A series with
no Warne, no Murali
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
No Warne, No Murali. That’s how it’s
going to be. Two of the greatest spin bowlers in the
history of the game will be missing in the line-up
when Australia make their fifth tour of Sri Lanka
for a series of three Tests, five One-Day
Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.
Muthiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, the two
spin kings of their generation, were the focal point
in which the last Test series between Sri Lanka and
Australia was played in Sri Lanka in 2004. Both
spinners vied to become the first to reach the 500th
Test wicket mark. The Aussie nosed ahead by getting
there first in the first Test played at Galle and
Murali emulated him in front of his home crowd at
Kandy in the second Test played at Asgiriya. For
those who were fortunate enough to witness the three
Tests it was a fascinating series where Australia
became the first nation to whitewash Sri Lanka in a
home Test series 3-0. However the final result
doesn’t reflect how closely the Tests were fought
out with Sri Lanka leading Australia on the first
innings in each of the three Tests, but yet ending
on the losing side on all three occasions.
two kings of spin dominated the Aussie-Lanka Test
series for 12 years since 1992 picking up a
half-century of wickets apiece and a staggering 1508
wickets between them in Tests in their illustrious
The upcoming series promises to be another absorbing
contest with both countries going through a period
of transition which normally transpires following a
World Cup. Australia are under a new captain Michael
Clarke who succeeded Ricky Ponting after the latter
had failed to defend the Ashes at home as well as
the World Cup in the subcontinent. Ponting however
will be there as a member of the team Test and ODI
sides and will be the oldest (at 36) and the most
experienced (with 152 Test and 362 ODI caps). He is
the only surviving member of the 2004 side.
Since the retirement of Warne and some of his
team-mates who made Australia the No. 1 nation in
both Tests and One-Day Internationals, the team’s
performances especially in the Tests have dipped in
recent years to the extent that they find themselves
ranked fifth even below Sri Lanka. Although
Australia has managed to hold onto their No. 1
ranking as a one-day side their pride was hurt after
a poor World Cup campaign where they failed to get
beyond the quarter-finals.
Australia has clearly shown they meant business
by naming a Test squad which has four uncapped
players in the side in fast bowlers Trent Copeland
and James Pattinson, off-spinner Nathan Lyon and
middle order bat Shaun Marsh (who is the most
experienced of the lot having represented Australia
in ODIs and T20Is).
Lyon and left-arm spinner Michael Beer who played in
one Ashes Test against England early this year will
fight it out for the slow-bowling position while
Marsh and Usman Khawaja will battle it out for the
number six batting slot.
Australia has retained 10 players from their World
Cup squad, the changes being fast bowlers Doug
Bollinger and Pattinson, batsman Marsh and spinner
In keeping with the modern times, the Australian
team will come to Sri Lanka in three groups. First
to arrive today will be their Twenty20 side led by
hard hitting all-rounder Cameron White. They are due
to play two T20 Internationals at Pallakele on
August 6 and 8. They will be followed by the One-Day
squad on August 4 and the Test squad on August 16 -
both captained by Michael Clarke. The five ODIs is
scheduled between August 10 and 22 and the three
Tests between August 31 and September 20.
In comparison to all their past four tours to Sri
Lanka since 1983, this one will be the longest
comprising 55 days. Five of the 25 players chosen in
the three different squads will remain for the
entire length of the tour namely, vice-captain Shane
Watson, wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, fast bowlers
Mitchell Johnson and Pattinson and batsman Marsh –
all of them picked to play the three formats.
Aussies are well known for their tough
competitiveness, resilience and to fight till the
end even against all odds – traits that have made
them the No. 1 team in the world, and one which
other countries have tried to emulate by hiring
coaches from their country. Sri Lanka have since
1995 benefitted immensely by the five Australian
coaches who have served them leaving behind a legacy
for success in the past 16 years from Dav Whatmore,
Bruce Yardley, John Dyson, Tom Moody to Trevor
Bayliss. Sri Lanka are currently without a coach for
the upcoming series where former Sri Lanka fast
bowler Rumesh Ratnayake is standing in as interim
coach until Sri Lanka Cricket finds a suitable
candidate to succeed Bayliss who quit at the end of
the World Cup.
Australian T20 team: Cameron White (captain), Shane
Watson (vice-captain), Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin
(wk), John Hastings, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson,
Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Stephen O’Keefe, James
Pattinson, Steven Smith, David Warner.
Australian LOI team: Michael Clarke (captain),
Shane Watson (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Xavier
Doherty, Brad Haddin (wk), John Hastings, David
Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee,
Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steven
Australian Test team: Michael Clarke (captain),
Shane Watson (vice-captain), Michael Beer, Trent
Copeland, Brad Haddin (wk), Ryan Harris, Phillip
Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman
Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson,
Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.
hat-trick leaves Test in balance
NOTTINGHAM: Stuart Broad took a sensational
hat-trick to fire England back into contention on
the third day of the second Test against India at
Trent Bridge on Saturday.
