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Sangakkara becomes first non-British President of MCC

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the next president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).Sangakkara, 41, will be the first non-British president of the MCC and his one-year stewardship will begin on 1 October, 2019.

"It is a huge honour," said Sangakkara.

"2020 is going to be yet another significant one in cricket, especially at Lord's, and I am thrilled I am going to be able to play a part in supporting its future as president of MCC."

The MCC, who are based at Lord's, remain the guardians of the laws of the game and uphold the spirit of cricket.

Sangakkara's tenure will include two Tests at Lord's - against West Indies and Pakistan - and the launch of The Hundred competition.

During his playing career, Sangakkara scored 12,400 Test runs, more than 14,000 one-day international runs and almost 1,400 T20 runs for Sri Lanka.

He succeeds Anthony Wreford in the role.

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Pakistan protest to ICC over India's military caps in Australia ODI

The Pakistan Cricket Board has written to the International Cricket Council calling for action to be taken after India's players wore military-style camouflage caps in Friday's third one-day international against Australia in Ranchi.
India say they wore the caps in tribute to the country's armed forces in the wake of the killing of at least 40 paramilitaries in Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February, in a suicide attack which has been claimed by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approached the ICC before the game about the use of the military caps, and the ICC confirmed that permission had been granted as it was part of a charity fundraising effort.
An ICC spokesperson said: "The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of soldiers who have died, which was granted."
The India players also donated their match fees for the game - which Australia won by 32 runs - to the families of those killed.
But PCB chairman Essan Mani said he has written to the ICC to protest against the caps, saying India had "tried to use cricket for politics".
Another letter was expected to be sent within hours, Mani said. "We have made our point very strongly to the ICC which now has no doubts or confusion about our intention or stance now on this matter," he told reporters. "Their [India] credibility in the cricketing world has gone down very badly," he added.
Last month, the BCCI asked the ICC to "sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates" in the wake of the attack in Kashmir.
But Mani pointed out two recent examples of players who had been disciplined by the ICC for political statements - England all-rounder Moeen Ali, who wore wristbands with the slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" during a Test against India in 2014, and South Africa spinner Imran Tahir,who displayed a T-shirt of religious preacher Junaid Jamshed after taking a wicket against Sri Lanka in 2017.
"You have two examples from the past already, where both Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali were sanctioned for something similar," Mani said.
"The ICC had taken strong action against them and we have sought similar action against India. The permission they took was for a different purpose but they acted differently." (BBC)

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With team spirit, Sri Lanka will do well in World Cup: Vaas

Member of the 1996 World Cup winning team, Chaminda Vaas believes with “team spirit”, Sri Lanka will do well going in the marquee event, beginning May 30. 

“Sri Lanka is an unpredictable team. They need to be united, and there are special cricketers who can perform extremely well there (in England). If they have the team spirit, unity amongst the team, I think Sri Lanka will do well in the World Cup,” ICC quoted Vaas, as saying.

The 45-year-old, who featured in 322 ODIs and picked up 400 wickets, is part of Sri Lanka’s coaching set-up. Vaas called on the players to take responsibility, overcome recent ODI struggles and prove their capabilities at the World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in England. 

“I played for 20 years and enjoyed my game and as a coach, I’m enjoying what I’m doing for the youngsters. I tell young fast bowlers, ‘Do not take short cuts, give 100 percent, focus on fitness, focus on endurance stuff and bend your back and bowl. Don’t keep it for the next game, what you can do today, do it. Do it for your country, remember where you come, don’t give excuses, make sure you are humble and when people try to criticise, you take it in the right way,” Vaas said.

Vaas played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s 1996 campaign and since then the team has reached two finals in 2007 and 2011. Emphasising the impact that a successful campaign can have on the country, he said: “We knew if we won the World Cup it was going to be a huge factor for Sri Lankan cricket. When we won it and brought the trophy back to Sri Lanka, we realised we had done something for the country and it’s huge. After 1996 until now, we have got to finals and semi-finals, and when it comes to important games such as the World Cup, our guys have done really well.”

“It is now time for young guys to take the initiative to perform well and I am sure when given the chance they will grab it from both ends and perform well for Sri Lanka,” he said. Ranked at eighth, Sri Lanka will play against South Africa and Australia in their warm-ups, before opening their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 1 at Cardiff Wales Stadium.

