SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (NOVEMBER  2023) Compiled by Victor Melder

Sri Lanka Cricket team - eLanka

Victor-Melder-Paceman Pramod Madushan arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday to join the Sri Lanka World Cup squad as a travel reserve. Lahiru Kumara who was the Man of the Match in the last winning game against England in Bangalore but later got injured, is scheduled to depart for home today, as confirmed by the Sri Lanka team Manager, Mahinda Halangoda. Lahiru’s injury has prevented him from making a full recovery, leading the team management to decide to send him back home. This has opened the door for Pramod Madushan who was included as a standby player for the World Cup. Madushan’s ability to bat as a lower-order batsman is a helpful asset for the team. Hailing from Hambantota National School, Madushan can step in to replace any injured player in the squad with approval from the World Cup Technical Committee. Dasun Shanaka the skipper remains with the team as a travel reserve, unable to enter the playing XI. The team management had previously stated that Shanaka could be considered after ten days from his injury date, but he has not fully recovered and has just began his training. (Daily News, 2.11.2023)

India beat Sri Lanka  by 302 runs to win the 33 rd Match, ICC Cricket World Cup, played at Wankhede, Mumbai. Scores:

India – 357/8 in 50 Overs (Gill 92, Kohli 88, Iyer 82, Jadeja 35, Madushanka 5/80, Chameera 1/50)

Sri Lanka – 55 in 19.4 Overs (Rajitha 14, Theeekshana 12, Mathews 12, Shami 5/18, Siraj 3/16, Jadeja ¼, Bumrah 1/8)

Player of the Match: Mohammed Shami (India)

Points: India  2, Sri Lanka 0.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has expressed deep concern and disappointment regarding the Sri Lanka National Team’s performance in the ongoing World Cup 2023, especially their recent loss to India.  In response to these concerns, SLC has requested an urgent and comprehensive explanation from the entire coaching staff and selectors. The World Cup 2023 is a prestigious event, and the performance of the Sri Lanka National Team holds significant importance for the nation and cricket enthusiasts worldwide, the SLC said in a statement. However, recent subpar performance and unexpected defeats have raised questions about the team’s preparation, strategies, and overall performance. While SLC typically does not interfere with the professional staff’s responsibilities, they emphasize accountability, transparency, and addressing concerns promptly. Requesting an explanation from the coaching staff aims to understand the reasons behind the disappointing performance and identify areas for improvement. The coaching staff and selectors have been asked to address critical aspects, including: 1. Strategy and Preparation: Providing insights into the team’s strategy, preparation, and tactical decisions during matches. 2. Team Selection: Justifying player selections for each match and explaining changes in the playing XI. 3. Player Performance: Assessing individual and team performance, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and addressing injuries or fitness concerns. 4. Post-Match Analysis: Sharing post-match analyses and explaining key takeaways. Sri Lanka Cricket understands that losses are a part of sports, but the recent defeats have been particularly disheartening. The organization aims to open a constructive dialogue to identify areas for improvement and ensure a more competitive showing in future matches. SLC said they would expect a prompt and comprehensive response from the coaching staff demonstrating a strong commitment to enhance the team’s performance in the remaining matches of the World Cup 2023 and in future competitions, the statement added. (Daily Mirror, 3.11.2023)

As the fallout of Sri Lanka’s embarrassing 302-run defeat to India in the Cricket World Cup continues, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has called for the immediate resignation of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), threatening drastic action if they do not.  In a media release, the Minister said that SLC and the national selectors should take responsibility for a disastrous World Cup campaign that was exacerbated by Thursday’s defeat.  “Sri Lanka officials have no moral, ethical right to remain in office. They should resign from their posts,” the Minister has said.  He also said that the non-inclusion of senior cricketers like Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal had an effect on Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign.  “The victimization of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal by not including them in the World Cup squad also had an effect on Sri Lanka’s debacle at the World Cup,” he claimed. “It is a joke that SLC is defending the selectors and its executive committee.” In a separate letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Sports Minister highlighted SLC’s association with brands that have links to Betting and Gambling companies.  “The Sri Lanka Cricket Board’s present leadership has made choices that have resulted in considerable damage to the organization. Various Sri Lankan players have faced allegations of involvement in match-fixing schemes, and there has been a public backlash against Sri Lanka Cricket’s perceived promotion of a culture of betting and gambling,” he wrote.  (Daily Mirror, 3.11.2023)

