Monday, December 29, 2008

Disappointing performance for Dolphins | Sanath Jayasuriya in SA

There are now only two matches remaining in the competition for Sri Lankan import Sanath Jayasuriya to impress.

On Friday he failed again, edging Charl Langeveldt to be caught behind for two. So far he has scored 71 runs at an average of 8.87 with a highest score of 34, a disappointing tally when so much was expected of him.

"It can happen to anyone," Amla said.

"The guys are all very supportive, but so far he just hasn't been able to get going. He's probably working harder than anyone and he's hitting the ball well in the nets, but it's just not happening in the middle.

"On the plus side, he's playing a big role for us with the ball."

Amla said it was possible that Jayasuriya would be moved down the order for his final two matches before he joins the Sri Lankan squad for their ODI series against Bangladesh.

"He won't be available for the semis anyway, so maybe now's the time to give someone a chance in his spot," Amla said.

Monday, December 22, 2008

60 global cricketers including Sanath Jayasuriya in sports flick " Victory"

Sanath with Bollywood King ShahRukh Khan during IPL 2008

After wielding their willows, 60 cricketers from around the world are coming together to star in one of the most expensive Hindi movies on sports, Victory. Even before its release, the movie is creating ripples due to its glamorous star cast, high production costs and long-line of in-film advertisers.

To begin with, the movie is being shot across eight cricketing nations like Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa, and at 18 major stadia, including Wankhede in Mumbai. The producers are looking at premiering the movie in all these nations, and at over 1,000 screens in India on January 30, 2009.

Directed by debutant Ajit Pal, the movie has a production cost of over Rs 50 crore, much higher than an average Bollywood movie. The film is expected to rake in around Rs 30 crore from in-film advertising, sponsorships and distribution rights, according to a highly placed source close to the production.

When contacted, Ajit Pal said: “Victory is a movie about a player of the Indian cricket team. We all know about the gods of cricket, and are thorough with their achievements. But this is the inside story of a cricketer, his dreams, aspirations, politics and the challenges he comes across.” He, however, did not disclose the financial details of the film.

The film’s claim to fame is that Indian cricketers like Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, among others, are acting in the movie. The lead is played by actor Harman Baweja, with Amrita Rao opposite him and Priyanka Chopra making a special appearance.

Additionally, Australian bowler Brett Lee and batsmen like Ricky Ponting, Stuart Clark and Mike Hussey, Sri Lankan players like Sanath Jayasuriya and Dilhara Fernando are in the long list of players, even though Zimbabwe is one cricketing nation that is left out. The list does not end here. Tony Greg and Navjot Singh Sidhu (commentators) and umpires like Daryl Harper (of Muralidharan chucking fame), Paul Reiffel and Simon Fry are also acting in Victory.

According to Pal, the cricketers are being paid at Indian Premiere League (IPL) standards, even though he did not disclose fee paid per cricketer nor the production costs. Under IPL standards, top players fee range at around $1 million (around Rs 5 crore).

The movie also has the biggest in-film advertising, with brands like Bharti Airtel, mobile handset manufacturer Meridian Mobile (makers of ‘Fly’ brand), sports apparel and accessories manufacturer Reebok, Lawman jeans, Neo Cricket (Neo Sports Broadcast’s cricket entertainment channel) and Gitanjali Gems. Fly is spending Rs 50 lakh for the in-film advertising, while others are expected to spend similar amount or upwards.

Following enquiries from most the cricketing nations, filmmaker Manmohan Shetty (who is also the co-producer and distributor of the movie) is in advanced stages of discussions to sell overseas rights.

Also read :

[Pic] Scenes from 'Victory' | Contributed by Hilal

Sanath Jayasuriya in Bolly Wood Flick "Victory"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jayasuriya shines with the ball | Dolphins beat Warriors by 9 runs

Sanath Jayasuriya proved his value - with the ball - as he led the Nashua Dolphins to a nine-run victory over the Chevrolet Warriors in their MTN Domestic Championship match at Kingsmead on Friday.

Jayasuriya took three for 39 in his nine overs to limit the Warriors to 241 for nine and lift the Dolphins into fifth place on the log.

Captain Davey Jacobs hammered 73 off 71 balls to take the Warriors close as they chased 251 for victory, but the visitors were always going to pay for the lack of a substantial innings from their top order.