The tourists were in total control of the match,
leading by 46 on 267-4, when Broad dismissed Yuvraj
Singh for 62 to break his partnership of 128 with
centurion Rahul Dravid.
Then in his next over Broad had Mahendra Dhoni
caught in the slips, Harbhajan Singh trapped leg
before wicket and Praveen Kumar clean bowled in
successive balls to send the crowd at his home
ground into delirium.
Broad was the 12th Englishman to take a hat-trick in
Test cricket and the first since Ryan Sidebottom in
Hamilton in 2008.
Dravid was caught soon afterwards for 116, before
Broad removed Ishant Sharma to wrap up the India
innings for 288. That wicket gave Broad Test-best
figures of 6-46 and completed an astonishing 16-ball
spell of five wickets for no runs.
It was a breathless period of play, and all the more
remarkable for the fact that Broad was once again
the instigator of England’s comeback - the
Nottinghamshire all-rounder having struck a rapid 64
to rescue England from 124-8 to 221 all out in their
first innings on Friday.
India’s collapse left England 11 overs at the end of
the day and they finished up 24-1, 43 runs behind,
after Alastair Cook was caught off a leading edge. –
Scores: England 221 and 24-1 (11) at close.
India 24-1 contd 288 (91.1) (R Dravid 117, V Laxman
54, Y Singh 62, J Anderson 2/80, S Broad 6/46, T
vice-captain for first time
Back injury forces
Malinga out of T20I series
A back injury has forced Sri Lanka fast bowler
Lasith Malinga out of the two Twenty20
Internationals against Australia at Pallakele on
August 6 and 8.
Malinga was left out of the Sri Lanka squad of 16
players named yesterday for the two matches.
Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis stated that
Malinga had suffered a strain on his back during
practice and was not considered for selection as he
is out of action at the moment.
“We are monitoring his progress carefully and if he
is fit we will consider him for the one-day
international series,” said Mendis.
The five-match one-day series starts at Pallakele on
Shaminda Eranga who has performed exceptionally well
in England with the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team was picked as
All-rounder Angelo Mathews was named vice-captain to
Tillakaratne Dilshan in the squad.
“We are looking at Mathews as a long term investment
for the captaincy. He has recovered full fitness
from a leg injury and he is able to bowl as well,”
Sri Lanka T20 squad: Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain),
Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh
Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Dilruwan
Perera, Thisara Perera, Dammika Prasad, Suranga
Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj
Randiv, Rangana Herath, Chamara Silva, Shaminda
Eranga. – [ST]
|SLC to pay U23
With funds being received
from Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation for local TV
broadcasting rights amounting to Rs. 22 million and
from local broadcaster Sri Lanka Broadcasting
Corporation amounting to Rs. 750,000/-, Sri Lanka
Cricket is making available these funds to pay the
clubs who have been faced with a lot of hardship in
conducting their tournaments but have shown patience
and understanding in the dire financial situation
faced by Sri Lanka Cricket, states an SLC media
The handing over of payment of 50% for the Under 23
Division I and Division II player fees and match
fees will be held today (Sunday) at the SLC
auditorium at 10.00 a.m.
Club presidents and secretaries of all Under 23
Division I and II clubs are requested to be present
for the occasion.
|Tickets go on
sale for Aussies tour
Sri Lanka Cricket has started ticket sales for next
month’s tour here by Australia.
Australia is due to arrive today (Sunday) and play a
series of two Twenty20 Internationals, five One-Day
Internationals and three Tests.
A Sri Lanka Cricket media release stated that ticket
sales for the matches began on July 26.
Tickets for the two T20Is at Pallakele on August 6
and 8 are priced at Rs. 100/-, Rs. 200/-, Rs. 500/-,
Rs. 1000/- and Rs 2500/- (corporate box).
For the five ODIs the prices vary from venue to
venue. At Pallakele (1st ODI on Aug 10) the ticket
prices are Rs. 100/-, Rs 250/-, Rs. 1000/-, Rs.
2000/- and Rs. 3500/- (corporate box). At Hambantota
(2nd & 3rd ODIs on Aug 14 and 16) the prices of
tickets are Rs. 100/-, Rs. 250/-, Rs. 500/-, Rs.
750/-, Rs. 1000/- and Rs. 4000/- (corporate box) and
at R Premadasa Stadium (4th & 5th ODIs on Aug 20 and
22) the ticket rates are Rs. 100/-, Rs. 300/-, Rs.
750/-, Rs. 1500/-, Rs. 4000/- and Rs. 5000/-
Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chairman Upali
Dharmadasa said that he was pleased the way ticket
sales have been moving and added, “On an average
about 6000 tickets are sold each day”.
Dharmadasa also thanked the Forces (Army and Police)
for coming forward to supervise the security during
the tour free of charge. “We are greatly indebted to
the two forces for helping us out during difficult
This is in comparison to the exhorbitant figure of
Rs 96 million that was by the previous
administration to a private security firm during the