Ten Sri Lankans, including Malinga, opt out of Pakistan cricket tour over security fears

Agencies
September 10,2019

Colombo, Sept 10: Ten Sri Lankan players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga and former captains Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, have pulled out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns, officials said on September 9.

Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board said in a statement that players in a preliminary squad were briefed on security arrangements for the six-match limited over series, and given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

Following the briefing, ten players "chose to stay away" from the series of three One-Day Internationals and three T20 games, scheduled to begin on September 27 in Karachi, it said.

The other seven who opted out were Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.

The tour was seen as another step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan after years of isolation.

Batsman Danushka Gunathilaka said he believed security would be adequate.

From what they told us, I think there will be very tight security," Gunathilaka said.

The Sri Lankans returned to Pakistan for a Twenty20 international in Lahore in October 2017 when Perera led the team. This time, he has decided to stay away.

Sri Lanka are also to play two Test matches against Pakistan, but the dates and the venue are yet to be announced.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Harin Fernando has rejected playing the longer versions of the game in Pakistan and suggested the Tests be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Pakistan have played many of their home series.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

Anirban Lahiri back in action after 5 months, joins Atwal at Wyndham

News Network
August 12,2020

lahiri.JPG

Greensboro (US), Aug 12: India's Anirban Lahiri is finally going to tee off at a PGA tournament this week when he plays at the Wyndham Championship, ending his five-month long coronavirus-forced break.

"It's been a long, long time," said Lahiri.

"I am hungry and all ready to go. I came to India for the Hero Indian Open and then had to stay back as the Covid outbreak started spreading all over."

This week Lahiri and Atwal will play in the Wyndham Championships at the Sedgefield Country Club.

Due to the long break, Lahiri was not even able to go back to the US because of travel restrictions.

But now he is back in the US and excited about playing his first event since early March.

"I'm feeling excited. It's not something I've felt like in a long time," Lahiri said.

"It's like going back to school after a summer vacation. It's a good thing."

Lahiri, who spent a lot of the time in India with his parents, later moved to Ahmedabad to be with his coach, Vijay Divecha, and started working on his game.

"Mentally, I decided that I was going to focus on the next 2020-21 season, instead of thinking about the ongoing one. I took it as an opportunity to work on my game and rebuild it," he said.

"After all, how many times does anyone get a chance to work on the game and assess it with one's coach and stay away from tournaments without needing to worry about the Tour card.

"This was one such chance," added Lahiri, as the PGA Tour decided that all players would keep the status they had for the 2020 season.

Lahiri had a proper status.

"I got to spend six weeks with Vijay which I haven't done in like five or six years. It's a big reset and I was able to work continuously with him," said Lahiri, who has gone through a lean spell.

"That was the reason I needed and wanted to work on my game. In the past few years I would get short periods of practice with Vijay and we would try fix the problems. They were just that – fixes. Now, I had a proper stretch of time, and I grabbed it."

With a hearty laugh, he said, "I was telling someone, that basically (we) disassembled the engine and put everything back together."

Lahiri and Divecha worked on just about everything.

He added, "This time, we have rebuilt from scratch. It was like I was starting golf again -- right from the basic, the grip, posture, the fundamentals. It was a re-set button. In a way it was like writing something new on a clean slate."

This week Lahiri will have Arjun Atwal for company at the Wyndham Championship. This is where Atwal won India's first and only PGA Tour title.

Lahiri has played at the Donald Ross-designed Sedgefield Country Club, in the past.

"It is tree-lined and you have to shape shots. There's a good mix of lengthy holes and shortish holes. If you get hot, you can make lots of birdies and rise up the leaderboard."

Lahiri did not watch much of golf during the last few months.

"I would follow scores maybe once a day, not like looking at my phone every few minutes. I was focused on working on my game and I feel good about it. So, I am excited."

The Wyndham Championship is the final event of the Regular Season.

