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Feb 28, 2011

How We Won the World Cup : Aravinda de Silva

Arjuna got the unit together

Aravinda de Silva on Sri Lanka's preparations for the tournament, their opening strategies, and their faith in Ranatunga and Murali

The quarter-final was the game we feared the most

Aravinda de Silva on being part of a batting line-up that could do anything, beating England, and more

I saw the crowd and forgot everything

Aravinda de Silva on playing in front of a packed house at the Eden Gardens, and the sad end to a memorable semi-final       

One of the greatest moments of my life

de Silva talks about his all-round performance in the World Cup final, and why Sri Lanka preferred to play Australia in that game

Feb 24, 2011

Watch Cricket World Cup 2011 Highlights – 7th Match, Group B: South Africa v West Indies Highlights Online at Delhi, Feb 24, 2011

Watch Cricket World Cup 2011 Highlights – 7th Match, Group B: South Africa v West Indies Highlights Online at Delhi, Feb 24, 2011

- MoM AB DeVilliers for his unbeaten 107

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Ricky hurts a Television in dressing room at Ahmadabad.

Ponting had made 28 in his side's match against Zimbabwe at the Gujarat Stadium in Ahmedabad Monday when he was run out attempting a second run.
Clearly angry with himself as he walked off, Ponting reacted with fury when he saw a replay of the incident on a television in the dressing room.
He hurled a piece of his equipment which bounced off his kit bag and hit the corner of the LCD screen.
Initial reports inaccurately claimed Ponting had smashed up the television with his bat, but the damage he caused did prompt an official complaint from the Gujarat Cricket Association.
Ponting had accepted a Level 1 charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of his match fee.
Ricky knows that his action was in breach of the code, involving a brief moment of frustration
--Roshan Mahanama-  

Kenya v Pakistan 6th Match Highlights at Hambantota, Feb 23, 2011

World Cup – Kenya v Pakistan 6th Match Highlights at Hambantota, Feb 23, 2011 
MoM - Umar Akmal for his Batting performance and brilliant piece of Fielding...

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Feb 23, 2011

Sri Lanka bans ‘violent’ World Cup song

A World Cup song which carries threats against defending champions Australia as well as earthquake-hit New Zealand has been banned on orders of the Sri Lankan president, states a media report.

The song warns that Ricky Ponting’s Australians will end up as bird food while New Zealanders, still reeling from the Christchurch quake, could have their jaws broken. President Mahinda Rajapaksa heard the Sinhalese and Tamil mixed song and wanted it taken off all state-run radio and television channels, an official close to the president told AFP, according to the report.

He also censured sports authorities for allowing the “insulting” lyrics.

“The president was appalled that the song was allowed in the first place,” the official said.

“He felt the song was in poor taste. What he wants is a song to inspire the team and fans and not insult other nations.” The president saw a video clip of the song when he turned up to watch Sri Lanka play Canada at their opening game at Hambantota on Sunday when the home side won by 210 runs.

A Sri Lankan cricket official said the song was the initiative of a private company which was sponsoring the national team. Several private radio and television channels have also accepted that the song was in poor taste and stopped broadcasting it.

Sri Lanka, who are co-hosting the World Cup with Bangladesh and India, has already run into trouble with fans after banning music and placards at match venues. Following intense criticism, police have relaxed bans on placards, posters and banners.
 - Ada Derana -

England v Netherlands Highlights Online at Nagpur, Feb 22, 2011

Watch ICC Cricket World Cup Highlights – 5th Match, Group B: England v Netherlands Highlights Online at Nagpur, Feb 22, 2011

MoM - Ryan ten Doeschate For his allround Performance....

Feb 21, 2011

Chris Gayle's #cwc2011 wishlist - To be the tournament's best allrounder, and to hit 200.

