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Feb 21, 2015

CWC 2015 is fixed! WhatsApp reveals...

In what may serve as a big blow to cricket enthusiasts, a message on #WhatsApp that has gone viral claims that the ongoing ICC World Cup 2015 is fixed.

The shocking fact about this message is that all the results of the World Cup 2015 matches so far have come true and have matched what the message states.

According to the message, India will not be able defend their World Cup title and will also go on to lose against South Africa and Zimbabwe.

According to the message, India will beat New Zealand in the first quarterfinal, but will go down to Australia in the semifinal.

The message states that the second quarterfinal will be between Australia and Zimbabwe, in which Australia will be the winners, South Africa will beat England in the third quarterfinal and Sri Lanka will register their first World Cup victory against Pakistan by beating the 1992 champions in the fourth quarterfinal.

The message shows that South Africa will defeat hosts Australia in the final for their maiden World Cup title victory.

But Asian giants India and Sri Lanka won't progress beyond the semifinals as they will be beaten by arguably the two best teams in the competition - Australia and South Africa respectively, the message claims.

The message shows that South Africa will defeat hosts Australia in the final on March 29 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their maiden World Cup title victory.

If this message is true indeed, then all the work done by the International Cricket Council against the fixers will clearly come to naught.

TOI Sports

May 26, 2014

Dilshan 88 helps Sri Lanka to thrash England by massive 157runs.

 #EngvSL : Sri Lanka thrash England at #Durham by 157 runs to level ODI series 1-1

Sri Lanka came up with the perfect response to their defeat in the first one-day international against England as they swept aside the home team in the second meeting at the Riverside, Durham on Sunday.

The England captain, Alastair Cook was injured and could only watch in dismay from the dressing room as optimism generated by their impressive win at The Oval disintegrated in a 157-run defeat.
There was talk of an exciting new era for English cricket after the 81-run win three days earlier, but this was a sobering reminder of recent setbacks as they were destroyed by the Sri Lankans.
The match was effectively settled inside the first seven overs of the England reply to Sri Lanka’s 256-8, a total that owed much to the concentration of Tillakaratne Dilshan in the early stages.
With conditions improving, it was a total that should have been well within England’s reach, but they simply could not cope with the opening spells of Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga.
Michael Carberry, recalled because of injury to Cook was the first to go, caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling of Kulasekara.
The same pair accounted for the other opening batsman, Ian Bell with the total on 26 and Joe Root swiftly followed, bowled by Malinga before scoring.
When Gary Ballance was lbw to Kulasekara, the Sri Lankan had taken three wickets for one run in 11 deliveries and England were reduced to 29-4.
There was no way back for a team led by Eoin Morgan, although the stand-in skipper and Ravi Bopara finally gave the innings some stability, facing 24 balls without scoring at one stage.
It meant they had added only 17 runs when Bopara was the next to depart, bowled by Sachithra Senanayake.
And the procession continued when Jos Buttler lobbed up the first delivery from Angelo Mathews and Senanayake took an acrobatic catch.
It was the worst shot of an innings with several candidates for that title, reducing England to 55-6 and leaving the new batsman, Chris Jordan, with enough time to show whether he can build an innings as well as score rapid runs.
The answer soon came when he was lbw to Senanayake after scoring just one run in three deliveries. Jordan’s appeal against the decision simply reflected the desperation of the England players.
Morgan remained an obstinate barrier to Sri Lanka and was the main reason they passed their lowest-ever ODI total – 86 against Australia in 2001 — before he was caught on the boundary for 40.
England failed to reach three figures and their total of 99 was their fifth lowest in ODI cricket.
Earlier, Dilshan was the key figure in the Sri Lankan innings when they were put in to bat after losing the toss.
Dilshan was involved in an intriguing battle with James Anderson at at the start of the day as the cloud cover helped the England seam bowler.
Dilshan emerged on top and survived for more than 37 overs to finish with 88 runs before becoming the only victim for Jordan.
Harry Gurney claimed three wickets towards the end of the innings, but Anderson was the pick of the England bowlers and finished with 2-38, including his 250th wicket in ODI cricket.
Ashan Priyanjan added an important 43 runs for the tourists, who set a target of 257 that was never within reach for England because of their feeble batting and the devastating opening burst from Sri Lanka’s pacemen.
Brief Scores:
Sri Lanka 256 for 8 in 50 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 88, Ashan Priyanjan 43; James Anderson 2 for 38; Harry Gunrey 3 for 59) beat England 99 all out in 26.1 overs (Eoin Morgan 40; Nuwan Kulasekara 3 for 15, Sachitra Senanayake 4 for 13) by 157 runs.

