Cricket Features – ThePapare.com http://www.thepapare.com Sri Lanka's No.1 Sports HUB Mon, 09 Oct 2017 03:24:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.thepapare.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-favTP-50x50.jpg Cricket Features – ThePapare.com http://www.thepapare.com 32 32 Potential future fast-bowling all-rounders in Sri Lanka http://www.thepapare.com/potential-future-fast-bowling-all-rounders-in-sri-lanka-cricket/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 05:18:59 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2203857 The need of the hour for Sri Lanka Cricket is a fast-bowling all-rounder like Ben Stokes (England), Hardik Pandya (India), Jason Holder (West Indies), Chris Morris (South Africa) or Corey Anderson (New Zealand). Someone who could bat in the top seven and carry out the dual role of a specialist batsman and third seamer, delivering […]]]>

The need of the hour for Sri Lanka Cricket is a fast-bowling all-rounder like Ben Stokes (England), Hardik Pandya (India), Jason Holder (West Indies), Chris Morris (South Africa) or Corey Anderson (New Zealand). Someone who could bat in the top seven and carry out the dual role of a specialist batsman and third seamer, delivering a few crucial seam-up overs in all three formats.

Fast-bowling all-rounders are rarity around the world and most of them are encouraged only to play limited-overs cricket.

Angelo Mathews, one of the best all-rounders in Sri Lanka has been prone to injuries in the recent past which has hampered his ability to bowl in Test cricket. Thisara Perera, one of the most destructive hitters from the island-nation has retired from Test cricket and has not delivered up to potential even in limited-overs cricket.

We at ThePapare.com probe some of the young candidates who could fit in and deliver as the fast-bowling all-rounder for Sri Lanka in all three formats.

Dasun Shanaka

Dasun Shanaka

Shanaka has been renowned as one of the few batsmen in Sri Lanka who could clear the fence without breaking a sweat. The 26-year old was more of a fast-bowler who could bat a bit when playing for his alma mater Maris Stella College but since joining Sinhalese Sports Club, he has grown into a more formidable all-rounder.

Shanaka has represented Sri Lanka in all three formats, playing 13 T20IS, 9 ODIs and a single Test match but with less returns with both ball and bat. An agile fielder, Shanaka should be given a long run in all formats, starting with the limited-overs games.

He is a dominant performer in the domestic tournaments and should look to transform those local performances into match-winning contributions for the national team.

Lahiru Madushanka

The 25-year old Madushanka is a proud product of St. Thomas College, Matale. Madushanka impressed with bat and ball in his time in the Sri Lanka U19 side scoring 235 runs and taking 12 wickets in a Quadrangular Tournament in India.

Madushanka’s average with the bat was just above 30 and little less than 40 as a bowler in the last three domestic seasons for Bloomfield C & AC and CCC.

Earlier this year, Madushanka became the 179th player to represent Sri Lanka in ODI cricket, debuting against South Africa. He made an appearance against Zimbabwe during the recent ODI series but has not yet fulfilled expectations as a genuine all-rounder for Sri Lanka.

Chamika Karunaratne

Chamika Karunaratne

Former Royal College captain, the 21 year old was a ‘Big Match’ hero for his alma mater in 2013 and has represented Sri Lanka U19s, Sri Lanka U23s and Sri Lanka ‘A’ team in the past.

Currently in the ‘A’ team squad for the West Indies tour, Karunaratne has the perfect CV to fit into the role. He has played 12 first-class matches and 11 list A games scoring over 500 runs and taking close to 40 wickets.

Karunaratne plays his cricket at Tamil Union C & AC and has also proved his worth for BMS in the Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament.  A born athlete, he has also excelled in Javelin Throw and Badminton. If he is well groomed, Karunaratne can surely be a match-winner for Sri Lanka in all-three formats.

Janith Liyanage

Janith Liyanage

Former Peterite, Liyanage is an under-rated yet a highly talented all-round prospect for Sri Lanka. Currently representing Ragama CC, Liyanage has played 12 first-class games and 13 list A matches averaging 37 and 58 with the bat respectively.

Liyanage is a proper batsman who could bowl some useful overs with his right-arm seamers. He can pick up the odd wicket or two and can be fielded in all three formats of the game. The 22-year old Liyanage is yet to break into the ‘A’ team squad or development squad but keep an eye out for this talented youngster in the coming years.

Thikshila De Silva

Fondly nicknamed ‘Sankar’ by his loved ones, an aggressive left-hander by nature, De Silva possess muscular forearms reminiscent of Sanath Jayasuriya. He represented Sri Lanka in the three-match T20I series earlier this year against South Africa but could not make a mark and was, later dropped.

De Silva is still a rookie in domestic cricket with only 20 games, averaging 25 with the bat and 28 with the ball. He generates more pace than people would expect but De Silva’s main obstacle would be to improve the batting averages and make a name for himself as a genuine all-rounder.

Anuk Fernando

A promising young left-arm seamer from St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa, Fernando was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka in the 2014 Youth World Cup. Since then, he has represented Sri Lanka Board XI, Sri Lanka U23 and Sri Lanka ‘A’ in the recent past.

As a left-handed lower-middle order batsman, Fernando averages just above 20 but his strike-rate in limited-overs cricket stands above 150 and has picked up over 50 wickets with the ball.

He is no mug with the bat and a skiddy customer both with the old and new ball. Representing NCC and MAS Unichela in local cricket, Fernando has definite potential to be a useful all-rounder for Sri Lanka in the future.

Jehan Daniel

The youngest of the lot, Daniel, the present St. Joseph’s College captain is touted to be the next Angelo Mathews. The 18-year old right-handed all-rounder represented Sri Lanka in the 2016 Youth World Cup and will also play a major role in next year’s Youth World Cup in New Zealand.

Daniel is yet to play any first-class cricket but admirable performances in the coming few months for the Junior Lions should prompt the selectors to promote him to the next level within the next few years. Daniel has the ability to play the long innings under pressure as well as making quick blitz with the bat and should definitely be a useful asset with his seamers as well.

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Rangana Herath, King of the 4th innings http://www.thepapare.com/slvpak-rangana-herath-king-of-the-4th-innings/ Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:14:01 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2203820 Sri Lanka have successfully defended 200 runs to win a Test match on 3 occasions, a pretty special feat by the men in blue. But what many would not know is that on all three occasions, a diminutive left arm spinner has starred for the islanders. Herath spins Sri Lanka to famous win in Abu […]]]>

Sri Lanka have successfully defended 200 runs to win a Test match on 3 occasions, a pretty special feat by the men in blue. But what many would not know is that on all three occasions, a diminutive left arm spinner has starred for the islanders.

