Newly crowned 2020 Hero CPL champion Darren Bravo, losing captain Darren Sammy and T20 record-setter Chris Gayle are among 150 players in a pool awaiting selection for the Lankan Premier League set to run from November 14 to December 6.

Shahid Afridi and Trinbago Knight Rider’s Colin Munro are also in the pool for the player auction set for October 1.

Under the rules governing the Sri Lankan T20 league, each franchise can buy up to six international players.

However, according to reports, there are still some loose ends to be tied up before the auction can take place. Among them government approval for a shorter quarantine period for players, officials and broadcast staff.

SLC officials are asking that the quarantine period for those arriving for the tournament be reduced from 14 to seven days.

 

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Bridesmaids through the 2000s and the 2010s when the ICC World events came along, Sri Lanka had made it to two World Cup finals and two World T20 finals since Lasith Malinga debuted, losing on all four occasions.

The World T20 of 2014 started with a crisis in leadership. With a host of former skippers in the side, but all of them reluctant to lead, Malinga happened upon leadership towards the end of the league stages when the management decided to drop their original skipper, Dinesh Chandimal.

And boy, did he prosper. Bowling yorkers at the death at will to stifle the Indians, he ensured that the trophy finally came home - leading Sri Lanka to one of its finest moments on the cricketing field. It made him only the second captain of his country after Arjuna Ranatunga to lift an ICC world title. But long before that Malinga had been blessed with an action that defied the longevity he had. A whippy almost side-arm way of delivering, Malinga defied all logic and proved accurate despite convention suggesting he would struggle with it.

With that whip came swing and pace. Of course, performances like the one in that final were almost inevitable given the work that Malinga put into perfecting his craft even with his strange delivery action.

 

Career Statistics (2004-present)

Full name: Separamadu Lasith Malinga

Born: August 28, 1983 (36), Galle

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Basnahira, BCCSL Academy XI, Galle Cricket Club, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kandy, Kent, Khulna Titans, Maratha Arabians, Melbourne Stars, Montreal Tigers, Mumbai Indians, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Palace Diamonds, Rangpur Riders, Ruhuna, Ruhuna Reds, Ruhuna Royals, Southern Express, Southern Province, Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Board XI, Sri Lanka Cricket XI, Sri Lanka Emerging Team, Sri Lanka Masters, Sri Lanka Schools XI, St Lucia Zouks

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

T20I Career - Sri Lanka

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts     BBI   BBM     Ave        Econ      SR    4w   5w 10w

84          83        1799     2225       107       5/6    5/6      20.79       7.42      16.8    1     2     0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave       Econ     SR     4w  5w  10w

295       289       6508     7680        390      6/7     6/7     19.69     7.08      16.6    10    5     0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most T20I wickets 107, (84 matches at 20.79)
  • 1st bowler to take 100 T20I scalps
  • 2nd most T20 wickets (390 at 19.69)
  • T20 WC champion 2014 (captain)
  • Most T20I hat-tricks (2)
  • Most wickets in IPL history (170)

IPL purple cap winner for most wickets (28) in 2011

Ajantha Mendes’ early success was built as much on his variations - off-breaks, top spinners, carrom balls, googlies, ones that did nothing - as it was on accuracy.

Mendis continues to be an effective spinner in shorter formats where batsmen don't have much time to adjust.

Mendis has twice set the record for best figures in a Twenty20 International.

On August 8, 2011, he took six wickets for 16 runs in the second Twenty20 international against Australia, becoming the first bowler to take six wickets in a Twenty20 international, and surpassing Umar Gul's five wickets for six runs recorded against New Zealand in 2009.

The following year, on September 18, 2012, in the opening match of the6 2012 ICC World Twenty20 against Zimbabwe, Mendis bettered this record by taking six wickets for eight runs. To date, Mendis is the only bowler to take six-wicket hauls in Two Twenty20 internationals.