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Sri Lanka Army Women Shine in 34th National Rowing Championship

Sri Lanka Army's woman soldiers had a clean sweep-clinching the Women’s Open category in the 34th National Rowing Championship at the Diyawanna Rowing Centre where teams of the Armed Forces earned major honours on Saturday (02).

Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Air Force were declared joint winners in the Men’s Open category while Sri Lanka Army won the Men’s Open Quadruple Scull and Men’s Under 23 Double Scull. It also emerged for the second slot in the Men’s open Single Scull, Men’s Open Pairs, Men’s Open Coxless Fours and Men’s Under 23 Pairs.

Sri Lanka Army Women also clinched the Women’s Open Single Scull, Women’s Open Pairs, Women’s Open Double Scull and Women’s Open Quadruple Scull events.

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Malinga hints at retiring before World Cup 2019 on players' whatsapp group

Just one day ahead of Sri Lankan World Cup squad selection, the senior pacer Lasith Malinga has indicated to retire from international cricket just before the upcoming World Cup.

The national selectors are set to meet on Thursday (18th April) evening to select the 15-member Sri Lankan squad for the upcoming World Cup.

According to media reports, Malinga sent a message to the players’ group on Wednesday (17th April) morning where he indicated to not return to the national squad.

He sent that message in the Sinhala language, where he wrote, “yali api pitiye hamuvanne natha.Ma pasupasa siti saha vachanayakin ho sahayogayak labadun siyalu denatama theruvan saranayi." (We won’t be able to meet again on the ground. God bless to everyone who was behind me and supporting me. May the triple gem bless you).

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The 35-year-old right-arm pacer sent that message at 11:22 a.m. One hour earlier of that message, he had a call from the chief selector Ashantha de Mel.

According to the sources, the chief selector asked him for his availability in the upcoming World Cup only as a pacer, not as a captain. After that conversation, Lasith Malinga sent that message to his national teammates.

Later, on the same day, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the new ODI captain for the upcoming World Cup. The current Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lankan side in the forthcoming World Cup. However, the 30-year-old cricketer hasn’t played an ODI match since the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Lasith Malinga had a poor record in his recent captaincy tenure

In last January, the national selectors appointed Lasith Malinga as the limited-overs captain. However, Sri Lanka failed to win a game this year under his captaincy. While he led the Sri Lankan side this year in 12 limited-overs matches, they suffered defeats in all matches, including one in Super Over.

Malinga 2Lasith Malinga has led the national side in nine ODIs, and they suffered defeats in all those matches.

According to the Deccan Chronicle source, the selectors still can select Lasith Malinga in the World Cup squad. If the senior pacer later backs out officially, they have enough time to replace him.

Sri Lanka will begin their World Cup journey on 1st June

England and Wales will host the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup from 30th May to 14th July. A total of ten teams, including the 1996 World Cup winners Sri Lanka, will participate in this tournament. Sri Lanka will begin their upcoming World Cup journey on 1st June against New Zealand at Cardiff.

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LEAKED! South African TV Cameras Capture Team’s Secret Plans Against All SL Batsmen 

Looks like the cameraman during South Africa vs Sri Lanka Test at Durban has become a cult hero! It was the same TV crew at SuperSport Park which caught the infamous ball-tampering scandal last year, involving Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner. Now, the same crew behind the lenses have got a shot of the strategy South Africa has against every Sri Lankan batsman. The broadcaster revealed all the plans, from weaknesses to where they should bowl at each batsman.

Fans on social media platform Reddit captured one still shot from the broadcast which showed the Proteas’ plans to remove opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne.

“Plan A — in-swingers off stump, good length, shaping/angling in from around the wicket,” the plans read.

“Plan B — 4th stump slightly fuller length, angling away, drives away from the body after a bouncer.”

The plans also revealed the batsmen’s weaknesses and the best strategy for deploying short balls.

Here is a picture of the shot:

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South Africa’s Blueprint for Sri Lanka batsmen 

Meanwhile, batting first the hosts were bundled out for 235 runs. Vishwa Fernando was the pick of the Lankan bowlers as he scalped four for 62. Apart from Quinton De Kock’s 80, no other batsmen made any contribution of high value.

Sri Lanka is 46/1 at stumps on Day 1 and they have a slight advantage over the hosts. Steyn picked up the only Lankan wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne for a duck. The Lankans will look to consolidate and get good first innings lead in the 1st Test.

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Malinga juggles IPL and domestic cricket; bags 10 wickets in 12 hours

At a time when workload management of the players are keenly monitored ahead of the World Cup, Sri Lanka’s veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, in a rare incident, played two matches inside 12 hours — a T20 game in India and a domestic 50-over match in Sri Lanka.