For Lahiri, who is way down in the FedExCup points list, it is more a question of testing his game and then getting ready for the new season which begins right after the Play-offs.

Atwal, who had a few starts last few weeks, is 215th and Lahiri is 219th.

So, getting into 125th is a long shot, unless Atwal or Lahiri can pull off something big on Sunday.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

BCCI thinking of women's cricket, just needs to be more specific in communication: Anjum Chopra

Agencies
August 4,2020

Resizer_15965304882430.jpg

New Delhi, Aug 4: Former India women's team captain Anjum Chopra firmly believes that the BCCI has a plan for women's cricket but she wants the Board to communicate its ideas more specifically.

Speaking to news agency, Chopra, who is now a successful broadcaster, said the BCCI is thinking in earnest about the progress of women's cricket.

"It's not that the BCCI is not thinking about women's cricket. I only think they need to be more specific in communication about women's cricket," Chopra said.

"I firmly believe that they must be thinking about women's cricket but the communication all this while has been very specific to men's cricket."

The latest trigger for criticism of BCCI was India's withdrawal from a tour of England in September owing to logistical issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chopra concedes it was "not nice" but Indian players' participation in the women's IPL, in November, will still be useful preparation for next year's ODI World Cup.

"It is heartening to see women's cricket making headlines. They should have been a part of that England tour and it did not feel nice initially but the women's IPL, irrespective of the format, will be helpful for World Cup preparations. Any form of cricket is good preparation," Chopra said.

"Missing out on a tournament is not nice, but logistically there may have been issues. And you can't send an under-prepared team."

"If you see in isolation we may have missed out on an opportunity to play in England. The more the girls play the better it is, before playing a tournament of the stature of World Cup. The assurance from the president is a very good thing."

Chopra welcomed the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI's decision to hold the women's event in the UAE alongside the IPL, which will run from September 19 to November 10. The women's IPL will coincide with the business end of the men's league.

"I am definitely happy, it's always nice to be part of any cricket anywhere across the world.

"They should have been nearing the final stages of the preparation for the World Cup by now, but because of the pandemic things did not go as planned," she added.

Chopra had a successful international career spanning over 17 years, during which she represented India in a record six World Cups and became the first woman cricketer to appear in 100 One-day Internationals.

She also felt that the pandemic would not have much impact on the women's game that has gained momentum in recent times.

"...Cricket was on pause button...Once cricket resumes and players are back on the park, everything is going to get picked up. It might take some time to get started as everything starts from zero...

"The awareness the women's game has created, I hope it stays. They will just restart, not start after the pandemic."

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

Chennai Super Kings expects Dhoni to play even after he's 40

News Network
August 12,2020

dhoni.JPG

New Delhi, Aug 12: Indian Premier League favourites Chennai Super Kings expect former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to keep playing past his 40th birthday until at least 2022, the team's chief executive said.

Dhoni has not played a competitive game since India's World Cup semi-final defeat last year, but is due to return to action when the delayed IPL begins in the United Arab Emirates next month.

While Dhoni is unlikely to play again for India, Chennai Super Kings chief executive Kasi Viswanathan said he was confident the legendary batsman-wicketkeeper would not retiring soon.

"We don't worry about him at all. Yes, we can expect M.S. Dhoni to be part of both (IPL seasons in 2020 and 2021) and probably for even the next year, 2022," Viswanathan told India Today television late Tuesday.

Dhoni, who has led Chennai to three IPL titles, will celebrate his 40th birthday in July next year.

He remains an influential figure in Indian cricket with any hint of retirement causing concern among fans.

Viswanathan said he had only seen media reports that Dhoni has been training in indoor nets in his home state of Jharkand.

"But we don't have to worry about the skipper," he said. "He knows his responsibilities and he will take care of himself and the team."

The CSK players are due to arrive in Chennai this week before leaving next week for Dubai where the IPL will start on September 19 after being moved because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.