Former Sri Lanka Skipper Marvan Atapattu Keen To Perform In Australia

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Submitted by Sudhakar Shanbhag on Sun, 2007-10-21 18:30.
Being recalled into the Sri Lankan Test squad for Australia tour, former skipper Marvan Atapattu said on Sunday that he was determined to prove himself.

A dramatic intervention by the Sri Lankan sports minister ensured Atapattu a place in the team.

“I have been out of the game for sometime and I know I have to perform and prove myself because I was invited due to my ability,” Atapattu was quoted as saying in a radio chat show.

The 36-year-old, who was not selected in the original touring squad, was brought in as the 17th member on Thursday following the intervention of sports minister Gamini Lokuge.

Atapattu is a veteran of 88 Tests.

“Team spirit decreased because the players became insecure,” said Atapattu. “They were performing for themselves to remain in the team.”


Former Australian Test Player John Dyson Appointed West Indies Cricket Coach

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Submitted by Rohit Bhandiye on Sun, 2007-10-21 10:31.
Former Australian test player John Dyson has been named West Indies cricket coach, replacing temporary appointee David Moore.

Moore, an assistant to former head coach Bennett King, took over the top job after King put in his papers following the team’s dismal World Cup campaign on home turf.

Dyson coached Sri Lanka in 2003 after Dav Whatmore relinquished the post.

“The rest of the team management will be identified and appointed subsequently. Additionally, the board has identified a candidate for the post of CEO, subject to the agreement on terms and conditions of service as well as specific performance deliverables,” the West Indies Cricket Board said in a statement.

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In addition, the Board has approved a leadership and motivational programme at the high performance centre in Barbados for senior West Indies players, and a camp for the team at the same venue prior to the start of the Zimbabwe-South Africa tour.

The board, with the agreement of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), has hired a security consultant to report within a week on whether the tour of Zimbabwe should take place.


ICC Committee Recommends Increase In Elite Panel Of Umpires

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Submitted by Rohit Bhandiye on Wed, 2007-09-12 20:07.
In order to lessen the workload on umpires, the International Cricket Council Chief Executives’ Committee has recommended that the Elite Panel of officials be increased from 10 to 12.

The Committee, which met here on Monday and Tuesday, made the proposal after going through the report compiled by an umpires’ task force chaired by ICC President-elect David Morgan and also including Geoff Allardice of Cricket Australia, ICC Manager, Cricket, David Richardson and ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle.

This followed a meeting by the task force in London on September 6 and 7. The report will go forward for consideration by the ICC Board during its next meeting, set for Dubai on 30 and 31 October.

The meeting asked ICC management to refine the programme of playing ahead of further discussion on the subject at the next CEC meeting, set to take place in February 2008 in Kuala Lumpur during the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia.

The CEC also reviewed a draft international programme for the period.


ASHES 2nd TEST DAY 1 -ADELAIDE

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England showed signs of fight back on Day 1 of their second Ashes Test against Australia reaching 266 for 3 at close of play in Adelaide on Friday.

A patient unbeaten 98 from Paul Collingwood helped England rebound from last week’s heavy loss in Brisbane to make a bright start to their Ashes revival.

Three English batsmen made half-centuries on the opening day as the tourists reached a respectable total after winning the toss and electing to bat on one of the friendliest batting pitches in Australia.

Collingwood,who had scored 96 in the second innings of the Brisbane Test continued his good form with an unbeaten 98,which was spread over four and a half hours while Kevin Pietersen remained 60 not out after making 92 in the first Test.

Ian Bell too notched up his second half-century of the series with a defiant 60 to shape up the England innings after openers Andrew Strauss and Allistair Cook departed cheaply before lunch.
Strauss went for 14 when he miscued an attempted flick off Stuart Clark and spooned the ball straight to Damien Martyn at mid-on, who took the catch diving forward.

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Clark also got rid of Cook for 27 when the left-handed batsmen tried to drive a ball that was angled across his body and got a faint edge to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

Earlier,England looked in trouble at 45 for 2 but Bell and Collingwood came to rescue with a third-wicket partnership of 113.The pair took the total to 58 for two by lunch and batted watchfully through the entire middle session, both reaching their fifties with singles off Shane Warne in the last over before tea.

Bell threw his wicket away shortly after tea when he skied an attempted hook off express paceman Brett Lee, who safely took the catch, but not before he had helped lay the platform for a respectable total.

Pietersen was easily the most aggressive of the English batsmen, smashing five fours and a six, reaching his half-century off 69 balls.


Rahul Gandhi, Shahrukh Khan Among The VVIPs Who Witnessed The India-Australia Twenty20 Match At Mumbai On Saturday

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Submitted by Rohit Bhandiye on Sun, 2007-10-21 10:14.
A galaxy of politicians and film stars thronged the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday night to watch the Twenty20 match between India and Australia.

Among the VVIPs present at the stadium were AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and his brother-in-law Robert Vadra, Bollywood mega star Shah Rukh Khan and model-turned-actress Deepika Padukone, who will be making her Bollywood debut with soon-to-be-released ‘Om Shanti Om’.

They enjoyed the match by cheering for the Indian cricket team.

Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was also present for the match at Brabourne Stadium and was seen enjoying every moment along with Ravi Shastri. BCCI president Sharad Pawar was also present.


Marvan Atapattu Will Open The Innings Against Australia, Says Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jayawardene

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Submitted by Rohit Bhandiye on Sun, 2007-10-21 10:38.
Back in the Sri Lankan squad after sorting out his differences with the selectors, Marvan Atapattu will open the innings during the two-match test series against Australia next month.