Malinga, 35, helped Mumbai Indians win against Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash on Wednesday night in Mumbai, returning figures of 3/34. The match ended close to midnight, but early on Thursday morning Malinga was on a plane to Kandy to take part in Sri Lanka‘s domestic Super Four tournament.

Not only did he play the game, Malinga even recorded career-best List A figures of 7/49 to help Galle beat Kandy by 156 runs. He took rest only when Galle batted first and put up 255 runs on the board. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had allowed Malinga, their ODI skipper, to take part in the IPL for the entire month of April. But the ace fast bowler decided to play the provincial one-day tournament in order to have a closer look at some of the World Cup hopefuls.

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Chandimal axed as captain: Dimuth to lead Sri Lanka on SA tour 

Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has replaced wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal as Sri Lanka’s captain for this month’s Test series against South Africa.

Chandimal, who struck a mere two dozen runs during Sri Lanka’s series whitewash to Australia earlier this year, has not been named in the squad for February’s two Tests in Durban and Port Elizabeth.

‘We are a young team and always learning how to play, especially in these tough conditions. We will bounce back in South Africa,’ said Chandimal, prior to Tuesday’s omission.

‘I mean, these are three tough tours, we have finished two and now South Africa. South Africa is similar to these conditions and with very good bowlers. We know that as a team we have to play in tough conditions and we need to adjust to those conditions and step up as a team.

‘We all know what went wrong as a team and I’m sure the boys will learn from that and they will come good in South Africa.’

Karunaratne was the sixth-highest run-scorer in Test cricket last year, after countryman Kusal Mendis, Indians Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, England’s Joe Root and Jos Buttler.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, (vice-captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya.

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In-form South Africa look to inflict more pain on struggling Sri Lanka in T20 series

South Africa reacted in an expected manner when they convincingly beat Sri Lanka in the five-match ODI series after the shock Test series defeat.

Now, Faf du Plessis’ side will look to keep their momentum and form intact and pile on the misery on the Lankans in the three-match T20I, beginning Tuesday, (March 19).

For the Proteas, the first of the three T20s, which will be played in Cape Town, serves as the last chance to finalise their side for the upcoming ICC World Cup, as a chunk of the regulars will be plying their  trade in the glitzy Indian Premier League, beginning March 23.

“I think the squad is settled, but we still need to confirm the squad (for the World Cup). Maybe next month,” du Plessis, who was the second highest scorer for his side in the ODI series with 272 runs said after completing the series win.

South Africa have through the course of the last five games upped the ante with their batsmen and bowlers all hitting form at the right time.

The Proteas, however, will be without the services of the inform lot of du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi for the second and third T20 at the Centurion and in Johannesburg as they will all be afforded some rest before they join their respective IPL franchises.

The South African captain and Ngidi will join the defending IPL champions Chennai Super Kings while Quinton de Kock will turn out for Mumbai Indians and Rabada for the Delhi Capitals.

In their absence South Africa will be captained by JP Duminy, who has decided to call time on his ODI career post the World Cup, and will see a host of new players looking to further their case for a regular spot in the national set-up.

Ranked fifth in T20 cricket, South Africa not only have good form on their side but also the benefit of playing at home which they are good at using to their advantage.

Visitors Sri Lanka at the moment are a very demoralised bunch, as wickets and runs both seem hard to come by for the injury plagued side.
The visitors have recalled Suranga Lakmal after a long absence from the limited overs side, while Jeffrey Vandersay, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Asitha Fernando are among the other additions.

The likes of Angelo Perera, Avishka Fernando and Priyamal Perera have been included, while Oshada Fernando has not been considered despite his good performances in the Tests.

Along with Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Vishwa Fernando and coach Chandika Hathrusingha will be at home chalking out World Cup plans.

Led by Lasith Malinga and coached by Steve Rixon, the Lankans are approaching the series with caution as a whole host of changes have been made with an eye on the World Cup.

“I feel that finally the batters have realized what they need to do. Isuru and Kusal Mendis did well. We have a local tournament ahead of the World Cup and that will be important. But before that, we are looking forward to do our best in the T20Is,” Malinga had said after defeat in the fifth ODI.

Sri Lanka are ranked ninth, below Afghanistan, and are in dire need of some good fortune with the bat and the ball.

The experienced heads in Malinga, Mendis, Angelo Perera and Thisara Perera will be expected to play a key role as they look to end what has been a tough tour on a high.

