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WPL 2024 auction: Athapaththu, Dottin among 165 players in the pool

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Chamari Athapaththu went unsold at the 2023 WPL auction but is expected to attract a lot of attention this year (Cricinfo)

Chamari Athapaththu, Deandra Dottin and Shabnim Ismail are among the biggest names in a pool of 165 players who will go under the hammer at the second WPL auction in Mumbai on December 9.

Among the major capped Indian players listed in the final pool are Veda Krishanmurthy, S Meghana, Meghna Singh and Devika Vaidya.  The five franchises will have a combined 30 slots to fill, including nine for overseas players.

Only two players – West Indies allrounder Dottin and Australia pacer Kim Garth – have placed themselves in the highest bracket, at a base price of INR 50 lakh (US$ 60,000 approx.), while Sri Lanka captain Athapaththu, in the middle of a spectacular run of batting form and the second-highest run-getter at the WBBL this year, has listed her base price at INR 30 lakh. She went unsold at the 2023 auction.

Dottin was signed for INR 60 lakh ahead of the inaugural season by Gujarat Giants, but was withdrawn from the squad days before the tournament. At the time, Giants said Dottin was “recovering from a medical situation”, a claim she disputed publicly. Dottin was subsequently replaced by Garth, who was let go ahead of the retention deadline.

The Australian pair of Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham, along with England wicketkeeper Amy Jones and Ismail, are bracketed in the second-highest category, with a base price of INR 40 lakh. Like Garth, Sutherland and Wareham were picked by Giants for the inaugural season before being released. Ismail featured in just three matches for UP Warriorz, while Jones had gone unsold.

Thailand batter Natthakan Chantham and USA’s Tara Norris are among 15 players from Associate nations in the auction pool, which also has representation from the Netherlands, Scotland, UAE and Hong Kong. Norris, the left-arm seamer, was the only Associate player to feature in the inaugural season of the WPL. She picked up seven wickets in five games for Delhi Capitals, including the tournaments’s first five-for.

Giants, who finished last in the previous edition, offloaded more than half their squad ahead of the second season. As a result, they have the biggest purse (INR 5.95 crore) and also the maximum slots to fill (ten). Defending champions Mumbai Indians have the lowest budget (INR 2.1 crore).

The inaugural season comprised 22 matches and was played in three venues across Mumbai. The BCCI is in the process of finalising the dates for the second season, which is expected to be held in February. It’s also likely that the tournament will be played in multiple cities, with Mumbai and Bengaluru expected to feature.



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Afghanistan elect to bat first in third T-20 International

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Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the third T-20 International against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on Wednesday. The Afghan captain won all three tosses in the series but this is the first time he has opted to bat first.

The game is a dead rubber with Sri Lanka having already secured the series 2-0.

Sri Lanka made four changes from the side that won on Monday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.

They left-out Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Binura Fernando and Maheesh Theekshanka and brought in top order batter Kusal Perera, all-rounder Kamindu Mendis, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya and seamer Nuwan Thushara.

Afghanistan also made four changes leaving out Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq.

They brought in all-rounder Sharfuddin Ashraf, left-arm seamer Fareed Malik, right-arm quick Wafadar Momand and batter Mohammad Ishaq, who is making his debut.

The tourists are yet to win a game in the multi-format bilateral tour. They lost the one off Test match in Colombo and suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series at Pallekele before conceding a 2-0 advantage in the three match T-20 series in Dambulla.

Sri Lanka:

Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (Wicketkeeper), Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga (Captain) Matheesha Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Thushara.

Afghanistan:

Ibrahim Zadran (Captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Wicketkeeper), Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad, Hazratullah Zazai, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Mohammad Ishaq, Fareed Malik and Wafadar Momand.  

Umpires:

Lyndon Hannibal (SRI) and Ravindra Wimalasiri (SRI)

Television Umpire:

 Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

Match Referee:

Chris Broad (ENG)

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Sri Lanka teams reach tennis quarter-finals

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Dinara de Silva and Ganuka Fernando

The girls and boys teams of Sri Lanka reached the quarter-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup Junior and Junior Davis Cup Asia Oceania Pre Qualifying tournaments continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Wednesday.

The girls team beat Maldives 2-0, as Ivanka Samarasinghe (beat Nishan Naba 6-1, 6-2) and Dinara de Silva (beat Azim Araa Aasaal 6-2, 6-2) registered straight set victories in the singles.

The boys team edged out Iraq 2-1. Ganuka Fernando beat Shammama Faisac 6-1, 6-2 in his singles match before joining Lithum Jayabandu to win the doubles against Shammama Faisac and Bakr Akam 6-2, 6-1.

In the second singles Jayabandu went down to Bakr Akam (6-3, 6-2).

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Dialog powers Royal – Thomian for 19th time

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Lasantha Thevarapperuma – Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC handing over the sponsorship to Rev. Marc Billimoria – Warden, S. Thomas’ College and Thilak Waththuhewa - Principal, Royal College. Also pictured (L) Rehan Gunasekera – Co-Chairman, Royal Thomian Match Organizing Committee From RC, (R) Arjuna Waidyasekera – Co-Chairman, Royal Thomian Match Organizing Committee from STC.

Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, has extended corporate backing for the 19th year as official sponsor of the country’s blue ribboned cricket encounter, the ‘Battle of the Blues’ between Royal College, Colombo, and S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia on March 7, 8 and 9 at the SSC Grounds, Colombo. The limited-over ‘Mustang’s Trophy’ match will be on March 16, also at the same venue.

The 145th cricket encounter will be aired live on Dialog Television – ThePapare TV HD (Channel Number 126), live-streamed on ThePapare.com and the Dialog ViU App.

Further, Dialog initiated the ‘Play for a Cause’ charity initiative with a mission to uplift school cricket across Sri Lanka. Through a generous pledge of Rs. 1,000 for every run scored and Rs. 10,000 for every wicket taken, last year’s encounter raised a substantial donation of Rs. 1,128,000. The proceedings were distributed in consultation with the Principal of Royal College and the Warden of S. Thomas’ College. This commendable effort helped support and empower four deserving schools in the country.

In this year’s encounter, the boys from Mt. Lavinia will be led by Mahith Perera, while the lads from Reid Avenue will play under the captaincy of Sineth Jayawardena, the U-19 Sri Lanka skipper. The ‘Royal-Thomian’ series spans an impressive 144 years, making it the second longest uninterrupted cricket series in the world, behind the annual encounter between St. Peters College, Adelaide, and Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, Australia, which began just a year earlier.

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