Is the 2019 ICC World Cup a wide-open affair?

By June 03, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Sri Lanka bring back Dickwella for Bangladesh ODI series Sri Lanka bring back Dickwella for Bangladesh ODI series

    Sri Lanka have recalled Niroshan Dickwella for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

    A surprise omission from Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella is one of 22 players selected for the 50-over fixtures on home soil.

    Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka and Lakshan Sandakan also return, while Nuwan Pradeep - who returned home early from England due to chickenpox - is fit enough to be included.

    However, Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis are left out after featuring at the tournament, along with Milinda Siriwardana and Jeffrey Vandersay.

    Colombo is the venue for the trio of fixtures, which start on July 26. The teams meet again just two days later before concluding the short series on July 31.

    Lasith Malinga is also set to feature. The paceman said in March he plans to retire from cricket after next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

     

    Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Madushanka

  • Bulgaria ordered to partially close stadium against England following fan racism Bulgaria ordered to partially close stadium against England following fan racism

    Bulgaria have been ordered to partially close their national stadium for Euro 2020 qualifiers against England and Czech Republic following racist behaviour by fans.

    UEFA on Friday announced sanctions following incidents of racism in Bulgaria's past two matches in June, at home to Kosovo and away to Czech Republic.

    For the incident in the Czech Republic match, Bulgaria have been told to make 5,000 seats in the Vasil Levski stadium unavailable to supporters for the October 14 clash with England.

    In the empty space, the Bulgarian Football Union has been told to display an "#EqualGame" UEFA banner.

    The same banner will be in place for the November 17 match against Czech Republic, with 3,000 seats closed off to supporters as punishment for behaviour in the Kosovo game.

    UEFA closed disciplinary proceedings against Latvia for alleged racist behaviour in their clash with Israel last month, but the Romania Under-21 team will see at least 2,000 seats closed for their next home match.

    This comes following racist behaviour by fans at the Romanian youngsters' European Under-21 Championship win over Croatia last month, and the Romanian Football Federation has been fined €2,000 due to fireworks and objects being thrown.

    UEFA also fined Greece €63,500 and Ukraine €15,250 for offences including the setting off of fireworks.

    The Greece match against Italy on June 8 also included a late kick-off, for which disciplinary proceedings against head coach Angelos Anastasiadis have been closed.

  • Triple H honours England's World Cup winners with WWE title belt - but who gets to keep it? Triple H honours England's World Cup winners with WWE title belt - but who gets to keep it?

    England's triumphant squad have received plenty of praise since lifting the Cricket World Cup - and now they have been honoured with a one-of-a-kind championship belt from an unlikely fan.

    As a 14-time champion, WWE superstar Triple H knows a thing or two about winning in big situations. And the man with a finishing move called the 'Pedigree' was certainly impressed with the standards shown by Eoin Morgan's side against New Zealand on Sunday, when the tournament hosts prevailed following a dramatic Super Over at the home of cricket.

    The wrestler, whose real name is Paul Levesque, tweeted out a message of congratulations to the new ODI champions, along with a picture of a customised world heavyweight championship belt made to mark their success.

    "An incredible tournament, an awe-inspiring final, and a team of worthy champions. Congratulations to England Cricket for winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019! This custom WWE Championship is YOURS!" Triple H wrote.

    The unique strap includes the words "World Cup champions", with the England and Wales Cricket Board's official logo appearing twice, placed either side of the central WWE badge.

    However, the generous gift to mark England's achievement does create a problem - who gets to keep it?

    Jos Buttler, who was in partnership with Ben Stokes in the middle during England's Super Over, had an on-topic suggestion to decide the owner, tweeting: "Royal rumble lads last man standing keeps the belt?" 

    If Buttler's idea comes to fruition, Morgan and his team-mates would have to forget about boundary ropes and focus on the top rope instead. Perhaps Triple H could make an appearance during the upcoming Ashes series against Australia to crown England's new wrestling champion, too.

    The Game at a game of cricket? We can only hope...

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