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Bandula Warnapura
Bandula Warnapura
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First Sri Lankan Test Skipper Bandula Warnapura Dies At 68

Bandula Warnapura, the first captain of the Sri Lankan Test cricket team, has passed away at 68 years of age. He had passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo after he was hospitalized earlier this month. He has played 4 Test matches and 12 One Day Internationals (ODI) during his international cricketing career from 1975 to 1982.

Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura died at the age of 68 at a city hospital in Colombo on Monday.

Bandula Warnapura had his right leg amputated earlier this month after being diagnosed with high sugar levels, which hindered his blood circulation, according to local media reports. An opening batsman with a solid technique, Bandula Warnapura was also a capable medium-pace bowler.

Bandula Warnapura captained Sri Lanka in their first Test against England in 1982. © Getty
Bandula Warnapura captained Sri Lanka in their first Test against England in 1982. © Getty

Bandula Warnapura Debuted In ODIs In The 1975 World Cup And Faced First Ball And Scored First Run In Sri Lanka’s First-Ever Test While Captaining The Side

The former opener made his ODI debut in the 1975 World Cup game against the West Indies at Old Trafford. In his next game, he scored a brisk 39-ball 31 against the fearsome pace pair of Australia’s Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. In 1979, he captained Sri Lanka to a famous victory against India in the next World Cup. He notched up his highest ODI score of 77 versus Pakistan in the 1981-82 season, but it went in vain as Sri Lanka slipped to an eight-wicket loss.

Bandula Warnapura went on to captain Sri Lanka in their first-ever Test versus England in Colombo in 1982. He faced Sri Lanka’s first delivery and scored their first run in Test cricket. In that game, he also achieved the rare record of opening the batting and opening the bowling (second innings) in the same Test match.

Bandula Warnapura faced the first ball and scored the first Test run for Sri Lanka. (Agencies)
Bandula Warnapura faced the first ball and scored the first Test run for Sri Lanka. (Agencies)

Not only did he lead the Sri Lankan side in its maiden Test match in February 1982 against England, but he also faced the first ball and scored the first run for the island nation. He also achieved the rare record of opening the batting and opening the bowling (second innings) in the same game.

Bandula Warnapura Was Handed A Life Ban After Deciding To Tour Apartheid South Africa With A Rebel Team In 1982-83

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offered its condolences. A sentimental hero of Lankan cricket, Bandula Warnapura represented his country in four Tests and 12 ODIs between 1975 to 1982. He did a commendable job of leading Sri Lanka in their formative years.

“I am deeply saddened by the demise of Bandula Warnapura, who was Sri Lanka’s First Test Captain,” SLC chief Shammi Silva said in a statement.

Shammi Silva
Shammi Silva

“He was an excellent cricketer, administrator, coach, commentator, and above all, a good person, and his passing away is a huge loss for the cricketing community. However, I am sure his name and deeds will remain in our hearts forever. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana,” the statement read.

However, he was handed a life ban from Sri Lankan cricket after he decided to tour apartheid South Africa with a rebel team in 1982-83.  However, in 1991, Bandula Warnapura re-joined cricket as the national coach and administrator of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. He was appointed as the Director of Coaching in 1994, and later in 2001, he was given the post as the Director of Operations, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Tom Moody- ET Bureau
Tom Moody- ET Bureau
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Tom Moody Expected To Apply For India Team’s Head Coach For 4th Time

Tom Moody, a former Australia all-rounder, is expected to apply for the high-profile job of the Indian cricket team’s next head coach for a fourth time after Ravi Shastri’s exit following the conclusion of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, according to a media report.

The 56-year-old Tom Moody, who currently serves as IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad and Sri Lanka’s director of cricket, has expressed his desire to coach the Indian side before, applying thrice for the top job in the past, including in 2017 and 2019, but has never been considered for the top post.

