by Rex Clementine
Having qualified for the Super 12 stage of the ICC T-20 World Cup following their win over Netherlands in Geelong, the Sri Lankan cricket team reached Tasmania yesterday ahead of their first game of the second round on Sunday in Hobart. Sri Lanka’s opponents will only be known after the two Group ‘B’ qualifying rounds games end on Friday. The former champions will conduct a training session in Hobart Saturday morning and will assess the fitness of both Pathum Nissanka (groin) and Pramod Madushan (hamstring) before deciding whether to play them.
Nissanka didn’t take the field during his team’s last qualifying round game on Thursday as he was taken for a precautionary scan. He is said to be in some discomfort and his fitness will be the focus during the training session. Madushanka too had undergone a scan after the second game on Tuesday and he seems to have got a better chance of playing the game than Nissanka.Sri Lanka’s campaign of this year’s World Cup has been plagued by injuries. Some experts had put the former champions as the dark horses of the tournament, but a series of injuries has delivered some massive blows to their campaign.
Left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka, of whom much was expected, was ruled out on the eve of the World Cup with a torn quad muscle. There was a triple blow on Tuesday as Chameera (calf), Madushan (hamstring) and Danushka Gunathilaka (hamstring) went for scans. While Chameera and Gunathilaka were ruled out, Madushan has remained on tour.
Sri Lanka have brought in replacements as well having flown in Kasun Rajitha and Binura Fernando for the two quicks while Ashen Bandara, who was already in Australia as a travelling reserve took up Gunathilaka’s spot.
Hobart is no strange place for Sri Lanka as they have played quite a bit of cricket here. In fact Sri Lanka were part of the very first Test match played there in 1989. Kumar Sangakkara’s stunning 192 was also scored here in 2007 and it still remains the highest individual score by an overseas player.
From Hobart, Sri Lanka will travel to Perth for their game against Australia and from there to Sydney where they will play England and New Zealand. In between the games, they will make a quick visit to Brisbane where they play Afghanistan.
The Super 12 stage of the 16 nation tournament gets underway today with Transtasman rivals Australia taking on New Zealand in Sydney while Afghanistan will play England later in the day in Perth. The big game between India and Pakistan is on Sunday at the MCG. The tickets for the epic clash were sold out within minutes of ICC putting them out for sale. A total of 100,000 fans are expected to witness one of sport’s iconic rivalries.
Straight bats and brickbats
Rex Clementine at Pallekele
People who never in their lives played with a straight bat want us to embrace ethics. Sportsmen all over the world are taught to maintain ethical behaviour although there have been few exceptions.
Australians play sport so tough that they hate losing. They are friendly people but they suffer from what people call ‘white line fever’. That means once they cross the boundary rope, they are a different beast. Certain eastern European countries are accused of providing dope to their athletes in a bid to win medals at showpiece events like the Olympics. At home, we have the classic example of Fr. Trevor Martin of St. Peter’s who adopted a win at any cost culture that prompted some to comment that Fr. Le Goc, a French Missionary and the founder Rector of St. Peter’s, must be spinning in his grave.
Sports teach you more things than winning. It teaches you to remain grounded. It inculcates the virtues of patience and perseverance. It helps you to build an attitude of hanging in there. It reminds you to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. These are lessons that will stand you in good stead in life where you meet success and failures to a good share.
Those who have not played the sport in the right way when they were young are the ones who play spoil sport when they grow up. For example, we have a person who thought that carrying the captain’s bag would earn him a place in the side rather than talent alone. Eventually, he ended up playing more games than the wickets he took. Now he is talking of ethics in sport.
The same person plotted a bloodless coup to bring down Ashantha de Mel, who in his twin role as Manager cum Chairman of Selectors had to leave sooner than he was supposed to.
Then having ousted de Mel, the straight bat sought political intervention to get to the powerful position. General Shavendra Silva who had the final say in nominating people to sports bodies vehemently opposed. However, there was too much political pressure to ignore Mr. Straight Bat.
You may not have agreed with Ashantha all the time, but he had one virtue that is to explain his decisions and his expectations. When his methods didn’t work, he was the first one to owe up to his mistakes.
De Mel had little idea that men in his own committee were leaking information. Now the same men who adopted underarm tactics to seize power are preaching about straight bats.
The only thing they know in life and sports are brickbats and if they have got no skeletons to hide let them come openly and explain their decisions. Their flawed policies may have cost Sri Lanka automatic qualification for the next year’s World Cup. Let them be held accountable.
The same people who boast about the Asia Cup win and being ranked third in the Test championship have conveniently forgotten that under their watch Sri Lanka lost Mohali and Bangalore Tests inside three days. A nation’s reputation was ruined because they didn’t follow the simple rule that an injured player needs to return home without fiddling around dating apps. Having compromised on discipline and fitness, now they are washing their hands off without taking responsibility. Of course, you can talk discipline only with people who have discipline in their lifestyles. Not the ones who assault board officials who are your father’s age. Certainly not from those who cut acres of pristine forest land for banana cultivation or defraud government institutions by going against the tender process.
Cricket more than any other sport, reminds us of fair play and being above board. When people without an iota of self-respect are at the helm what more can we expect.
The same individual ran a campaign against the administration a few years ago with a newly formed body called Cricketers’ Association. He couldn’t win a cricket election so he came through an interim committee promising to look after the retired cricketers, a pension scheme for players, decent salaries for players and much more. Once he got power, all his pledges were forgotten and instead he was at daggers’ drawn with the players themselves.
