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Wanindu nominated for 2021 ICC Men's T20I Player of the Year

Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva is one of the four nominees for the 2021 ICC Men's T20I Player of the Year award.

The others are another all-rounder and two wicket-keeper batters:

Mohammad Rizwan – Pakistan

1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 with one century; 24 dismissals.

Mitchell Marsh – Australia

627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88; 8 wickets at 18.37.

Jos Buttler – England

589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century; 13 dismissals

Of Wanindu, the citation says,

Wanindu Hasaranga – Sri Lanka

36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63; 196 runs with one half-century

The year that was

It was a breakthrough year for Wanindu Hasaranga, who established himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format while also being a player who could contribute with the bat. A consistent performer throughout the year, Hasaranga's star shone the brightest during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.

He ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps and also played some handy knocks with the bat, like his 71 against Ireland. He was a constant menace for the opposition as Sri Lanka impressed one and all during the tournament with their young and energetic side.

Still only 24, Hasaranga is expected to become a cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket, especially in the shortest formats of the game.

Memorable performance

In a pressure encounter in Sharjah against South Africa, Hasaranga almost single-handedly helped his side claw back into the contest with his brilliance with the ball. Claiming a memorable hat-trick, he took the big scalps of Aiden Markram (19) and Temba Bavuma (46) before dismissing Dwaine Pretorius to complete his hat-trick.

Hasaranga would end up with figures of 3/20 in his four-over spell, and it was only the power-hitting of David Miller at the death that got the Proteas over the line.

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Wanindu Hasaranga tops T20 bowlers’ rankings

Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga has become the world’s top T20 bowler by ICC rankings.

With eight wickets in the Super 12s stage (the most by anyone), the wily leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has also taken this year’s tally to 34 scalps, a new world record for most wickets in a calendar year in Men’s T20Is.

Hasaranga and South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi are going neck to neck for this record this year. Shamsi has 32 victims in 2021, the second highest in a calendar year.

Hasaranga, who is playing in his first T20 World Cup, is having a memorable tournament with both bat and ball.

He took three wickets for 21 runs against England and also scored 34 off 21 balls. In the previous match, against South Africa in Sharjah, he became only the third bowler, after Brett Lee in 2007 and Curtis Campher in 2021, to take a hat-trick in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The leg-spinner also had taken a hat-trick on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in Galle in 2017.

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Lanka Premier League : Jaffna Kings crowned champions, again

The Jaffna Kings who topped the group phase of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2021, went on to win the title as they beat the Galle Gladiators in the final by 23 runs.

The Kings were also the defending champions coming into the tournament but went down to the Gladiators on three occasions before the final in this years’ edition.

The Jaffna Kings stuck by what has worked well for them throughout the tournament as skipper Thisara Perera won the toss and elected to bat first on a belter of a pitch at the Sooriyawewa Stadium in Hambantota.

The explosive opening duo of Avishka Fernando and Rahmanullah Gurbaz got them off to a flier once again as they put on 56 inside the power-play for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed for 35.

Fernando(63) followed up his century in the previous game with another half century while useful cameos from from Shoaib Malik(23 off 11) and Thisara Perera (17* off 9) made sure the Kings went past the 200-run mark in consecutive games.

Mohammad Amir, Nuwan Thushara and Samit Patel were the only wicket takers for the Gladiators, picking up a wicket each.

LPL 2021 3Danushka Gunathilaka got the Gladiators to a whirlwind start as he took the attack to the Kings’ bowlers including Maheesh Theekshana who has been the standout bowler for them through the tournament. Gunathilaka hit 54 off just 21 balls in a knock that included seven fours and three towering sixes.

It was Wanindu Hasaranga’s introduction that brought the Gunathilaka special to an end, while he picked up Ben Dunk off the following delivery to drag the Kings back into the contest.

The Gladiators kept up with the required run rate but a couple of unnecessary run outs pegged them back as they were reduced to 133/6 in 14 overs.

They never really got back from those blows and were eventually restricted to 178/9 in their allotted 20 overs. Kusal Mendis was the second top scorer with 39 runs while none of the other batters made any significant contributions.

Hasaranga picked up two wickets, held on to a couple of very good catches and also was involved in the run out of Mohommed Hafeez.

Hasaranga together with his brother Chathuranga de Silva (2/15) helped the Kings win quite comfortably in the end. Malik also bowled three crucial overs conceding just twelve runs.

Samit Patel and Maheesh Theekshana ended as the joint highest wicket takers in the tournament with 16 wickets apiece while Kusal Mendis finished the tournament as the highest run scorer with 327 runs.