Tom Moody is currently Sunrisers Hyderabad's coach. (IPL/FILE)
Tom Moody is currently Sunrisers Hyderabad’s coach. (IPL/FILE)

Tom Moody To Apply For India Team’s Head Coach After Ravi Shastri’s Contract Ends After Conclusion Of T20I World Cup

Ravi Shastri’s contract as India’s head coach is all set to end after the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup, and the 59-year-old former Indian batsman has already confirmed that he won’t be seeking an extension, leaving the BCCI to look for candidates for the top job. Tom Moody, who was Sunrisers Hyderabad’s coach for seven years from 2013 to 2019, led the franchise to their only IPL title in 2016 with compatriot David Warner as skipper.

“It’s understood the former World Cup-winner and well-traveled coach is eyeing the Indian coaching job, which is set to be vacated by (Ravi) Shastri following the impending T20 World Cup,” Foxsports.com.au reported.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Tom Moody was replaced by former England World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss at SRH camp before being named the franchise’s director of cricket. Tom Moody has also coached Sri Lanka.

On 15th December 2020, Tom Moody was appointed as the Director of Cricket of Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the 2021 IPL season. In February 2021, he was appointed as the director of cricket of Sri Lanka cricket with the influence of the Technical Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket led by Aravinda de Silva.

Several Franchises have approached David Warner, Who Was Stripped Of Captaincy And Axed From Playing XI

According to the report, Tom Moody’s aspiration to coach Team India led to the decision to strip David Warner from captaincy earlier this season and then dropped him from the playing XI in the last few games.

“It’s believed the Sunrisers’ owners are influential figures in the BCCI, which could explain the decision to leave Warner out for their past half-a-dozen matches and turn to youth. Warner, too, has been approached by a number of other IPL franchises, who have been shocked by the run-scoring machine being sidelined,” the report stated.

SRH coach Tom Moody with David Warner. (FILE)
SRH coach Tom Moody with David Warner. (FILE)

When asked about David Warner, head coach Trevor Bayliss had said the left-handed opener was dropped from the playing squad to give youngsters in the side a chance.

“We can’t make the final so have made a decision that we want the young players to experience not just the matches but time at the ground, around the set-up, and for this match, we made the decision,” Bayliss had said.

With the bat, David Warner had a rare bad IPL campaign in 2021 as he scored just 195 runs in eight games at a below-par average of 24.47. Since joining SRH in 2014, David Warner has crossed the 500 run-mark every season before the current campaign and arguably been the most consistent player in the league.

David Warner has been SRH’s star opening batsman for a number of years, having carried the weight of a fragile middle order single-handedly. He was the Orange Cap winner 3 times in 2015, 2017, and 2019, having amassed 4014 runs in 95 games for the franchise at a whopping average of 49.56 and striking at 142.59.  He is still the IPL’s 5th highest scorer, having amassed 5449 runs in 150 games averaging 41.59 with 4 tons and 50 fifties. He has hit the maximum number of the fifties in IPL history.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021
ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Image Credits: Twitter
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Sri Lanka Cricket Names 15-Man Squad And 4 Reserves For T20I World Cup 2021

Sri Lanka begin their campaign on 18 October against Namibia in the First Round qualifier of the forthcoming 2021 T20I World Cup. Group A also has Ireland and the Netherlands. Sri Lanka has named a squad made up of a combination of youth and experience for the Twenty20 World Cup to be played next month.

The squad features 15 players and an additional four reserves as injury replacements and includes former captain Dinesh Chandimal, current captain Dasun Shanaka, and opening batsman Kusal Perera. In all, six batsmen, five all-rounders, and four bowlers were included.

Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)
Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)

Sri Lanka Names 15-Man Squad And 4 Reserves For T20I World Cup 2021 Without Major Omissions

The following squad was selected by the Cricket Selection Committee to take part in the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2021, which will be played in UAE and Oman from 17th October to 14th November 2021.

 Sri Lanka will be looking to clinch their second T20 World Cup title this year (AFP Photo)
Sri Lanka will be looking to clinch their second T20 World Cup title this year (AFP Photo)

2014 champions Sri Lanka on Sunday announced their 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October-November. There were no major omissions apart from Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka, who are serving year-long bans for breaking COVID-19 protocols on their tour of England in July.

