To walk or not to walk?

Should batsmen walk when they know they’re out? This World Cup has thrown up several incidents that have reignited the debate around walking; an issue that gained prominence in the 2003 World Cup semi-final between Australia and Sri Lanka where Adam Gilchrist walked back to the pavilion after an appeal for a catch against him had met with no response from the umpire.

Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, and Gilchrist’s former team-mate, was in a similar situation against Pakistan, where a caught-behind appeal against him had been turned down. Unlike Gilchrist, he stayed his ground. The decision was reviewed by Pakistan and he was adjudged out, but all along he knew he had nicked the ball.
“There were no doubts about the nick, I knew I hit it, but as always I wait for the umpire to give me out. That’s the way I’ve always played the game,” Ponting said.

The New Zealand-Sri Lanka game in Mumbai involved a controversial decision when what appeared to be clean, and a brilliantly taken, one-handed catch by Nathan McCullum off Mahela Jayawardene was ruled not out by the third umpire Amish Saheba as replays were possibly inconclusive. Jayawardene, once the catch was claimed, stayed his ground and ultimately got the decision in his favour.
“If I felt it was a clean catch, I would have walked,” Jayawardene said. “It was a 50-50 thing and it was fair it went to the TV umpire.”

However, “it depends upon the person,” Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain for that game, said. “You look at Jacques Kallis. He asks the fielders if they caught it cleanly and he trusts the words of the fielders. You put it up to the batsman to make the decision and at the end of the day you just hope the technology is right and if the technology is not right, well then don’t use it.”

In India’s game against West Indies in Chennai, Sachin Tendulkar, a century away from completing 100 international tons, walked when he inside-edged Ravi Rampaul to the wicketkeeper as Steve Davis, the umpire, shook his head. Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, was effusive in praising Tendulkar’s decision to walk.
“It shows the measure of the man,” Sammy said. “He is a true gentleman. After 17,000 runs, he could walk. That was brilliant on the part of Sachin.”

“It’s nice to see people walking but that doesn’t happen now I guess,” Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, said. He added that despite the availability of technology, batsmen could still take a chance with the replays.
“There is a system in place now so that you can’t get away with it. I mean people still take chances and why not? Jayawardene took a chance and it went the other way.” – [ESPN]


Dialog expands sponsorships to 28 Big Matches

Dialog’s sponsorship of school cricket Big Matches continued for the 2011 season by extending the number of matches from 17 last year to 28 this time around.
At a press conference held at Dialog Future World Arena Building on Wednesday, Dr Hans Wijesuriya, Dialog Group Chief Executive said that his company was committed to developing school cricket at all levels and that it has grown over the years.
“We started 12 years ago with the Royal-Thomian and today we have expanded our sponsorship to other school Big Matches as well,” said Dr Wijesuriya.
“”The significance of a Big Match is that it brings together old boys of the schools together and also produces cricket of high quality as every aspiring cricketer wants to perform at the Big Match. It also marks the end of a schools cricket season,” he said.
“Big Matches are part of our society now for over one hundred years. We intend taking it to the provinces and districts so that everyone gets the opportunity to experience a Big Match.”
The majority of representatives from 56 schools were present at the occasion to receive their sponsorship cheques from Dialog representatives Dr Wijesuriya and Hasrath Munasinghe, Head of Group Marketing Communication.


PABC will seek sweet revenge from John Keells ‘B’

MCA ‘E’ division 40-over league final today

Unbeaten, John Keells ‘B’ led by experienced Punyakantha Abeygunasekera will take on the vastly improved, Pan Asia Banking Corperation (PABC) in the Final of the Bajaj MCA Centenary Year 2011 ‘E’ division 40-overs league tournament today (March 27) at the MCA grounds commencing 10.00am.
PABC led by Manoj Fernando will be seeking sweet revenge over John Keells ‘B’ in the final as they lost their league round match to them, both teams playing alongside group ‘C’.
PABC went down fighting to John Keells by one wicket on January 22 at Thurstan College grounds in their league outing, their only blemish in the tournament.

PABC has scored wins over Sri Lanka Telecom ‘B’ by four wickets, Akbar Bros by 28 runs, Commercial Bank ‘B’ by two wickets, Union Assurance by 66 runs (quarterfinals) and Softlogic Holdings by 72 runs (semi-finals).
John Keells ‘B’ apart from beating PABC scored wins over Akbar Bros. by 141 runs, Sri Lanka Telecom ‘B’ by 81 runs, Commercial Bank ‘B’ by four wickets, CIFL by 143 runs (quarterfinals) and Mercantile Investments Ltd. by 80 runs (semi-finals).