One of the basic rules of successful limited-overs cricket is that one of the top five should bat through the innings, but Michael Smith (54), Jon-Jon Smuts (24), Arno Jacobs (25) and Zander de Bruyn (20) all made starts but failed to press on.

The Dolphins made the match more dramatic than needed to be by dropping a couple of catches in the closing overs, but Yusuf Abdullah then bowled a crucial penultimate over that cost just six runs.

Jayasuriya was called into service to bowl the 43rd and 45th overs, and, if he hadn't have bowled Davey Jacobs with the fourth ball of the final over, the outcome may have been different.

All-rounder Jon Kent once again made a telling impact, conceding just 22 runs in his five overs and having Smith caught behind.

A day/night campaign that was rapidly going down the toilet for the Dolphins has now been revived thanks in the main to a top-class partnership between Imraan Khan and Ahmed Amla.

The pair added 155 for the second wicket to provide the foundation of the Dolphins total of 250 for seven.

After Jayasuriya (13) had committed the sin of following three fours in four balls by being caught at third man off Juan Theron, Khan and Amla made batting look easy as they lifted the Dolphins to 171 for one in the 33rd over.

The captain and the in-form opener ensured they took few risks early on and it needed the introduction of a bowler who has bowled just two overs in the competition this season to finally send Amla packing.

The skipper tried to belt slow left-armer Smuts out the ground but holed out to Smith on the midwicket boundary.

Amla had nevertheless caned five fours and a six in a punishing 64 off 86 balls.

Khan is the most successful opener in the competition so far in this campaign and he produced another top-class innings of 86 off 118 balls before being bowled by talented left-arm paceman Wayne Parnell.

Useful run-a-ball contributions from Kent (27) and Pierre de Bruyn (21) then ensured the Dolphins' run-rate stayed above 5.5 runs an over.

De Bruyn fell off the last ball of the innings when he hooked Parnell high and handsome to the midwicket boundary, but Lyall Meyer produced an exceptionally well-judged leap and when he returned to the turf he had claimed a superb catch.

Parnell finished with four for 56, while De Bruyn's nine overs for 33 runs was a top-class effort.

Smuts finished with one for 31 in six overs, while Theron, Meyer and Parnell would all go for more than six runs an over.

If the Dolphins had managed to restrict the Warriors to 200 or less, they would have earned a bonus point that would have taken them to 10 log points and pushed them into fourth place ahead of the Eastern Cape team.

Full Scoring


Nashua Dolphins - Imraan Khan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ahmed Amla, HD Ackerman, Jon Kent, Daryn Smit, Pierre de Bruyn, Johann Louw, Quinton Friend, Yusuf Abdullah, Ugasen Govender.

Chevrolet Warriors - Michael Smith, Jon-Jon Smuts, Athenkosi Dyili, Arno Jacobs, Zander de Bruyn, Davey Jacobs, Johan Botha, Craig Thyssen, Wayne Parnell, Lyall Meyer, Juan Theron.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jayasuriya does CNN, Jayasuriya style | by Damith S

Usually when Sri Lankans get on CNN its cuz some moronic LTTE fucker goes and blows himself up.

But yesterday we had our own BALLS OF STEEL, Sanath Jayasuriya, on CNN’s Talk Asia show.

We haven’t always been kind to the great man but we love him nonetheless. The interview was all you expect really, and being the kind man that I am I have given you a few snippets and highlights;

he was asked about how he got into cricket - “I just walked in for practices at school and soon realised I played a bit differently from others”. Coolness.

what do you love about cricket- “Batting, Just love to get out there and hit the ball over the top”. We love it too Sanath. He was the original Sehwag, no nonsense, no bullshit, pick up the bat, walk out and hit the lil fucker as hard and long as you can.

Here they cut to the 96 WC QF v Eng where he belts Defreitas on to the roof and clips the satellite dish.

We thought that was an especially nice touch from CNN.

And of course, what cricket interview would be complete without some actual cricket. Sanath dint bat, he bowled. Actually there was a small glitch. On his run up he got call on his cell.

“Mame TV show ekak karana gaman inne” (I’m doing a TV show right now). The irony about the fact that this little TV shindig was actually CNN made me and the Mrs laugh out loud. Or we Lol’d as they say.