Sri Lanka Announced Spin Heavy Squad Including Maheesh Theekshana And Praveen Jayawickrama

Sri Lanka announced a spin-heavy squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. The islanders have included 4 frontline spinners in their 15-man squad while two have been named in the reserves.

21-year-old mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana and the uncapped Praveen Jayawickrama have made it to the Lankan squad along with Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva while Akila Dananjaya and leg-spinner Pulina Tharanga have been named in the reserves.
Veteran seamer Nuwan Pradeep has been included as part of a pace attack that includes Dushmantha Chameera and all-rounders Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Madushanka.
Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga. (Getty Images)
Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga. (Getty Images)

The squad was approved by the Minister of Youth and Sports Honorable Namal Rajapaksa.

  1. Dasun Shanaka – Captain
  2. Dhananjaya De Silva – Vice Captain
  3. Kusal Janith Perera
  4. Dinesh Chandimal
  5. Avishka Fernando
  6. Bhanuka Rajapaksa
  7. Charith Asalanka
  8. Wanindu Hasaranga
  9. Kamindu Mendis
  10. Chamika Karunaratne
  11. Nuwan Pradeep
  12. Dushmantha Chameera
  13. Praveen Jayawickrema
  14. Lahiru Madushanka
  15. Maheesh Theekshana

Reserves

  1. Lahiru Kumara
  2. Binura Fernando
  3. Akila Dananjaya
  4. Pulina Tharanga
Isuru Udana
Isuru Udana (Getty Images)
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Isuru Udana, 33, Retires From International Cricket After Representing Sri Lanka In 21 ODIs, 35 T20Is

Isuru Udana, Sri Lankan left-arm pacer has announced his retirement from international cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket confirmed on Saturday (July 31). Isuru Udana’s last appearance for the national side came in the second T20I against India earlier this week.

Isura Udana first made his debut for Sri Lanka in the 2009 World T20 in England and played five games in the competition including the final. He made his ODI bow against India in 2012 where he played two games but had to wait for almost seven years to break into the XI again.

Isuru Udana made his debut for Sri Lanka in 2009.
Isuru Udana made his debut for Sri Lanka in 2009. © Getty

Isuru Udana Retires After Representing Sri Lanka In 21 ODIs And 35 T20Is

The pacer managed to feature regularly only towards the latter part of his career after developing a reputation for being a white-ball specialist. Apart from being a wily customer with the ball using his variations to good effect, the 33-year-old also was known for being a hard-hitter lower down the order that helped him fetch gigs in T20 leagues around the world.

Sri Lanka medium pacer Isuru Udana.(Twitter)
Sri Lanka medium pacer Isuru Udana.(Twitter)

“I believe the time has come for me to make way for the next generation of players,” Udana said. “It is with immense pride and passion, and unfathomable commitment that I have represented and served my country.”

Overall, in his career, Isuru Udana represented Sri Lanka in 21 ODIs and 35 T20Is. Isuru Udana had a very modest international career with sporadic appearances over 12 years in which he played only 21 ODIS and 35 T20 Internationals with just 45 wickets to show for his efforts. He didn’t pick a solitary wicket playing 1 ODI and 2 T20Is.

His bowling – which typically features a lot of slower balls – was especially valued in T20s, though he was also an excellent fielder, and was capable of clean striking from the lower order. He hit one half-century in each of the white-ball formats for Sri Lanka, including a stunning 84 not out off 48 balls in a T20I against South Africa in 2019.

Isuru Udana Represented RCB In The IPL Couple Of Seasons Back

The 33-year-old, who was part of the limited-overs series against India that ended on Thursday, will, however, continue to play domestic and franchise cricket. He had represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL couple of seasons back.

Isuru Udana of Royal Challengers Bangalore
Isuru Udana of Royal Challengers Bangalore. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

32-year-old Isuru Udana has played 10 games in IPL 2020 and he has conceded 282 runs besides picking 8 scalps averaging 35.25. He was snapped up by RCB at his base price of INR 50 lakh in the IPL 2020 auction.

