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CRICKET - Int News29 Nov 2022

Kasun Rajitha gets married: set to rejoin team within 24 hours after marriage
BIPIN DANI Sri Lankan pace bowler Kasun Rajitha has registered his name in the list of the cricketers, who have married in the middle of the bilateral series. The 29-year-old right-arm medium fast bowler Rajitha, who took three Afghanistani wickets in the second ODI in Kandy on Sunday was married to Chamaththi (the daughter of Mr & Mrs Felix Perera) on Monday. The marriage took place in the morning at Union Ballroom, JAIC Hilton, Colombo. This was confirmed by Kasun Rajitha's wedding planner Pathum Gunawardena. Speaking exclusively, he also said, "let us hope his wife brings luck to him and his team in the final ODI on Wednesday". The bowler, who left the Kandy hotel immediately after the match was called off due to rain on Sunday, is believed to have invited his team mates. However, none of his team-mates could attend the wedding. Also, two of his two mates too have left Kandy for their home for different reasons.  According to the hotel sources in Kandy, batting all-rounder Charith Asalanka and opening batter Pathum Nissanka have tied knots on the same day (Monday). These players, who were busy in their respective weddings and engagements on Monday are likely set to return on Tuesday. The third and the final ODI against Afghanistan is scheduled to be played on Nov. 30.    It may be recalled here that five years ago Akila Dananjaya had tied the knot less than 24 hours before the game at his hometown in Moratuwa, which is about 150 kilometers from Kandy, to his childhood sweetheart Nethalie Tekshini. But instead of going on the honeymoon; he was back in the team hotel in Kandy that night ahead of the second ODI against India. South Africa’s medium pacer Andre Nel dismissed West Indies’ Brian Lara the day after his wedding.

CRICKET - Int News28 Nov 2022

Brendon McCullum determined to play positive cricket against Pakistan
faisal RAWALPINDI (November 28, 2022): New Zealand national England cricket team coach, Brendon Barrie McCullum, 41, determined to play aggressive and positive cricket in the Test matches against hosts Pakistan to win the series, as a three-match Test Tie would be kicked off from December 1, 2022 at Pindi Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi. On Monday, while talking to sports journalists in a press conference at the Media Centre of Pindi Stadium McCullum added that Pakistan was a nice place for international cricket. “I found good security arrangements here so far. We are here for 24 hours and we will play positive cricket to win the series, “he maintained. Former wicket batter, played 101 Test, 260 One Day Internationals and 71 T 20s for New Zealand said, “It’s a nice omen that international cricket is back in Pakistan, as the people of Pakistan love the game of cricket. Also, Pakistan produced great cricketers in the world like Imran Khan and Waqar Younis. Cricket lover Pakistan nation was deprived of international cricket. I hope they will enjoy the game of cricket in future, “he said. While replying to a question regarding lanky pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, the English coach said that it might be a big loss for the hosts. “Shaheen is a very talented fast bowler and in the past he played a key role in Pakistan’s victories. Definitely, hosts will miss him in the series, “he said. To another question McCullum, 41, said that over 500 runs total was always good in Test matches. “Wicket is looking good and I am optimistic our batter will perform up to the mark in the first Test match, as our players are much confident after winning the T20 ICC Men’s World Cup 2022, as T20 is entirely different from Test cricket, “he concluded.  

CRICKET - Int News28 Nov 2022

Sri Lankan national physio Brett Harrop leaves his present job
Brett Harrop's absence makes his daughter sad in New Zealand BIPIN DANI Sri Lanka's Australia-born physio Brett Harrop is all set to leave his present job.  The 42-year-old former fast bowler, who played one First Class match for Victoria against India in 2003 became a physiotherapist after his playing days. He also had worked with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in the development department. He joined the Sri Lankan team in January 2021 and his 2-year-contract with the SLC ending next month. During his tenure with the Sri Lankan team, he became very popular among players. It is learnt that Brett Harrop will be joining the New Zealand national squad, replacing Tommy Simsek from Dec. 1. Sunday's second ODI against Afghanistan was his last assignment before he leaves for New Zealand on Wednesday. Incidentally, Harrop's wife Gwen is also a renowned physiologist in New Zealand.  The reason for Harrop to return to New Zealand is understandable because the couple's two children (11-year-old son Luka and daughter Amelie, aged 9 years) miss their father a lot. Interestingly, last year during Covid pandemic, Amelie also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Ms. Jacinda Ardern to get his dad home from Sri Lanka.