Here is a man who takes CNN as seriously as he takes fast bowlers running up to him.

When he did bowl, he dint really try, when he did, he got the hopeless interviewing bloke, an Aussie (thought I’d add that in there), out bowled.

“You are good, but not good enough for internationals” said Sanath. You cheeky fucker, we were loving it.

He finished off the bit by telling a story about how his Mother got caught to the devastating Tsunami that struck us down in 2004.

I wont spoil it for you.

Go watch the thing here. Its quite brilliant.

Sanath CNN 1/3

Sanath CNN 2/3

Sanath CNN 3/3

With that we induct Sanath (the very first) to our new Hall of Fame ,

The HALL OF (Rock Solid) BALLS.

Sanath you are god.

- by Damith S ( )

Also read :

Sanath Jayasuriya on CNN`s Talk Asia | T20 to phase down ODIs | Watch the entire Interview

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya on CNN`s Talk Asia | T20 to phase down ODIs | Watch the entire Interview

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

How he went from a Sri Lankan fishing village to becoming the country`s national treasure, how his fame in some part helped his mother survive the South Asian Tsunami in 2004

This left-handed batsman earned a reputation as one of the world’s most feared batsmen, someone whose ferocious hitting helped revolutionize the one-day game. Sri Lankan cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya, recently recalled to Sri Lanka's one-day squad for a tri-series with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in January, has a staggering 421 one-day internationals to his name. The 39-year old is far from slowing down and he discusses with CNN’s Hugh Riminton on TALK ASIA this week, how he went from a Sri Lankan fishing village to becoming the country's national treasure, how his fame in some part helped his mother survive the South Asian Tsunami in 2004, and his thoughts on the dramatic changes that cricket is currently undergoing.

Jayasuriya revolutionized the way one-day cricket is being played, with his aggressive approach and hard hitting, particularly in the first 15 overs. He has scored over 12,000 runs & also proved himself handy with the ball, claiming over 300 ODI wickets. He came into the limelight during the 1996 World Cup when he was named the player of the tournament and subsequently Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year in 1997.

On the future of cricket, Jayasuriya suggests that changes need to be made to the 50-over game to draw more people to watch – he believes the shorter Twenty/20 game is the answer. "Cricket has changed all over the world. For the public to watch this game we need for it to change. You can now enjoy all that in around 3 hours (with Twenty20). The Indian Premier League (IPL) is good for cricket and good for cricketers. The one-day game will be phased down."

Jayasuriya also shares with Riminton how, along with fellow cricketer Marvan Atapattu, he used some of his earnings to construct 150 houses for Tsunami victims. He reflects on how personal the tsunami is to him as his mother nearly got swept away by the waves and if it were not for people recognizing him by name, she would not have been rescued.

Jayasuriya is the first cricketer to be appointed a United Nations (UN) Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, a cause he is very committed to: "Coming from Sri Lanka you need to do a lot of charity work and help in anyway you can. People love cricket and they look to cricketers, so as a team Sri Lanka also does a lot for charity. It's a personal commitment,"

While cricket is the love of his life, Jayasuriya realizes his constant travels takes a toll on time spent with his wife and three children. He reveals how he first met his soul mate, now his wife, while on a flight from India to Sri Lanka but how it took him one year to find and convince her to marry him.

Also read :

Jayasuriya does CNN, Jayasuriya style

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya Autograph & Pics | By Africo

As Promised before, My friend africo from South Africa did manage to get me lots of Pics and the most precious one Autograph from Sanath Jayasuriya !!

MTN Domestic Championship

Match : Dolphins Vs Cobras

Venue : Newlands, Cape Town , South Africa

Date : 14 December 2008 (45-over match)

Result :
Dolphins won by 53 runs

As said by africo :


Here they are! Plenty of pics of Sanath Jayasuriya at Newlands on Sunday!

There is both good news and bad news:

The good news is... I did manage to get Sanath's autograph..

AND if u can't read it, it says:

"To Hilal + Sujan , Sanath Jayasuriya"

Sujan = sanath189.. thought you'd like it to be to u (so u can show your mates)

The bad news is that our seats were far away from Sanath - he fielded at mid-off virtually the whole game - so i had to zoom in and my camera is crappy. And we arrived a little bit late and couldn't get pics of Sanath batting as the Dolphins batted first and he didn't last too long. But still got pics of him bowling!