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South Africa Confirms A White-Ball Tour Of Sri Lanka From September 2-14

South Africa has confirmed a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka from September 2-14 in which the teams will contest three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

It is the shorter format games that will be of most interest to both sides with the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting just over a month later.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Gallo Images)

South Africa Confirms A White Ball Sri Lankan Tour Comprising 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is

Sri Lankan Cricket has confirmed that Sri Lanka will host South Africa for a white-ball series, starting 2 September. The teams will lock horns in three ODIs and as many T20Is.

“Playing against quality opposition in the sub-continent is the best way for our team to prepare for this event and we are grateful to Sri Lanka Cricket for accommodating us during this time of the year where schedules are highly condensed,” Cricket South Africa Acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki said in a media release on Friday.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa vs Sri Lanka. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The tour will consist of three ODIs and three T20Is, all to be played at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo. The three ODIs will be played on September 2,4 and 7, and the T20Is will be played on September 10, 12, and 14.

South Africa Versus Sri Lanka Will Be The Former’s First White Ball Series In Sri Lanka Since 2018

The series will end five days before the resumption of the second phase of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. This will be South Africa’s first white-ball series in Sri Lanka since 2018 when it won the five-match ODI series 3-2 and lost the one-off T20. Both series will be played at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo.

Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella are two of three cricketers to be penalised AFP/Getty Images
Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella are two of three cricketers to be penalized AFP/Getty Images

It is noteworthy that the Sri Lankan team would continue to miss the services of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella who have been suspended following the bio-bubble breach during Sri Lanka’s tour of England.

While the recommendations have mentioned that Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka should be suspended for two full years from international cricket, and Niroshan Dickwella should be suspended for a period of 18 months, a final decision on their ban is yet to be announced.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. Image Credits: Twitter
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Sri Lanka’s Selectors Name 25-Member Squad To Prepare For India Series, Naming Dasun Shanaka As Skipper

Sri Lanka’s national cricket selectors yesterday named a 25-member squad in preparation for the limited-overs series against India, which begins on July 13.

According to reliable sources, the selectors have also named all-rounder Dasun Shanaka as the new captain for the series with Dhananajaya de Silva as the vice-captain. The squad has to be approved by the Sports Minister.

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket's tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images
Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket’s tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s Selectors Named Dasun Shanaka As Skipper And Dananjaya de Silva As His Deputy

Dasun Shanaka is set to be named Sri Lanka’s new men’s limited-overs captain, replacing Kusal Perera who himself had only had the job since May. The captaincy switch is only partly a consequence of on-field performance.

All-rounder Dasun Shanaka is all set to replace Kusal Perera as the captain of Sri Lanka’s limited-overs team ahead of the ODI and T20 series against India, beginning July 13. The 29-year-old, who is an explosive batsman and a seam bowler, will become Sri Lanka’s sixth captain in less than four years if he gets the job.

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera

Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Kusal Perera had captained the side at some point since the start of 2018. Dasun Shanaka had led the national team when it managed to clean-sweep Pakistan in a three-match T20I series in 2019.

Although Sri Lanka has comfortably lost all three series that they played under Kusal Perera, the board and selectors have replaced him after he was deemed to have played a central role in the contracts standoff between the players and board, over the past few months.

Dasun Shanaka Performed Well In England Tour While Dhanajaya de Silva Is A Useful Middle Order Batsman

Dasun Shanaka has performed well in the recent past and was one of the few outstanding players during Sri Lanka’s tour of England. He also had some experience in leading the national side to victory over Pakistan in 2019.

Earlier, Dasun Shanaka was selected for the tour of the West Indies but could not make the tour due to a Visa delay. Meanwhile, Dhanajaya de Silva has been named Vice-Captain of the Sri Lanka Team for the first time.

Dhananjaya de Silva © Getty
Dhananjaya de Silva © Getty

He is a useful middle-order batsman and played a fighting knock of 91 in the second One Day International against England at The Oval. Oshada Fernando and Nuwan Pradeep have been left out of the squad while uncapped players Lahiru Udara, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, Kasun Rajitha, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa were added to the squad.

