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SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (AUGUST 2019)Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor - eLanka

Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to terminate the contract of Chandika Hathurusingha, the Head Coach of the national cricket team, after the two parties failed to come to a mutual agreement to sever ties. Following the ICC Cricket World Cup where Sri Lanka finished sixth, SLC had indicated to the Head Coach that they were looking for a replacement but Hathurusingha was interested in staying on till the end of his contract in December 2020. SLC had agreed to pay him six months of his salary to bring an early end to the contract but Hathurusingha maintained that he could still help development of players. Hathurusingha is expected to fight his case in courts, much like Geoff Marsh, who successfully sued SLC eight years ago after being unceremoniously dumped from his job. Interestingly, it took Marsh four weeks since winning Sri Lanka their maiden Test match in South Africa to be booted out. Similarly, four months after winning a first ever Test series in South Africa, Hathurusingha has been sent home. SLC will indicate the national cricket’s terms poor performances as the reason for the early termination of contract. The board is expected to point out their displeasure at Hathurusingha’s conduct during the ball tampering controversy in the Caribbean last year as well. Hathurusingha will have a strong case to argue in courts as he was stripped of selector’s duty midway through his contract and he will point out that he cannot be held responsible for something that was beyond his control. Meanwhile Chief Operating Officer of SLC Jerome Jayaratne is set to take over as Interim Coach during the bilateral series against New Zealand. Jayaratne, one of the longest serving employees of SLC having joined the governing body in 2000 is a career coach with international reputation. Until 2017, he functioned as Director Coaching when SLC sprung wholesale changes to the coaching set up. The results since then have been disastrous. Jayaratne functioned in a similar role in 2015 after Marvan Atapattu stepped down as Head Coach. He is expected to be retained in his usual position of Director Coaching replacing High Performance Manager Asanka Gurusingha, whose contract will end later this month. (Daily Island, 6.8.2019)

Former Captain Dinesh Chandimal has been named in the 15-member Sri Lanka squad for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts on 14th August in Galle. Chandimal was dropped from all formats for loss of form in the past six months. Since captaining the team in Australia earlier this year, Chandimal missed the South Africa tour, World Cup and the recently-concluded Bangladesh series. However, he will have to fight for a place with wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who was the vice-captain of the Test team in South Africa, where Sri Lanka recorded a stunning 2-0 win.  Apart from Chandimal, Sri Lanka have also included Angelo Mathews, who missed the South Africa Test series due to a hamstring injury. Mathews, however played a key role with the limited-overs team in the World Cup and won the Player of the Series award against Bangladesh. From the 22-man preliminary squad announced earlier this week, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera and Angelo Perera have missed out on selection. The more-experienced off-spinning all-rounder, Dilruwan Perera has been left out due to an injury concern and should be available for selection only from the 2nd Test in Colombo. Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya will be the main strike weapon for the hosts, along with Akila Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan as they form a three-pronged spin attack. Dhananjaya De Silva, provides another reliable off-spin option. Suranga Lakmal will be the more experienced seamer out of the three fast-bowlers included. Lahiru Kumara and left-armer Vishwa Fernando complete the attack. Sri Lanka Squad for First Test – Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando. (Daily Island, 10.8.2019)

The three-day warm-up match between the touring New Zealanders and the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI, played at the FTZ Sports Complex (BOI), Katunayake ended in a draw. Scores:

Sri Lanka Board President’s XI – 323/6 dec (Gunathilaka 98, Samarawickrama 80, Priyanjan 56no, Nisanka 35, A.K.Perera 32, Patel 5/41, Somerville 1/70)

Sri Lanka defeated the touring New Zealanders by 6 wickets to win the first Test played at the Galle International Stadium. Scores:

NZ, 1st Innings – 249 (Taylor 86, Nicholls 42, Raval 33, Latham 30, Dananjaya 5/80, Lakmal 4/29)

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 267 (Dickwella 61, Mendis 53, Mathews 50, Lakmal 40, Karunaratne 39, Patel 5/89, Somerville  3/83, Boult 2/45)

NZ, 2nd Innings – 285 (Walling 77, Latham 45, Somerville 40no, Embuldeniya 4/90, de Silva 3/25, Kumara 2/31)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 268/4 (Karunaratne 122, Thirimanne 64, Boult 1/34)

Player of the Match: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)  

The touring New Zealanders beat Sri Lanka by an Innings and 65 runs to win the Second Test, played at the P.Sara Oval, Colombo. Scores:

Sri Lanka, 1st Innings – 244 (De Silva109, Karunaratne 65, Mendis 32, Southee 4/63, Boult 3/75, Sommerville 1/20, Grandhomme 1/35, Patel 1/48)

New Zealand 1st Innings – 431/6 dec (Latham 154, Watling 105, Grandhomme 83, Perera 3/114, Embuldeniya 2/156, Kumara 1/115)

Sri Lanka, 2nd Innings – 122 (Dickwella 51, Mendis 20, Southee 2/15, Boult 2/17, Patel 2/31, Somerville 2/49)

Player of the Match: Tom Latham (New Zealand)

Player of the Series: B. J. Watling (New Zealand)

The 2-match series was levelled 1-1.  