Herath spins Sri Lanka to famous win in Abu Dhabi

Rangana Herath took his 9th ten-wicket haul in Test cricket and became the first spinner.

There can no longer be any doubt to the greatness of Rangana Herath. On Monday (2nd October) he became the 1st left arm spinner in the history of the sport to take 400 wickets in Test cricket, bowling Sri Lanka to an incredible 21 run win against Pakistan in the process.

Herath’s numbers speak volumes; he is the 4th fastest bowler to the 400-wicket mark, only the 5th spinner to achieve the feat…. the list goes on. But numbers don’t give us the full story. What Rangana Herath is, above else, is a match winner.

Herath’s 5/3 against New Zealand in Chittagong and 7/48 against India in Galle are two performances that are etched in our memories as two of Herath’s greatest spells – here are 3 instances where the great man has helped Sri Lanka snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

4/15 vs Pakistan, Galle 2009 – Sri Lanka won by 50 runs

With Murali chasing the magical 800 and ‘mystery spinner’ Ajantha Mendis bamboozling opposition line-ups, Rangana Herath had dropped down the pecking order in Sri Lanka’s spin bowling department. Opportunities were few and far between and the left armer was left with no choice but to ply his trade in the cold backwaters of English League Cricket. Since his debut in 1999, Herath had played just 14 Tests when word came in that Murali had been injured on the eve of the home Test series against Pakistan. Herath was flown in from Manchester and played the 1st Test a mere 24 hours after landing in Sri Lanka. The game would prove to be the turning point of his meandering career.

Pakistan won the toss and in a surprise move decided to field first on a dry surface at the Galle International Cricket Stadium. A poor batting performance by the home team saw them scrape through to 292 on the back of a half century by Tharanga Paranavithana. At 5/2 and then 80/4, Pakistan were in some trouble in their 1st innings but a serene Mohammed Yousuf century saw the visitors manage a 50 run 1st innings lead.

Sri Lanka’s batting failed them yet again as Saeed Ajmal and Mohammed Amir combined to claim 6 wickets and bowl out the hosts for 217.

Read – Hard work paid off, says ‘over the moon’ Chandimal

Chasing a target of 168 against a team minus their most prolific wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan, Pakistan would have fancied their chances. Rangana Herath had other ideas. Pakistan had just 97 to get on that final day with 8 wickets in the bank but Herath picked up 4/15 to turn a tight game in Sri Lanka’s favour. Pakistan ended exactly 50 runs short of the target, giving Sri Lanka and in particular Herath, a memorable win.

7/48 vs India, Galle 2015 – Sri Lanka won by 63 runs

A game that will go down in history as one of the greatest come-from-behind, underdog wins in Test cricket, saw Herath humble an Indian batting line-up that was expected to pummel the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts.

And things seemed to be going according to plan as the visitors managed a 192 run first innings lead after Sri Lanka had won the toss and opted to bat first. Galle had always been Herath’s favorite hunting ground, yet he went wicketless in the 1st innings as twin tons by Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli took India close to the 400-run mark.

A freakish innings by Dinesh Chandimal was the catalyst Sri Lanka had been hoping for and it gave Herath and Tharindu Kaushal a total to defend. At the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s 2nd innings, the home team was commended for the tremendous effort, but no one would have dared imagine India failing to chase down 176 with a batting line-up that boasted the likes of Kohli, Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane.

Read Also – Sri Lanka’s fairy tale in Galle: Starring a New Prince and an Aging King

What followed was a bit of Herath magic on what turned out to be a perfect day for Sri Lanka.  The fielders could do no wrong and Herath’s guile left the Indians in the dust as the hosts made the target of 176 seem like a 300+ chase. Dinesh Chandimal was named Man of the Match for his match turning 162 but Herath’s 7/48, against one of the best players of spin, will no doubt be remembered as one of the great spells of spin bowling.

6/43 vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi 2017 – Sri Lanka won by 21 runs

Over the years, Pakistan has turned out to be one of Herath’s favourite opposition. His returns of 5/93 and 6/43 in the 1st Test in Abu Dhabi 9th 10 wicket haul in Tests and perhaps one of his favourites. Sri Lanka came into the series after an absolute hiding against India and poor showing against Zimbabwe at home. With little to no expectations resting on their shoulders, the team surprised many fans with their solid performance with the bat in the 1st innings.

After conceding 419 in the 1st innings, Pakistan put their heads down for the long haul with the bat and midway through day 4, the game looked to be heading towards a tame draw. After a stellar 1st innings performance, the Sri Lankan batsmen went back to ways of old, as the top order crumbled to leave Pakistan on top at the end of day 4.

The visitors were eventually bowled out for 138, giving Pakistan a target of 136 for a win and an unassailable lead in the 2-match series.

Herath picked up the 1st wicket, that of Sami Aslam and did not look back as Sri Lanka went from disappointing to spectacular in the space of two sessions.

Tremendous win for Sri Lanka after a drought – Cricketry: Day 5

Tremendous win for Sri Lanka after a drought – Cricketry: Day 5…

The great man was nearly made to wait for the next game to claim his 400th wicket as Dilruwan Perera dismissed the last batsman, only to be told that the wicket taking delivery was a no ball. How fitting was it that Herath’s 400th was one that hit the batsman plumb in front, an LBW, his favourite form of dismissal.

With this performance, Herath has confirmed himself as one of the greatest bowlers in the 4th innings of a game – a match winner, without a shadow of a doubt.

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#PAKvSL – Players to watch out for http://www.thepapare.com/pakvsl-players-to-watch-out-for/ http://www.thepapare.com/pakvsl-players-to-watch-out-for/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 10:46:58 +0000 http://www.backup.thepapare.com/?p=2201908 After a torrid home series against India the Sri Lanka cricket team will travel to the UAE, later this week, for 2 Tests 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is against Pakistan. Here are some of the head to head battles coming up in the Test series, which could determine the fate of the teams. Yasir Shah […]]]>

After a torrid home series against India the Sri Lanka cricket team will travel to the UAE, later this week, for 2 Tests 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is against Pakistan. Here are some of the head to head battles coming up in the Test series, which could determine the fate of the teams.

Yasir Shah vs Rangana Herath

Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah
@AFP

The 31-year-old right-arm leggie first arrived on the international arena in 2014 when the Pakistanis took on Australia in Dubai. He troubled the Aussies with his variations and took 4/50 and 3/66 in the match to help his team to a resounding 221 run win on his debut.

Shah has played 26 Tests in the longer format and grabbed 149 wickets with 11 five wicket hauls and 2 ten wicket match bags.

Shah was impressive when he toured West Indies early this year, taking 25 wickets in the 3 match Test series and topping the wickets tally to be named the Player of the Series.

