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National badminton squads announced  



Sri Lanka Badminton announced the junior and senior national squads, comprising shuttlers who have placed themselves on the forefront of the rankings both locally and internationally.The senior men’s badminton squad consists of 28 players, including six singles and 14 doubles pairs. Similarly, the senior women’s badminton squad comprises of five singles and 30 doubles players, making up a total of 15 pairs.

Lochana de Silva, the current leader in national rankings, and Ashinsa Herath, who holds the fourth position in senior rankings and the second position in the under-19 category, are included in both singles and doubles squads. Furthermore, Rashmi Mudalige, ranked third in the senior women’s category and second in the under-19 category, Praveena Wijesundara who holds the second position in the national senior rankings, Ranumi Manage, ranked fifth in the national senior rankings and leading in the under-17 category, have been selected for the singles as well as the women’s doubles squads.

“The recommendations of the National Committee for Badminton Squads have also been considered in forming the squads,” a statement from the badminton governing body read.

Moreover, the junior girls and boys squads have been formed by including top-ranked players from the under-19, under-17, and under-15 categories.

Senior national squad

Men’s Singles: Lochana de Silva, Savinaka Weerasekera, Jason Homer, Ashinsa Herath, Viren Nettasinghe, Buwaneka Goonethilleke, Dumindu Abeywickrama

Women’s Singles: Praveena Wijesundara, Rashmi Mudalige, Varangana Jayawardena, Ranithma Liyanage, Ranumi Manage

Men’s Doubles: Dinura Rashmika/Lahiru Weerasinghe, Hansa de Silva/Yohan Weerasuriya, Sajeed Majeed/Manthuka Rupathunga, Vishan Fernando/Dulaj Uluvitige, Hasaranga Suriyaarachchi / T. Charles, Ashinsa Herath / Vidusha Sumanadasa, Achintya Imesh / Pasindu Peiris, Harith Reshan / Akindu Jayathilake, Lochana Perera / RPS Ratnayake, Sanjula Handapangoda / Thilina Rajakaruna, Shenuk Samararatne / Pulina Vellalage, N. Randeepa / Chonidha Lakhiru, Shamal Akash / Tejana Herath, Janeesha De Silva / Mihila Jayaweera.

Women’s Doubles: Kavindika de Silva, Buthmi Galagamage/Madhushika Dilrukshi, Hasara Wijeratne/Hasini Ambalangodage, Kavindi Sirimannage/, Irushi Amandi / Praveena Wijesundara, Rashmi Mudalige/Natasha Gunasekara, N. Palliyaguru/Sanadi Dhammasa, Tisuni Liyanarachchi/L. Umagaliyage, Ranumi Manage/Tiseja Herath, Dinethya Jayandi/Devni Ubesiriwardena, Sandathi Devmini/Dilini Ambalangoda, Sandaruvi Jayalath/Ralindi Umagaliya, Isuri Attanayake/Sethumi de Silva, Sanuti Gurusinghe/Pavani Ileperumaarachi, Dihini Mendis/Sanjeevakumar Lukshana

Junior Squad

Boys: Sachin Fernando, Mahen Wijesundara, Harith Reshan, Thidasa Weragoda, Hiruka Sahanmit, Pulina Vellalage, Thilina Rajakaruna, Senuth Sethmina, Pamudu Randiligama, Tejana Herath

Girls: Nethanga Palliaguru, Isuri de Alvis, Situki Onadi, Sandati Devmini, Dilini Ambalangoda, Vishwani Wanniarachchi, Nethmi Amaya Ratnayake, Situli Ranasinghe, Sanjeevakumar Lukshana.

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Novak Djokovic & Carlos Alcaraz to meet in French Open 2023 semi-finals




Carlos Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title at the 2022 US Open (pic BBC)

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz will face Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals after crushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up the highly anticipated clash.

Spain’s Alcaraz, 20, won 6-2 6-1 7-6 (7-5) against the Greek fifth seed.