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Pakistan to host Sri Lanka for limited-overs tour

Pakistan to host Sri Lanka for limited-overs tour

Karachi and Lahore to host ODI and T20I series respectively in promising sign for Pakistan, but Tests to be held elsewhere

Pakistan will host Sri Lanka for six limited over internationals starting next month, the two cricket boards announced Friday, in another step towards reviving international cricket in the security-troubled country after years of isolation.

In a joint statement, the cricket boards said the one-day interantional series will begin on September 27 in Karachi where they will play the other two ODI matches on September 29 and October 2.

The Sri Lankans will then move to Lahore for three T20 matches starting on October 5 and the final match will be on October 9, with the second match scheduled for October 7.

This will be Sri Lanka’s second tour of Pakistan since their team bus was attacked by militants during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009.

Eight years later, the Sri Lankans returned to Pakistan for a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017.

The two boards said the teams were due to play two Test matches in October and follow it up with the six shorter form matches in December, but decided to swap them.

The dates and the venue for the two Tests were not announced, but Sri Lanka’s Sports minister Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo Thursday that the Tests will not be in Pakistan.

Citing safety fears, Fernando said two Tests could instead be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Pakistan has held many of its home series.

Since the 2009 attacks, a majority of international teams including Australia have refused to tour Pakistan over security fears, forcing Pakistan to play their home matches at neutral venues.

But since hosting Zimbabwe for a limited over series in 2015, Pakistan have been gradually normalising cricket activities and have also hosted matches for its Pakistan Super League T20 tournament for the past three years.

They have also hosted a World XI and the West Indies for limited over matches in 2017 and 2018.

Pakistan’s two Tests against Sri Lanka will be their final tune-up for their tour of Australia this summer, with matches to be played at the Gabba and then under lights in Adelaide.

Australia haven’t toured Pakistan since 1998.

Series schedule:

27 Sep – 1st ODI, Karachi

29 Sep – 2nd ODI, Karachi

2 Oct – 3rd ODI, Karachi

5 Oct – 1st T20I, Lahore

7 Oct – 2nd T20I, Lahore

9 Oct – 3rd T20I, Lahore

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Watch: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test – Cricket Highlights – August 2019


Day 1 -Highlights

Day 2 -Highlights

Day 3 -Highlights

Day 4 -Highlights

Day 5 -Highlights

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test at Galle. Sri Lanka made look a daunting run chase like a stroll in the park for a 6-wicket champagne Sunday first test ending by the extended second over past lunch break time on a brilliant captain’s century of 122 off 243 balls consuming 310 minutes and containing 6 boundaries and a six by Dimuth Karunaratne to go 1 up in the ICC World Test Championship and 60 points to boot in the championship table at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.


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About the Late Vernon Prins, cricketer.

Vernon Prins

Image source: Wikipedia 

All-round sportsmen are a rare breed. To this category belongs this affable, mild and gentle- mannered sportsman. He had the proud distinction of representing Ceylon in cricket and hockey. He is a double international. Moulded in the best Thomian tradition, he led St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia in 1943, Nondescript Cricket Club (NCC) and All Ceylon in cricket, the last he loved most.

His name is Vernon George Prins – the prime person of Sri Lanka cricket. He is a legend among the cricketing fraternity. He was one of the most senior Sri Lankan cricketers, barring, D. D. Jayasinghe, Col. F. C. de Saram, M. Sathasivam, S. S. Jayawickrema, Bertie Wijesinha, C. I. Gunasekera, Fairlie Dalpathadu, Makin Salih, Tita Nethanials, to name ten during the 1940 – 1960 era.

Seven Thomians have captained Sri Lanka in cricket. They are, A. C. Ahamath, D. L. de Saram, V. G. Prins, M. H. Tissera, Dr. B. G. Ried, A. P. B. Tennekoon, and L. R. D. Mendis. Among the galaxy of Thomian cricket captains, Vernon Prins was a gentleman par excellence. To him the spirit of the game was more important than the final outcome. He had a trail- blazing stint with the Maitland Place Club,NCC, and went on to captain the teams from 1952 – 1959. Under his astute leadership NCC won the “Plum of Sri Lanka Cricket”, the Sara Trophy many times.

Prins was the Genius Absolute. To any batsman, to bat with him was an education and a revelation. He never lost his balance. The higher and higher he ascended in cricket, he became simpler and humbler.   Vernon, C. I., Satha, were the “darlings of the spectators” during that era, 1940s – 1960s. Prins had a wonderful brain and eye for cricket.

The footwork is the key to being able to play spin. Cover drive is the bread and butter shot for many batsmen. Vernon Prins was the best in the business. He does not get caught in two minds. That helps his shot selection. He was a batting artist.  His driving was a treat to watch. I feel his success has been a case of having a plan and concentrating on every delivery, trying to stay confident and building up the innings. He always maintained his cool.  He had a fine temperament. Vernon was a fine captain.  He always led his side from the front. He was a thorough gentleman and an outstanding team-man.