(The Island)

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Gayanthika Abeyrathna sets two new Sri Lanka records

Sri Lanka Navy Leading Women Sailor Gayanthika Abeyrathna set two new Sri Lanka records in women’s 1500m and 5000m at the 99th National Athletics Championships held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

The Asian Gold Medalist set these two new records in respective events held on 30th and 31st October 2021.

Accordingly, Leading Women Sailor Gayantika Abeyratne set the new national record in the women’s 1500m in 4 minutes and 9.12 secs (4: 9.12), beating Nimali Liyanarachchi’s previous record of 4 minutes and 15.86 secs (4: 15.86) set in 2019.

Further, this morning (31st October) she won the women’s 5000m in 15 minutes and 55.84 secs (15: 55.84), setting a new Sri Lanka record by breaking the previous record of 16 minutes and 17.82 secs (16: 17.82) set by Nilani Rathnayake in 2019.

The women athlete has brought much credit to the Navy as well as the motherland throughout her athletic career.

She has won a gold medal in the women’s 800m at the 2017 Taipei City Asian Grand Prix in Taipei, a silver medal in the women’s 800m at the 2017 Asian Championships in India, a gold medal in the women’s 1500m at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and a bronze medal in the women’s 800 meters at the same championship.

She joined Sri Lanka Navy in 2010 and has represented Sri Lanka Navy in athletics over the years. For her exceptional talents in the sporting arena, she has won the award for the Best Sportswoman from Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne at the Navy Colours Night in 2021. She is coached by Mr. GL Sajith Jayalal, Director, National Institute of Sports Science.

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Mahela becomes Sri Lanka’s new ‘Consultant Coach’

Mahela Jayawardene has been appointed consultant coach of the Sri Lanka men's senior team, as well as the men's Under-19 team and the Sri Lanka A team for a period of one year, starting 01 January 2022.

A Sri Lanka Cricket press statement said that the former captain "will be in charge of the overall cricketing element of the national teams" and also provide "strategic support" for players and the management teams at SLC's high-performance centre.

"This is an exciting opportunity to work with the national cricketers and coaches in our various development squads, including the U19 and A teams, to help us do justice to the enormous cricketing talent and potential in Sri Lanka," Jayawardene said in the statement.

"I am very passionate about Sri Lankan cricket and believe that with a coordinated and focused team effort, taking a holistic approach working across all age groups, we can achieve consistent success in the future.”

"My main role will be supporting our team of national coaches and support staff in terms of our preparation and strategic-thinking during the coming year."

The appointment came about following consultations between the SLC's executive committee and technical advisory committee.

Jayawardene had earlier been a part of the Sri Lanka men's senior team as a consultant for the first round of the T20 World Cup, played in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year.

At the time, he had also been signed on as a consultant and mentor for the Under-19 team, which has been preparing for the World Cup in the Caribbean next year.

"Mahela's contributions during the first round of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup became invaluable for the overall performances of our team in the concluded event," Ashley de Silva, SLC CEO, said in the statement.


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Chandrishan Perera passes away

Sri Lankan Rugby legend Chandrishan Perera, who had provided an invaluable service to uplift the sport in the country, has passed away this evening (24).

He had reportedly passed away after being admitted to a hospital in Negombo.

A former star rugby player who had also captained the Sri Lankan national rugby team, Perera is a well-known sporting icon of the country.

He later went on to play a big role in the administration of the sport in Sri Lanka and has also served as a rugby coach and as a commentator.

Chandrishan had an early education at St. Peter’s College and moved on to England where he studied law and criminal psychology before being spotted for his sporting talents.

The rugby veteran had been diagnosed with a rapidly progressing case of Parkinson’s disease a few years back and as of recently had been confined to a wheelchair.

In April 2019, the Sri Lanka Rugby community came together to honour the rugby legend at the Origins encounter at Havelock Park.

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SL wins C’wealth Championship weightlifting gold

Sri Lanka won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan today (09).

The 22-year-old Srimali Samarakoon came first in the women’s 45 kg weight class.

The Commonwealth championships is being held along with the World Weightlifting Championships 2021.

It is the most important qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

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Mahela appointed as ’Consultant’ for T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka Cricket says that former Captain Mahela Jayawardena has been appointed as a consultant for the Sri Lanka National Team and the under-19 team.

Jayawardena has been appointed as a consultant for the U-19 team in a ‘honorary’ capacity, while he has been appointed as a consultant for the National team during the First Round of th ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

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SL climbs to top of Test Championship points table

With their 187-run win against the West Indies today (25), Sri Lanka has climbed to the top of the World Test Championship points table.