PABC with a young, balanced side will look up to Madushan de Costa, Gayan Kumara, Saman Fernando and Sanjaya Ranaweera for runs and strike bowler/vice captain Thusitha de Silva (6 for 13 vs. UAL in the quarterfinals) and Manoj Zoysa to make early inroads into the John Keells batting machine.
John Keells on the other hand will bank on their superior match record and the experience of skipper Punyakantha Abeygunasekera, Ravi Subsinghe, Mahendra Amarasinghe Adrian Jaakey, Osanda Caldera and Thilina Herath to finish the campaign unbeaten, and carry the Bajaj Cup home.
The teams: John Keells Holdings Group ‘B’ (from): Punyakantha Abeygunasekera (Capt), Osanda Caldera (wk), Ishan Singhawansa, Thilina Herath, Ravi Subasinghe, Prasad Koralage, LPT Harsha, Mahedra Amarasinghe, Ashan Wanniarachchi, Adrian G. Jaakey, Denuka Costa, Sameera Athureliya, C. Wimalaranga, Tariq Junkeer and T. Johar.

Pan Asia Banking Corporation (from): Manoj Fernando (Capt), Thusitha de Silva, Praveen Fernando, Gayan Kumara, Manoj Zoysa, Wishudhi Perera (wk), Saman Fernando, Sandaruwan Wijayaratne, Champika Gunawardene, Madushan de Costa, Sanjaya Ranaweera, Pankeja Rajahetti, Vindya Rangajeewa, Ridmal de Silva and Asanka Theadore. – [LW]


Lyceum Wattala International Schools U-13 cricket champs

Fifteen schools participated at the l0th Inter-International Schools Under-13 Cricket Tournament organised by Lyceum International School, Nugegoda from March 7th – 20th at the Lyceum Wattala Grounds. In their final match on the 20th Gateway College were 145 all out in 40 overs with Helitha Bambaranda scoring 60 and Ashfaaq Mistha 18. In reply Lyceum Wattala scored 146 runs for the loss of 3 wickets from 29.4 overs and won the match by 7 wickets. Sasanka Dilshan top scored with 61 not out.
The following were the special awards:
Best Batsman of the Tournament - Duminda De Silva (Lyceum, Wattala)
Best Bowler of the Tournament - Pavith Janadh (Lyceum, Wattala)
Best fielder of the tournament - Ashfaag Mistha (Gateway College) Colombo
Best Player of the Final - Sasanka Dilshan (Lyceum, Wattala)
Best Player of the Series - Pavith Janadh (Lyceum, Wattala)
The former national cricketer and Sri Lanka Cricket under-15 and under-17 coach, Roger Wijesuriya, was the chief guest at the final.
The Lyceum Wattala team that emerged champions for the third consecutive year was coached by Lalith De Silva and Manjula Prasanna while Lakmal Jayamanna was the teacher-in-charge.
Lyceum Wattala is enjoying a good run in sports having won the International Schools Athletics Championship also for the third consecutive year in February, 2011.


zMessenger partners with SLC for novel “Hit Cricket Show”

zMessenger (Pvt) Ltd. a premier integrated mobile media company, entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to develop and transmit mobile based value added services to devoted Cricket fans in Sri Lanka all around the world.
The agreement was signed between zMessenger (Pvt) Ltd. and Sri Lanka Cricket at an event held in Colombo recently.

The “Hit Cricket Show” telecast on Rupavahini is aired every Friday from 7.00 – 8.00 pm from March 25 targeted at all ages, gender geography of people who are enthusiastic about cricket. The TV programme is presented by Kelum Srimal, Akalanka Ganegama, Saranga Disasekara and Charika Wanigasekara adding a new dimension to entertainment.

Segments include “Behind the Scene”, “CricRoundup”, “Cricbook”, “Future Master”, “OMG” and the “SMS Game show” promises the audience an edutainment experience opening new vistas of media collaboration.
Elaborating about the programme Nishantha Ranatunga, Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket commended, “The Hit Cricket Show was a longstanding project of Sri Lanka Cricket and we find the present season a most appropriate time for the launch of the same. The partnership with zMessenger has enabled us to expand and utilise cricket content more widely and more effectively to our fans. Sri Lanka Cricket will promote cricket more aggressively to reach new heights through collaboration with a variety of media. Cricket fans will now be able to experience mobile streaming, cricket coaching tips, cricket commentaries, obtain exclusive match/ event videos and listen to Cricketer’s gossip on mobile as and when it happens”.

The exclusive partnership with zMessenger will help Sri Lanka Cricket to reach out to a vast cross-section of fans, both local and global real time and engage them in various activities including score and match-day updates, mobile SMS and MMS contests, live audio mobile commentary, and regular Cricket alerts.
Speaking about the initiative, Jayomi Lokuliyana, Chief Marketing Officer of zMessenger said, “Modes of communication and information are continually reforming to adapt to the demands of technologies resulting in transforming the way we create, consume, learn and interact with each other. We promise to deliver Cricket fans world over an exhilarating, enhanced and rich user experience on their mobile handsets.” Explaining further Lokuliyana added, “The launch of a weekly cricket show ‘Hit Cricket Show’ on television would no doubt sync with the pulse of local cricket loving audiences. We have planned to showcase exclusive and rich content in cricket, covering tournaments, great moments in history, and lifestyles of current cricket stars and legends of yesterday. With such content, we believe this is going to be a truly distinctive Cricket programme catering to the local and the global fan base.”

These innovative initiatives mark a new chapter in terms of technological convergence of Cricket base content onto a mobile phone and offering an enhanced fan experience in the country.