Hot-Hot Cricket News: Monies & Lanka’s Team Selections

Victor Melder as Compiler

Sri Lanka will earn as much as Rs. 8.6 billion per year over a four-year period (Rs. 34.2 billion in total income) as the island’s allocation from the International Cricket Council’s annual payouts.  In US dollars Sri Lanka’s share is 27.12 million compared to India’s lion’s share of USD 230 million but the amount in still massive by Sri Lanka’s standards. The International Cricket Council has made the allocations taking into account factors like performance in both the men’s and women’s teams on the international stage over the past 16 years and contribution to the ICC’s commercial value. The earnings of the ICC of over $3.2 billion come from the sale of its media rights alone, which recently, for the first time, were sold across five separate regions globally including the Indian market. The vast bulk of that money has come from the sale of rights in the Indian market, where Disney Star paid just over $3 billion for four years according to ESPNcricinfo (Sunday Observer, 14.5.2023).

Batters Kusal Janith Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrema, and seamer Dushmantha Chameera have been named in Sri Lanka’s 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe as well for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan next month. [Sri Lanka has] been relegated to play the 10-team qualifier next month in Zimbabwe to clinch one of the two remaining spots at cricket’s greatest showpiece in India this year. The World Cup qualifiers will begin on June 18 in Zimbabwe where the finalists will join the eight automatic qualifiers in the main draw.

The squad also sees the inclusion of leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha and slinger Matheesha Pathirana, who are likely to make their international debuts during the Afghanistan series starting June 2 in Hambantota. Perera, who returned to competitive cricket after his shoulder surgery, only played the T20 leg during the recent New Zealand series and now expects to resume his ODI career. Samarawickrema last participated in an ODI in 2019 and comes into the mix following some impressive performances during the recent National Super League. But whether he can make into the 15-man squad remains to be seen. Chameera has not played international cricket since the T20 World Cup in Australia last year. He was named in the white-ball team to New Zealand but was pulled out as he required more time to recover from the ankle-surgery he underwent during the World Cup. Selection sources confirmed that both Perera and Chameera are fit to resume international cricket.

Pathirana, just 20, is yet to play ODI cricket for Sri Lanka. Though he was named for the series in New Zealand, he was benched after contracting Covid-19. However, his performance during the current season of the IPL has impressed many. He is likely to find a place in the final squad which the selectors are expected to decide by late next week. Dushan Hemantha is the newest kid on the block. He was part of the Test squad that beat Ireland 2-0 in April but failed to earn his Test cap. With Wanindu Hasaranga struggling to live up to expectations, Hemantha comes in as an option. Hasaranga has not taken a single wicket during his last five ODIs for Sri Lanka, a reason to press the panic button. His returns in away matches are also atrocious–only eight wickets in 18 games at 93.35.

Angelo Mathews who returned to white-ball cricket after two years during the New Zealand series, has retained his place even though he managed just 18 runs in the three-match series. Mathews has played more matches than anyone else in the current squad and is the only one who averages above 40 in ODI cricket. Apart from Chameera and Pathirana, the squad includes three other seamers in Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, and Lahiru Kumara. Still, who gets into the final 15 remains to be seen. Chamika Karunaratne is part of the longer squad but it’s not yet certain whether he can find himself a place as Sri Lanka cannot afford to have two seaming all-rounders in the side. Captain Dasun Shanaka is the other all-rounder in the team.

Two former captains, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne, have been left out of the preliminary squad. Karunaratne, the current Test skipper, led the side four years ago during the World Cup in England but lost his place and the captaincy after current selectors took over. The team will start training on Monday.

The beleaguered cricket officials overcame all visible threats and even a feared government takeover as they pulled off an overwhelming one-sided victory for a third term running at the Jiac Hilton Hotel in Colombo yesterday. The occasion was an election that had no opponents in the ring with rival factions either opting to stay away from possible defeat or preferring to remain silent and passive in a no-win situation. The election took place amid calls for a change in an administrative system and a check on voting anomalies by a group outside the portals of Sri Lanka Cricket offices while Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe could not match his words with deeds after threatening to impose his Ministerial authority.

But the re-elected cricket head Shammi Silva and his Committee had the last laugh last morning dressed in their Sunday best with nothing to confess. “We concluded the election without any issues. With the support of the International Cricket Council (ICC) we were able to present our grievances and come to an amicable settlement with the Sports Minister to work for the good of cricket,” said reelected secretary Mohan de Silva, a veteran of many an administration. Their new two-year lease comes just weeks after the ICC decided to increase its funding towards the 12 Test-playing nations that will snowball Sri Lanka Cricket’s coffers by a whopping Rs.8.6 billion a year for the next four years. Shammi Silva did not wish to hide the fact that while he is the most influential sports administrator in the country his organization is the envy of many seeking to gain a foothold in one of the richest public institutions in the country. “Most of the people (who call for change) are trying to get in because of the money and they have past records. Thank God our stakeholders know what is happening. We are an elected body and the ICC recognisers only elected bodies,” said Silva. He revealed Sri Lanka Cricket has 35 million US dollars that could increase to 75 million US dollars over the next two years that he said will be used for development activities and payments to players. (Sunday Observer, 21.5.2023)

Sri Lankan ace spinner Wanindu Hasarsnga will miss the forthcoming Afghanistan ODI series due to injury and most probably newcomer Dushan Hemantha will replace him as the leg spinner. According to reliable sources close to SLC Wanindu got injured during ongoing IPL and he hopes to recover for the Zimbabwe tour for World Cup qualifying tournament. In fact Selectors already made 31squad with Dimuth Karunaratne the test skipper and Kusal Janith Perera also not fully recovered to play for Afghanistan series and Dimuth Karunaratne will replace him while Pathum Nissanka will probably get a chance to play Afghanistan series at Hambantota which will commence on June 2.

The probable Sri Lanka squad for the Afghanistan ODI series (subject to approval from the Sports Minister): Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka (Capt), Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushan Hemantha, Lahiru Kumara, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha. (Daily News 22.5.2023)

Afghanistan Series:

Squads and schedule
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrema (wk), Dhanajaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathiarana, Kasun Rajitha

Afghanistan squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (Captain), Rahmat Shah (VC), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhail (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujib ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Abdul Rahman, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Farid Ahmad Malik

Reserves: Gulbadin Naib, Shahidullah Kamal, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zia ur Rahman Akbar

Series schedule:

First ODI: June 2 at Sooriyawewa, Hambantota

Second ODI: June 4 at Sooriyawewa, Hambantota

Third ODI: June 7 at Sooriyawewa, Hambantota

ALSO NOTE an Old item four years back

Shammi Silva just a ‘puppet on a string’

1 Comment

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One response to “Hot-Hot Cricket News: Monies & Lanka’s Team Selections

  1. Rex Olegasegarem

    It is rather disappointing to note that the recent and current cricket teams do not include any representatives from the Tamil and Muslim communities, with the exception of Angelo Mathews. Muthiah Muralitharan retired some time ago . Even these two gifted cricketers do not come from the Jaffna or Batticaloa districts,
    There was a time when three gifted Tamil cricketers M. Sathasivam , Sathi Coomaraswamy and Neil Chanmugam figured prominently. The current situation could discourage Cricket being played in Jaffna and Batticaloa districts .Kumar Sangakkara , the gentleman , did visit Jaffna some years ago to encourage cricketers from there,

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