Chris Gayle comes to the World Cup armed with more than a fluid and fierce range of strokes, one that builds an innings like a river in flood. Along with his tall and regal frame, Gayle carries an image and a reputation - that he won't be sad if Test cricket is binned by 2020, that he can't be bothered to sign a contract with his board, that all he wants to do is play for Team Gayle, that the longer the question put to him the shorter his answers.
At the Indian Air Force ground in Palam, Delhi, surrounded by children of officers and a sizeable number of the "men", Gayle produced one of his famous one-liners. This one was not funny; it carried weight. Gayle was asked about expectations, preparations and personal milestones on his to-do list. He beamed as though it was a simple task: "To try to be the best allrounder of the World Cup". Five minutes later came another. What was really his favourite format of the game? Gayle stepped out and whacked it off the headlines. "The World Cup, this one now," he said, and the next few words explained it. "Big stage," he said, "big stage."
If Gayle was just a plain showboater, the words would sound empty. But he seeks out the occasion, and now that it's within his range, he has set down his markers. It is a job that could daunt most cricketers: to be main man, mascot, leader and beacon of a team looking for inspiration. Gayle has embraced its demands, less than six months after being stripped of the captaincy, a position he held for three years.
What could have led to bitterness and detachment, team insiders say, has been turned into acceptance, commitment and willingness to carry the load and be generous with his knowledge. Perhaps the advantage of living on his island of cool has kicked in. Like his life, Gayle's game is also based on simplicity of intention. "I'm the first one facing the first ball out there," he said, "so I've got to try and set the tone and try and lead out there... I have to set up good totals for the team."
This, he says, is going to be a batsman's World Cup, "We think that the team that will really bat well will actually win more games." He wanted to give the West Indians the best chance by first "getting past the first two or three overs... then you play according to the situation and see what the bowlers are doing, then you can make the necessary adjustment to the game". At the Palam practice sessions, the necessary adjustments were expansive lofted drives that threatened to take down the odd helicopter flying overhead. He sent one over a treeline at the far end of the ground. Every time he batted, everyone stopped, everyone watched, everyone ducked for cover. When he left the field at his slow, deliberate, almost Inzamam-speed trundle, the crowd parted and the excitement ebbed.
West Indies' new captain, Darren Sammy, predicted that this was going to be Gayle's World Cup . If so, it will be about time. Gayle has a poor record from 15 matches in his previous two World Cups: 434 runs at an average of 28.93, with only one of his 19 ODI centuries. His last one-day century was scored more than two years ago.
During his short interaction on Sunday, the senior statesman in Gayle may have said the right things, but the provocative competitor lurked close. He is widely named as one of the candidates who could break the 200 barrier in a World Cup. When the question was put to him, there was a flash of teeth and the sound of a high laugh. Gayle then walked a familiar road, but the lilt of his Jamaican tenor was playful, "You know, Sachin has done it. Sehwag can do it. Batters can do it once they get the opportunity. Once they get off to a good start and bat right through the 50 overs, gauge your innings and so forth… It's a possibility."
He avoided mentioning his own ambitions, and his highest ODI score remains 153 not out, but in these previous two years Twenty20 has redefined risk-taking in batting. "Batters actually have got a lot of shots now. If the situation requires, you have to try and step it up. You'll get big totals in the World Cup, you know, you just have to be aware. A batsman on the go could definitely be a danger." So does he fancy that 200? The playfulness vanished and he said, "If I get a chance, I will definitely give it a go as well."
Gayle will also try and bowl 10 overs of offspin for West Indies, who are thin in the bowling department. Despite the small Indian grounds, and larger but quick Sri Lankan outfields, he fancies his chances. He mulled over who the prize wickets were going to be in the group stages. "Let's see," he drawled, and then came the flat tone of utter uber-cool, "I've gotten them all already. I don't see a problem getting them again. All the top guns you can think of, I've got them out. [I have] no doubt about it, to get them again."
Like India's hockey players are asked about the eight gold medals of lore, Gayle was asked about the West Indies' legacy and he shook it off calmly. "The past team was a great team, a good all-round team... but you can't compare past and present. We have a few new players, we have to look at the fact that they are inexperienced when a big occasion or situation comes around." The statesman paused and the competitor came out, fists first, "But we are all big men. We have to take responsibility. We have to go out there and not just put up a fight but, you know... get victories." The big stage is set out and West Indies' Mr Big will have to show that he is ready to own it.
Source : ESPN Cricinfo