Shah’s key to success is that he turns the ball both ways while maintaining the same lines and lengths. He was exceptional when he visited Sri Lanka in 2015, where he dominated the Lions with 24 wickets in 3 matches, picking up three 5-fers at an average of 19.33. The hosts will have pin their hopes on Yasir in the spin bowling department as he comes up against the inexperienced Lions.

Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath has been and will possibly always be the go-to man for the tourists in the bowling department. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest let arm spinners to have played the game, having picked up 389 wickets in 83 matches. With 31 five wicket hauls and eight 10 wicket match bags under his belt, he will be the biggest threat to Pakistan’s chances in this series.

His recent form is not entirely pleasing as the prolific Indian batting line-up yielded just 5 wickets in 2 Tests, a haul that is well below what we are accustomed to from him.

Herath has taken 90 wickets against Pakistan in 19 games, with his best bowling being 9/127 in 2014 when he single-handedly destroyed the strong Pakistani batting outfit at the SSC.

You’d have to admit that if Sri Lanka want to do well in this series, much of the burden will fall on the square shoulders of their elder statesman Herath.

Nuwan Pradeep vs Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir
@AFP

25-year-old Mohammad Amir has a lot to prove to the cricketing world after his return from his spot fixing ban. Since his rebirth, the left-armer has risen up the ranks in the Pakistani line-up to re-establish himself as their strike bowler, particularly in ODI cricket. He is a smart bowler and his ability to swing both the new and old ball at pace would be Sri Lanka’s biggest concern.

The left-arm seamer has taken 94 wickets in 28 games at an average of 31.47.  With Sri Lanka’s 1st ever pink ball Test to be the 2nd one of this series, Amir will be relishing the opportunity to have a go at a batting order low on confidence under lights. He will no doubt be a key component to Pakistan’s chances of restricting the Sri Lankan top order, despite not coming into the series with any form to speak of in the Test arena.

Nuwan Pradeep

Nuwan-Pradeep

Over the last couple of years, Nuwan Pradeep has been the most effective fast bowler in the Sri Lankan ranks. He has come a long way from his days playing softball cricket and can now truly claim to be Sri Lanka’s spearhead.

30-year-old Pradeep has claimed 67 wickets in his Test career in 26 matches at a unimpressive average of 42.98. It’s fair to say that the records don’t really reflect his ability and the work load he has put into developing his bowling skills.

He grabbed his first ever 5 wicket haul against world number 1 test team India in the recently concluded series and so comes in to the series in the UAE with some sort of form behind him.

Injuries have been his biggest stumbling block throughout his career and Sri Lanka will hope that the month long break he had due to injury will prove to have refreshed him ahead of what promises to be a grueling series.

Dimuth Karunaratne vs Azhar Ali

Azhar Ali

@AFP
@AFP

Right-handed opener Azhar Ali holds a critical position in the Pakistan batting line-up after the retirement of Younis Khan and Misbah Ul-haq. Ali is also closing in on 5000 runs in Test cricket and the mile-stone will no doubt be one he looks to cross over the next two games.

He has accumulated 4968 runs in 60 appearances with an impressive 46+ average, with 302* being his top score in Test match cricket.

In the most recently concluded series against the West Indies, Ali made two tons (127, 105) as Pakistan registered a 2-1 series win. He has played 12 games against the Island nation, scoring 995 runs with a brilliant 49.75 average. If he gets going, Pakistan are sure to get the runs on the board and put Sri Lanka under pressure.

Dimuth Karunaratne

Dimuth Cover

Established opener Dimuth Karunaratne is the man in form for the Islanders. The 28-year-old had a bad patch in the home series against Australia last year but since then has been one of Sri Lanka’s most consistent Test batsman.

His recent form has been quite good in comparison to the other Lankan batsmen as he stood tall in the series against India, making 141 and 97. He has been labeled as the 2nd innings run scorer in his career, but the visitors will need him to step up in the 1st innings if they are to push for wins.

He has made 2754 runs in 42 Tests at an average of 34.86 to go with 6 tons. Dimuth has played 6 games against Pakistan where he has maintained a 46+ average, scoring 516 runs.

If Sri Lanka are to score 400+ in the first essay, Dimuth will need to deliver with the same intensity as he has been doing in the 2nd innings of games in the recent past.

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Will Sri Lanka see light at the end of the tunnel? http://www.thepapare.com/will-sri-lanka-see-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/ http://www.thepapare.com/will-sri-lanka-see-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 02:50:33 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2201386 Sri Lanka have probably gone through everything that they could go through since the familiar Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan a few months back.]]>

Sri Lanka have probably gone through everything that they could go through since the familiar Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan a few months back.

They will be in Abu Dhabi in a few days time to seek redemption against the same opponent, though the circumstances will be different this time around (Sri Lanka met Pakistan in the Champions Trophy right after a record breaking run chase against India).

An ODI series loss to one of the minnows in world cricket,Zimbabwe was followed by Angelo Mathews stepping down as captain, before a 0-9 drubbing by India. Even before the Indian series was concluded, the selection committee headed by Sanath Jayasuriya had decided to resign to add to the disarray Sri Lanka cricket was going through. The incident that took center stage though was when the crowd decided to throw bottles on to the field during the 3rd ODI. It pretty much summed up the state of Sri Lankan cricket which affected the Sri Lankan players quite badly.

New cricket selection committee officially released

Sri Lanka Cricket announced the newly appointed panel of Selectors as ratified…

Sri Lanka were hardly competitive against India during the most recently concluded series. But centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis gave SL hope during the test series though it didn’t last for too long. Then came the magical spell of spin bowling during the 2nd ODI by the tiny man with a big heart,Akila Dhananjaya. Once again though, Sri Lanka didn’t finish the job at a crucial stage in the series. The only T20I saw what Dilshan Munaweera is made of before the middle order blew away the start.

Yes, Sri Lanka have played below their potential during the past couple of months. But if you listen to many pundits around the world, you get the feeling Sri Lanka have plenty of talent to work with.

The main area of concern for Sri Lanka has been their bowling. They hardly looked penetrative and never looked like they would get 20 wickets to win a test match. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka their fielders have been having a tough time too which has made life difficult for the bowlers. Statisticians have even come up with the number of drops Sri Lanka have had during the year 2017 and those numbers are heart breaking if you’re a Sri Lankan fan. Would Sri Lanka have won more games if some of those chances were held ?

However, the time has come to move on from the past. The new selection panel headed by Graeme Labrooy’s first assignment will be the Pakistan series which begins with tests and ends with the 3rd T20I scheduled to be played in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka have probably forgotten how to win by now. It’s been a while since they won a game of cricket. But as we all know, all it takes is one win to change the feeling in the dressing room. Players seem to have lost confidence in their ability but they are matured individuals and know that it’s they themselves who have to come out of this situation.

Sri Lanka qualify for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

With 30 September 2017 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification, the WindieS..

Sri Lanka’s tour of the UAE & Pakistan presents them with a golden opportunity for redemption. Pakistan will have big shoes to fill after the retirement of their great test batsmen Younis Khan and Misbab Ul-Haq. Sri Lanka will need to expose them early in the series. The Abu Dhabi test will be followed by Sri Lanka’s first ever day night test match in Dubai. Have Sri Lanka been prepared well enough for the pink ball under floodlights? Only time will tell.

It’s high time the Sri Lankans play with their heart again and bring some silverware for this cricket crazy nation and restore some lost faith of their fans. Surely there has to be some light at the end of the tunnel ?



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Coaching is more challenging than playing: Atapattu http://www.thepapare.com/coaching-is-more-challenging-than-playing-marvan-atapattu/ http://www.thepapare.com/coaching-is-more-challenging-than-playing-marvan-atapattu/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:06:42 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2199275 Marvan Atapattu loved those marathon vigils at the crease. He dinked, stonewalled with a straight blade, shouldered arms and forced the bowler to change his plans.]]>

Marvan Atapattu loved those marathon vigils at the crease. He dinked, stonewalled with a straight blade, shouldered arms and forced the bowler to change his plans. With his sublime drives, built platforms for the middle order and enacted rescue acts. He compiled big scores with his white flannels drenched in sweat. Toil and effort were the cricket anthems he sung on the pitch for close to two decades.

Courtesy – Cricbuzz.com

The affable cricketer also had a horror start to his career – five ducks in his first six Test innings. Many sportspersons would have been deflated or despondent after a barren run spreading over seven years. But hard work was akin to a prayer for the opener. Eventually, he reaped rewards with his maiden century against India at Mohali in 1997 and ended his career with 27 international hundreds across formats.

In an exclusive chat with Cricbuzz, the former Sri Lankan captain looked back at his noteworthy career, his tenure as the captain of the national team, coaching stints and views on the current Sri Lankan team.

If we jog our memory down the lane, you made your Test debut in 1990, but after your debut, you didn’t open your account in five of your first six innings. It was only in 1997 you compiled a Test hundred against India at Mohali. So how were you able to overcome a barren run extending over seven long years?

One thing I did know at the time I got a hundred [against India] after all those zeroes was how I did it. Reflecting back how I got it, I can only put it across to the determination, the faith I had in me, my technique, my ability and the support that I got and the clarity that I had in my mind, [in] my head to play for Sri Lanka again. And the pleasure that I was going to get by playing for Sri Lanka, that motivated me.

After that horror start, runs started to flow. You scored a hundred in the tri-series final against England in 1998, you scored a double hundred in Galle against England, 185 at Lord’s and also that century against an Australian attack comprising Michael Kasprowicz, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne at Colombo (SSC). Five-six years of consistency.. so how do you look back at that phase of your career?

I mean, see when the individual reaches maturity, when he becomes familiar with his environment, surroundings, his opponents – run-making becomes so much easier. And it makes no difference to me, I was lucky enough to have been considered for selection after all those zeroes that I got initially. There wasn’t this much of competition back then. When you as I said reach a certain stage, I think if you have that solid foundation, it becomes much easier than not having one.

What about support that you received from seniors like Arjuna Ranatunga? How do you look at the role seniors played in helping you to come good?

When it comes from… when the words of wisdom comes from the seniors, your captains, your senior players, it tells you something more than what the papers have to say, what the TV channel has to say. You know then they are genuine. The captain says a word about a player… because if he says something that is not true, it will only harm his team. You know those words are for real. Things like that boost your confidence.

You took over as the captain of the national team in 2003-04. During that time, Sri Lanka won Test series against South Africa and lifted the Asia Cup title. So how do you look back at your stint as the captain? Was it an enjoyable experience?

It was enjoyable. See, when you start playing cricket, when I started playing at the age of 7,8 and 9 or whatever at a very young age, you’re not thinking of playing for Sri Lanka, you’re thinking of playing for your school in junior level. When you start playing for junior level in your college, ‘you think ok what about the senior team’? As quickly as I can [I need to find a place]. When you get to represent your senior team at the age of 15 [you think], ‘am I good enough to play for Sri Lanka’? When you get to play for Sri Lanka, you’re hoping to be successful. You get zero after zero, then you think, ‘oh, I have got to establish myself here’. When you sort of establish yourself, then you being offered to captain [the side]. Why not? I mean you’re the captain of the country. I mean, it is a great pleasure and privilege to captain your country. It is one person, it is only one person who can do that and when it is you who is doing the job, well for me it was the thing.

You were also known for your fielding skills. So was fielding an aspect that you worked on?

I remember working hard on direct-hits. I did not want to leave the ground, I did not want to leave the field.. I went hours and hours doing one discipline. I met a friend recently who said that… I didn’t remember but he was saying the number of hours we put together just at throwing at a stump or throwing balls at me for me to get the drives going or whatever.

Out of your 16 Test hundreds, six were double hundreds. What aspect you looked at to get those big scores?

What motivated me was the number of zeroes that I got. I always tended to think as an opening batsman, when you face the first ball without [or] not knowing how the ball will move, sometimes you really do not know the action of the bowler even. It is a huge chance that you might nick one. I used to think if I survive, if I get a start, if I get to a situation where I feel comfortable, I won’t let this go. That worked in my mind.



Your career didn’t exactly end on the right note. You had some issues with the then selection panel led by Ashantha de Mel. So is there a tinge of regret at the way your career ended?

Probably, I regret.. [or] I won’t put it in that manner. But I went through a period where I was so desperate, hurt and these words just came… these words just came. It was here [in the mind]. I just couldn’t tell this to anybody other than my family and there was a period where I was in the team, not given a game [in] 2007. Although I was the captain, I went out for a surgery and a lot of things were hurting inside. This particular press conference was just a let out.

After retiring from the game, you became the head coach of Singapore and later on, the batting and assistant coach of Sri Lanka. How do you look at the coaching side of things?

It is more challenging, more challenging than playing. It is certainly more challenging. It is about you being an all-rounder in the sense that you get individuals amongst the team with different needs. Some[one] is a senior player who has scored over 8,000, 10,000 runs. Somebody is making a debut, somebody is going through a bad patch, somebody is coming out of injury, some person is making a comeback. Sort of identifying these… identifying the individual, comforting them, throwing challenges, to get the best out of them to have sort of positive results is quite a task.

What is your specific role as the mentor of Belagavi Panthers?

See what we discussed is basically we know that we have a very interesting and a young talented group of players and they all know that they have a very good chance of going to that next level… the IPL or maybe even the Indian team. These guys need a lot of support and backing from support staff, management – like from us to get to that next level. They just can’t be left alone because this game of T20 is very intense, very very intense. So it happens in a flash, you got to be on the board, you got to be telling what is good, what is not good. I mean I’m here to share my experiences and hopefully, help them get to the next stage.

Sri Lanka is going through a bad phase. Recently, they were whitewashed by India across all three formats. Some believe domestic structure needs to be revamped. And others point their fingers at school system not being as strong as it used to be. So what are the areas you feel Sri Lanka need to improve upon?

You’re right. I mean for the future, because our school cricket is not as good as it used to be, for instant results we need to cut down on the number of clubs and make it more competitive for players to mature soon. We can’t be waiting until somebody is 35 to play for Sri Lanka because if we don’t have the competition, your progress drags on. So, to give them competition, try to filter out players. Unless otherwise, you have a good school system where players come out from school, ready to play for Sri Lanka, which was the case back in the 1980s and hopefully early 1990s. But after that not. So we have to look into those two areas. For the immediate thing, I think the club structure needs to be revamped and in the long run, we need to look at school structure which was our strongest point.

If you look at Sri Lanka’s pace attack, the likes of Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad have been laid low by injuries. Is it an area of concern for Sri Lanka cricket?

See, the point is all this is a way of life. Somebody getting two hundred is a way of life, somebody getting three hundred is a way of life. Most people who have got three hundred, have got more than one three hundred because they know how to do it. People who have got two hundred, have made more than one two hundred because they know how to do it. People who have got five wickets [in an innings], they have got more than 10-15 five-wicket hauls because they know how to do it. If a fast bowler doesn’t know how to bowl 20 overs in a day or 18 overs in a day, he will be pushed to bowl that 15th over, he might get injured. So it is about getting your body trained for that. Unfortunately, as I said. As you also mentioned, club cricket structure, the club cricket wickets… we are not encouraging fast bowlers to play on such wickets.

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Mendis to lead Sri Lanka in Indoor World Cup 2017 http://www.thepapare.com/mendis-to-lead-sri-lanka-in-indoor-world-cup-2017/ http://www.thepapare.com/mendis-to-lead-sri-lanka-in-indoor-world-cup-2017/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:12:23 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2197642 Sri Lanka Indoor cricket team will be heading to UAE for the 10th Indoor Cricket World Cup to be held from the 16th to the 23rd of September 2017. Going back to the history of the tournament, Australia have been dominant throughout, winning all 9 editions of the tournament up to now. The Sri Lanka […]]]>

Sri Lanka Indoor cricket team will be heading to UAE for the 10th Indoor Cricket World Cup to be held from the 16th to the 23rd of September 2017.

Going back to the history of the tournament, Australia have been dominant throughout, winning all 9 editions of the tournament up to now. The Sri Lanka team emerged runners-up in 2004 when the Lankans hosted the event. Tharindu Mendis, Iroshan De Silva and Chrishantha Pieris were in the runner-up team back in 2004.

The Islanders will leave the country on the 11th of September, hoping to have training sessions prior to the big event. The Lankans have a strong squad for the tournament and are keen to lift the title. They began their training in June and are geared up for the challenge in Dubai.

9 teams will be fighting for the title; defending Champions Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Malaysia and the home team UAE. All the games are scheduled to be played at the Insportz Club in Dubai. The World Indoor Federation is looking to enter the Commonwealth games in Durban 2022.

The Lankans are going in the tournament with the likes of Andy Solomons, Amila Ratnayaka who are capable of providing performances to lift the team in many ways.

Former Indoor cricket captain Asela Pathirana will be handling the coaching duties with the support of Gamini Perera (Manager)and Hiran Demel.

Sri Lanka Squad

Tharindu Mendis (C), Kamal Kuruppu (VC), Kolitha Nayananada, Ruwan Chandrakumara, Nilantha Wijekoon, Andy Solomons, Iroshan de Silva, Chrishantha Pieris, Amila Ratnaike, Rumesh Perera, Salman Faris, Thiwanka Dabare, Haresh de Silva, Ranusha Perera, Asela Pathirana (Coach) Gamini Perera (Manager), Hiran de Mel (WICF Delegate)

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Sri Lanka’s best knocks in ODIs against India http://www.thepapare.com/sri-lankas-best-knocks-in-odis-against-india/ http://www.thepapare.com/sri-lankas-best-knocks-in-odis-against-india/#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:57:45 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2195531 Sri Lanka will take on India in a 5-match ODI series at home starting on the 20th of August. Here’s a look at some of Sri Lanka’s most outstanding ODI knocks against their arch-rivals. Sanath Jayasuriya 189 (Sharjah 2000) The Coca-Cola cup Final on October 29th 2000 was a historic day for all the cricketing […]]]>

Sri Lanka will take on India in a 5-match ODI series at home starting on the 20th of August. Here’s a look at some of Sri Lanka’s most outstanding ODI knocks against their arch-rivals.

Sanath Jayasuriya 189 (Sharjah 2000)

(AFP/Getty Images)
(AFP/Getty Images)

The Coca-Cola cup Final on October 29th 2000 was a historic day for all the cricketing fans in Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasuriya captained a strong Sri Lankan side with Saurav Ganguly leading the Indian team. Skipper Jayasuriya won the toss and opted to bat first on a dry and batting friendly conditions in Sharjah. The Lankan Lions went on to post a commanding 299/5 in their 50 overs. The dashing left-hander destroyed the Indian bowling attack single-handedly to register the highest score by a Sri Lankan in ODIs scoring 189 off 161 balls. He smashed 21 boundaries and 4 maximums at a strike rate of 117.39. Unfortunately, he fell trying to go past Saeed Anwar’s 194 (then the highest score in ODIs), with a six as he was stumped off the bowling of Saurav Ganguly. The Indians crumbled for a shocking 54 as the Lankans lifted the title by 245 runs. Jayasuriya was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his outstanding efforts throughout the tournament.

Upul Tharanga 174* (Kingston 2013)Upul Tharanga

The third game of the tri-nation series was a remarkable one Sri Lanka’s current ODI and T20I skipper Upul Tharanga. July 2nd 2013 was a perfect day for cricket with Indian skipper Virat Kohli winning the toss and inviting the Lankans to have a bat on a flat batting track. The openers Mahela Jayawardana and Upul Tharanga middled the white ball from the very 1st over as the Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Both openers got to centuries as the opening pair put up a double century stand. After Mahela departed for 107, Tharanga took the upper hand. He made a superlative 174 not out off 159 balls that included 19 boundaries and 3 sixes to steer the Lankans to 348/1 in 50 overs. The efforts of Tharanga helped the Lankans to a 161-run win and he took away the Man of the Match award.

Tillakaratne Dilshan 160 (Rajkot 2009)Dilshan

A strong Sri Lankan team toured India in 2009 December for a 5-match series. The visiting Skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and Invited the Indians to have a bat in excellent batting conditions in Rajkot. Indian batting sensation Virender Sehwag was the hero for the hosts with a 102 ball as they piled up 414/7 in 50 overs, registering the highest total against Sri Lanka in ODI cricket. Chasing a mammoth target to win, the visitors needed an extraordinary effort to reach 415. Sri Lankan openers Tharanga and Dilshan were on par with the required run-rate as experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan bought out his best ODI knock of 160 off 124 deliveries with 20 glorious boundaries and 3 massive sixes with an impressive 129.03 strike rate. He was controlling the game until he was clean bowled by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. The Island nation almost crossed the line but Thilina Kandamby and Thilan Samaraweera were both run-out at a crucial stage in the game and a superb 50th over by Ashish Nehra gave the Indians a thrilling 3-run win.

Sanath Jayasuriya 151* (Mumbai 1997)Sanath-Jayasuriya-odi

The 4th match of the Pepsi Independence Cup was played 20 years back in Bollywood city, Mumbai. Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and decided to bat first as they were restricted by a disciplined bowling effort by the visitors to 225/7 in 50 overs in batting friendly conditions. Chasing a modest target to win, the touring team Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start losing opener Romesh Kaluwitharana for a duck. However, it’s the Master blaster who stood up to the challenge and thrashed the bowling attack with ease. Opener Jayasuriya carried the bat as he smashed an unbeaten 151 off 120 balls with 17 fours and 4 maximums with a sparkling strike rate of 125.83. His contribution with the bat gave the visitors a 5 wicket win and he was also named Man of the Match for his spirited knock.

Arjuna Ranatunga 131 *(R. Premadasa 1997)Arjuna

The 3rd game of the Pepsi Asia Cup was played in Colombo. After winning the 1996 World Cup the Islanders were confident to take any challenge given to them.  Captain cool Arjuna Ranatunga invited the neighbours to take 1st lease of the wicket. The Lankan bowlers were spot on from the word go as they kept the strong Indian batting line up to a below-par 227/6 in 50 overs. In pursuit, the hosts lost experienced Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda De Silva cheaply. World cup winning skipper Ranatunga walked in at number 4 and anchored the innings with a spectacular 131 off 152 balls that included 17 fours. He registered his career best score and led the team to a memorable win against the mighty Indians.

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Sri Lanka’s best bowling performances in ODIs against India http://www.thepapare.com/sri-lankas-best-bowling-performances-odis-india/ http://www.thepapare.com/sri-lankas-best-bowling-performances-odis-india/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:38:27 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2195199 The five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka starts this Sunday in Dambulla. Let’s go down memory lane to look at the most stunning bowling efforts by Sri Lankans against their rivals, India in the 50 over format.]]>

The five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka starts this Sunday in Dambulla. Let’s go down memory lane to look at the most stunning bowling efforts by Sri Lankans against their rivals, India in the 50 over format.

Muttiah Muralitharan 7/30 (Sharjah, 2000)Muttiah Muralitharan

The 6th game of the Coca-Cola Cup was played under lights at the Sharjah Cricket Grounds. The Sri Lankan team, led by legendary all-rounder and current chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, were invited to bat first by the opposition skipper Saurav Ganguly on a dry surface and managed to score 294/5 in their 50 overs. After losing the openers early, Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardana got together and added a superb 226 runs for the 3rd wicket to put Sri Lanka in a commanding position after their 1st innings. Chasing 295 to win, The Indians lost two quick wickets in the first 5 overs.  Then came spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan who picked up Robin Singh to open his wicket tally. Murali continued his on his merry way as he dismissed an in-form Sachin Tendulkar for 61 and then went on to dismantle the Indian team for a disappointing 226 in 48.5 overs. All-round efforts gave the islanders an outstanding 68 run win over a strong Indian team. The wily off-spinner registered his career best figures in ODIs when he bowled his 10 overs for only 30 runs picking up 7 Indian wickets. The effort by Murali remains the best bowling figurers against India in ODI cricket bettering Aaqib Javed’s 7/37.

Watch – Jayasuriya justifies Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Ajantha Mendis 6/13 (Karachi, 2008)Ajantha mendis

Ajantha Mendis came into International cricket and troubled all the top teams with his variations and unusual action and he continued this as Sri Lanka thrashed the Indians by 100 runs at the 2008 Asia Cup. The Lankan Lions were invited to bat first and posted a fighting 273 all out with left-hander Sanath Jayasuriya making a blistering 125 off 114 balls. In pursuit of 274 to lift the title, the Indians came out all-guns blazing with Virender Sehwag taking them to 76/1 in 9 overs. Skipper Mahela Jayawardana introduced Mendis in the 10th over and he struck straightaway getting rid of Sehwag for a 36 ball 60. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were clean bowled soon after as Sri Lanka got right back into the game. The mystery spinner was unstoppable as he bamboozled the strong batting line-up with his skills. The Indians were rattled and knocked out for 173 inside 40 overs, as Mendis ended up with 6/13 in his 8 overs at an impressive economy rate of 1.62.

Angelo Mathews 6/20 (R. Premadasa, 2009)angelo mathws

Angelo Mathews is bowler that gives a lot of value to a ODI team with his seam bowling. His best bowling figures in ODIs were recorded against India in a tri-nation tournament that featured India and New-Zealand. The hosts won the 3rd game of the Compaq Cup by a convincing margin of 139 runs. Batting first at the R. Premadasa International Stadium the hosts went on to score 307 in their 50 overs thanks to valuable contributions from Sanath Jayasuriya and Thilina Kandamby. Defending 307, Skipper Sangakkara bought on Mathews as the 5th bowling option and the medium pacer took the opportunity with both hands to dismiss some big names, including Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan. Mathews needed just 6 overs to dismantle the opponents as he finished with 6/20.

Watch – Sri Lanka team departure to Dambulla for Indian ODIs

Chaminda Vaas 5/14 (Sharjah, 2000)

REUTERS/Andy Clark
REUTERS/Andy Clark

The Final of the Coca-Cola Cup 2000 was a memorable day for Sri Lanka cricket. Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya won the all-important toss in the final and made a cracking 189 off 161 balls to register the highest individual ODI score for Sri Lanka in ODIs. Jayasuriya’s heroics steered the Lankans to 299 in their 50 overs.

The Sri Lankan bowlers were right on the money when it was their turn to have a go at the Indians with their greatest ever left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas on song. He dislodged the Indian batsmen one after the other as they had no answers for the moving ball. Nobody expected the mighty Indians to topple the way they did as their innings folded for 54 in 26.3 overs. Vaas bagged the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Vinod Kambli to end up with figures of 5/14 in 9.3 overs with an economy of 1.45; Sri Lanka won by 245 runs.

Thisara Perera 5/28 (Dambulla, 2010)

@AFP
@AFP

In the 5th game of the triangular tournament in 2010 the Indians came out to bat on a pitch that was helpful to seam bowling. Right arm medium pacer Thisara Perera came into the attack as the 2nd change bowler and ran through the Indian middle-order with a dream bowling spell. It was a day to forget for the Indians as they were bundled out for 104 in 33.4 overs, the hosts cruised to the target with 8 wickets in hand and 209 balls remaining. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara took 2 catches off the bowling of Perera as he deceived the likes of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravi Jadeja with terrific seam bowling. He bowled 7.4 overs conceding 28 runs to grab 5 wickets. Perera’s efforts with ball gave him the Man of the match award.

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Upul Chandana: From buying wickets to selling sports goods http://www.thepapare.com/upul-chandana-from-buying-wickets-to-selling-sports-goods/ http://www.thepapare.com/upul-chandana-from-buying-wickets-to-selling-sports-goods/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:25:34 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2194337 It’s 1992. Upul Chandana is a little nervous. He is a wet-behind-the-ears rookie facing Allan Donald in a three-day game at the Premadasa. Snap. A couple of regulars barge into his sports shop. They discuss lamination, banners, rupees and logistics. The former leg-spinner speed-dials his friends. A deal worth lakhs is struck. He swings back […]]]>

It’s 1992. Upul Chandana is a little nervous. He is a wet-behind-the-ears rookie facing Allan Donald in a three-day game at the Premadasa. Snap. A couple of regulars barge into his sports shop. They discuss lamination, banners, rupees and logistics. The former leg-spinner speed-dials his friends. A deal worth lakhs is struck. He swings back to the 90s.

Sandeep G

Dhammika Prasad – Of struggles, scars and a selfless spirit

He returned nearly two and a half years later, and faced up against the might of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman…

Donald is sneering at his face. Snap. An overzealous father and his wannabe-cricketer son barge in. They discus wood, leather and kitbags. The kid pulls out a kit taller than him. His father wants an even bigger one. Chandana carefully picks a medium one. The entire conversation oscillates between the past and the present.

Chandana’s cricket shop, which goes by the same name, is located inside Nondescripts Club. But as opposed to what the name suggests, it also sells table tennis racquets, jogging shoes and tennis balls. He has another down the corner. He seems to make brisk business. “Just enough to pull along,” he interjects.

Eyes contorting, a little like the famed spin partner of his, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chandana says there were two reasons he set up the stall. The first, of course, was financial. For a major part of his career, his “close friend” Muralitharan kept him out of the team. It was only after he reinvented himself as a bowling all-rounder that his stock improved.

23න් පහළ අන්තර් පළාත් හොඳම පිතිකරුවා – දිනෙත් තිමෝද්ය

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ක්‍රිකට් ආයතනය විසින් සංවිධානය කරනු ලැබූ වයස 23න් පහළ අන්තර් පළාත් ක්‍රිකට් තරගාවලියේ හොඳම පිතිකරුවා…

Even then, he was limited to short-form cricket, ODIs rather, for it was the only prevalent short-form game those days. He was not one of the glamour boys, so commercials and endorsements were not forthcoming. He then made an ill-advised move to the Indian Cricket League. He was not only slapped with a ban but also didn’t get the full amount in the contract. “It was a stupid decision. The next year, they started the IPL, and they still owe me 60,000 USD,” Chandana says.

So to make ends meet, he decided to open a sports goods store. “There are so many cricket clubs around and there weren’t too many good sports stores in the locality. So I thought I’ll start one,” he says. The club he played for allocated a room inside the compound, which he now wants to take it out of, as “people don’t spot it easily. Only if you come inside the club will you notice it,” he says, not as a grouse, but matter-of-factly.

The second reason was more emotional. “In my childhood in Galle, we played with one ball for months. There was no sports store and we had little money. Even the schools couldn’t afford it. The first time I held a cricket ball, my fingers almost went inside the ball. It was almost two separate pieces. So I decided one day when I grow up I’d open a sports store,” he says.

He did, but after a rather impressive but unsung career. So understated was he that only when you verify the stats that you realise he played 147 ODIs and 16 Tests, his uncanny leg-breaks purchasing 151 wickets at 31 runs apiece, and all the while scoring breezy half-centuries and effecting sharp catches and run-outs, like his bullet sling from deep cover that once got rid of Azhar Mahmood.

What’s more, he outshone Brian Lara’s century and Chris Gayle’s 94 while orchestrating a 300-plus chase in Bridgetown with a hard-hitting 92. But he was unlucky to be one of only two players in the 1996 World Cup-winning squad who didn’t get a game. The other was Marvan Atapattu.

But Chandana nurses no grouses. Even early in his career, he was resigned to the reality that his career had coincided with an all-time giant. He had to out-bowl Muralitharan to command a regular place in the side, which he says was impossible.

“We started together at the Tamil Union, and the amount of hard work he put in was unbelievable. He would slog the entire day. The first half of the day will be spot bowling. The second half was devoted to batsmen. I was not that hard working, or had that amount of talent,” he admits.

Sri Lanka cricket heading towards disaster – Arjuna Ranatunga

Arjuna Ranatunga will always be amongst the first names associated with Sri Lankan cricket…

A rough childhood had him acquainted with adversity and the courage to bounce from it. “I lost my father when I was seven. Ours was a big family of 10, relying entirely on my eldest brother’s income. He was into making furniture in Dambulla and up north. You endure all those hardships and you get that mindset to take everything positively,” he says.

Rather than carping at the lack of opportunities, he kept counting the blessings. “A poor boy from Galle playing so many matches is an achievement, don’t you think so?” he asks. “I can at least tell my children and grandchildren that I was in the World Cup winning squad and played with all the greats of Sri Lankan cricket. I’ve bowled to Tendulkar and Lara,” he says.

His only regret is not playing the IPL. “Not because it pays you so well, but it was the sort of cricket I liked. Non-stop hitting, aggressive bowling and sharp fielding. It would have been perfect for my style of..,” he laments, for the first time in the conversation. But before he can complete the sentence, a phone call comes and he’s on his way, gliding himself into a wind-beaten tuk-tuk.

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Oldest Players in International Cricket – ODIs, WCs and T20s http://www.thepapare.com/oldest-players-in-international-cricket-odis-wcs-and-t20s/ http://www.thepapare.com/oldest-players-in-international-cricket-odis-wcs-and-t20s/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:13:10 +0000 http://www.thepapare.com/?p=2194312 The previous segment (Oldest Players in International Cricket – Tests) brought you oldest player records from Test cricket. Continuing with the final episode, let’s take a journey on ODI, World Cup and T20 records for the oldest players. ODIs The oldest ever player to appear in an ODI is Nolan Clarke of Netherlands. Born in […]]]>

The previous segment (Oldest Players in International Cricket – Tests) brought you oldest player records from Test cricket. Continuing with the final episode, let’s take a journey on ODI, World Cup and T20 records for the oldest players.

ODIs

The oldest ever player to appear in an ODI is Nolan Clarke of Netherlands. Born in Barbados, Clarke was 47 years and 257 days old when he played for Netherlands against South Africa at Rawalpindi during the 1996 World Cup campaign.

Nolan Clarke is also the oldest player on debut (47y 240d). He made his debut against New Zealand at Vadodara during the 1996 WC.

Nolan Clarke
Nolan Clarke (Extreme left) celebrating the wicket of Alec Stewart during their game against England at Peshawar 1996 (Image courtesy – Getty Images)

The second oldest is John Traicos (45y 312d). Born in Zagazig, Egypt, Traicos made his debut for South Africa in 1970. After South Africa was forced into sporting isolation, Traicos made his ODI debut for minnows Zimbabwe against Australia during the 1983 World Cup. His debut was memorable as Zimbabwe secured a shocking 13-run victory over Australia on their debut World Cup game. His Test debut for Zimbabwe in 1992, sealed his name of having the biggest gap between two Test appearances (22y 222d). An excellent off spinner, Traicos was electric at gully, better than most of the players half his age. He played his final ODI against India at Pune in 1993.  

The oldest ODI player for Sri Lanka is D.S. de Silva. He was 42 years and 261 days old when he played against Australia at Melbourne in 1985. Michael Tissera is the oldest to make an ODI debut for Sri Lanka (36y 76d). His debut was also the first ever World Cup game for Sri Lanka, against West Indies at Manchester in 1975. The match also featured the oldest to play against Sri Lanka, the West Indian legend Lance Gibbs who was 40 years 251 days old.

The oldest to make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka was Omar Henry of South Africa (40y 39d). The first non-white to play for South Africa in the post-apartheid era, Henry made his debut against Sri Lanka at Wellington in 1992, a World Cup game best remembered for Sri Lanka defeating the eventual semifinalists by 3 wickets in the penultimate delivery.

Let’s Talk Numbers by Thilina Galappatti

Absolutely accurate, meticulously and painstakingly researched, Gala our stats buff, lays it all on.

Khurram Khan of UAE is the oldest to score an ODI century (43y 162d). His unbeaten 132 came against Afghanistan at Dubai in 2014. Previously, the record for the oldest player to score an ODI hundred was held by Sanath Jayasuriya (39y 212d). He made 107 against India at Dambulla in 2009.

Khan is also the oldest captain to score an ODI century. His 132* against Afghanistan was his first century, making him the oldest to score a maiden ton as well. The oldest to score his maiden ton for Sri Lanka is Thilan Samaraweera (32y 351d). His 104 came against New Zealand at the RPS in 2009.

Jayasuriya, the oldest ODI centurion for Sri Lanka (Image courtesy – AFP)
Jayasuriya, the oldest ODI centurion for Sri Lanka (Image courtesy – AFP)

The oldest to take a 5 wicket haul in an inning is Sunil Dhaniram. The Canadian was 39 years 256 days old when he captured 5 for 32 against Bermuda at Ontario in 2008. It was Dhaniram’s maiden 5 wicket haul, the oldest to do so.

Muttiah Muralitharan is the oldest Sri Lankan to take a 5 wicket haul in an ODI. Murali was aged 36 years and 227 days when he grabbed 5 for 29 against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2008. Upul Chandana’s maiden 5 wicket haul, 5 for 61 came against South Africa at SSC in 2004. He is the oldest to take a maiden 5 wicket haul for Sri Lanka in an ODI (32y 116d).

Norman Gifford is the oldest to lead a side in an ODI (44y 361d). He captained England against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1985. For Sri Lanka, it is D.S de Silva, who holds the Test record as well. D.S. de Silva was 40 years and 264 days old when he captained Sri Lanka against New Zealand at Dunedin in 1983. The respective appearances were captaincy debuts for both Gifford and D.S. de Silva.

T20s

Ryan Campbell of Hong Kong is the oldest to play in an international T20 (44y 34d). The Aussie born player appeared for Hong Kong against Scotland at Nagpur in 2016.

Sanath Jayasuriya’s appearance against England at Bristol in 2011 makes him the oldest T20 player for Sri Lanka (41y 360d). Campbell is also the oldest player to make his T20 debut (44y 30d) while Jayasuriya is the oldest T20 debutant for Sri Lanka (36y 350d) with his debut against England at Southampton in 2006. The game was also Sri Lanka’s inaugural T20 international.

Mohammed Tauqir of UAE is the oldest to captain a side in a T20i. He was 43 years 129 days leading his side against Netherlands at Edinburgh in 2015. Aged 35 years and 133 days, Mahela Jayawardene led the Sri Lankan side at the World T20 finals against West Indies in 2012, the oldest T20 captain for the island nation.

World Cup

While Nolan Clarke is the oldest to appear in a World Cup, Mohammed Tauqir is the oldest to captain a side on the highest stage (43y 60d). He led UAE against West Indies during the 2015 World Cup.

Imran Khan is the oldest captain to win the World Cup (39y 5m 20d). Interestingly, he led a Pakistani side which featured the three youngest World Cup winners, Aaqib Javed (19), Moin Khan (20) and Mushtaq Ahmed (21).

However, the oldest to win a World Cup is Rohan Kanhai of West Indies. When West Indies won the inaugural World Cup in 1975, Kanhai was 39 years 5 months 26 days old, a mere 6 days older than Imran Khan. The finals in 1975 and 1992 were the last international games for both Rohan Kanhai and Imran Khan.

Kanhai during the 1975 World Cup (Image courtesy – Getty Images)
Kanhai during the 1975 World Cup (Image courtesy – Getty Images)

At 38 years and 148 days, T.M Dilshan is the oldest to score a century in the World Cup. He made 104 against Scotland at Hobart in 2015. Shaukat Dukanwala (39y 40d) of UAE took 5 for 29 against Netherlands at Lahore in 1996, the oldest to take five wickets in a World Cup game.

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