Sri Lanka Squad (subjected to approval): Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Dhananjaya de Silva (Vice-Captain), Kusal Janith Perera, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ashen Bandara, Lahiru Udara, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. Image Credits: Twitter
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Sri Lankan Cricketers Sign Contracts For Limited-Overs India Series

Sri Lanka Cricket says almost all the players who were short-listed for the forthcoming limited-overs India series beginning July 13 have signed the tour contract for the series. Sri Lanka recently toured England without a contract as the turmoil between the board and the players continued.

Sri Lanka cricketers and their cricket board have been at loggerheads since the month of May surrounding the players’ contracts. The players reckoned that the new contract isn’t transparent enough and the senior players felt that it rewards future potential rather than experience and performance. The cricketers protested against SLC through a statement.

Sri Lanka cricketers | Photo Credit: AP
Sri Lanka cricketers | Photo Credit: AP

Sri Lanka Cricketers Signed Contracts After They Toured England Without A Contract

In the meantime, as per reports, 25 Sri Lanka cricketers have signed contracts before their bilateral home series against India. The tour gets underway on July 13 with all the three ODIs and as many T20Is to be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Sri Lanka recently toured England without a contract as the turmoil between the board and the players continued. Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Ashen Bandara, and Kasun Rajitha were left out of the residential camp, which started on June 25.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

The five players didn’t travel to the United Kingdom for the ODI and T20I series. They were among the players to be offered national contracts. SLC CEO Ashley de Silva updated on the players’ participation in the series against Shikhar Dhawan’s India.

“The impasse relating to contracts is over after 30 shortlisted for India series including those who toured England signed tour contracts making themselves available for series. Would be interesting to see what happens from now on. Some promising young players may have burned bridges.” Sports Journalist Rex Clementine said.

It’s not clear yet whether senior cricketers Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne were offered the tour contract for the India series. Test players not shortlisted for the India limited-overs series were not offered the tour contracts.

Sri Lankan Cricketers To Head Straight Into A Bio Bubble After Landing Back From England Where Outbreak Of Covid-19 Happened Among England Players And Staff

Sri Lankan cricketers will head straight into a bio-bubble ahead of their limited-overs series against India after landing back from England, where the players they competed against have been quarantined following a COVID-19 outbreak in the team.

Kusal Mendis AFP
Kusal Mendis AFP

A fifth straight Twenty20 series defeat in England was followed by two one-day international losses with only rain in Monday’s final match-saving them from a complete tour whitewash. Off the field things were just as bad with three players — vice-captain Kusal Mendis, opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella — sent home for breaching the team’s coronavirus bubble.

Image Source : TWITTER Asia Cup called off due to rising COVID cases in Sri Lanka
Image Source : TWITTER Asia Cup called off due to rising COVID cases in Sri Lanka
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Pakistan Is Likely To Host Asia Cup 2022

Pakistan is likely to host the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, with Sri Lanka hosting in 2023, reported ESPNcricinfo.
If Asia Cup had gone ahead this year, it would have been a T20 affair in order to give all participating teams a chance to get practice before the T20 World Cup which is to be played in India later this year.

With Asia Cup 2021 set to be officially postponed, it is now emerging that the tournament will be played in consecutive years — 2022 and 2023.

The 2018 Asia Cup Trophy. (Getty Images)
The 2018 Asia Cup Trophy. (Getty Images)

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani Had Earlier Also Confirmed Asia Cup 2021 Was Likely To Be Postponed As The Dates Clashed

Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had confirmed that the Asia Cup slated to be held in June this year was likely to be postponed if India managed to qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship.

“Asia Cup was set to go last year but it got postponed to this year. Right now, it looks like Asia Cup won’t be going ahead this year as the WTC finals are set to go ahead in June. Sri Lanka had said that they would try to host the tournament in June,” Mani had told reporters in Karachi during a press conference.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani

“The dates are clashing. We think the tournament would not be going ahead, and we might have to push the tournament to 2023,” he added.

