body go into shakes. I could barely speak.”

Only six other bowlers in history have taken more Test wickets than Broad, who has played 140 Test matches.

The 16 wickets he took in the final two Tests against West Indies at Old Trafford came at an average of 10.93.

He added: “I have not really told anyone this but I was so down that week of the first Test, I was really low. I was stuck in that hotel. I couldn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t like I could go back to [girlfriend] Mollie and have a barbeque and chill out and reassess.

“I didn’t sleep for two days. I was nowhere. A different decision could definitely have been made with my emotions of how I was feeling.”

Broad, who is now targeting 600 Test wickets, also revealed that Stokes, who was captaining in England in the first Test in the absence of Joe Root, then played a key role.

“Stokesy knocked on my door on the Thursday night and stayed in the corridor to talk to me. He said: ‘This isn’t about cricket, but how are you, mate?’ That was very impressive for him to do.”

Broad made his Test debut in 2007 and for most of his career has been bracketed with new ball partner Anderson, 38, England’s record Test wicket-taker, who has 589 wickets, having made his debut in 2003.

“Do I think I’m in England’s best XI? Absolutely. Do I think Jimmy Anderson is in England’s best XI? Absolutely,” he said.

“There is no doubt that Jimmy and I have got better. No doubt.

“The last 18 months, I have been averaging 20.5 per wicket in Test cricket. Take age out of that. If anyone were doing that at any age, you would want to keep them around for a bit and not look past it.”(BBC)

 

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Walallawita making good progress in County Cricket

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He survived the nightmare that was the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 – now Thilan Walallawita is dreaming of his debut in first-class cricket.

Middlesex’s Sri Lankan-born left-arm spinner may be the unfamiliar name in the Seaxes’ squad for their opening Bob Willis Trophy encounter with Surrey at the Oval starting on Saturday, after Middlesex applied to the ECB to register him as an ‘un-qualified’ player earlier this week.

It’s another huge step on his eventful journey, which but for his father Ajith’s instinct and fleetness of foot would have ended, aged just six, that fateful Boxing Day 16 years ago when more than 30,000 Sri Lankan lives were lost.

The family were enjoying a meal at a beach-side restaurant when the disaster struck.

“Dad heard a noise and went outside to check,” said Walallawita.

“He saw the waves going back and building up. He said it was like the end of the world was coming. He was shouting ‘Get out, get out, a tsunami is happening’.

“The bridge we needed to get across was gone by the time we reached it, so we had to park our car in front of a house and run.

“There was a church on top of a hill we had to reach to escape the second more deadly wave, so my dad had to carry me and run.

“I could see the wave coming behind us. If he hadn’t carried me I wouldn’t be here now.”

Life spared, Walallawita soon inherited his father’s love of cricket, Ajith having the foresight to encourage him to switch from right to left-handed to make himself more distinctive, not to say marketable, as a bowler.

Arriving in England aged 12, he joined Potters Bar CC and was soon sent for Middlesex trials.

Walallawita progressed through the county’s age-groups and academy, becoming their leading wicket taker in Second XI cricket last season and earning his first professional contract in January.

“This is a dream, there are no words to describe how grateful I am to the Middlesex staff for having my back and showing faith in me,” Walallawita said.

“I’m known for my consistency as I can get onto a line and length very quickly. I wasn’t able to turn the ball as much in the early days, but now I get turn, bounce, everything.

“I now have to work on my tactical side, such as getting all the fielders in the right place for every ball.

“Batting-wise it’s about being patient. The coaches call me Jayasuriya as I’ve got some lovely cover drives, but in four-day stuff you have to be patient and put some shots away in the locker.”

Should Walallawita get the call-up for the Oval, he’s already had a dress-rehearsal thanks to the friendly between the two sides earlier this week – a game where the 22-year-old picked up a couple of good scalps.

And with Radlett, Middlesex’s second XI base, hosting their home matches, Walallawita is itching to get in on the action.

“The practice match was lovely, and it was great to be out there in front of 1000 people,” he added.

“Even though it was a friendly, getting my first two wickets was memorable and I dedicate them to my family and all those who’ve helped me out on this journey so far.

“The wicket we’re going to play on this Saturday is apparently spin friendly and there was a lot of bounce on the practice match pitch too. Turn and bounce is perfect – a dream for a spinner. I only need to get one ball to turn and I’m in the batsman’s head.

“Radlett is good for me too because it turns late in the game. So, if the batsmen can put runs on the board the spin twins, Nathan (Sowter) and I could get the job done.”

 

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