I waited almost an hour after the game by the Pavillion to get some close-up pics of Sanath but my battery had died - i went erratic taking pics of the Newands ground and sunset and wierd security guards.. don't ask..

For more on this :

CHEERS africo !!!!

- Sujan Rao (sanath189) :)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dolphins confident of making semis | MTN Chmapionship

Sanath Jayasuriya will be hoping to lead the Nashua Dolphins to their first win in the MTN Domestic Championship this weekend.

The Sri Lankan star, who has failed to reach double figures (six, one, zero) so far this season, will be looking to end his run of poor form with an impressive display against the Nashua Cape Cobras on Sunday as the Dolphins return to action after an eighteen-day break, due to the postponement of the inaugural Champions League Twenty20.

"He's worked hard and is looking good in the nets. He has also just returned from a break to Sri Lanka and has been training there as well. Look, we know the type of player he is and I'm quite sure he will bounce back. Three of our next four games are day games so that will help him as well," Jay Naidoo, Manager of Playing Affairs at the Dolphins told SuperCricket.

After losing their opening three games, the Dolphins find themselves in sixth spot on the log and will need to get back to winning ways if they intend making the semifinals.

"We are still quite confident of making the semis. If you look at the log, one win will bring us level with the Warriors and the Lions.

"Only the Lions have beaten us comprehensively so far this season. The other games against the Eagles and Titans were close and could have gone our way. The players know what they need to do and I'm sure they will turn the corner," he added.

A squad of 12 have been named for the next two MTN Domestic Championship matches.

They play the Nashua Cape Cobras at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday and then travel to Kimberley to take on the Gestetner Diamond Eagles at the De Beers Diamond Oval on Tuesday.

Dolphins squad:

Ahmed Amla (Captain), Imraan Khan, HD Ackerman, Sanath Jayasuriya, Jon Kent, David Miller, Johann Louw, Daryn Smit, Alfonso Thomas, Yusuf Abdulla, Quinton Friend, Pierre de Bruyn

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cricket Fact | Highest One-day ducks


Courtney Walsh was dismissed for a duck most often in Tests.

But who holds the record for one-day internationals?


The leader here is probably something of a surprise - it's Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka, who has been out for 0 no fewer than 31 times in one-day internationals.

He has played 421 of them - more than anyone else - so I suppose he's had more chances.

In second place is Pakistan's Wasim Akram, with 25 ducks, ahead of a further trio of Sri Lankans - Chaminda Vaas (25), Jayasuriya's long-time opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana (24), and Muttiah Muralitharan (23).

Courtney Walsh holds the Test record, with 43 ducks.

For more Click here - Cricinfo list of most no. of ducks

BOWLED !!!! :(

Dolphins searching for that elusive win | Jayasuriya in South Africa

The battered and bruised Nashua Dolphins, without a win in all competitions this season, will be up against it when they kick-start their season again on Sunday.

Having had their programme disrupted by the bombings in Mumbai two weeks ago - they were due to play in the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 over a 10-day period - the Dolphins get down to business with a game against the Cobras at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday.

Two days later they have another struggle on their hands when they travel to the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley to meet the Eagles.

"Both are tough games," said Jay Naidoo, convener of the Dolphins selection committee. "We are in a desperate situation and need to start winning, or we could be left at the bottom end of the table. In order to do that we need to get our batting and bowling working in tandem."

However what Naidoo failed to mention was that the Dolphins skipper, Ahmed Amla needs to look at different tactics when approaching matches in the season's competitions.

Naidoo said: "It's been a tough season - but no excuses. We have not had the best players on the field for us all at once. Now that we seem to have all players available plus a break due to the postponement of the Champions League, I believe the cobwebs have been blown away and there should be a big improvement."

Sanath Jayasuriya is the man the Dolphins are looking to get fired-up. He has yet to get to double figures in the three matches he has played. If he kick-starts the ailing Dolphins top order, it could be a different scenario.

The selectors have announced a 12-man squad, which includes Alfonso Thomas.

David Miller, who played against the Nashua Titans two weeks ago, retains his place ahead of Grant Rowley, who has been axed.