Career statistics (2007-present)

Full name: Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslow Mendis

Born: March 11, 1985, Moratuwa (35)

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Combined Provinces, Dhaka Gladiators, Hampshire, Kandurata Maroons, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Pune Warriors, Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Board President's XI, Wayamba

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

T20I Career

Mat     Inns     Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI      BBM    Ave      Econ    SR       4w      5w       10w

39        39        885      952      66        6/8       6/8       14.42   6.45     13.4       3          2          0

 

T20 Career

Mat     Inns     Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI      BBM      Ave      Econ      SR       4w        5w       10w

129      128      2767     3230      170      6/8       6/8       19.00     7.00     16.2        5          2          0

Career highlights

  • 10th all-time T20I wicket-taker, 66 in 39 matches at 14.42
  • 4th most T20 WC scalps, 35 in 21 matches at 15.02
  • Fastest player to 50 T20I wickets (26 matches)
  • The only man to boast a 6 wkt haul at a T20 WC (6/8)
  • 170 T20 wickets captured at 19.00

An elegant stroke maker, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is perhaps one of the few batsmen who seamlessly transition from Test to One-Day International, to T20 cricket. Without a significant reliance on the powerful shots that make the modern T20 batsman a nightmare, Sangakkara depends on timing, a deft touch and a heightened awareness of where a game is and what needs to be done at the crease. His ability to keep wicket as well cannot be understated.

The wicketkeeping left-handed batsman seemed destined for greatness in the T20 format of the game after a public poll conducted by Cricket Australia named him the greatest ODI cricketer of all time. On his way to that symbolic title in 2016, Sangakkara was named man-of-the-match in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and before that helped Sri Lanka to finals in 2009 and  2012. In those years, Sangakkara became the first cricketer to score half-centuries in two different T20I World Cups.  

Along with Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara was part of the greatest second-wicket stand in the history of the World Twenty20 competition, the pair notching up 166.

But Sangakkara has also taken his exploits with the bat to a number of leagues, including the Indian Premier League, where he scored 1567 runs from 62 innings, inclusive of 10 half-centuries.

 

Career Statistics (2004-present)

Full name: Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara

Born: October 27, 1977, Matale (42)

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Asia XI, Central Province, Colombo District Cricket Association, Deccan Chargers, Durham, Hobart Hurricanes, ICC World XI, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kandurata, Kandurata Maroons, Kings XI Punjab, Marylebone Cricket Club, Multan Sultans, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Quetta Gladiators, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Surrey, Warwickshire

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs         HS     Ave    BF         SR     100   50         4s     6s     Ct         St

56    53    9      1382         78    31.40         1156         119.55      0         8      139   20         25    20

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs         HS     Ave    BF         SR     100   50         4s     6s     Ct         St

267   260   23    6937         94    29.27         5487         126.42      0         43    740   139         167   60

 

Career Highlights

  • 2014 ICC World T20 player of the final
  • 3rd most T20I runs scored by a Sri Lankan, 1382r- avg. 31.40
  • T20I caps for SL (56)
  • 7th on T20 WC most runs list (661)
  • 2010 IPL orange cap winner for most runs (618)
  • 6937 runs at 29.27

South Africa have postponed indefinitely proposed tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies and are unlikely to play again until November, Graeme Smith has revealed.

The Proteas were due to travel to Sri Lanka in June for three ODIs and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures against their hosts, only to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the same reason they called off a planned trip to the Caribbean set for July and August, when they were due to play two Tests and five T20 matches.

While there was hope of facing West Indies in September instead, director of cricket Smith admits such a scenario is impossible for Cricket South Africa (CSA) due to the rearranged Indian Premier League season.

Several of the country's leading names are contracted to franchises for the T20 tournament, which seems set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates this year.

"The West Indies tour has been postponed indefinitely," Smith told the media on Saturday.

"We are struggling to find the time with the Indian Premier League, when our players are likely to be needed from the beginning of September. Sri Lanka also [postponed].

"I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men's side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven't played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours."

As for his own situation with CSA, Smith reaffirmed his commitment to the role amid recent questions raised over his appointment, as well as the coaching staff he put in place.

Mark Boucher was named as head coach ahead of the home series with England, while fellow former international team-mates Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris were introduced to work as batting and spin-bowling consultants respectively.

"If you look at some of the things which are being said around appointments, my appointment and the appointment of my staff, I think some of those things are extremely unfair," Smith said.