The Cricketers’ Association was used as cat’s paw to gain power. Once they got the power the body ceased to exist. There’s no active cricketers’ association at present and many are the senior cricketers who have got to go around with the begging bowl to look after their medication and other needs.
Biting off the hand that once fed them is nothing new to these new rich. Their memories of Tichborne Lane have faded fast.
BRC emerge champions at Malay CC Sixes
BRC defeated surprise finalists Colombo Malay Cricket Club (CMCC) by five wickets in the Cup final at the Invitation six-a-side cricket tournament to celebrate CMCC’s 150th anniversary at the MCA ground on Saturday.
Governors’ Trophy winners Malay CC were restricted to 44 for four in five overs. BRC romped to 50 without loss in just 2.3 overs with TM Sampath unbeaten on 42.
Sampath went on to bag the Best Batsman’s prize while Danal Hamananda also of BRC took the Best Bowler’s award.
Malay CC had a dream run to the final defeating CCC in their opening match scoring 61 without loss and 78 for three to beat Colts in the semi-final. However, they could not repeat their heroics in the final against some accurate bowling from BRC.
There were many good hits over the ropes that thrilled the sparse crowd and many cricket balls that were sent well past the boundary were lost.
Avishka Perera of Colts too made some big hits and hit an unbeaten 50 off just 20 balls in a losing cause against Malay CC in the Cup semi-final.
The victorious BRC team comprised TM Sampath, Dushan Hemantha, Lahiru Samarakoon, Leo Francisco, Danal Hemananda, Resansora Silva, Malinda Jayod and Dulaj Ashen.
Meanwhile, SSC clinched the Plate title when they beat Moors SC by five wickets in the final.
Moors SC scored 66 for four and SSC notched up the winning runs in four overs scoring 68 without loss with Krishan Sanjula cracking 37 and Shevon Daniel 16.
(Shevon Daniel 19, Nipun Dananjaya 28, Krishan Sanjula 22) lost to Colts CC 84/1 (Shalin de Mel 62)
Malay CC 61/0
(Mangala Pradeep 39) beat CCC 58/4 (Pawan Pathiraja 19, Manidu Shyamal 2/09)
Tamil Union 59/5
(Sachith Pathirana 30, Dushan Hemantha 2/2) lost to BRC 62/4 (Danal Hemananda 29, Ravindu Fernando 2/14)
Moors SC 58/5
(Sohan de Livera 13, Asel Sigera 2/5) lost to NCC 59/2 (Asel Sigera 23)
(Pavan Ratnayake 23, Keshan Wijeratne 2/5) lost to SSC 53/3 (Vinushka Silva 2/10)
Moors SC 90/1
(Dinuka Dilshan 38) beat Tamil Union 63/3 (Ravindu Fernando 33, Dinuka Dilshan 2/9)
(Thilan Loransu 14, Kalana Perera 2/3) lost to SSC 68/0 (Krishan Sanjula 37)
Malay CC 78/3
(Kalana Madushanka 35, Niman Umesh 21) beat Colts CC 70/2 (Avishka Perera 50, Mangala Pradeep 2/7)
(Asel Sigera 35, Danal Hemananda 2/5) lost to BRC 83/0 (TM Sampath 41 no)
Malay CC 44/4
(Mangala Pradeep 14) lost to BRC 50/0 (TM Sampath 42)
Best Batsman –
TM Sampath (BRC)
Best Bowler –
Danal Hemananda (BRC)
Mahinda battle against unbeaten Petes for final spot
Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ Cricket
Unbeaten St. Peter’s will encounter Mahinda in the top semi-final of the Under 19 Division I Tier ‘B’ cricket tournament at Thurstan College ground today.
St. Peter’s, eliminated Mahinda in the quarter-final on their way to winning the title last season. The team from Galle will be eager to make amends against a team looking to extend their unbeaten run to the final.
Captained by Nimuthu Gunawardana, St. Peter’s earned a hard fought ten runs victory in the quarter-final. That was after their batsmen failed to impress against Devapathiraja. The Petes could post just 122 runs in the quarter-final which was played as a 27 overs a side affair.
In contrast, Mahinda registered comprehensive seven wickets win after rattling St. Servatius’ for 100 runs. They were the runners up to Maris Stella in their group in the first round. The team captained by Dhanuja Induwara had six victories in eight outings at the end of the first round.
St. Peter’s were the champions in their group after having registered eight victories during the first round.
St. Peter’s (from):
Nimuthu Gunawardana (Captain), Sanshay Gunatilake, Vishen Halambage, Oween Salgado, Rusanda Gamage, Shennon Rodrigo, Kavika Jayasundara, Lashmika Perera, Nathen David, Lakindu Sachin, Sean Robert, Ishira Ayupala, Dilana Damsara, Salith Gallage, Nitesh Fernando, Rithil Suraweera, Anupa Garumanne, Chamindu Perera.
Shanaka Fernando (Head Coach), Manjuka Perera (Asst. Coach), Sunanda Fernando (Master in Charge)
Dhanuja Induwara (Captain), Dinura Kalupahana (Vice Captain), Hiruna Gallage, Ranmina Hettiarachchi, Hareen Achintha, Tharushan Dilshan, Chandupa de Silva, Shehan Hasaranga, Kaveen Rukshan, Pramesh Madubhashana, Dulana Rajapaksha, Ranindu Nimsara, Arosha Udayanga, Deneth Kaushalya, Pasindu Lakshan, Senuka Dangamuwa, Ninura Deelaka, Kaveesha Gimsara, Vinupa Nethmira, Sahanjith Samadith.
M.M. Tharanga (Head Coach), Sulalith Shamendra (Asst. Coach), Y. Nishantha Kumara (Master in Charge).
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