Connect with us


SLC wants bigger role from MJ moving forward



After Mickey Arthur's exit former captain Mahela Jayawardene is set to be roped in as Consultant Coach.

by Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka Cricket has given thumbs up for the Cricket Committee’s move to rope in former captain Mahela Jayawardene to the national cricket team’s coaching staff after the exit of Mickey Arthur.

The tenure of Arthur, who joined SLC in December 2019, will end in two weeks time following the completion of the two match Test series against West Indies. Jayawardene’s role will not be as Head Coach but as a Consultant Coach. However, he will have a larger clout on how the team is run.

The proposal is to rope in Jayawardene as one of the Consultant Coaches possibly on a two year tenure with several recently retired players like Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga joining as Consultant Coaches. Jayawardene will shuttle between the national team, Sri Lanka ‘A’ team and the Under-19 team during his stint and will be free to honour his commitments with franchises such as Mumbai Indians and Southern Brave.

SLC sources told The Island that they are going to take a leaf out of India’s book and will rely heavily on local coaching talents and will look out overseas only for a Head Coach that too if they are unable to appoint someone locally.

“We would be delighted if Mahela agrees to come on board. You could see the difference he made when he was with the side in UAE and the feedback that we had from the players and coaching staff was excellent,” an SLC official told The Island.

The Island learns that Jayawardene is reluctant to take up any role with the team if any overseas travel is invovled and he will work with the team mostly in Colombo. He has also made it clear that there needs to be a structure and a proper plan before he commits for any role. He is already making the blueprint for the Under-19 team for the upcoming World Cup and the team is believed to be making good progress having blanked Bangladesh 5-0. Bangladesh are the reigning Youth World Champions.

Jayawardene is supposed to have told the Cricket Committee the most vital aspect is to develop teams at grassroots levels rather than the spending extensive time with the senior team.

Already there’s change of approach in picking the team for next year’s Youth World Cup in the Caribbean as rather than giving prominence for players who do well in two day inter-school games, those players who are good in white ball cricket are getting preference.

Meanwhile, although, there were indications earlier on that Roshan Mahanama would fill in the role of Head Coach, now it seems that SLC is keen on having him as Director Cricket sidestepping Tom Moody.

Mickey Arthur yesterday confirmed that he will be joining English county Derbyshire after SLC indicated that his contract will not be renewed. Arthur took up as SLC Head Coach in December 2019 and had a turbulent time with a series of injuries to key players and three of his leading players suspended. He has rebuilt the side well banking on a host of untested young players and was just starting to turn things around during the recent T-20 World Cup in UAE.

Latest News

Advantage Bangladesh after Shanto ton




The stand-in skipper scored an unbeaten 104 (Cricbuzz)

Bangladesh put themselves in a strong position in the opening Test against New Zealand after skipper Najmul Shanto struck a well-crafted century on the third day at Sylhet. Shanto remained unbeaten on 104 and was involved in an unbroken stand of 96 with Mushfiqur Rahim as the hosts went into stumps with a lead of 205.

New Zealand started off well after managing to erase the deficit even though Bangladesh were favourites to fetch the first-innings lead when play began. The visitors were trailing by 44 runs with only the tail left to bat but Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee kept the home side at bay in the first hour before Jamieson was trapped lbw. New Zealand then managed to eke out a 7-run lead before Southee departed to give Mominul Haque his third wicket.

While Bangladesh batted out a tricky 10-over period before the lunch break, New Zealand struck immediately in the second session. Ajaz Patel got one to turn in sharply and Zakir Hasan failed to connect while attempting a nudge. As a result, the batter was trapped plumb in front to give New Zealand the first breakthrough. And then came a cruel blow in the next over as Shanto drove one straight off Southee, who got a touch before the ball hit the stumps with the non-striker Mahmudul Hasan caught short of his crease.