The Sports Minister should get rid of everyone directly concerned with cricket even if Sri Lanka loses International Cricket Council (ICC) membership, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Hesha Vithanage said today. “Sri Lanka has suffered its worst defeats in one day internationals (ODIs) recently and it is high time that the Sports Minister gets rid of everyone who controls cricket in Sri Lanka. I have come up with this comment  several times before. The Sports Minister has been harping that ICC will take drastic action if he makes hard decisions on Sri Lanka cricket (SLC). However, it is better for Sri Lanka to lose the status of a cricket playing nation rather than suffering humiliating defeats repeatedly,” MP Vithanage said. “We have already revealed scandals involving cricket in Sri Lanka in Parliament recently. I have also lodged a complaint with the CID on alleged misuse of money in SLC, but no action has been taken to date,” he added. MP Vithanage has been highlighting issues on Sri Lankan cricket for a long time and his latest comment came after Sri Lanka’s crushing defeat against India at the World Cup fixture against India on Thursday. (Daily Mirror, 4.11.2023)

Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Mohan de Silva resigned from his board position on Saturday (03 November 2023). His resignation comes after both widespread criticism of the board following Sri Lanka’s crashing out of the Men’s ODI World Cup, as well as a release from the nation’s sports minister asking SLC’s executive committee to resign or face drastic action. De Silva did not provide an official reason for his resignation, but it is understood to be at least partly the consequence of Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the World Cup, though personal reasons had also played a part. Sri Lanka’s sports minister and SLC have been engaged in hostilities lasting over a year, with the board’s use of finances (particularly during last year’s Men’s T20 World Cup), the Lanka Premier League, and their running of other domestic tournaments being particular flashpoints. SLC’s relationship with the sports minister often tends to be friendly, although it is occasionally characterised by sabre-rattling. According to Sri Lanka’s sports law, the nation’s sports ministry oversees SLC, as it does other national-level sporting bodies. However, in the case of cricket, the ICC’s official policy of not allowing direct government interference in the sport has usually prevented ministers from flexing their power. The last time the government installed an “interim committee” to act in place of SLC’s member-voted executive committee, back in 2014, the ICC held funds that were due to be paid to the board in escrow. In any case, the minister’s two-page release accused SLC of – among a variety of faults – failing to provide so much as an indoor training facility, or a swimming pool in which to conduct fitness and injury rehabilitation work. These, at least, have been long-standing grouses from players themselves. SLC’s officials have responded to the minister’s criticism with strongly-worded statements of their own over the past few months. But the men’s team’s performance at the World Cup has shifted the power dynamic, however briefly. (Daily Island, 5.11.2023)

Following growing calls to sack the committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the SLC board has been suspended and an interim committee led by Arjuna Ranatunga has been appointed by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, to address the ongoing challenges within Sri Lanka Cricket. The Ministry said under the authority granted by Sports Law No. 25 of 1973, the Minister has appointed the interim committee. The newly established committee members are as follows: • S. I. Imam, Retired Supreme Court Judge, •  Rohini Marasinghe, Retired Supreme Court Judge, • Irangani Perera, Retired High Court Judge, • Arjuna Ranatunga (Chairman), • Upali Dharmadasa, • Rakitha Rajapakshe, Attorney-at-Law, • Hisham Jamaldeen. (Daily Mirror, 6.11.2023)

Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka  by 3 wickets to win the 38th Match, ICC Cricket World Cup, played at  Arun Jaitley, Stadium, Delhi.. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 279 in 49.3 Overs (Asalanka 108, Nissanka 41, Samarawickrama 41, de Silva 34, Sakib 3/80, Islam 2/51, Al Hasan 2/57)

Bangladesh – 282/7 in 41.1 Overs (Shanto 90, Al Hasan 82, Das 23, Madushanka 3/69, Mathews 2/35, Theekshana 2/44)  

Player of the Match:Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Points: Bangladesh  2, Sri Lanka 0.