Apr 8, 2014

A letter to Indian cricket fan from Sri Lankan cricket fan

Dear Indian fan:

It had hurt us three years back when we saw those videos from Marine Drive and Connaught Place and Park Street from three years back. We, however, did not vow revenge or anything like that (if the team had, they had not let us know). If you had seen our players tonight, they were never arrogant in their celebrations.

The team did not have time to plot revenge: there was a time in 2011 when they did not get paid for eight months(yes, they had come runners-up in the World Cup despite that). They were offered proper contracts only in July 2012. The next year Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had removed the stipulated players’ share from the International Cricket Council (ICC) events (25%), and it was only after Sanath Jayasuriya had stepped in that the players had agreed. They were not given the profit: they were only promised they would be given the same.

Can you imagine your men playing under such circumstances? No, I guess.

It did not end there. Jayasuriya did keep his word; when the players demanded 20% of the profit, he had put their proposal forward to SLC. When SLC had announced the fresh set of contracts, the ICC events share was not a part of it.

Take a moment to realise this. Put your men in their shoes. The men have been representing their country in the most high-profile event (and have been turning them into successes; they may not have been winning, but they have not exactly failed either), only to be told by SLC that they would not get a part of the profit from that tournament.

This reminded me of international cricket in the pre-Kerry Packer days when players were often told that if they did not want to play for the side there were plenty who would. Your own CK Nayudu, your first Test captain, had done the same to Vinoo Mankad, you may remember.

Anyway, four days before the tournament, SLC raised the topic to the Executive Committee. The players were announced incentives, but there were no ICC events shares announced for them. When the players insisted on the shares, SLC issued a threat that they would send a second-string side to the tournament. This happened on the day the players left for Bangladesh. Our heroes had left for the tournament without contracts.

You see why we don’t stone their houses the way you did Yuvraj Singh’s today? The reason is simple: they have been stabbed by their own board; we are the only ones backing them. With no assured contract, almost no Indian Premier League (IPL) contract against their names, with our own version of the IPL getting cancelled, the pride and fans are all they have while taking on the best of the world in a country away from home.

That is precisely why we never back out when it comes to supporting them: they have lost one final after the other, but we have never lost hope. Can you believe what you would have done to your men if they had lost four world tournament finals in five years? We had not gone after our players’ blood: instead, we had joked that it was our President’s turning up at the venue midway that had tilted the match West Indies’ way in the 2012 World T20 final.

Do you know something? We have grown up in conditions you have seen in newsreels and have read in newspapers, but have never really (I really hope you do not) had real-life brushes. We have grown up in a country where many of us were not sure of our safe return when we left home in the morning.

“Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse,” Keith Miller had said once. He had seen death from close quarters. So had we. Which is why defeats do not mean the end of the world for us. In those dark days of internal turmoil,Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva had kept Sri Lankan cricket alive. The 1996 World Cup had a role more significant in our history than you can imagine.

We fell from that zenith, and rose again; and fell again; in Muttiah Muralitharan we found our greatest cricket hero, in Jayasuriya a murderous marauder, in Lasith Malinga a rebellious freak; and then, in the two men who have quit this version of the sport today, the two icons we were left with.

They have given us a lot, and have got hardly anything back in return. The best we could do for them was to turn up in huge numbers and turn the band on, day in and day out. If they won, we were happy; if they did not, we had to accept it. It was like that in the 1980s. It has been like that in the 2010s as well. Three decades ago we used to lose in the league stages; now we lose the finals.

The fact remained that we had not won anything of note barring the 1996 World Cup. Eighteen years have elapsed since that. This win was long due. They have never given up hope in between: they tried, failed, tried, failed, tried, failed, tried, till they succeeded.

It has been our story all along.

It has been the story of the average Sri Lankan.

It has been the story of the Sri Lankan cricketer.

We may not have the best support, but we dream; and we do not give up when our dreams meet a dead end. We have a team where every man is a Robert the Bruce with no spider to show them the way.

We have not forgotten you, though. You [and Pakistan] had visited us before the 1996 World Cup when Australia and West Indies had refused to. We still owe you that.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful [and of late, rather peaceful] place. Come over for a trip some day. We will discuss all kinds of ICC event finals and have a laugh at how we manage to show up in them every now and then. Till then,

A Sri Lankan fan

Author : Abhishek Mukherjee  on

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