Watch Cricket World Cup 2011 Highlights – 3rd Match, Group A: Sri Lanka v Canada Highlights Online at Hambantota, Feb 20, 2011

Sri Lanka v Canada at Hambantota - Feb 20
Sri Lanka won by 210 runs

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Watch Cricket World Cup 2011 Highlights – 2nd Match, Group A: Kenya v New Zealand Highlights Online at Chennai, Feb 20, 2011

Kenya v New Zealand at Chennai - Feb 20
New Zealand won by 10 wickets (with 252 balls remaining)

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Watch World Cup Highlights – Bangladesh v India 1st Match Highlights, Group B, at Dhaka, Feb 19, 2011. Cricket World Cup 2011 Highlights for free for the opening match.

Feb 18, 2011

No ‘band-choon’ at WC grounds...

The Sri Lanka Police today announced that banners, placards, musical instruments, glass bottles, fire crackers, laser lights, sharp instruments, knives, professional cameras and alcohol are prohibited in World Cup venues.

Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya announced this at a press conference held in Colombo today. He also said that a special traffic plan will be implemented during the tournament, but said that the police will close roads leading to the World Cup playing venues from time to time.

- Source :

Cricket World Cup 2011 – Opening Ceremony at Bangabandhu National Stadium

"The spinners could determine Australia's destiny" - Langer

World Cups, like Olympic gold medals, are special and every player would love to win one.
Four years is a long time to wait for a chance at World Cup glory and that is why it is such a coveted prize.
Like everything though, the bigger the prize, the bigger the pressure.
With so much time between World Cups, the building expectation and hope promotes a new level of intensity and competition, and the players can feel that.
Adding to the pressure of this year's tournament are the venues in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The extra noise, the spinning pitches, the fast outfields, the hot, humid conditions, and the extreme fanaticism of the crowds in the sub-continent will add spice and intrigue to the competition.
Playing in India is never for the faint-hearted and with a World Cup on the line, the next six weeks is going to be a great spectacle.
Before a ball is bowled many questions are being asked.
Can Australia win their fourth consecutive Cup? Can England and South Africa win their first? Can India win on their home turf? Can Sri Lanka become the champions, like they did in 1996? Which team will cause the biggest upset of the tournament?
From Saturday, all these questions will be answered - but the team that ultimately triumphs will be the one whose superstars stand tall in the big games.
History shows that great players become so because they have the ability to excel when pressure is asking her most stringent questions.
Australia have won the last three World Cups on the back of extraordinary and inspirational performances in the big games.
Steve Waugh and Shane Warne in England in 1999 were breathtaking; during the 2003 South African campaign Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds were sublime throughout and in the West Indies last time around Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Gilly were outstanding .
That is not to say that the closest knit and most talented teams will not be the ones to watch, but when it really comes to the crunch, the eventual winner will the one whose stars shine the brightest.
With the tournament yet to start, it is really hard to pick the winner.
India have a plethora of stars; in particular Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.
They know their conditions well and often play them perfectly. Whether they can live up to the incredible pressure of expectation remains to be seen, but on paper they look excellent.
South Africa  too have a well organized and experienced one-day team. Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith and the in-form Hashim Amla are the backbone of a very fit and confident outfit and, as usual, they should be among the top teams here.
Any team which has the talent of Murali, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in it, and a home ground advantage as they have, should never be discounted and I believe Sri Lanka will be tough to beat, especially in Colombo.
Meanwhile, England, despite their problems during the seven one-dayers in Australia, showed during the Ashes that they are a tightly-knit, disciplined and talented team.
Their biggest challenge will be to remain clear-minded after such a long time on the road .
Three months in Australia followed by seven weeks in India is sure to be a distraction that Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and his staff will need to manage.
Pakistan are always capable, and at times brilliant, but you are never quite sure of their consistency, while the West Indies boast some of the biggest names in the shortest version of the game.
Whether they can reproduce their Twenty20 brilliance on the biggest stage remains to be seen.
Disregarding their horrible form of the last 12 months, New Zealand always fight hard and Bangladesh, with their knowledge of the home conditions, could be the dark horse of the tournament.
While I don't think they can win the World Cup, they could easily shock a few of their opponents.
Of course Australia, with the chance to win four in a row, will also be tough.
With four genuinely fast bowlers, they will provide sleepless nights for many batsmen and with their experience and confidence they should be amongst the action come finals time.
Still ranked number one in the world, the way their middle order plays the spinners could determine their destiny here.
Just writing about each of the teams promotes an extra beat of the heart and I am sure this is not the first time over the next six weeks that the nerves will provide a reality check of just how tough this tournament will be.