In what was a first in international cricket, Angelo Mathews was dismissed ‘timed out’ during the first innings of the World Cup game in Delhi between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Monday (November 6). In the 25th over of the first innings, Mathews was readying to take strike after the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama when his helmet strap broke. He gestured to the dugout for a new helmet but didn’t consult with Shakib Al Hasan, the opposition captain, who went on to successfully appeal for “timed out” to onfield umpires. According to the ICC Playing Conditions for the World Cup, the incoming batter has to “be ready to receive the ball” within two minutes of a dismissal or a batter retiring. This rule has been in place in ODI cricket since June 2023. For Tests, the corresponding time limit is three minutes, and for T20Is it is 90 seconds. Samarawickrama was dismissed at 15:49 local time according to official scorers at the venue whereas Mathews was timed out at 15:54 local time. He walked in at 15:50 local time according to the official scorers, but wasn’t ready at the crease within the stipulated time. Mathews tried to plead his case with Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth, the onfield umpires, but to no avail. As the Bangladesh players celebrated, Mathews walked off in anger. He was seen displaying the helmet to head coach Chris Silverwood before throwing it in anger and stomping off towards the dressing room. This is the seventh overall time in men’s cricket that a ‘timed out’ dismissal has occurred, and the first time in 50-over cricket. The previous six instances were all in first-class cricket. (Daily Island, 7.11.2023)

Officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had written cheques amounting to billions of rupees during the last few days expecting that an interim committee would be appointed, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe said today. The Minister told Parliament that the lights of the Dambulla International Cricket Stadium had been changed in a hurry at a cost of Rs. 1.5 billion during the last few days. He also said there is a risk of important documents at SLC being misplaced. (Daily Mirror, 7.11.2023)

A two judge bench consisting Appeals Court President Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Vikum Kaluarachchi after considering a writ petition filed by the Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Shammi Silva, issued a 14-day stay order preventing the implementation of the gazette notification 2356/43 issued by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. (Daily Island, 8.11.2023)

In the wake of the court decision that suspended the operation of the gazette notification in respect of SLC’s Interim Committee, its Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga said he will divulge the names behind the move in the near future. Addressing the media, Ranatunga said he had not been officially informed of the court decision nor was he summoned before the court. “However, I respect the verdict delivered by any court. I am not perplexed nor surprised with this decision as this was around the corner. Nevertheless, I am disappointed and sad that I might miss the timely opportunity to renew Sri Lanka’s cricket,” Arjuna said while adding that he suspected political backing behind the move. Thus, he reiterated that he would reveal the names, with proper documents and proof, of those involved in the move to suspend the interim committee. (Daily Mirror, 8.11.2023)

In a bid to address and resolve the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka’s popular sport of cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket is to be governed by a Board of Directors comprising 18 members. The proposed changes were outlined in a report drafted by a committee headed by Justice K.T. Chitrasiri, which was formally handed over to the Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, by President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake on Tuesday. The new constitution was commissioned by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who believes that a mere interim committee will not be sufficient to tackle the complex issues plaguing Sri Lankan Cricket. To ensure a long-term solution and advancement of the sport, a permanent and substantive approach is needed. The “Chitrasiri Committee Report,” presented to President Wickremesinghe last month, was originally intended to be submitted to Parliament after the conclusion of the 2023 Cricket World Cup and the presentation of the 2024 budget.  However, given the current circumstances, President Wickremesinghe has decided to expedite the process and submit the proposed draft constitution to the Cabinet sub-committee, with the intention of bringing it to the attention of Parliament. The new draft constitution proposes a comprehensive overhaul of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board’s membership, composition, administration and management. Under the proposed changes, a Board of Directors consisting of 18 members will govern the Sri Lanka Cricket Board. Each director will serve a four-year term and will have the authority to make policy decisions. The execution of these decisions will be the responsibility of a Director-General appointed by the Board of Directors. Out of the 18 directors, 8 will be appointed, and the recommendation for their appointment will be made by an expert committee consisting of six members. This committee will include representatives from the National Sports Council, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the Institute of Directors of Sri Lanka, and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Sri Lanka (CIMA Sri Lanka). The remaining 10 board members will be selected through an official election process. This process will see five directors representing cricket clubs, one representing the Players’ Association, one representing the School Cricket Association, one representing the Women’s Cricket Association, one representing the Umpires’ Association, and one representing the Coaches’ Association. Furthermore, the proposed constitution suggests the establishment of 12 committees dedicated to various aspects of cricket. These committees include the Cricket Committee, Audit Committee, Related Party Transactions Committee, Nominations Committee, Selection Committee, Tournament Committee, Facilities Development Committee, Rules, Arbitration, and Disciplinary Committee, Investment Committee, Anti-Doping and Anti-Corruption Committee, and Remuneration Committee. The proposed new Constitution will be tabled and discussed by the ruling party during the parliamentary debate, which will be held tomorrow. If approved, these changes are expected to bring a fresh start to Sri Lankan cricket, ensuring transparent governance, effective decision-making, and improved administration of the sport. (Daily Mirror, 9.11.2023)