“Atapattu is an opening batsman. There is no doubt about that, we have the other batsmen lined up to bat at various other places, so obviously his job would be opening the batting,” Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardane said.

“We`ll have to see how everyone fares, but experience counts a lot and the final decision will be made thereafter”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge, who played a major role in bringing around the disgruntled Atapattu back into the side, said all the problems have been solved.

“The team is strong, all the problems have been solved. We are now waiting for victory”, Lokuge said.

Meanwhile, Jayawardane said ace off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is just nine wickets shy of reclaiming the record of most test wickets from Australian Shane Warne, should not be put under any pressure to achieve the feat.

Muralitharan has already taken 700 test wickets.

“If he could break the record in Australia it is great, if not, he could do later on. But we should not make a major issue of it,” the Sri Lankan captain said.

Sri Lanka leave on Tuesday for the series against Australia starting November 8.


Ashes 4th Test, Day 2 – Centurions Hayden,Symonds put Australia in command

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Andrew Symonds hit a fine maiden Test century and Matthew Hayden plundered 153 as Australia ended Day two of the fourth Test 213 runs ahead of England.

Andrew Flintoff, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison struck in the morning to leave the Aussies on 84-5, still 75 behind. However, Symonds (154 n.o.) –who might have played the innings of his life at the MCG – and Hayden added 279 for the sixth wicket before the latter and Adam Gilchrist fell to Sajid Mahmood before stumps. By then Hayden and Symonds had bailed Australia out of trouble. Australia, who are 3-0 up in the series closed the day on 372-7, with England looking weary and short of inspiration.

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It was a complete turnaround from the first session, when the tourists put their Boxing Day batting misery behind them with a fine bowling display. Flintoff and Hoggard caused Ricky Ponting and Hayden early problems with a combination of probing lines and movement through the air. Ponting skied a pull off Flintoff to Alastair Cook at mid-wicket before Hoggard, who was carrying a slight rib injury, comprehensively bowled the prolific Mike Hussey.


DAY 2 Ashes Test at Adelaide

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Paul Collingwood became just the third England batsman to score a double century in Australia as the tourists took charge of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Saturday.

Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen shared 310 for the fourth wicket, an England record against Australia, before the former fell for 206 on Day 2 in Adelaide.

Pietersen was run out for 158 but Andrew Flintoff (38) helped England reach 551-6 before declaring. The England skipper then had Justin Langer caught at slip and Australia closed the day on 28-1.

Langer was surprised by a short one and could only fend to Kevin Pietersen, giving England’s bowlers an ideal start.

Although Matthew Hoggard was less successful sharing the new ball, England decided not to give Steve Harmison the final over.

Collingwood’s marathon innings brought the first double century by an England batsman in Australia since Walter Hammond hit 231 not out in Sydney 70 years ago.


Australia Seal Clean Sweep With Ashes Whitewash For England In A 5-0 Demolision Of Holders

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Australia continued their indomitable streak with a 10-wicket bashing of England in the final Test to complete a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash for the first time in 86 years at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

The Australians were left with the comfortable task of scoring 46 runs to wrap up victory after they dismissed the tourists for just 147 little more than an hour into the fourth day.

Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, playing in their last Test together, reached the target just before lunch to wrap up a conclusive victory in a lop-sided series.

Langer, playing in his final Test (105), was not out 20 while Hayden remained unbeaten on 23 as the latter knocked the winning run much to the delight of the capacity crowd.

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It was the perfect send-off for Australia’s three retiring cricket greats – Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Langer- as nothing would have delighted them more than having sealed the Ashes with a 5-0 sweep.

McGrath and Warne led the Australian team from the ground to huge applause from the near-capacity SCG crowd at the end of England’s innings to signal the culmination of a golden era for Australian cricket.

What remains to be seen is whether Australian cricket would ever manage to find a replacement for Warne and McGrath in the true sense.

Warne finished his 145-Test career with 708 wickets, the most in Test cricket, and McGrath ended his 124 Tests with 563 wickets, the most by a fast bowler.

They also clocked up 1001 wickets between them in the 104 Tests they played together- a truly amazing combination indeed.


Ashes Day 1 fourth Test – Warne zooms past magical 700 as Aussies seize control in Melbourne Test

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Spin magician Shane Warne was once again back in action to haunt his old rivals with yet another deadly five-wicket haul on his home ground at the MCG on Tuesday.

The Boxing Day Test at the magnificent Melbourne ground would be firmly etched in Warne’s memories as he went on to capture his magical 700th Test wicket in the form of Andrew Strauss as England were yet again blown away by the spin wizard to be all out for 159 on the opening day.

Warne’s brilliance and genius not only allowed him to go past the 700 mark (to be at 704 after England’s innings) but also allowed Australia to take firm control of the fourth Ashes Test , as the Kangaroos looked set for yet another English bashing after having already regained the prized ‘Urn’ with a series-clinching victory at Perth to be leading the series 3-0 then.

Warne took 5-39 to complete his 37th five-wicket haul as he became the first man to claim 700 Test victims and also engineered an England collapse at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in his typical dismissive style.

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Australia, in reply, slumped to 48 for two at stumps, after England skipper Andrew Flintoff first dismissed Justin Langer for 27 and then sent back night watchman Brett Lee for a golden duck in successive deliveries.

Matthew Hayden got the benefit of the doubt to a confident appeal for lbw to reach the close unbeaten on 17 with his captain Ricky Ponting yet to score.

Earlier, England made a bright start and were cruising along at 101-2 after lunch when the wheels suddenly fell off and they collapsed, losing their last eight wickets for just 58 runs. England’s batting woes continued to torment them once again on tour as they simply played into their rival’s hand without any retaliation.