Vernon Prins started his schooling at the Training College, Colombo, which was Royal Prep those days. As a child, he played cricket with his schoolmates.  After three years, his parents decided to send him to St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He joined the school by the sea, in 1934.

In 1940, under the captaincy of G. F. D. Abeysekera, Prins played his first Royal – Thomian.  On 20th and 21st 1941,next year, he played for St. Thomas’ under R. Proctor.   In this match A. F. Molamure scored 113, Proctor 45,Vernon Prins 42.  In his third Royal – Thomian, Prins scored 41 and 83.  He captained in 1943. This year the Big-Match was played at the Colombo Oval. His rival captain was R. Wickrematilleke. Royal in their first essay scored 158, and in their second innings collected 75 runs. St. Thomas’scored 200 in the first innings. For the last wicket K. L. M. Perera (98 n.o) and S. Ellapata (44) were associated in a 114 runs partnership. In this match, Thomian H. S. Coomaraswamy returned the remarkable figures. Under the shrewd captaincy of Vernon Prins, Thomians won by 10 wickets.

While representing Ceylon, Vernon Prins scored 31 n.o. against Freddie Brown’s XI in 1950, 46 versus Lindsay Hasset’s Australian side in 1953. These were the best innings considering the fact that he faced the best in the world circuit at that time. Trevor Bailey, Ritchie Benaud, Ray Lindwall, Kieth Miller, Bill Johnston, Sonny Ramadhin, to name a few.

He was one of the best all-rounders that Sri Lanka produced. He made more than 8000 runs in about eight Sara seasons. In 1950-51, he scored 5611 runs at an average of 45.25. This included 14 centuries. He held 92 catches in his distinguished cricket career. Vernon devoted his entire life to cricket. He was married to cricket, and remained a bachelor.

Vernon Prins was an ornament to the game of cricket.

I will never forget the NCC versus Saracens Sara Trophy match played at the NCC grounds. This was my baptism in division one cricket. I was included to play against the NCC at Maitland Place.

Winning the toss Saracens skipper, my coach Gerry Gooneratne, elected to bat on a grassy wicket. Openers were out for five runs. Old Joe Keerthi Caldera, a fine wicket keeper and a reliable stylish batsman and I were in pads. When the first wicket fell, against the pace bowling of Malcolm Spittle, Keerthi, walked into bat. Before, he left he told me, “Premasara, that bloke should have played forward. He went back. Now see we have to pay for his sins.” Keerthi, is a player who never gave the due credit to a bowler. He will find out some mistake of the batsman dismissed. Keerthi took guard. Malcolm spittle, another Old Joe, was bowling great guns to another “Old Joe”. The first ball he faced Keerthi’s middle stump went cart wheeling.

Gerry said, “Epa, concentrate, put your head down and bat”. What a challenge? I had to face Malcolm spittle. He was on a hat-trick. I took my guard from umpire Dodwel de Zoysa. Spittle came racing and it was outside the off-stump and I managed to survive and Spittle misses the hat-trick.

From the SSC grounds end, the other opening bowler operating was Ceylon skipper, burly Vernon Prins. I drove him through the covers for a four. Prins quipped, “Nice shot Boy.” I was thrilled and in cloud nine. This was the biggest compliment I got. It came from no less a person than the Ceylon skipper. I scored 27 runs and spooned a catch to point, where Rienzie Perera held it off the bowling of Malcolm Spittle. This innings I will never forget as I got my opportunity to play against some of the best cricketers in the country. It was a real experience and education.

Vernon Prins’ father was J. L. A. Prins, a veterinary surgeon. He was coached by George Ponniah at St. Thomas’ College.

In the year 1943, the 64th Big Match, Royal openers were H. N. Jilla and Ernie Peiris. Number four was George Rajapakse, vice captain of Royal. George Rajapakse, later became a highly respected Politician and minister. George Rajapakse captained Royal in 1944 and his rival Thomian skipper was Renga Selvaratnam.

Vernon Prins joined NCC in 1941 (0r 1951?). It was Edgar Hubert and Mano Jilla who took Vernon to Nondescript Cricket Club. He captained NCC from 1952 – 1959. Some of his outstanding contemporaries were Malcolm Spittle, Dr. H. I. K. Fernando, Stanley Jayasinghe, Malcolm Franke, T. Shanmuganathen, Roy Abeysekera, to name a few.

Vernon Prins, after leaving STC, MTL, joined the Police and served for 12 years. Later he worked at Bosanquet & Skrine, and Whittal Boustead Limited. After serving these two reputed firms, he joined Consolidated Exports, from where he retired.

He was a double international. He played the Andriesz Shield League Tournament for NCC and later won his Ceylon Colours. He was one of the nicest gentleman I met.

Vernon was an ornament to cricket, a role – model to all cricketers.

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