New Zealand  beat Sri Lanka  by 5 wickets to win the 4st Match, ICC Cricket World Cup, played at  M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, Delhi.. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 171 in 46.4 Overs (Perera 51, Theekshana 38, Boult 3/37, Ravindra 2/21, Southern 2/22, Ferguson 2/25)

New Zealand – 172/5 in 23.2 Overs (Conway 45, Mitchell 43, Ravindra 42, Mathews 2/29, Chameera 1/20) 

Player of the Match: Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Points: New Zealand  2, Sri Lanka 0.

The International Cricket Council Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect. In a statement released on Friday night, the ICC said that the SLC had breached its obligations as a member, in particular the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and without government interference.  In its statement, the ICC said: “The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”  The ICC Board is set to meet on November 21, after which the future course of action is expected to be clearer. Sri Lanka is scheduled to host the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup across January and February 2024.  The Sri Lanka men’s team have had a forgettable time at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, winning just two of their nine matches and finishing with four points. They sit at No.8 in the points table with three more matches to be played in the league phase. (Daily Mirror, 11.11.2023)

Amidst the recent dispute between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe over the appointment of an interim committee for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Cabinet has decided that any future interim committee appointments for SLC must receive Cabinet approval. Previously, the Sports Minister appointed an interim committee led by former cricketer Arjuna Ranathunga for SLC. However, the President reportedly expressed his displeasure at not being consulted before the appointment, instructing the Sports Minister to revoke the gazette issued for the interim committee. Meanwhile, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has authorized the Ministerial Sub-Committee, led by Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, to make decisions on the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership in the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Last week, the Cabinet decided to appoint a four-member Cabinet sub-committee to look into the gazette issued by the Sports Minister, which appointed an Interim Committee for SLC while suspending the previous board and future activities of SLC. Sri Lanka’s ICC membership has been suspended effective November 10 due to government interference in Sri Lanka Cricket’s administration. (Daily Mirror, 14.11.2023)

Despite the suspension, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board which met today (21) decided that Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally both in bilateral cricket and ICC events. The Sri Lanka Cricket was suspended recently for breaching its obligations as a Member in particular the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and without government interference. In the board meeting, it was also decided to control funding to SLC. In addition, the ICC Board confirmed that Sri Lanka will no longer host the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, which will now be held in South Africa. (Daily Mirror, 21.11.2023)

The series between Sri Lanka and the Zimbabwe National Men’s, comprising three ODIs and three T-20s, will commence on January 6. The three-match ODI series will be held from January 6 to January 11 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The action then shifts to the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, where the T20 series, is scheduled to be played from January 14 to 18. All matches, both ODIs and T20Is, are set to be day/night encounters. Despite ICC’s suspension of Sri Lanka cricket, the greenlight has been given for the bilateral matches to proceed unabated from the Zimbabwe series. SLC disallowed the national team’s fast bowlers to participate in franchise cricket tournaments to prioritize national duties. This decision stems from concerns over injuries, with Matheesha Pathirana and Lahiru Kumara both getting injured during the World Cup, and Dushmantha Chameera and Dilshan Madushanka joining the World Cup after recovering from their injuries. The Afghanistan cricket team is expected to arrive to play a T20 series and a test match, followed by the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh cricket series in Bangladesh

Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe cricket match Schedule ODI Series

1st ODI – 6th January – Pallekele
2nd ODI – 8th January – Pallekele
3rd ODI – 11th January – Pallekele

T- 20 Series

1st T20I – 14th January – Dambulla,
2nd T20I – 16th January – Dambulla
3rd T20I – 18th January – Dambulla

(Daily News, 25.11.2023)

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