The ICC shared a photo of the WTC points table as it stands currently, with the caption, "Sri Lanka on top. The ICC #WTC23 points table after the first #SLvWI Test."

The Lankans leapfrogged India, despite having only one win under their belt as compared to India's two, which came on the unfinished tour of England.

That is because of their higher percentage of points, which is 100 percent as they have won the only Test they have played so far in this cycle.

India have won two Tests, lost one and drawn one, which puts their PCT at 54.17, Pakistan are third as they have a PCT of 50, having won one and lost one of the two matches they have played.

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Norwegian women's beach handball team fined for not playing in bikinis

The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has been fined for refusing to play in bikini bottoms during a game in the sport’s Euro 2021 tournament.

The team wore thigh-length elastic shorts during their bronze medal match against Spain in Bulgaria on Sunday to protest against the regulation bikini-bottom design that the sport's Norwegian federation president called “embarrassing.”

The team was fined 1,500 euros total ($1,700) for “improper clothing,” according to a statement from the European Handball Association's Disciplinary Commission.

While male players are allowed to play in tank tops and shorts no longer than 4 inches above the knee, women are required to wear midriff-baring tops and bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and a maximum side width of 4 inches, according to International Handball Federation regulations.

"It's not [appropriate clothing for] the activity when they are playing in the sand," Norwegian Handball Federation President Kåre Geir Lio told NBC News by phone from Oslo. The women's team trains and competes in "what they want, like the boys" at home in Norway, but is subject to the International Handball Federation's clothing rules when playing abroad, he said.

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The team had petitioned to wear the shorts its players train in from the start of the tournament, Lio said, but was threatened by the EHA with a fine or disqualification. By Sunday's bronze medal game the women decided to make a statement.

"It was very spontaneous. We thought, 'Let's just do it now, and then see what happens,'" player Katinka Haltvik told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

"I got a message 10 minutes before the match that they would wear the clothing that they were satisfied with. And they got our full support," Lio said.

The team received support at home and abroad on social media.

"This is completely ridiculous! How many attitude changes are needed in the old-fashioned international patriarchy of sports?" tweeted Norway's Minister of Culture in response to news that the team had been fined.

Norway has campaigned since 2006 for shorts to be officially considered acceptable in beach handball, and will submit a motion to change the rules in an extraordinary congress of the IHF in November, said Lio.

Haltvik hopes it will make the sport more inclusive. "It shouldn't be the case that people don't want to take part because of the outfit," she told NRK in April.

Efforts to regulate official female attire in other beach sports have proven controversial. The Qatar Volleyball Association's initial proposal to ban players from wearing bikinis during an international beach volleyball tournament hosted by the country this year was met with threats of boycott from some players.

The International Volleyball Federation updated its own uniform rules in 2012. In this month's Tokyo Olympics, female beach volleyball players can choose to play in shorts and T-shirts, as well as bikinis or one-piece bathing suits.


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Mahela Jayawardene to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene, former South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock and ex England batter Janette Brittin will be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame before the T20 World Cup final gets underway here on Sunday.

The three cricketers will be formally inducted by fellow ICC Hall of Famer, Sir Clive Lloyd, before the much-anticipated final between New Zealand and Australia starts at the Dubai International Stadium.

The ICC Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket’s long and illustrious history. 106 players have been inducted since its launch in 2009, with Brittin, Jayawardene and Pollock as the latest inductees.

Brittin, who died in 2017, was a mainstay of the England Test team for 19 years and paved the way for women’s cricket between 1979 and 1998.

Jayawardene retired as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest ever players, a key member of the team that won the T20 World Cup in 2014 and reached four other major ICC finals.

Pollock was one of the finest bowling all-rounders the game has ever seen and was the first player to achieve the 3,000 run and 300 wicket double in both Test and ODI cricket.

Jayawardene follows Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s a very special honour to follow in the footsteps of legends Sanga and Murali from Sri Lanka and so many other great cricketers of the past.

“I am very grateful for the recognition and would like to enjoy and share the moment with all those that have helped me on my journey, including my family, friends, coaches, team-mates and, most importantly, Sri Lanka cricket fans who passionately supported and inspired me during my career,” he said.

Pollock added: “It’s an amazing honour to be included in the Hall of Fame alongside the very illustrious company that has already been inducted.

“It’s a real cherry on the top or maybe even a book end of what has been a thoroughly enjoyable cricketing experience and I’d like to thank my teammates who played such a massive part along the journey.”

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Euro 2020: Parachute protester flies into France-Germany Euro match; several injured

UEFA has said "several people'' are being treated in the hospital for injuries caused by a protester who parachuted into Munich's Allianz Arena before France's 1-0 victory over Germany at Euro 2020.
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