There has not been an Asia Cup after 2018. The tournament planned for 2020 scheduled in Pakistan had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. India has managed to win the last two editions of the tournament.

Reasons For Asia Cup’s Likely Postponement Are COVID-19, LPL, BPL, And Missed Series Of 2020

The Asia Cup scheduled for 2021 had to be postponed, with all four major Asian sides facing packed schedules until the end of the year. It was set to be hosted by Sri Lanka, mid-year. Partly, the reason for the postponement is due to the pandemic – both the IPL and PSL had to be cut short and rescheduled for later in 2021 due to a breach of their respective bio-bubbles.

Rohit Sharma led India to their Asia Cup crown in 2018 Associated Press
Rohit Sharma led India to their Asia Cup crown in 2018 Associated Press

This rescheduling takes chunks out of the time available this year. Sri Lanka also plans to play their LPL in August, while Bangladesh’s BPL is also set for later in the year besides Pakistan Super League’s remaining 20 games. On top of which teams are also attempting to catch up on the international series missed in 2020.

The 2018 Asia Cup (also known as Unimoni Asia Cup) was a One-Day International (ODI) cricket tournament that was held in the United Arab Emirates in September 2018. It was the 14th edition of the Asia Cup and the third time the tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates, after the 1984 and 1995 tournaments. India was the defending champions, and retained their title, after beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the final.

India was the defending champions of Asia Cup 2016, and retained their title in 2018, after beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the final. Asia Cup 2016 was a T20 tournament. India had won all of its matches played in Asia Cup 2016 beating Bangladesh 2 times, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and UAE, and apart from the tied game against Afghanistan had won all games in Asia Cup 2018 too.

Sri Lanka had the hosting rights for Asia Cup, which was scheduled to be held in June 2021. Sri Lanka Cricket chief Ashley de Silva on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of hosting the Asia Cup in June 2021 due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the sub-continent. Asia Cup 2021 was supported to be played in the lead-up to T20 World Cup, which will be held in October-November.

Ishan Jayaratne
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Dhananjaya Lakshan And Ishan Jayaratne Tested COVID-19 Positive

Dhananjaya Lakshan and Ishan Jayaratne, the duo of fast bowling all-rounders tested positive on Saturday and have been put into quarantine for 14 days.

Ahead of their England tour next month, two Sri Lanka cricketers, who are part of a provisional 28-man squad, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Sri Lanka Team
Sri Lanka Team
Image Credit: Twitter

Dhananjaya Lakshan And Ishan Jayaratne, Part Of Provisional 28 Man Squad Tested Covid-19 Positive

According to a report in Daily FT, 40 Sri Lankan cricketers were given their first dose of vaccine against coronavirus on Saturday at the National Blood Bank after an antigen test. The duo, though, was not part of the 18-man Sri Lanka squad that was set to leave for Bangladesh on 16 May for a three-match ODI series in Dhaka.

The ODI series vs Bangladesh will be played from May 23. After the Bangladesh tour, Sri Lanka will fly to England where they are to play three T20Is followed by as many ODIs. Prior to the white-ball matches, the touring party will also play two practice matches against Kent (one day) on June 18 and Sussex (T20) on June 20.

Dhananjaya Lakshan
Dhananjaya Lakshan

The T20I series between Sri Lanka and England gets underway from June 23 with the first two matches to be played in Cardiff before the series finale in Southampton. The ODIs will be played in Chester-le-Street, London, and Bristol.

The right-arm pacer and left-handed batsman Dhananjaya Lakshan has played 12 first-class, 15 List A, and 29 T20 games averaging 37.8 with the bat in List A and less than 27 with the ball in all 3 formats- 1st Class, List A, and T20. Dhananjaya Lakshan has 1 ton each in List A and first-class, the highest being 141.

Ishan Jayaratne is more experienced as he has played 81 first-class, 96 List A, and 51 T20 games picking more than 350 wickets combined. His batting average though hasn’t been more than 23 in either of the 3 formats.

Sourav Ganguly: India Team To Tour Sri Lanka For 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is

Meanwhile, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, in an interview with Sportstar, has indicated that an Indian team could tour Sri Lanka for white-ball matches.