"It was good to see CSA president (Chris Nenzani) put that straight with his most recent comments. But I have to come back to my value system and why I got involved in this job.

"Cricket South Africa courted me for a while, I went through the same interview process as everybody else in getting the job.

"I got involved because I have got cricket at heart and to be part of the solution. I want to help create a strong Cricket South Africa."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially launched the inaugural ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, starting with England's one-day series against Ireland.

Introduced to help bring context to 50-over cricket at the highest level, the Super League will be used as a qualification system for the next ICC World Cup, scheduled for 2023 in India.

There will be 13 teams involved – the 12 full members, as well as the Netherlands – and the top seven in the final table will automatically secure their place at the global tournament, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

All sides will play four series at home and away, with each consisting of three matches.

"The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager for cricket operations, said.

"The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.

"The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to COVID-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important."

Reigning world champions England will kick things off this week when they start their series against Ireland, the first of three matches between the teams taking place at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

"We're looking forward to playing cricket again and to the ICC Men's World Cup Super League," England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan said.

"Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord's, but it's nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament. 

"I'm sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume and we're looking forward to the challenge."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) says there is no evidence to merit launching an investigation into allegations that the 2011 Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed.

A criminal probe was launched in Sri Lanka following claims made by Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the country's sports minister at the time of a final won by India in Mumbai nine years ago.

Aluthgamage alleged that Sri Lanka had "sold" the World Cup, prompting a special investigation to be opened.

Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Upul Tharanga were called in for questioning, but police this week dropped the probe. Mahela Jayawardene was due to be questioned but the investigation was dropped before he appeared.

The ICC on Friday said the governing body has not received any information to suggest there was any wrongdoing.

ICC anti-corruption code general manager Alex Marshall said: "The ICC Integrity Unit has looked into the recent allegations regarding the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup final 2011.

"At this time, we have not been presented with any evidence that supports the claims made or which would merit launching an investigation under the ICC anti-corruption code.

"There is no record of any letter regarding this matter sent by the then Sri Lanka sports minister to the ICC and senior ICC staff at the time have confirmed they have no recollection of receiving any such letter which would have led to an investigation.

"We have no reason to doubt the integrity of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup final 2011.

"We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously and should we receive any evidence to corroborate the claims, we will review our current position."

India have pulled out of tours to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe because of fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a statement on Friday confirming the team's withdrawal.

It comes after Sri Lanka Cricket had already announced the cancellation of the tour, which was set to include three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches.

India were scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka on June 24 and then to Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series starting in August.

A BCCI statement added: "The BCCI is determined to take steps towards the resumption of international and domestic cricket, but it will not rush into any decision that will jeopardise the efforts put in by the central and state governments and several other respective agencies in containing the spread of the coronavirus.
 
"The office-bearers have been taking note of advisories issued by the government of India and the board is committed to fully comply with the restrictions imposed and guidelines issued. The BCCI will continue to study and evaluate the changing situation."

India have pulled out of a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka that was due to begin this month.

The three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches that had been billed could now take place in August, according to reports.

Confirmation of the matches in June and July being called off came from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), with the national board citing coronavirus concerns as the reason.

An SLC statement read: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed Sri Lanka Cricket that due to the prevailing circumstances revolving around COVID-19 pandemic, the cricket series, which included three ODIs and three T20i matches will not be feasible."

SLC quoted a message it had received from the BCCI, confirming a wish to abide by cricket's future tours programme (FTP), provided health assurances have been received.

That BCCI message said it would need "to seek the advice from government of India and the health regulatory authorities before taking any decision for the resumption of cricket".

According to Sri Lankan newspaper The Island, India would be prepared to tour in August if they obtain governmental permission to make the trip.

Bangladesh are due to tour Sri Lanka in July and August for a three-Test series, but the Ceylon Daily News this week reported those matches were in doubt.

It quoted Bangladesh Cricket Board director Akram Khan as saying the "chances are very slim" of the tour going ahead in its current calendar slot.

A wrist-spinner who bowled off-breaks, and turned his doosra by yards, he was impossible to fathom, physically and through measurement. He could touch his forearm with his little finger and rotate the metacarpals through a full 360 degrees.