Squad: Ahmed Amla (capt), Imraan Khan, HD Ackerman, Sanath Jayasuriya, Jon Kent, David Miller, Johann Louw, Daryn Smit, Alfonso Thomas, Yusuf Abdulla, Quinton Friend, Pierre de Bruyn

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya : Sri Lanka's humble cricketing hero |

(CNN) -- Growing up in a small Sri Lankan fishing town, cricket changed Sanath Jayasuriya's life. But his association with the game and humanitarian work has also helped transform the lives of many others.

Jayasuriya's stature and shot-making led to comparisons with India's Sachin Tendulkar.

Jayasuriya's stature and shot-making led to comparisons with India's Sachin Tendulkar.

"Without cricket I would have a small job in my home town. My mother is happy to say my name," he told CNN in Hong Kong.

His mother's pride in his success has an extra poignancy as Jayasuriya's fame in some part helped his mother survive the south Asian tsunami on December 26, 2004.

She was swept away by the first wave and only by calling out to get attention, saying she was Jayasuriya's mother, did a rescuer manage to spot her among the debris and destruction and pull her to safety.

Thousands of others, including many of Jayasuriya's friends and neighbors, were not so fortunate, and the impact that the disaster had on Jayasuriya's hometown of Matara and many other parts of Sri Lanka is still felt today.

"Even now when many people hear the word (tsunami), they are still scared. When my mother hears it, she still can't run," he said.

After nearly 20 years of international cricket, the 39-years-old is now just as happy to put bowling attacks to the sword as well as working as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

"Coming from Sri Lanka you need to do a lot of charity work and help in anyway you can. People love cricket and they look to cricketers, so as a team Sri Lanka also does a lot for charity. It's a personal commitment," he told CNN.

On the pitch he has always been just as committed to helping his team. Making his international Test match debut in 1991 he retired from the five-day version of the game in 2007 having captained the Sri Lankan team for four years until 2003 and hit memorable centuries against every other Test side, bar the West Indies and New Zealand.

However it was in the one day game that the all-rounder has really made his mark.

As part of the Sri Lankan team that won the World Cup in 1996 he played an explosive innings of aggressive shot-making that has been credited with revolutionizing the way in which batsman play the game.

In 2005 he became only the fourth batsman to reach 10,000 runs in one-day matches and his current stats stand at 12785 runs from 421 one-day internationals.

Having made his name in the 50-over version of the game he's still involved in cricket's latest revolution; the even shorter Twenty20 game that is being touted as the future of popularizing the sport.

"Cricket has changed all over the world. For the public to watch this game we need for it to change. You can now enjoy all that in around 3 hours (with Twenty20). The Indian Premier League (IPL) is good for cricket and good for cricketers. The one-day game will be phased down."

Throughout his career he's shown his own resilience adapting to changing circumstances on the cricket pitch as well as off it. Before the 2003 World Cup he took the decision not to sign a contract with the Sri Lankan cricket board, citing the loss of potential earnings it would mean for him and fellow players.

Despite not being a confrontational personality, the tension between himself and the Sri Lankan cricket board led to his resignation from the captaincy in 2003.

With no Test cricket to play this year, Jayasuriya found himself omitted from the Sri Lanka squad for 2008 series one-day series against the West Indies.

However his fine form while playing in the IPL -- he ended its inaugural season as the third highest run scorer with 514 runs and hitting 31 sixes -- convinced the selectors to pick him for the upcoming one-day series between Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

"Looking back I could never have thought I would have come this far. Buddhism helped me a lot. It says that you should take the middle path and you will never go wrong," he said.

"But I've done a lot of hard work and everyone, my family and coaches, have given me support. Without that I wouldn't have got here." When he does finally retire you can expect Jayasuriya to keep giving all he can to the game and causes he loves so much.

  • Sri Lankan cricketer recognized as changing the way one-day cricket is played
  • The first cricketer to be a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and campaigns
  • Sri Lanka's highest run scorer in Test matches and one-day internationals

Source :

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya’s call-up by Sri Lanka minimal loss to Dolphins

Top Dolphins signing Sanath Jayasuriya’s call-up to Sri Lanka’s national one-day side for the series with home side Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in January means he will only miss the semi-finals and final of the MTN one-day series in the unlikely event of the struggling KZN side advancing to the play-offs.