Serbia’s Djokovic survived a quarter-final scare from Karen Khachanov to keep his bid for a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam singles title alive.  Djokovic, 36, was in danger of falling two sets behind against the Russian but prevailed 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-4.

The third seed could become the first man to win all four majors at least three times. But if he is going to do that he must come through his toughest test yet when he meets US Open champion Alcaraz in the last four on Friday.

(BBC Sports)

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Sri Lanka confident World Cup qualifiers will go well



Angelo Mathews bats during training at Suriyawewa ahead of the third ODI against Afghanistan.

Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa

Having failed to qualify automatically for the World Cup later this year, Sri Lanka will be flying shortly to Zimbabwe to secure one of the two remaining slots for the sport’s showpiece event. But before that they have got to finish off the ODI series against Afghanistan and the former champions will be hoping that they will be able to clinch the series prior to flying off to Harare.

After losing the first ODI by six wickets, Sri Lanka bounced back to square the series with a 132-run win on Sunday. That was a match where they basically produced the perfect game and ticked all the boxes.

The top order gave a solid start before the middle order capitalized on it and the lower middle order finished things off in style scoring 109 runs from the last ten overs. Sri Lanka piled up 323 for six and Afghanistan were never in the hunt as they were shot out for 191.

“The last game was a perfect exhibition of our plans. Everything was executed well. Since we had wickets in hand we could take risks. We could double the score and that was the plan. That’s what we want to do,” Sri Lanka’s Batting Coach Naveed Nawaz told journalists.

Prior to this series, we had a free period and we worked a lot on players’ fitness at the High-Performance Center. During this series we brought in a dietician and planned our food patterns. There is also a psychologist around. This is all done in a bid to establish whatever we have lost in the last few years,” Nawaz added.

While Sri Lanka are fretting over World Cup qualifications, there’s no such trouble for Afghanistan. Their captain Hashmatullah Shahidi told journalists that they will be one of the dark horses during the World Cup.

“Our ratings are improving day by day and match by match. We believe that we can do something special in this World Cup. We will be one of the best teams in the World Cup. We are the dark horses. The Asian conditions will suit our spin bowlers and we are excited,” Hashmatullah Shahidi said.

For today’s series decider leg-spinner Rashid Khan is expected to make a comeback having missed the first two ODIs due to a back injury.

“He is obviously our star performer. We didn’t want to take any risks with him as we have the Asia Cup and the World Cup. We will assess his situation during training and make a call whether he is ready to feature in the final game. It will mean a lot to us to come here to Sri Lanka and beat them in their own backyard,” the Afghan captain said.

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Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh reject PCB’s hybrid model?



Asia Cup:

Have Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh formally rejected the hybrid model proposed by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the Asia Cup? That seems to be the latest on the imbroglio that has led to prolonged uncertainty over staging of the six-national continental championship. Sri Lanka is set to be the host.

According to the news coming in from Pakistan, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have written to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) formally rejecting the host PCB’s formula of conducting four games in Pakistan and rest of the matches in the UAE, thereby upholding the position of the BCCI which has been opposed to the model.

The development was revealed by Rashid Latif. “India and 3 countries, except Pakistan, rejected Hybrid model for Asia cup, All agreed on one venue due to logistics and financial issues. Might be a Zoom meeting soon or a general meeting in Dubai in a few days to finalise the matter (Sic),” the former Pakistan captain said in a Twitter post. When contacted by Cricbuzz, Latif confirmed the news and also guaranteed the authenticity of this update.

“I have information from independent sources that four countries have rejected the model and it is now a formality that the Asia Cup will be moved out of Pakistan,” Latif, a highly respected former captain, told cricbuzz on Tuesday morning. Asked if Pakistan would participate in the tournament, he said it should. “I feel Pakistan should and will.”

However, there was no official clarity on the topic until late in the evening yesterday.

Previously cricbuzz had reported, quoting an SLC official, that Sri Lanka were prepared to host the championship if allotted by the ACC.

The six-team Asia Cup, tentatively scheduled to start in the second week of September, is seen as a significant precursor to the World Cup in October-November. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Nepal are to take part in the 17-game championship.


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