Good to see Bandara back in the frame
It is nice to be back after a two-month tour of England covering the
Sri Lanka- England cricket series which on balance gave the Sri Lankans
valuable experience besides of course putting up a performance that
still kept the flag flying inspite of some losses.
And as we prepare for what will surely be an interesting cricket
expedition against the Australians who will be here by the end of the
month, there is a sense of anticipation that Sri Lanka will, with the
English tour’s experience, put up a good fight.
The Sri Lankan cricket selectors have named a promising squad for the
two Twenty and five One Day Internationals against the Australians. It
is encouraging to note the inclusion of leg spinning all rounder Malinga
Bandara in the squad.
When in England we had every reason to question the continued non
inclusion of this brilliant leg spinner. To relegate his talents to the
land of the forgotten was a big mistake. Leg spinners don’t come dime a
dozen and when they do come they are often like uncut gems, they must be
cut and polished and are worthy of display.
We hope the selectors will endeavour to give Bandara the
opportunities to make his presence felt. One omission in the sqaud is
Thilana Kandamby he failed in England, he has much potential.
The Australians, after a sudden dip in their game in recent times are
determined to use the Sri Lanakan tour to make amends . After all it was
not too long ago that the Aussies, when they ruled the game, dished out
One major handicap that the Aussies have is that they have lost
several of their stars who quit the game and have not found adeqauate
replacements : Mathew Hayden, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Damian
Martyn, Glen McGrath and Shane Warne.
But reports reaching us indicate the Aussie tour squad has been hard
at training under the guidance of their coaches and new captain Michael
Clarke.. Whether the Sri Lankans will frustrate the ambitions of the
Aussies to make a gallant come back is left to be seen.
There had been moves made to stall the Aussie tour to Sri Lanka.
Politics is at play. One cannot grudge that peace is now in full bloom
in Sri Lanka after a protracted 30-year war and the conditions are ideal
for any kind of sport to be played here.
There will always be the frustrated and those with axes to grind who
will go that extra mile to see that their hidden agendas are successful.
But saner counsel will prevail.
Thanks to Cricket Australia who drove these critics out of the ground
where they rightly belong, the tour will go on without a hitch and Sri
Lanka Cricket is making elaborate arrangements to successfully conduct
The Aussie cricketers, who have always been welcome visitors, need
not have any qualms because they will be well treated with the best of
security provided them.
The good news is also that Abans have teamed up with LG Electronics
of Korea and agreed to partner Sri Lanka at the wicket and sponsor the
cricket series between Australia and Sri Lanka.
Abans have always been in the forefront of sports sponsorship not
only in Sri Lanka, but the world over in many sports, and Sri Lanka
Cricket will certainly welcome this sponsorship.
England on top
After beating Sri Lanka in the Test and one-day series, England is
now taking on the number one cricket team in the world—- India. England
is hoping to grab the title of world’s best after the Four Test series
For this to happen, England must beat India by two Test matches. It
is not an easy ask given the form that the Indians are in. But this is a
contest that will bring out the best from both teams and has the promise
of lifting the standard of world cricket to a new level.
The cynosure of all eyes on this tour is, of course, the master
batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar who was looking to score his 100th
hundred at the holy land of cricket Lord’s in the First Test failed
being out after making 34. Whether he could achieve this milestone in
the second innings remains to be seen.
However there are Three more Tests and all his suppiorters are
praying for him to achieve this in one of the Tests. It will be a
memorable moment had he got it at Lord’s.
The unpredictable weather that went to spoil the Sri Lankan tour, is
still prevailing in England as the first day of the First Test at proved
with only 49 overs being bowled with the rain and bad light calling halt
Mahendra Singh Dhoni beat Andrew Strauss to the toss in this 2000th
Test match in cricket history and quite rightly put England in to bat in
overcast conditions ideal for seam and swing bowling which is a
nightmare to batsmen.
But it was a pity that the Indian seam and swing bowlers, especially
Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma failed to make merry in these conditions
and skittle out the English batsmen.
Other than for left armer Zaheer Khan, who unfortunately had to leave
the field with a hamstring muscle strain after capturing two wickets,
Kumar and Sharma were too short and wide and squandered the ideal