The Dolphins manager of playing affairs, Jay Naidoo, told Weekend Witness yesterday that Jayasuriya (39) is currently back in Sri Lanka, but he will return to Durban next week.

Naidoo said Dolphins coach Yashin Ebrahim had spoken to the agent of the highly experienced Sri Lankan and it was confirmed that Jayasuriya will be available for the seven remaining preliminary matches and the entire Pro20 Series that follows.

“A clause was included in Jayasuriya’s contract with the Dolphins that should he miss matches, barring because of injury, it would affect his remuneration,” said Naidoo.

Jayasuriya, who is still contracted to Sri Lanka cricket, was given permission by his board to join the Dolphins for the limited-over section of their season on condition that any selection for his national team during that period would be honoured.

The hard-hitting batsman and spinner has 421 ODI appearances behind him, but he has misfired with bat and ball in the three Dolphins matches so far. Naidoo, who is also convenor of the selection panel, is convinced that the player’s class will prevail.

Naidoo said Jayasuriya was signed on a contract befitting his status but his total package — paid in U.S. dollars — “is well below the exaggerated sums mentioned in certain sections of the media”.

“Sanath has yet to come good, but he is a complete professional and has had a positive influence on the squad,” said Naidoo.

The Dolphins, yet to win a game in seven outings this season, and bottom of both the four-day and 45-over logs, play four MTN matches in eight days, beginning against the Cape Cobras in Cape Town next Sunday and ending against the Lions at the PMB Oval on Sunday, December 21.

“If we win those matches, that takes us through to the semis,” said an optimistic Naidoo.

Zimbabwe lesson or Zimbabwe mess? | Why Sanath & Vaas are need to be in the Team

Zimbabwe lesson or Zimbabwe mess?

Notwithstanding the pokerfaced developments in the general governance of the game, Lankan cricket shone like a beacon in World cricket until the last fortnight.

It was not so long ago that Sri Lanka zoomed into the Asia Cup final and won it without much hesitation and then followed it up by gobbling up the plucky Indians in the Test series and narrowly going down in the ODI series.
Until then Lankan cricket looked as good as any other in the World and were a member of that elite group in every sense.

At the same time I remember a year ago Sri Lanka took a Lankan ‘A’ side to Zimbabwe under the leadership of the then out of form T.M. Dilshan who took the opportunity with both hands and batted his way back into the national side. In that tour too the Lankan ‘A’ team players won with consummate ease, but the difference was that like true professionals they scored heavily and always looked the better side by miles rather than mere centimeters.

For instance Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene managed to score just 19 runs in four innings at 4.75 per inning with a highest score of fifteen runs in the five-match ODI series. But a few games prior to that this very same man was the best in the Lankan ranks to finish with an average of 46.2. This clearly depicts the Jayewardene’s present batting predicament is a short one and he would comeback to his true form with a few mental adjustments.

However what caused Jayewardene’s mental stress is also a small matter which is worth probing. Generally the high chairs of the governing body of the game lets their national captain run the mile, in spite of a few hiccups that he may come across from time to time. The best example is how the Indian Cricket hierarchy stood by their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he had a difference of opinion with the national selectors that saw its way into the media. In the aftermath the BCCI handled the issue very professionally and advised the people concerned to be vigilant when they come across situations that nature.

Ironically here in south of the Palk Strait the people in power at times choose to pick on the cricketers on certain issues that could be resolved in some other forum but tend to set upon their lap dogs at them when things go radically wrong through sheer bad handling. The result of such developments could be devastating to some individuals. Then the aura of uncertainty and stress that builds up could result in a drop in personal performance. Besides that personal problems of an individual could be overcome with the remedial applications and one should probe into to see what ailed Sri Lanka cricket during this tour.Firstly, there were three notable absentees in this line up. They are namely – Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas and T.M. Dilshan. One could not blame the national selectors for taking such a stance for the plain and simple reason of “The changes will have to happen one day”.

However things went horribly wrong with the experiments.

At the top neither of the opening batsmen Upul Tharanga or Mahela Udawatte batted even with semblance of any confidence. Even in Sri Lanka you come across many slow low dead tracks that you have to wait for the ball. But, despite the skills and the potetial that they possess, they were more concerned in consolidating their slot in the line up and one of them would have to make way upon the arrival of Sanath Jayasuriya.