For more than a dozen years Murali remained Sri Lanka’s ubiquitous match-winner, hauling up wickets by the buckets, 534 in One-Day Internationals. There were three World Cup finals along the way, the first in 1996 an epochal triumph for the island nation.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Muttiah Muralitharan

Born: April 17, 1972 (age 48), Kandy, Dominion of Ceylon

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

Playing Role: Bowler  

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (1993-2011)

Mat      Inns       Balls     Runs     Wkts      BBI      BBM       Ave      Econ     SR        4w    5w    10w

350        341       18811   12326     534       7/30     7/30       23.08     3.93     35.2      15      10       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most One-Day International wickets (534)
  • Average of 23.08 in ODIs
  • Highest career peak ODI Bowling Rating by a spinner (913)
  • Second most World Cup scalps (67)

Romesh Kaluwitharana debuted in Sri Lanka’s One-Day International team in 1990 against India but did not bad as his side, chasing down 136, romped to victory on the back of Aravinda de Silva’s unbeaten 63. Then, Kalu was considered a wicketkeeper who could bat a bit, but with no partner for Roshan Mahanama at the top of the order, his chance would come. Kaluwitharana would forge an opening partnership with another person thought to be unlikely to suit the spot, Sanath Jayasuriya. The partnership was legendary, transforming the ODI game completely, as the batsmen blasted the opposition off the park in the first 15 overs of the game when generally, openers were looking to solidify themselves at the crease in the hopes of continuing on to a big score. The two were fearless and their exploits made for a romping 1996 World Cup victory. His opportunities diminished after 2000 and the arrival of Kumar Sangakkara, but he still managed to distinguish himself as a wicketkeeper in the ODI game with more than 200 dismissals.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Romesh Shantha Kaluwitharana

Born: November 24, 1969, Colombo

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Colts Cricket Club, Galle Cricket Club, Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (1990-2004)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs          HS     Ave    BF          SR      100    50          4s      6s      Ct          St

189    181    14     3711          102* 22.22 4776          77.70 2       23          411    17     132          75

 

Career Highlights

  • Helped introduce aggressive batting approach in first 15 overs
  • 132 catches and 72 stumpings in 189 ODIs
  • Scored 3,711 runs at an average of 22.22

A 13-man Sri Lanka squad will start a 12-day residential training camp in Colombo on Monday.

The players and four members of the coaching team and support staff will be based at the Colombo Cricket Club for just under a fortnight.

They will stay in a hotel throughout the camp and have strict health regulations to adhere on their return after a lockdown was imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The players called up were not named, but Cricket Sri Lanka stated they were primarily bowlers and the squad covers all formats.

They will undergo conditioning work after a lengthy spell without playing early in the Mickey Arthur era.

Sri Lanka are awaiting confirmation over whether they will host India and Bangladesh in June or July when they get the green light to play again.

While an undoubted talent, Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva crowned himself in international glory with a century in the 1996 World Cup final to give the country its first hold on the title.

At the time of Aravinda’s arrival on the international scene, Sri Lanka were a team on the up as a force in world cricket, but their batsmen were often guilty of not being able to perform away from home and were suspected not to have the tools to deal with real pace bowling. Standing at 5 ft 3 in, Aravinda would become one of the giants who served to lay waste to that particular thought.

He cut and pull with verve and possessed a beautiful cover drive that would bring him 11 centuries and 64 fifties, of course, none of them as memorable as that 124 against Australia in the World Cup final.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Pinnaduwage Aravinda de Silva

Born: October 17, 1965, Colombo

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Auckland, Kent, Nondescripts Cricket Club

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career:   Sri Lanka (1984-2003)        

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave       BF          SR       100s    50s  

308      296     30     9284     145    34.90    11443     81.13      11      64     

 

Career Highlights

  • Only player to make a hundred and take 3 + wickets in a CWC final
  • 3rd most runs at 1996 World Cup (448)
  • Scored 11 centuries and 64 ODI half-centuries
  • Won 31 Man-of-the-Match and 3 man-of-the-series awards
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