While responding to a query about whether the remainder of IPL 2021 could be staged in India, Ganguly replied negatively and said, “India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organizational hazards like 14-day quarantine.”

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly also announced a white-ball tour of India to Sri Lanka in July, consisting of three ODIs and five T20Is. However, when asked about the rescheduling of IPL 2021, the former Indian captain underlined that there exists plenty of organizational hazards like the quarantine and is uncertain about its timeline and venue. Along with England, the Island country has offered to host the remaining 31 matches of the competition.

A ‘specialist’ Indian limited-overs team may travel to Sri Lanka sometime in July as the main Indian continent comprising of 20 players with four as standby are set to leave for a four-month-long tour of England in early June. The tour to Sri Lanka provides a massive opportunity for some of the big players who were left out of the contingent and also for other white-ball specialists.

A possible best XI:

Prithvi Shaw/ Devdutt Padikkal, Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson/ Manish Pandey/ Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya/ Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Avesh Khan/ Harshal Patel

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera
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Kusal Perera To Be Appointed Sri Lanka ODI Skipper Following Radical Overhaul

Kusal Perera is tipped to take over ODI captaincy with Kusal Mendis as his deputy, while Dasun Shanaka is set to remain T20 skipper.

Kusal Perera, a key member of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 winning team, made his One-day international debut against Australia in the 2nd ODI on January 13, 2013, replacing the injured Dinesh Chandimal. Kusal Perera has played 101 ODIs and amassed 2825 runs averaging 31.04 besides featuring in 19 Tests and 46 T20Is. Kusal Mendis has played 76 ODIs scoring 2167 runs averaging 30.52 besides featuring in 47 Tests and 26 T20Is.

Kusal Mendis AFP
Kusal Mendis AFP

Kusal Perera To Be Appointed Skipper As Sri Lanka Undertakes A Major Overhaul Of It’s Limited Over Sides

A number of senior cricketers could lose their places in white-ball cricket as Sri Lanka undertakes a major overhaul of its limited-over sides under a new scheme where players will be selected for international cricket, with a particular focus on the young guns.

While this strategy has been implemented successfully in a small way in Test cricket on recent tours, the selectors and team management is thinking of a more radical selection keeping in mind this year’s T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup which is the way forward for the struggling white-ball team.

Kusal Perera | Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Kusal Perera | Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Sri Lanka made a clean sweep of West Indies in ODIs at home in February March 2020 but failed there as West Indies won all three matches at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in March 2021. In T20Is, West Indies won both T20Is in Sri Lanka and lost one out of three at West Indies. Kusal Perera averaged 61 against Bangladesh in 2019 but averaged 28.67 against the Windies in 2020.

The new selection process will likely lead to seniors like Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Lahiru Thirimanne losing their places on the white-ball side.

However, Thisara Perera might be retained in the T20I squad for the T20I World Cup 2021 in October-November this year but Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal will lose their spots in all probability in both limited-overs formats.

Management feels that younger players like Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, and Pathum Nissanka have proved their ability to score runs and are the future of Sri Lanka cricket.

Sri Lanka Needs To Play A Qualifying Round To Earn A Spot In T20I World Cup

The 2014 World Champions embarrassingly need to play a qualifying round to earn a spot at this year’s T20 tournament, a situation head coach Mickey Arthur recently said was ‘unacceptable’.

Sri Lanka Team
Sri Lanka Team. Image Credit: Twitter

Once the No. 1 T20 side in the world, Sri Lanka was forced to play in a qualifying tournament in order to gain entry to the 2021 T20I World Cup due to lower rankings. Sri Lanka slipped to ninth on the T20 rankings after losing 12 of their 16 most recent matches in 2018 thus did not gain automatic entry into the “Super 12” round.

Instead, Sri Lanka will have to finish in the top two in a group of four in the opening round of the competition, in order to progress into the part of the tournament into which the eight top teams gain automatic entry. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 8th in ODIs and 9th in T20 internationals, which are the lowest ranks the team has dropped to.

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