Feb 12, 2011

Newly built Keththarama Opened Today......

The modernized Keththarama International Cricket Stadium has been declared opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning. It has been reported that 1.2 billion rupees have been spent on this project.

Earlier this stadium could accommodate only 17,000 spectators. Now with the latest development, this stadium can accommodate more than 30,000 spectators.

Several matches of the upcoming 2011 World Cup are scheduled to be played on this ground. Many facilities including playground, rest rooms and media units have been developed at the venue

Source - Ada Derana -

Feb 10, 2011

Dilly speaks about the Big Event.

"Everything is going well at the moment for us and we are looking forward to the World Cup," Dilshan said. "Whenever I get a chance I want to get a start and capitalize on that and get big runs. I am going to give 100% for the team and am looking forward to the games."

"I batted at No. 7 from 1999 to 2008. I felt I could do more at the top of the order and I volunteered to open. I had a chat with Mahela [Jayawardene] and he said, 'okay you first play in the domestic season and let's see'. I got the Man of the Series in the domestic tournament and from there my game totally changed. The last two or three years have been my best in both Test and one-day cricket," Dilshan said. 

Dilshan said that Sri Lanka's consistency in the ODI format leading up to the World Cup, would hold them in good stead for the tournament."If you take the last 15 months, we have played 27 ODIs and lost only six. Now, that's quite a good record. We are very consistent and it's a very good sign as well."
Dilshan, one of Sri Lanka's best fielders, said fielding would play a key role in the tournament. "We've had good fielding sides right throughout. We are doing a lot of practice with our fielding coach Ruwan Kalpage. We are training in some new fielding methods and the results can be seen in how we have done in the last couple of matches."
Sri Lanka play two warm-up games against Netherlands and West Indies. They open their World Cup campaign against Canada in Hambantota on February 20.   [Source : ESPN ]

Feb 7, 2011

Sangakkara rues lack of practice at World Cup venues

Sanga has said Sri Lanka's lack of practice at the country's World Cup venues, which are yet to be completed, will rob them of some home advantage during the tournament. Construction delays have prevented Sri Lanka from training at the new stadiums in Hambantota and Pallekele.
"We would love to train at all the grounds [in Sri Lanka], but we need to have the proper facilities to train," Sangakkara told AFP after beating West Indies on Sunday, in Sri Lanka's last international fixture before the World Cup. "We need to have side [practice] wickets and gyms at the venues, otherwise it is difficult.
"We've accepted the fact that we'll have to play World Cup matches on those grounds without knowing the conditions too well." Sri Lanka have, however, played a rain-marred Test against West Indies recently at Pallekele.   Read More on ESPN

Feb 1, 2011

Suriyawewa International Cricket Stadium

Construction of the Suriyawewa International Cricket Stadium has now been completed is now ready for hosting International Matches.  Work on the construction of the 7 storied Pavilion building has also been completed.  The Stadium has a 32,000 spectator capacity.

The first 2011 Cricket World Cup match in Sri Lanka between Sri Lanka and Canada will also be played at this venue.  This is the largest cricket stadium in Sri Lanka measuring 200 meters by 200 meters.  There are 10 Turf Wickets in the ground which has been built on a  47 acre plot of land and an access road with 6 lanes have been built.

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