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SL Athletics team leaves for India with new ‘BELIEVE’ kits



National athletes who left the island yesterday (23rd) to compete in the 65th Interstate Athletics Championship in Patiala, India were geared with new competition kits by ‘BELIEVE’ Sportswear.

‘Believe’ is the sports and active wear arm of Ceylon Sports which is to be launched in the near future. The groundbreaking initiative by Ceylon Sports will see international style running gear manufactured in Sri Lanka for the first time. The trendy and modern collection include a wide range of sports gear seen in international competitions in the likes of two-piece running kits, one piece running kits, stylish calf wraps, headbands, warm up wear which are especially manufactured in consultation with experts. With the help of experts and athletes, ‘Believe’ has created customized collections for each athletic discipline named ‘Run’, ‘Jump’, ‘Throw’ which will cater to specific needs of the respective events.

‘We are grateful to ‘BELIEVE’ sportswear for providing kits for the National athletic team who will be competing at the 65th Interstate Athletics Championship in Patiala, India. The Athletes will be pushing for Olympic qualification, and we are thankful to ‘BELIEVE’ for coming forward to support our athletes. We hope to continue this partnership for all future National team involvements,” said Maj.Gen Palitha Fernando, President -Sri Lanka Athletics, expressing his admiration.

The team which took wing to India yesterday consists four athletes who are on the borderline of the Olympic qualification quota. Nilani Ratnayake who is already within the Olympic quota is also part of the team. The addition of women’s 4x100m relay team is a notable move as it is the first time they feature in an overseas competition outside the South Asian Games in 2016 and 2019. The team comprises of the first five athletes at the last National Athletics Championship. Four of the five athletes are below 21 years. Amasha de Silva, Shelinda Jansen, Medhani Jayamanne and Safiya Yamic will compete in the relay, while hurdler Lakshika Sugandhi is included as the fifth member.

Young sprinter, Shelinda Jansen of youth Olympic fame also expressed her admiration of ‘BELIVE’ sportswear. “It’s brilliant that Ceylon Sports have come up with the ‘BELIVE’ sportswear, as a young female athlete it’s very difficult to find trendy comfortable running gear in Sri Lanka for a decent price, I ran in ‘BELEIVE’ gear at the Nationals, and it was a perfect fit. I am excited to don this gear in India.”

Ceylon Sports provided running kits for athletes during the National Athletics championship and National Trials held at the Sugathadasa Stadium earlier this year and are hoping to join hands for upcoming International events such as World Junior Championship, Asian Athletics Championship, Asian Junior Championship and World Athletics championship 2022.

Ceylon Sports & Ceylon Athletics was Sri Lanka’s first web and social media platform which initiated providing much needed context and awareness on Sri Lankan Athletics aiding in the upliftment of the sport at a time athletics in the country was experiencing a dip in popularity. With several campaigns and coverage which included live streaming of all National and major international events and unique coverage methods it was able to increase athletes’ interest and desire for better performance while was able to bring fans back to athletics.

Extending beyond popularizing the sport, Ceylon Sports identified that Sri Lankan athletes did not have an avenue to get affordable international style running gear which will provide comfort during the events apart from paying hefty sums for major global brands.

‘BELIEVE’ is eyeing to fulfill this requirement in the local market and will soon be available for purchase online. National athletes will receive special discounts while a percentage of the income will be used to create a charity fund which will help underprivileged athletes, a service Ceylon Sports has been engaged in silence for many years.

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India crowned champions of inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup




The Shafali Verma-led side beat England in the final by seven wickets

Titas Sadhu, Archana Devi and Parshavi Chopra took two scalps each while Gongadi Trisha and Soumya Tiwari made useful scores as India Under-19 scripted a memorable seven wicket win over England Under-19 to seal the inaugural Women’s Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom. India U19 chased down the paltry target of 69 in the 14th over.

Brief scores:

England U19 68 in 17.1 overs (Ryana Macdonald Gay 19; Titas Sadhu 2-6) lost to India U19 69/3 in 14 overs (Soumya Tiwari 24*; Alexa Stonehouse 1-8) by seven wickets


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ICC names all-woman panel of match officials for 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup



The upcoming women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa will have an all-woman line-up of match officials, in what will be a landmark first in the game.On Friday, the ICC announced the panel of three match referees and ten umpires, featuring officials from seven countries. The match referees are GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa) and Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka). The on-field and TV umpires will be Sue Redfern (England), Eloise Sheridan (Australia), Claire Polosak (Australia), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Kim Cotton (new Zealand), Lauren Agenbag (South Africa), Anna Harris (England), Vrinda Rathi (India), N Janani (India) and Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka).

Selecting this panel was part of the governing body’s “strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket,” an ICC statement said.

The panel will also have the most number of women umpires and match referees in a global ICC tournament, four more than the nine who are at the ongoing women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup.

“Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level,” Wasim Khan, ICC’s general manager of cricket, said. “This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport.

“We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament.”

The eighth edition of the women’s T20 World Cup begins with hosts South Africa facing Sri Lanka on February 10. Defending champions Australia are in Group A with Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Arica. Group B has England, India, Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies. The top two teams from each group will move into the semi-finals.The matches will be played in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Paarl with the final scheduled for February 26 at Newlands.


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ACC to meet in Bahrain on Feb 4, call on Asia Cup expected



The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) will meet in Bahrain on February 4. A decision on the Asia Cup is expected at the much-awaited meeting where the representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be present. It could be a stormy affair in the Persian Gulf city of Bahrain, with the two boards having been at loggerheads.

The hosting right of the upcoming Asia Cup, which will be an ODI championship among the continental sides, has been a bone of contention, with the BCCI and the PCB being at odds over the venue. The August-September championship was allotted to the PCB but in view of political tension between India and Pakistan, the BCCI had declared that the Indian team will not be in a position to travel to Pakistan.

The BCCI’s refusal was initially escalated by former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who threatened to boycott the World Cup in India later in the year. A similar stand seems to have also been taken by Najam Sethi, who succeeded Raja, but there seems little support from other ACC members to the PCB position.

The BCCI and the PCB sparred recently after Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary and ACC president, announced the schedule of the council. It was responded with sarcasm by Sethi who said in a social media post, “Thank you @JayShah for unilaterally presenting @ACCMedia1 structure & calendars 2023-24 especially relating to Asia Cup 2023 for which Pakistan is the event host. While you are at it, you might as well present structure & calendar of our PSL 2023! A swift response will be appreciated (sic).”

The PCB chairman’s comments were rejected by ACC which declared that Shah’s post was not unilateral. “It has come to our knowledge that PCB Chairman Mr Najam Sethi has made a comment on the ACC President unilaterally taking the decision on finalising the calendar and announcing the same. The ACC wants to clarify that it has followed well established and due process. The calendar was approved by its Development Committee and Finance & Marketing Committee in a meeting held on December 13th, 2022.

“The calendar was then communicated to all the participating members individually, including Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), via an email dated December 22nd, 2022. While responses were received from certain Member Boards, no comments or suggested modifications were received from PCB. In view of the above, Mr Sethi’s comments on a social media platform are baseless and are vehemently denied by the ACC,” the ACC said backing Shah’s position.

With the meeting in Bahrain happening in such a backdrop, it could be a stormy affair. A BCCI official, who was in Mumbai for the unveiling of Women’s Premier League teams, confirmed a final decision on the Asia Cup will be taken in Bahrain on February 4.


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