Here the ideal situation should have that both openers taking the opportunity and put enough runs on the board against their names and for the country posing a real problem for the return of Jayasuriya. But, that was not to be. Now even at the age of thirty nine Jayasuriya knows he can dictate terms.

The demise of the top two and struggling skipper at number four early in the innings in turn put added problems on the shoulders of Kumar Sangakkara. In the first game Sangakkara batted with a lot of confidence and to a lesser degree in the second. But, when he saw the domino collapsing round him in the rest of the innings he batted under severe pressure – just to keep himself intact to avert a complete disaster. The reason the trusted number five Chamara Kapugedera a batsman with immense potential failed to live up to expectations once again.

Unexpectedly the only middle order inning came from outside. That too came in the very last game. The composure that Thilina Kandamby (a batsman whom some of the top match management is reluctant to try out even after the selectors have put him into the final squad) batted with in his only inning was commendable. Walking in at 3 for 28, the way Kandamby batted was commendable. At times it gave a glimpse of the way Arjuna Ranatunga in his days at the crease used to get about things. He comes in as a player who should get very close scrutiny. He has it in him. Another player who impressed was young Angelo Mathew. If given the correct guidance he too has the potential of remaining at the top. In batting, now that Jayasuriya is there, once again the mean Sri Lankan look should be back in the fold. Veteran Chaminda Vaas now must be a very relaxed man. This tour proved that Sri Lanka really missed the initial Vaas burst at the top. Even the Zimbabwe top order took the Lankan seam attack by the scruff and belted it at will in the initial overs. Both Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda showed no respect to the Lankan seam attack nor did they deservedly command any. Zimbabweans on their part did not know how to finish a game in their favour. If not the final result would have read somewhat different. This 5-0 win maybe one of the worst that any the team would have achieved when they beat another by a margin so big. So, next to Bangladesh along with another go at the Zimbabweans and the Lankans are expected to overcome the challenges posed here with ease. However a performance akin to the Zimbabwean ordeal would spell disaster even though Bangladesh too have inculcated the habit of losing more than winning. Maybe by that time most of the dark clouds looming above Lankan cricket would have passed on and the cricketers will only have the task of performing at the middle.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya back in ODI squad for Sri Lanka's Tour of Bangladesh

Sanath Jayasuriya, rested for the recent Zimbabwe ODIs, returns to the one-day set-up while Farveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando, part of the Zimbabwe tour party, make the Test squad after missing the team's last Test series, at home against India, due to injuries.

Vaas, however, has been included in the squad for the two-Test series. There is also no limited-overs recall for Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was dropped for the five ODIs in Zimbabwe, but he retains his Test spot.

Sri Lanka will play two Tests and a tri-nation tournament, also involving Zimbabwe, in Bangladesh. The tour begins with a three-day warm-up game on December 21, followed by the Tests.

Jayasuriya's return, in place of Mahela Udawatte, will be a handy boost for Sri Lanka, who surprisingly struggled in Zimbabwe. Openers Upul Tharanga and Udawatte both averaged below 20, and Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, opened in the final game instead of Udawatte, who scored 60 in four innings. Jayawardene too did not have a great time in Zimbabwe, with 19 runs in four innings, including two ducks.

Nuwan Kulasekara, whose three late strikes denied Zimbabwe a win in the fifth ODI, keeps his ODI spot but is replaced by Fernando in the Test squad. Newcomers Angelo Mathews, an allrounder, and batsman Thilina Kandamby have been retained in the ODI squad. Both teams have five fast bowlers, with Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis the two spinners.

Sri Lanka Cricket also announced a new manager for the tour. Continuing with the policy of having different managers for tours, Nishantha Ranatunga, who went to Canada and Zimbabwe, has been replaced by Jayantha Paranathala, a former Sri Lanka cricketer and manager who's now a policeman.

Sri Lanka Test squad:

Malinda Warnapura, Michael Vandort, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Chaminda Vaas, Muthiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Dammika Prasad, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Thilan Thushara.

ODI squad:

Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandamby, Muthiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Farveez Maharoof, Dammika Prasad, Thilan Thushara, Angelo Mathews.

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