CRICKET - Int News25 Nov 2022

All-rounder Chamika Karunaratne eligible to play, if selected
BIPIN DANI Sri Lankan all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne, who has been handed a one-year suspended ban for his misbehaviour in Australia is still "eligible" to play for the country and the LPL (Lanka Premier League), if selected. This was confirmed by Samantha Dodanwela, the LPL tournament director. The 26-year-old Karunaratne was handed a suspended sentence after a disciplinary inquiry of the board found him guilty of breaching the player agreement during the T-20 World Cup. "Look, it is a “Suspended Sentence”, i.e. a judicial punishment which is not enforced unless a further crime is committed during a specified period of one year. And if selected, he can continue to play meanwhile", Samantha Dodanwela, speaking exclusively over the telephone from Colombo, said. Chamika is most likely to be in the Kandy team for the LPL. His behaviour will be closely watched by the SLC officials. Wanindu Hashranga will be leading the Kandy team and the national spin bowling coach Piyal Wijertunge will also be the Kandy coach. The exact nature of the violation during the Australia tour has not been made public by the SLC, however, according to the other sources, the player broke the curfew rules and also misbehaved with the restaurant / casino staff. "In the recent World Cup, the Sri Lankan team had curfew timings but still the player broke the timings. Ouer manager Mahinda Halangoda is a strict disciplinarian. But he cannot be a shadow of the players 24x7. Team's senior members had to intervene when Chamika misbehaved with the staff", the source, speaking on condition of anonymity added.       

CRICKET - Int News25 Nov 2022

Manoj Abeywickrama returns as fielding coach of Sri Lanka
BIPIN DANI Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to officiate Manoj Abeywickrama as the Fielding Coach of the national team for the three One Day International (ODI) bilateral home series against Afghanistan, which begins in Kandy on Friday. He will be replacing Anton Roux, who was attached with the team during the T-20 World Cup in Australia.  Roux, who played first-class cricket for South Africa and went on to coach the Netherlands men's team, was previously employed as the assistant fielding coach of Nottinghamshire county has been given a break for this series. Apparently, there have been no other major changes in the support staff.  The hotel management on Wednesday surprised Ashen Bandara by arranging a birthday cake for him. The middle order batter turned 24 on November 23. Players' family members have not joined the team hotel, it is confirmed. TV commentators Five-member commentary team will relay the commentary. Afghanistan's Ahmad Farhad Fidei and Zimbabwe's Tino Mawoyo will be there with three other local and regular commentators-Roshan Abeysinghe, Russell Arnold and Fervez Mahroof.    

CRICKET - Int News25 Nov 2022

Green Shirts start practice sessions at Islamabad Club
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD: Green Shirts have started net practice session today (Friday) here at Islamabad Club Cricket Oval ground. Also, Pakistan Cricket Board’s media department has issued the schedule of the training and media interactions of both team Pakistan and England for the first Test, which will be played at Pindi Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi. November 25, 26 and 27. 2022: Pakistan will practice from 0930 until 1530 at the Islamabad Club Ground. At the conclusion of the sessions, squad members will be available to speak to the media. November 28, 2022: Pakistan and England will practice from 1000 until 1300 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium (RCS). Afterwards, England will hold an arrival media conference. November 29, 2022: Pakistan and England will practice from 1000 until 1300 at the RCS. Afterwards, squad members from Pakistan and England will be available to speak to the media. November 30, 2022: Pakistan captain Babar Azam and England captain Ben Stokes will hold pre-series media conferences between 1300-1330 and will unveil the series trophy. The two sides will practice from 1000 until 1300 at the RCS December 1-5, 2022: Pakistan and England will go head to head in the first of the three Tests at the RCS. The toss will take place at 0930 and the first ball is scheduled to be bowled at 1000 each day. After every day’s play, a squad member from each side will hold a post-day media conference. 