South Africa Squad: (for 1st T20I): Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.

South Africa Squad: (for 2nd and 3rd T20Is): JP Duminy (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Sinethemba Qeshile, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.

Sri Lanka T20I squad: Lasith Malinga (c) Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera,  Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lakshan Sandakan.

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Thisara calls for SLC intervention after social media vendetta

Sri Lankan cricket is far from the glory days of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene and now the turmoil has hit a new low.

Star all-rounder Thisara Perera has raised questions about the leadership of the ODI team after he was involved in a social media back-and-forth with his captain Lasith Malinga's wife.

Malinga's wife, Tanya Perera, took to Facebook to make a post where she alleged that Thisara had sought the help of the country's sports minister to ensure his selection in the national side.

In response, Thisara took to his own Facebook account to set the record straight, pointing to his excellent 2018-19 season which saw him plunder 323 runs in eight matches at an average of 53.83 and a strike rate of 131.83.

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Perera enjoyed an excellent tour of New Zealand and is a key part of Sri Lanka's team (AAP) 

However, after another post from Perera seemingly attacked him, the 29-year-old took the matter straight to the top, penning a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) CEO Ashley de Silva.

In excerpts of the letter, posted on ESPN Cricinfo, Thisara unloaded on the morale of the Sri Lankan locker room that has appeared worryingly disjointed just months out from the 2019 ICC World Cup.

"When these kinds of accusations are made by the incumbent captain's wife on social media, it is hard to prevent the general public from believing and slandering me in various ways," Thisara wrote.

"There has been a general sense of unease in the dressing room ever since [the Facebook post] and to be honest the environment was rather unpleasant for the youngsters especially when two senior players were not on the same page.

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SLC head coach Hathurusinghe to return mid tour

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has informed Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha to return to Colombo, following the completion of the 05th ODI of the ongoing series in South Africa.

He is being asked to come back in order to discuss Sri Lanka team’s preparation plans for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, SLC said today.

Sri Lanka's fielding coach Steve Rixon has been appointed as the acting Head Coach of the national team for the upcoming T20 Series in South Africa.

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Sri Lankans may not trust each other: Arnold

Former player Russel Arnold has claimed Sri Lanka's Test players may not be able to trust each other in their upcoming series against Australia due to a cricket corruption scandal gripping their country.

Arnold conceded an ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation launched in Sri Lanka would be a distraction and may lead to players questioning one another's motives and even game plans in Australia.

While Australia may appear vulnerable before the two-Test series gets underway in Brisbane on Thursday as they rebuild from the sandpaper controversy fallout, Arnold said Sri Lanka had their own problems. 

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Russel Arnold says the Sri Lankan team will struggle to cope with the corruption scandal.Credit:Jacky Ghossein

The ACU launched the probe in the wake of a series of corruption cases involving former Sri Lanka internationals and administrators. 
Sri Lankan cricketers have been granted a 15-day amnesty and have until the end of the month to report previously undisclosed information.

"I would be surprised if none of this is in the back of their mind," said Arnold, who played the last of his 44 Tests for Sri Lanka in 2004.

"Whether they can trust their teammate, whether they can trust anyone's instructions or game plans to carry out. It has to worry them.
"Trust does take a beating. You tend to wonder what the hell is going on."

Following last month's ICC meeting in Dubai, Sri Lanka's sports minister Harin Fernando said the world body had ranked the country's cricket administration "corrupt from top to bottom".

The ICC said players can be suspended for up to five years for failing to pass on information but anything reported during the January 16-31 amnesty would not attract a charge.

Asked if Sri Lanka's players could block out the controversy while in Australia, Arnold said: "It is easy to say but I doubt it happening because anything around [the team] will certainly worry players.

"They are all human. Even we [outside the team] are feeling a little nervy about what we are hearing."

The ACU probe has been bubbling since late 2017 when 40 cricketers - including national captain Dinesh Chandimal - petitioned Sri Lanka Cricket to investigate allegations made by ex-player and selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe.

Former quick Wickramasinghe alleged there were "unnatural match patterns" and player selections.

Former captain and selector Sanath Jayasuriya was charged in October by the ICC for refusing to co-operate with the ACU but denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, ex-Sri Lankan bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was also charged last year for violating the anti-corruption code relating to a 10-over league clash in the United Arab Emirates.

And ex-paceman and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was provisionally suspended by SLC over match-fixing accusations.
(The Sydney Morning Herald)

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