At 26/2, the home side needed a partnership to steady the ship. They got exactly that with Shanto and Mominul adding 90 for the third wicket. Mominul, who took time to get going, hit three boundaries in the space of five deliveries as the duo counterattacked before a drinks break. The two batters guided Bangladesh to a good position before the Tea break but the visitors struck again immediately after resumption.

This time, it was a run out again as Shanto was caught ball watching, leaving Mominul stranded. Despite the unfortunate dismissal, Bangladesh took control of the game with Shanto remaining firm at one end. Rahim, who didn’t open his account for ten deliveries, broke free against Ajaz with two boundaries in the span of three deliveries and raced to 19 off just 28 at one point.

Glenn Phillips, who had a fruitful outing with the ball in the first innings, couldn’t recreate the magic this time around as Shanto picked him apart for three boundaries in two overs. New Zealand just couldn’t create any chances before the close of play as Shanto kept going before bringing up a brilliant ton that has now firmly put Bangladesh in the driver’s seat.

Brief scores:
310 & 212/3 (Najmul Shanto 104*, Mushfiqur Rahim 43*) lead New Zealand 317 (Kane Williamson 104, Glenn Phillips 42; Taijul Islam 4/109) by 205 runs

Continue Reading

Latest News

Uganda create history, qualify for 2024 T20 WC




Uganda qualify to the T20 World Cup for the first time (pic ICC)

For the first time in their cricketing history, Uganda qualified for the T20 World Cup after brushing aside Rwanda in their final game of the Africa region qualifier. In the process, they denied Zimbabwe a spot in the main event next year that is scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the USA.

Earlier in the competition, Namibia became the first team to clinch one of the two available spots for qualification to the tournament proper.

Going into the final round of fixtures on Thursday (November 30), Uganda were favourites to get the job done as they were up against a winless Rwanda. For Zimbabwe to usurp Uganda in the points table, they had to defeat Kenya and hope for Uganda to slip against Rwanda. However, Rwanda lost a wicket in the very first over of their innings and never recovered.

Only two batters from Rwanda managed to hit double digits with the batting lineup crumbling in stunning fashion. Eventually, Rwanda were bowled out for just 65, a total Uganda chased down with ease to prevail by nine wickets and seal their place in the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Zimbabwe did all they could from their end as the in-form captain Sikandar Raza promoted himself up the order and smashed eight sixes en route his 48-ball 82. Zimbabwe ended up posting 217 on the board as a result but that loss to Uganda four days ago came back to hurt them in the end.

Continue Reading

Latest News

IPL auction player registration ends today (November 30)




Over 700 players are expected to register for the auction this time, with some prominent names aniticipated to be on the list (BCCI)

Today (November 30) is the final day for players to register for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. Players are required to submit their names along with No Objection Certificates (NOCs) through their respective boards. The auction is scheduled for December 19.

With expectations of over 700 players registering for the auction, this time, some prominent names are anticipated to be on the list. Notable World Cup performers such as Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Travis Head, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, among others, are expected to be the top draws.

In particular, Starc is expected to be hotly pursued by franchises, despite his history of making himself unavailable after being acquired in previous auctions. Sources close to Cricket Australia have disclosed that at least five franchises have reached out to the left-armer, and he is likely to feature prominently on the marquee list.

Following the registration, franchises will be tasked with trimming the list. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) anticipates around 70 players to be sold at the auction. The BCCI has specified that transactions totaling up to INR 262.95 crore can occur at the auction, with 77 available slots across the 10 squads. Additionally, teams can acquire up to 30 foreign players.

While Ben Stokes has already withdrawn, franchise sources indicate they are awaiting confirmation regarding the availability of Jofra Archer, recently released by Mumbai Indians. There is also speculation that Josh Hazlewood may be available for the league, having been released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore recently.

The IPL is likely to take place from the third week of March, following the conclusion of the five-Test series between India and England, until the third week of May. This schedule ensures that players and boards have ample time to prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup, set to commence on June 3.

Continue Reading