CRICKET - Int News24 Nov 2022

Match officials for Pakistan v England Tests announced
Sports Bulletin Report RAWALPINDI: Andy Pycroft, member of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, will lead the playing control teams for the three ICC World Test Championship fixtures between Pakistan and England in December. Six umpires, three of whom are from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will officiate the Tests across Rawalpindi (1-5), Multan (9-13) and Karachi (17-21). Joel Wilson, who is one of the 11 members of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will join Ahsan Raza as on-field umpire for the opening Test, which will be the first between the two sides on the Pakistani soil since 2005. Marais Erasmus will be the third umpire and Asif Yaqoob will be the fourth umpire. Marais Erasmus and Aleem Dar, the other two umpires from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will take on-field duties in Multan with Joel Wilson and Rashid Riaz performing third and fourth umpire duties. The playing control team for the third Test in Karachi will be the same as the first Test with Joel Wilson and Ahsan Raza returning as on-field umpires and Marais Erasmus and Asif Yaqoob taking up third and fourth umpire roles. Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz are members of the ICC International Panel of Umpires.  

CRICKET - Int News24 Nov 2022

Pacer Milan Rathnayake included as standby in Sri Lankan squad
BIPIN DANI Sri Lanka's 26-year-old Milan Rathnayake has been included in the training squad for the upcoming series against Afghanistan, it is learnt. According to the well-placed sources in the SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket), the head coach (Chris Silverwood) was highly impressed with fast bowler Milan Rathnayake's performance in the domestic matches, especially when the bowler did well in the recent Invitational tournament where he played for the SSC Grey team. "Milan is a regular fast bowler in our main team at Moors Sports Club and the head coach and selectors have been keeping close eye on him. They were impressed with his bowling and now want to monitor his success and groom him for the future", Chamara Kapugedara the coach at the club, speaking exclusively over the telephone, said. With injuries to the fast bowlers in the team it was a wise decision to test Milan's potentiality. "We are very happy with his selection in the squad. It is a proud moment for us. To-day he is in the standby team but I am sure the day will not be far when he also finds his name in the main squad", the player's mother RM Reeta Rathnayake said. Incidentally, Milan's father RMR Rathnayake was a soldier and is a pensioner now. Undoubtedly, the soldier's son is a well-disciplined boy in the training squad.  The team which has been sent to the sports minister for his final approval is yet to be announced.

CRICKET - Int News23 Nov 2022

Leg spinner bowler Rehan Ahmed added to England Test Squad
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD: Leicestershire leg-spinning all-rounder Rehan Ahmed has been officially added to England Men’s Test squad for the tour of Pakistan. The 18-year-old, who has been with the Lions in their red-ball training camp in the UAE and is currently playing in the three-day warm-up fixture against the England Test squad in Abu Dhabi, has impressed coaches with his attitude and genuine potential to be given his first call up to the senior side. If selected during the three-match Test series, the first time England are playing in Pakistan in 17 years, he will become the youngest player to play Test cricket for England Men, surpassing Yorkshire’s Brian Close, who represented the three lions at 18 years 149 days against New Zealand in July 1949. England Men’s red-ball Head Coach, Brendon McCullum, said: “We know he’s not the finished article and has raw potential, but Ben (Stokes), myself and the rest of the coaches like how he approaches his game. The experience of being part of the squad in Pakistan will be hugely beneficial for him, and he will add to the make-up of our squad.” On Saturday, England will fly to Pakistan after their Test camp at the Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub. The first Test starts in Rawalpindi on 1 December.

CRICKET - Int News22 Nov 2022

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan ODI Series: ACB names 18-man squad
Sports Bulletin Report KABUL: Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced an 18-man squad for the upcoming three-match One Day Internationals series, which will be rolled into action on November 25, 2022 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka. Afghanistan included a new face in the squad Noor Ahmed, an 18 years old spin bowler and Gulbadin Naib former skipper of the national team will be replacing injured hard hitter left-handed batter Hazratullah Zazai. The rest of the squad is on expected lines, with Hashmatullah Shahidi leading the team. He is expected to form the fulcrum of the top order alongside Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rahmat Shah. Mohammad Nabi, who recently stepped down as the T20 captain after a disappointing World Cup campaign where Afghanistan failed to win a single game, has also been included. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman headline the bowling unit. All three match will be played at the same venue and series will be part of the ODI Super League. Afghanistan are currently placed seventh on the Super League points table with ten wins from 12 matches. Names of selected players: Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rahmat Shah (vice-capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Fareed Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Gulbadin Naib, Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ahmad, Rashid Khan, Riaz Hassan, Shahidullah Kamal, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zia-ur-Rehman Schedule: Nov 25: 1st ODI, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Nov 27: 2nd ODI, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Nov 30: 3rd ODI, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium