Graham Labrooy heads five-member new selection panel – Sri Lanka Cricket

Posted on 19 September 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday appointed five-member selection committee headed by former Sri Lanka seamer Graham Labrooy. The committee also includes Asanka Gurusinha,  Jeryl Woutersz, Gamini Wickremasinghe and Sajith Fernando. Mirrorcricket exclusively reported on Labrooy's appointment on Wednesday (13)

Their first assignment would be to finalize the 15-man squad for the forthcoming series against Pakistan in UAE.

 Sri Lanka will play two Tests, five ODIs, and three T20 internationals during their tour to UAE. 

Their appointments come weeks after  Jayasuriya-led committee resigned at the end of the disastrous home series against India where Sri Lanka lost all nine matches in the series (3 Tests, 5 ODIs, and a T20I).  Labrooy who is currently employed as an ICC match referee is expected to relieve his duties with the global body to take up the new appointment.

He represented Sri Lanka in 9 Tests and 44 ODIs during 1986-1992.  

Sri Lanka team is expected to resume their training on September 18 and the team is expected to leave the shores on September 24, 2017.


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Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification

Posted on 18 August 2017 by admin

Sri Lanka needs two wins for direct WC 2019 qualification.

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Courtesy: Daily News.

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July 2. AFP

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with his teammates after he dismissed Zimbabwe's Solomon Mire during the second one-day internationals (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on July

Five-match series against India:

Sri Lanka will be eyeing the chance to seal direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in an upcoming five-match home series against India which commences in Dambulla on Sunday.

The 1996 World champions will have to win at least two matches to secure a place in the pinnacle 50-over competition by staving off the challenge from the West Indies. The cut-off date for direct qualification is 30 September.

Sri Lanka is currently placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies, which has an unenviable task in its aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host England to gain direct qualification.

The bottom four sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings will need to play a Qualifying event also featuring the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League. The top two teams from this event will get to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Winning two matches will take Sri Lanka to 90 points while the Windies side will at best reach 88 points even if it wins its one-off ODI against Ireland on 13 September as well as all five matches of its series in England from 19-29 September.

However, a 4-1 win for India will see Sri Lanka finish at 88 points and the Windies could edge it on decimal points if it wins all its upcoming six matches.

The Windies side will go out of contention if it loses to Ireland as from there it will at best reach 86 points and remain behind Sri Lanka on decimal points, even if Sri Lanka loses 5-0 to India.

As for India, which is in third position with 114 points, only a 4-1 series win will ensure it stays ahead of England. Even a 3-2 win for India will mean it will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points owing to Sri Lanka’s low ranking.

Series scenarios:

India wins 5-0 – India 117 points; Sri Lanka 86 points.

India wins 4-1 – India 115 points, Sri Lanka 88 points.

India wins 3-2 – India 113 points, Sri Lanka 90 points.

Sri Lanka wins 3-2 – India 111 points, Sri Lanka 91 points.

Sri Lanka wins 4-1 – India 109 points, Sri Lanka 93 points.

Sri Lanka wins 5-0 – India 106 points, Sri Lanka 94 points.

As for the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings, India captain Virat Kohli goes into the series as the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman with 873 points and a chance to increase his 12-point lead over Australia’s David Warner.

Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (12th), Shikhar Dhawan (13th) and vice-captain Rohit Sharma (14th) are the other leading India batsmen while pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13th), left-arm spinner Akshar Patel (20th) and Jasprit Bumrah (31st) are the leading bowlers in the side.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the leading player among batsmen (27th) as well as bowlers (53rd) and the only all-rounder in the series among the top-five. Kusal Mendis (30th), Niroshan Dickwella (38th) and captain Upul Tharanga (64th) are its other leading batsmen.

India v Sri Lanka series schedule:

20 Aug – 1st ODI, Dambulla

24 Aug – 2nd ODI, Pallekele

27 Aug – 3rd ODI, Pallekele

31 Aug – 4th ODI, Colombo

3 Sep – 5th ODI, Colombo

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 18 August):

Rank Team Points

1. South Africa 119

2. Australia 117

3. India 114

4. England 113

5. New Zealand 111

6. Pakistan 95

7. Bangladesh 94

8. Sri Lanka 88

9. West Indies 78

10. Afghanistan 54

11. Zimbabwe 52

12. Ireland 41 

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Dinesh Chandimal named Sri Lanka’s new Test captain – Upul Tharanga leads country in ODI & T20 formats

Posted on 13 July 2017 by admin

Dinesh Chandimal was named skipper of Sri Lanka's Test team on Wednesday (July 12), while fellow batsman Upul Tharanga has been tasked with leading the limited-overs squads after Angelo Mathews relinquished the captaincy across all formats on Tuesday. Both Chandimal and Tharanga have led the country on prior assignments on Mathews absence due to injury.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, TSL.

Sri Lankan cricket captain Angelo Mathews leave the grounds after Zimbabwe’s victory in the fifth one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium in the southern district of Hambantota on July 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Dinesh Chandimal won Man of the Match Award

Consequent to Angelo Mathews stepping down as captain, Sri Lanka Cricket has named two players who will now take over the Test and limited over formats. Dinesh Chandimal has been named Sri Lanka's new Test captain, and Upul Tharanga will take over in ODIs and T20s. Chandimal had served as Mathews' deputy and led the T20 team in the past, while Tharanga led the ODI team when Mathews had been injured.

Speaking at the press conference to announce the new captains, Mathews, who quit following the 3-2 ODI defeat at home to Zimbabwe, said: "Yes, there have been significant poor performances, and I'm humble enough to accept it. In the past also there were instances where I wanted to step down but I didn't want to let the team down at that time, mainly because there were no replacements. The team's interests supercede my personal interests.

"There were two things working in my mind. The first is whether this was the right time considering the team. My honest opinion is that there are candidates who can take over the reins. I'm pretty sure that they will be more successful and better captains than me. I also wanted to give my successor enough time until the World Cup, to build up a team. Those were the main reasons for me to step down."

Mathews said that although he was disappointed with Sri Lanka's results in 2017, he resigns having given his best to the job.

"I have at all times played in the exclusive interest of Sri Lankan cricket, and have not at any time compromised my national duties for any personal gain," he said, reading a portion of his letter of resignation to the board. "I have at all times given utmost priority to making myself available over any franchise commitment, and have at times pre-terminated franchise commitments in order to fulfill national obligations. Subject to me being selected for national duty, I would ensure my fullest commitment to the national cricket team. Moreover, I would at all times support and guide our profusely talented young team, as well as my successor, in every way."

Chandimal was always a top contender to take over from Mathews, particularly because he had been groomed as a leader in the past. Though Chandimal's patchy form in ODIs led to his exclusion from the recent squad to play Zimbabwe, he has matured as a Test batsman – most recently making a difficult ton against Bangladesh at the P Sara Oval. He averages 41.17 since the start of 2015, and has scored 2540 runs at an average of 42.33 all told. Chandimal had also been a successful captain at school level, leading Ananda College to record number of outright victories in his senior year.

"I want to take this team and Sri Lanka forward, so I will put my heart and soul into the job," Chandimal said after the announcement. "I'm very thankful to the job that Angie [Mathews] has done for us. Captaincy is not an easy job and he was an excellent leader for us over four-and-a-half years. He's also a terrific batsman and a match-winner for us, and I have huge hopes that he will continue to be one in the coming years as well."

Tharanga's rise to the limited-overs captaincy has been sharper. He had been dropped from Sri Lanka's limited-overs sides as recently as the first half of 2016, but has since led the team in 14 ODIs, as acting captain in Mathews' absence. He has been in excellent form in recent months, however, averaging 49 in ODIs since November. He has been moved around the batting order during that time, sometimes opening the batting, and batting in the middle order at others. Sri Lanka have won four and lost eight of the ODIs Tharanga has captained – six of those losses coming against South Africa.

Tharanga also thanked Mathews for his leadership, and the selectors for giving him the opportunity to lead. He acknowledged that Sri Lanka's recent performances had been modest.

"I don't want to say that as a team we've done poorly in the recent past, but we have had some ups and downs," Tharanga said. "Some matches we do well, and others we don't. In future we have to be more consistent. We all want to take Sri Lanka forward."

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Lankan cricketers return from UK tour: Tour a failure but there were a lot of positives – Mathews

Posted on 08 July 2016 by admin


Ranjan Anandappa – Courtesy: Daily News.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews addressing the media at the SLC headquarters yesterday after his team had returned from a tour of UK. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, SLC vice president Jayantha Dharmadasa and SLC secretary Mohan de Silva are also present. Picture by Rukmal Gamage


Barely before the dust has settled down, the Sri Lanka cricket team was summoned for a press briefing after a 15-hour flight from London at the SLC headquarters yesterday and Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was obviously very disappointed about the outcome of the tour.

Mathews pointed out the reasons for his team’s defeat was the irregular performance in bits and pieces which was simply not enough to pose a threat to a side like England. However he admitted that the tour had a lot of positives although it was a failure for the Lankans.

Sri Lanka lost the three Test series 0-2, the ODI series 0-3 and the one-off T20I.

Mathews said that it was a tough and challenging tour especially after the disastrous first couple of Test matches but was relieved to see some improvement among some individuals and it was heartening to see the way Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Danushka Gunathilaka batted. “We had so many individuals who stood up to the challenge but unfortunately it was insufficient to pose any threat to England,” Mathews said.

Elaborating on the positives Mathews said that the way Kusal Mendis and the other younger players stood up to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in cold and seaming conditions was commendable.

“Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne also started hitting the ball in the middle of their bats but we did not have the perfect game as either bowling, batting or fielding let us down,” quipped Mathews.

“Five of our bowlers were injured at the start of the tour – Jeffrey Vadersay, Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera and Shaminda Eranga and we had a drawback in our bowling.

“I don’t want to make excuses but the injuries hampered our bowling. I thought Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal did a good job but the England batsmen were in control. I believe once the injured players return the team should be a competitive one,” he said.

Talking of the forthcoming Australian tour to Sri Lanka, Mathews said that during the past six months or so the team has not been playing well and at the moment they had not prepared much for the Australian tour as they had just arrived after a hectic tour of England. He said the team selection and strategies will be done soon in preparation to meet the Australians.

“Although playing against the Aussies at home we all know that they are a tough side. While playing against the Aussies we should be brave and play positively, and if we do that we can beat them. For that we should first select a good team and practice.” 

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Sri Lanka cricketers leave for England : Tour will identify the future players – coach Ford

Posted on 04 May 2016 by admin

Mathews UKHead coach Graham Ford believes that the young group of players picked for the Test tour of England has got a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament and cement their places in the national team for the future.

“It’s a great time for a young player to show what he can do. There are opportunities available at the moment and our selectors are watching closely at players who are staying behind as well,” said Ford prior to the Sri Lanka cricket team’s departure to England for the first leg of the tour which comprises a series of three Tests.

Sri Lanka will also take on England in a five-match ODI series and in two T20Is.

“We will identify the group of players who have the mental strength, toughness and the necessary talent to become top international players. It’s quite exciting to see how the young lads step upto the plate and be ready for international cricket and whether they want to be international cricketers for a long period of time,” said Ford.

“They have to overcome mental strength, different things going on creates extra pressure. We know that England will come hard at us so mental strength is going to be important. It’s an opportunity for our cricketers to show that they are tough. Thinking of the days gone by that was something everybody admired of Sri Lanka cricket when the players were so tough mentally. Maybe there are a few question marks now about that. It’s time for us to start getting that right,” he said.

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Sri Lanka Cricket: Charith Senanayaka & Sanath Jayasuriya back

Posted on 13 April 2016 by admin

Sri Lanka Cricket SignFormer Sri Lanka cricketer Charith Senanayake has been appointed manager of the Sri Lanka cricket team for the tour to England starting next month and for the home series against Australia beginning in July.

Senanayake was sacked as manager of the team in February 2013 and replaced by Michael de Zoysa following indifference with the then SLC hierarachy.

A former opening bat Senanayake 53, played three Tests against New Zealand on the 1991 tour, and seven ODIs in 1990 and 1991 with moderate success. A marketing expert he also served SLC as Head of Marketing for three years from 2008.

New post for Aravinda de Silva

Former Sri Lanka cricketer and chairman of selectors Aravinda de Silva has been offered a new post as Advisor Cricket Affairs to SLC. Announcing the appointment SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said that De Silva had expressed his inability to continue as a selector because of his private business, but would serve in the capacity of an advisor.

Sanath Jayasuriya new chairman of selectors

Sumathipala also stated that SLC had requested Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera to appoint former Sri Lanka captain turned politician Sanath Jayasuriya as the new chairman of selectors from May 1.

Sumathipala said that until the new selection committee is announced Jayasuriya would sit with the current committee headed by De Silva and chose the team to England. – [ST] 

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Sri Lanka Cricket suspends coach, bowler over match-fixing charges

Posted on 18 January 2016 by admin


File photo

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has suspended Fast Bowling Coach Anusha Samaranayake and New Bowler Gayan Wishwajith with immediate effect over allegations they had approached cricketers from the national team to fix matches. The two have been subjected to scrutiny ever since it was disclosed that national team cricketers Rangana Herath and Kusal Janith Perera had reported an alleged approach by bookies in the lead-up to the Test match against West Indies in Galle, last year.

Samaranayake and Wishwajith are subject to an investigation after claims emerged of them having links with book-makers. They will remain suspended until the inquiry initiated by SLC is concluded.

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Ranatunga brothers fail to make the cut – Sri Lanka Cricket Elections

Posted on 03 January 2016 by admin

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga and his brother, Nishantha, suffered defeats in the Sri Lanka Cricket elections, which were held on Sunday. Thilanga Sumathipala, Sri Lanka's deputy speaker of parliament, beat Nishantha for the post of SLC president, while Arjuna lost the race for the vice-president spots. The elections were dominated by Sumathipala's group as all their candidates were also elected to their respective posts.Arjuna R

Sumathipala, who has served as SLC president in the past, garnered 88 votes on Sunday against Nishantha's 56. Meanwhile, Arjuna, who led Sri Lanka to a World Cup win in 1996, was one of four contestants for the two vice-president posts. The 80 votes he received, however, were insufficient to guarantee a victory, and Jayantha Dharmadasa (102 votes) and K Mathivanan (90 votes) were elected instead. A fourth contestant Asanga Seneviratne received 18 votes.

The secretary's post went to Mohan de Silva, a former SLC president, who was elected unopposed after rival candidate Hirantha Perera withdrew.

Colombo Cricket Club president Shammi Silva received the highest votes at the election, garnering 115 votes to defeat Easman Narangoda (28 votes) for the post of treasurer.

Ravin Wickremaratne, former Panadura Sports Club fast bowler, received 113 votes and was elected assistant secretary. He beat former Sri Lanka fast bowler Nilantha Ratnayake by 80 votes.

Lalith Rambukwella received 108 votes and was elected assistant treasurer, over Nihal Lewke who managed only 36 votes. Two other contestants for the post, Aruna de Silva and Sujeewa Lokuhewa, withdrew.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints wOw.lk as its online ticket service provider

Posted on 10 November 2015 by admin


November 10, 2015. 


wOw.lk, Sri Lanka's premier e-commerce site, recently entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket to exclusively manage and operate an online ticketing portal for all international cricket matches hosted in Sri Lanka. From 9 October 2015 onwards, all tickets for matches in Sri Lanka, have been available online on www.wow.lk/srilankacricket and www.srilankacricket.lk. wOw.lk is owned and operated by Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dialog Axiata PLC, the principle sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket.


Commenting on this agreement, Ashley de Silva, Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket Opined, "Providing convenient and digital access mediums for our local fan base has always been a priority on the road map for us. We are very pleased to solicit the services of wOw.lk, a leader in this domain and a part of the Dialog Axiata Group to provide us with a hassle free online solution for cricket fans, which enables them to conveniently purchase tickets."

Since its inception in 1975 as a national sports body, Sri Lanka Cricket has been the governing authority of the game in the country. Operating under the mandate of the Ministry of Sports, Sri Lanka Cricket continuously strives to ensure the overall development of the game, at a grassroots and international level. All national and international cricket matches that are played in Sri Lanka come under the purview of Sri Lanka Cricket and all online purchases will now be redirected to the wOw.lk website.

Commenting on the partnership, Sheyantha Abeykoon, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt). Ltd., the company that owns and operates wOw.lk stated, "This is a watershed moment for the company as we partner and institution like Sri Lanka Cricket in providing an online seamless ticket booking process for cricket fans across the country. With this partnership, we'll be able to make tickets more accessible and we will also be able to make the purchasing process easier and more convenient for cricket fans. We see it as a pivotal part of our journey in trying to digitally enhance the lives of Sri Lankans across the country."

wOw.lk continuously evolves and initiates partnerships and special offers that meet the varied needs of the local online community. The website has been at the forefront of e-commerce innovation in Sri Lanka since its inception and continues to deliver a convenient virtual shopping experience to customers, providing them with a variety of affordable products and services. Backed by Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka's largest telecommunications service provider, wOw.lk is now one of the largest and most reputed e-commerce sites in the country.

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Investigative Report by Colombo Telegraph on Sri Lanka Cricket

Posted on 12 October 2015 by admin

Former Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake's pet Jayananda Warnaweera Out – Dad’s Pal Nuski Mohamed Next !

Colombo Telegraph




By Marlon Dale Ferreira – Courtesy: Colombo Telegraph/October 12, 2015.

Marlon Dale Ferreira

Marlon Dale Ferreira

Minister Navin Dissanayake‘s pet Jayananda Warnaweera is finally out. He has been on the run for nine long years avoiding ICC Anti Corruption Security Unit officials on match fixing related charges since 2006. This too being in the protected custody of the big wigs of SLC all this time. Next on the cards is Minister Dissanayake’s Dad’s (the late Gamini Dissanayake) pal and former Mahameweli Secretary Nuski Mohamed, who is schedule to bid adieu hopefully soon. That’s if the current Minister of Sport Dayasiri Jayasekara cracks the whip on him too, like he has now done on Warnaweera.

It was Colombo Telegraph who initially exposed both Nuski Mohamed and Jayananda Warnaweera on the 26th of April in a story titled “Sri Lanka Cricket: Sports Minister Navin Breaks Own Rules For Nuski” which highlighted the facts that questioned the then Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake’s appointment of them to his handpicked Interim Committee. The expose of Warnaweera has now been proved right, with him being removed from all official dealings with the sport by Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny and company and also debarred him from even entering the premises of his very own Galle Cricket Stadium. This was for his continuous avoidance in meeting ICC’S Anti-Corruption Security Unit officials who flew into the island for the second time in two months just recently. They were miffed by his disrespect so than his cowardice of meeting them.

When Minister Navin Dissanayake scrapped the entire Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket in March 2015 and retained both Jayananda Warnaweera and Nuski Mohamed as Committee Members of his appointed Interim Committee then, he sent out a strong signal that the rest of the 20 odd Executive Committee Members were rogues, whilst these two were portrayed to be more holier than the Pope.

Quite correctly Minister Dissanayake has now been proved wrong.

When the then Sports Minister Dissanayake was contacted by telephone, he said he knew nothing of Warnaweera’s match fixing allegations and ACSU’s want of grilling him. In Nuski’s case Minister Dissanayake said that he had resigned from being a Director of SVA Agencies where he had direct dealings with the “Cricket Shop”, where millions of rupees of SLC monies were channeled through the purchase of cricket equipment over the years.

It was proved beyond reasonable doubt to him then, that Nuski Mohamed was in violation of the country’s Sports Law, but Minister Dissanayake chose to turn a blind eye.

In Jayananda Warnaweera’s case the turning tracks at the picturesque Galle Cricket Stadium, is similarly as picturesque for any fielding team who have witnessed the mysterious collapse of test sides in the past. These are such test teams who have gone on to lose matches from being in a seemingly strong position. We saw it as recently when Pakistan collapsed to lose a test match to Sri Lanka this year and the Indians shortly followed suit. So did the ICC’s ACSU officials, they saw it too.

Such cricket matches and the ensuing results always seemed suspect, similar to the suspect off cutters that the Galle Cricket Stadium’s curator Jayananda Warnaweera bowled during his playing days.

Now the sudden resignation of the former Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake’s ‘golden boy’ Warnaweera and his subsequent withdrawal from all forms of the sport by Sri Lanka Cricket comes as no surprise. That is at least to the ICC’s ACSU Officials.

The ICC’s ACSU had hounded this alleged ‘match fixer’ Warnaweera for the past nine long years and time was running out fast for Southerner.

Speculation is rife that many bookies and informants were evicted from the Galle Cricket Stadium during the series Sri Lanka played against both Pakistan and India. This was mainly due to the anticiapted and aggressive drive that the ICC’s ACSU officials played and were supported well by Sri Lanka Cricket’s Head of Anti Corruption Retired SSP Lakshman De Silva.

There is much more than what’s read in the main stream media, as now startling evidence has surfaced, as to how Warnaweera had been protected and shielded all this time from the Anti-Corruption Officials.

It usually takes the skinning of around eight to ten rabbits to make up the famous Australian furry felt hat the “Akubra”, one similar to that worn by Warnaweera as he used to strut around the grounds on match days. However beneath that hat lay the brain that was craftily used to deceive many a batsmen with a dubious bowling action during his playing days. There was also that one faster ball that he always chucked in his over that usually deceived the batsman and the umpire too. The ball I am referring to is the one he hurled at a faster pace that left many a batsman shaking his head in disbelief, as he walked back to the pavilion. They were either bowled through the gate or trapped plumb in front. But those perhaps who were deceived the most were not the batsmen. They were the punters. They were the ones that lost much money when the team they backed collapsed mysteriously and the ensuing result turned on its head rather than the spinning track of Galle, especially on days four and five.

It was the ICC’s ACSU officials who first intimated their want of questioning Warnaweera in 2006 and officially wrote to the then Interim Committee Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa.

However Prakash Schaffter the current Secretary in the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, who was incidentally in Jayantha Dharmadasa’s committee then in 2006, said that he never knew anything regarding the ACSU’s request and as a matter of fact had never seen the official email. He said this when he was contacted on the 9th of October 2015.

That’s strange and a tad hard to believe, as this writer has had a copy of that email request in his possession for quite some time now.

Jayantha Dharmadasa was the President of the Galle Cricket Stadium then and with no prizes for guessing, Jayananda Warnaweera was his club Secretary.

Bigger rogues have been protected at SLC some would say.

As in Warnaweera’s case he had a trump card up his sleeve that had any Chairman of SLC have him kept wrapped in cotton wool. That was the crucial number of Galle District cricket club votes that he had firmly in his control, that even made Arjuna Ranatunga our Mr. Clean, D.S.De Silva and even Upali Dharmadasa pretend they never knew anything of this sort for the next eight years.

Why should they? They all had more to lose than gain in turning Warnaweera in. Pretending they never knew of this ACSU request was suitably their best option, with always an AGM scheduled around the corner during their terms.

But the critical question is this. Why was the initial email and request made by ICC’s ACSU to Jayantha Dharmadasa disregarded and shelved for at the beginning and also for so long?

ICC’s Anti-Corruption Officers swamped Colombo in their quest to get hold of Warnaweera in September last month, when they stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo. Warnaweera promised to attend the requested meeting and at last minute he backed out.

The officials returned a second time again in early October or rather a few days back. This time Warnaweera was officially served a letter and had responded in the affirmative that he will be present. The ICC ACSU officials stayed at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel Colombo this time. Warnaweera never turned up for this meeting too and the ICC Officials left back to their head quarters in Dubai a second time within two months, still not being able to grill the Galle curator.

“Strangely Warnaweera submitted a letter resigning from the post of Interim Committee Member of SLC, it appeared that the letter was back dated” said an official from SLC on condition of anonymity.

Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny then instructed that Warnaweera be instantly relieved of all dealings with SLC and the sport of cricket in all forms, especially his role as the curator of the Galle Cricket Stadium.

He was even banned from entering even his own hallowed club of over two decades in Galle.

However what sources from within SLC has confirmed is that Warnaweera is in for bigger trouble with the ICC for failure to meet their officials, than the alleged charge of match fixing itself.

So now after nine long years the Chairman of the current Interim Committee Sidath Wettimuny is being praised for getting rid of Warnaweera. But then again if our ‘Lords Hero’ is to get any further praise as an official, he ought to be consistent in his decision making process, as much as he was consistent in protecting his wicket for two long days on days one and two in scoring that majestic knock of 190 odd runs against England somewhere in the 80’s.

Hot on the heels now comes a press conference organized by SLC and scheduled for Monday the 12th of October 2015, where SLC’s Official Health Care Partner is to be announced. Nawaloka has been picked over Hemas which is quite understandable, especially for its location rather than the services it provides.

However the catch here is that this crucial decision was made by the Executive Committee of SLC in 2014, to award the contract to Nawaloka Hospitals where strangely Jayantha Dharmadasa himself was at the helm at both the cricket abode and also Nawaloka Hospitals too.

If this then is not a major conflict of interest and going against the norms of ethics, then Nuski Mohamed should be bestowed sainthood whilst still alive. That is simply for the role he has played supplying cricket equipment to the tune of millions of rupees under the guise of his immediate family members who own the sports good store the ‘Cricket Shop’. Even his attempt of transferring his shares and resigning from the post could not cover this sordid act, as it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that his replacement as the director of SVA Agencies shares his own personal home address 3/16 Kynsey Road in Colombo 8.

The three man investigative committee of lawyers comprising Ravi Algama, Waruna Mallawaarachchi and Jaliya Bodinagoda, who were appointed to look into the fraudulent affairs of SLC have already handed in their final report.

In it, it is reliably learnt that even they have highlighted that awarding the Health Care Partner contract to Nawaloka Hospitals is not the right thing to do. But sadly it is all signed, sealed and delivered and is to be only officially announced.

It has been well over two weeks since the lawyers’ findings and their report has been submitted and should be worth a read especially as they were paid a whopping sum of Rs 3.6 million (thirty six lakhs) as their professional fees. That is six lakhs more than Lawyer J.A.Weliamuna was paid to investigate Sri Lankan Airlines earlier this year.

it is reported that one copy was submitted to the Minister who appointed them probe SLC, Navin Dissanayake and two other copies were presented to the current Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara.

We caught a glimpse of how sport dwindled in this country both locally and internationally when Minister Navin Dissanayake held the country’s sport leash and made blunder after blunder in the few months he was control. That was the time he even permitted his Mum and her Kennel Association dogs to also run amok at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium for a pittance of the regular price usually charged. He was also more interested in hurriedly signing off a mega multi million dollar deal with a Chinese company to build the thrice cancelled high altitude sport training center in the heart of Nuwara Eliya.

If the decision to axe Warnaweera is anything to go by the powers wielded by the new Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, then perhaps sport in Sri Lanka may be heading in the right direction.

It perhaps may be the opportune time now for Minister Jayasekara to also play the game by the rules and treat all fair and square.

If he stays consistent and does what is required of him, then it would be only a matter of time before even Minister Dissanayake’s father’s buddy Nuski Mohamed also receives his marching orders, like Warnaweera did, and be held accountable for violating the country’s Sport Law.



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