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SLSAA athletics championships to attract over 20,000 athletes



(From left) Nimal Madusinghe, Secretary, Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association (SLSAA), P. Chaminda Perera, Treasurer (SLSAA), Kusala Fernando, President (SLSAA), Nilupul de Silva, General Manager - Marketing of CBL Foods International and Aruna Liyanapathirana, Category Manager – Ritzbury. (Pic by Nishan S. Priyantha)

Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association conducted All Island Schools Relay Championships, Sir John Tarbat Senior and Junior Athletics Championships which will be held under the Ritzbury banner and will attract a staggering number of 20,000 athletes, organisers announced at an event held on Tuesday.

Ritzbury will serve as the sole sponsor of the prestigious Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship for the 11th consecutive year. The Championship is one of the longest-running athletic events in Sri Lanka’s sporting history.

More than 4000 athletes representing 200 schools will take part in the Ritzbury Relay Carnival 2023 starting on Saturday (from 24 to 26) at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo. The 51st Ritzbury Sir John Tarbat Junior Athletic Championship will encompass age groups ranging from Under 12 to under 15, while the 91st edition of the Senior Championship will feature age groups Under 16, 18, and 20 in both the male and female categories.

The John Tarbat Junior Athletics Stage 1 will subsequently take place at various locations, including the Bogambara Stadium Kandy on July 7 and 8, Beliaththa D.A Rajapaksa Stadium on July 18 and 19, Jaffna Municipal Grounds on August 10 and 11, and the Bandaragama Public Ground from August 19 to 21. It is estimated that over 20,000 students representing 600 schools across the country, regardless of race, ethnicity, or provincial divides, will participate in these events. The John Tarbat Senior Championship is scheduled to take place from September 12 to 16, while the John Tarbat Junior Championship is scheduled for a November 3rd start.

“Ritzbury is honoured and privileged to partner with the Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championship once again. We believe in the potential of our young athletes and remain committed to supporting their journey to success,” Nilupul de Silva, General Manager, Marketing of CBL Foods International Pvt Ltd. said.

Kusala Fernando, President of the Sri Lanka School Athletic Association, expressed deep appreciation for Ritzbury’s sponsorship and highlighted its pivotal role in the championship’s success. “The support from Ritzbury is invaluable to the championship, ensuring its continued growth and prosperity. Over the years, Ritzbury has stood out as the key corporate entity responsible for the continued success of this sporting event, and it helps to develop the talents of young athletes scattered throughout the country,” said Fernando.

In addition to the Sir John Tarbet Athletics Championship, Ritzbury is known as an active supporter of a wide range of sporting events in Sri Lanka including the Vidudaya Swimming Championship, Junior National Squash Championship, Junior National Rugby Championship and the SLTA Tennis Tens All Island School Kids Tennis Play Day.

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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.

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Selectors set to be first casualties post World Cup



Sri Lanka Cricket is set to advertise for new selectors ending the three-year term of Pramodya Wickramasinghe during which period the national cricket team hit new lows. 

by Rex Clementine  

Members of the national selection panel are set to be the first casualties post World Cup in which the national cricket team had a disastrous campaign. Despite Sri Lanka finishing ninth in the ten-team event and failing to qualify for the Champions Trophy, none holding key positions within the national cricket team had stepped down.

Although previous Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe and other bodies attached to the Sports Ministry were keen to change the selection panel headed by former fast bowler Pramodya Wickremasinghe, there was tough resistance from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

However, with Harin Fernando taking charge as Sports Minister following the dismissal of Ranasinghe, Fernando had discussed changes moving forward with fresh thinking coming in.

Accordingly, SLC will advertise for selectors and in due time will pick a competent team.

Under Pramodya, Sri Lanka ended up playing three qualifying round tournaments to go through for ICC events, a trend that had never happened previously.

The selectors decision to bench half a dozen seniors from the white ball sides also didn’t go down too well and eventually they had to bite the bullet and fall back on the likes of Angelo Mathews. However, one of the finest all-rounders Sri Lanka had Thisara Perera had quit international cricket by then.

Former captain Marvan Atapattu had been approached to take over as new Chief Selector, but The Island learns that he had declined the role and wasn’t keen to be involved in cricket in any capacity at the moment.

Former fast bowler Ashantha de Mel is a possible candidate to become the Chief Selector again. De Mel has had several stints with the last being from 2019 to 2021 and the highlight during his tenure was Sri Lanka becoming the first Asian nation to win a Test series in South Africa.

It remains to be seen which other former cricketers will apply for the post of selectors.

SLC is also likely to not renew the contracts of several individuals within the coaching set up of the national cricket team. However, former captain and Consultant Coach Mahela Jayawardene is likely to get an extension despite an embarrassing World Cup campaign, Sri Lanka’s worst since 1999.

Sri Lanka’s next campaign will be the bilateral white ball series against Zimbabwe at home in January. All key slots are expected to be filled by that series.

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Colombo South win Under 15 Youth League final in style  



Colombo South Under 15s won Sri Lanka Cricket conducted Under 15 Youth League Final at the MCA ground on Wednesday.

by Reemus Fernando 

Royal College batsman Rehan Peiris scored his second century, a run-a-ball 129 for Colombo South Under 15s before their bowlers produced a combined effort to record a comfortable 86 runs victory against Colombo North in the Sri Lanka Cricket conducted Under 15 Youth League final at MCA ground on Wednesday.

Chasing a target of 257 runs to win, Colombo North played second fiddle and were never in the hunt as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Sadeesha Silva resisted anchoring the innings with 47 runs but he lacked support from the rest. Yenula Dantanarayana and Lahiru Lakmal made 20s.

For the winners Holy Cross College, Kalutara spinner Himaru Deshan and Cambrian Rusandu Silva bowled tight spells. Deshan and Silva gave away just 27 and 22 runs respectively during their quota of ten overs. Both took one wicket each. Deshan, who ended up as the highest wicket taker of the tournament had three maidens in his ten overs. Janul Damhiru who shared the new ball with Dunitha Anusara picked up two wickets. Anusara, Yasaru Praveen and Matheesha Aponso picked up one wicket each.

Earlier deciding to bat first, Colombo South lost their first wicket for 11 runs. But a second wicket stand of 110 runs between Peiris and Lasiru Sandakan (Royal, Panadura) provided a solid base for them to post a formidable total. After Sandakan was dismissed for 40 runs Peiris joined St. Peter’s wicketkeeper batsman Jason Fernando to post 96 runs for the third wicket.

Peiris scored ten sixes and five fours in his innings, while Fernando made 19 runs.

Colombo South consisted of players from Royal, Colombo, Royal, Panadura, D.S. Senanayake, Colombo, St. Peter’s, Bambalapitiya, Prince of Wales, Holy Cross, Kalutara, C.W.W. Kannangara and Walapura MV, Horana. They were captained by Thevindu Wewalwala of Royal College Colombo.

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