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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sri Lanka needs 153 at P Sara stadium and ....... Sanga to retire !!

How much do you heed to your father’s advice ?

You may call it revision or tampering – in  a move to give bowlers a bit of breathing room in 50-overs cricket, the ICC board has decided to do away with catching fielders in the first ten overs, get rid of the batting Powerplay, and allow five fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last ten overs of an ODI innings. The other notable change that will take place from July 5 will see free hits awarded for all no balls in ODI and T20 internationals, not just when bowlers overstep.

Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu (1892 – 1950 -  also known as P. Sara) was a Ceylonese civil servant and sports administrator.  The stadium at Colombo is named after him.   Home to the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club – this stadium hosted Sri Lanka's first Test, against England in 1982. In 1985, it was the venue for Sri Lanka's first-ever Test win, over India.  Today, at P Sara stadium it rained and on day 4 Pak need to defend 153 to keep their lead.  Pakistan  made 138 & 329 while Sri Lanka  made 315.  In the first innings, the offie,  Paskuwal Handi Tharindu Kaushal, who has played one test earlier took 5 wickets. 

The man in focus is 37 years of age, but in peak form -  Kumar Sangakkara. In 2014, he played Tests against Pakistan, England, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand to hit 1438 runs at an average of 71.90. In the 12 months, he hit more international runs, across formats, than have ever been struck in a calendar year. In March, he became the first batsman to hit four ODI centuries on the trot, at the World Cup.  Sangakkara said it was his father, who has been a well of advice to him throughout his career, first suggested it may be time to step away. "My father, when I was at home with him a couple of years ago in Kandy, asked me: 'Don't you think it's time you started thinking about retirement?' I got a shock. I thought, 'What are you trying to tell me? That I'm not good enough?' But then speaking to my mind, it actually made some sense. It was back in 2012 or 2013 when he asked me that, and it struck home. I thought, 'Maybe it was time I paid attention to what's happening.'

Kumar Sangakkara has  confirmed he will retire from international cricket after the second Test of Sri Lanka's forthcoming series against India, calling time on one of the most successful careers in modern cricket. Sangakkara will not play the third Test in the ongoing series against Pakistan, choosing instead to play for county side Surrey, before returning to Sri Lanka ahead of the first Test against India. 

If only he stays on,  he might close more than 14000 runs; now he has 38 tons with  five potential innings that remain, there remains a chance he could hit one more double-century to match Don Bradman's tally of 12.  Sanga in 131 tests has made 12271 runs; 14234 runs with 25 tons in one dayers……. A grand walk-out indeed !

There is news that  BCCI is unlikely to appoint a full-time head coach till the 2016 World Twenty20 in India, though the team director Ravi Shastri and three other members of the coaching staff are all set to receive a two-year contract extension. Shastri and the three assistant coaches - Sanjay Bangar (batting), B Arun (bowling) and R Sridhar (fielding) - had already been assured of renewal of their contracts, but the tenure was not agreed upon.  Cricinfo quoting BCCI insider states that the board was satisfied with the current arrangement, as all three assistant coaches have gelled well, despite the poor performance at Bangladesh.

Back home in Bengaluru, Indian women beat Kiwi women in an One dayer. India Women 142 (Goswami 57, Nielsen 3-24, Tahuhu 3-25, Kasperek 3-39) beat New Zealand Women 125 (Bates 28, Rana 3-26, Harmanpreet 2-16, Bisht 2-18) by 17 runs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th June 2015.

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