The Aussies were in Galle for the first Test of the series in 2004 and Dean Jones joked in commentary. He said that it took him less than four hours from Singapore to Katunayake but five hours to get to Galle from Katunayake! He was driving home some pertinent points. Travel in Sri Lanka before the highway days was a nightmare. Sri Lanka Cricket did not raise objections with the television company that employed Jones nor did the Sports Ministry. His criticism was well taken by all and sundry. Jones didn’t mince any words. He was a bold critic. As The Island’s former Editor Mr. Gamini Weerakoon used to say, ‘A good journalist works with his resignation letter in the pocket.’
ESPN Report,4 August 2020, entitled “England storm back to choke chase and take 1-0 series lead”
England 162 for 7 (Malan 66, Buttler 44, Richardson 2-13) beat Australia 160 for 6 (Warner 58, Finch 46, Rashid 2-29) beat by two runs
Australia imploded in their first international game since March at the Ageas Bowl, falling two runs short against England despite needed 39 from the final 36 balls with nine wickets remaining in their chase. David Warner and Aaron Finch had put on 98 for the first wicket in the space of 11 overs to break the back of the chase, before Steven Smith flew out of the blocks at No. 3. But four wickets in the space of 14 legal deliveries gave England a foothold, as Australia went 5.4 overs without a boundary.
S. Skandakumar, in The Sunday Island, 30 August 2020 where his chosen title is “The Colombo Oval and I”
The majestic Oval scoreboard clock showed ten minutes to three on a Sunday afternoon when our final wicket fell. We had conceded first innings points by a small margin to Moors in a P. Sara Trophy encounter. The year was 1973 and it was my first game for the club. The many Moors supporters hugged each other and left the venue to return to Braybrook Place to celebrate. With just half an hour left to tea, and two hours thereafter to the end of the game, their optimism was justified.
In our dressing room our skipper Benedictine Tony Appathurai had other ideas. “I want five by tea,” he thundered as he briskly led us back on to the field for that half an hour. I admired his arrogance!
The coronavirus may have struck shortly before the English cricket season was due to start, but it threatens to have major implications for the game worldwide. English officials still believe they can fit a full international programme of three-Test series against both the West Indies and Pakistan, as well as one-day internationals with Australia and Ireland, into a season that won’t start until 1 July at the earliest.
David Runcimanreviewing No Spin –Warne’s Autobiography
When the Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were exposed tampering with the ball during last year’s test series in South Africa there was, along with all the faux outrage, some genuine incredulity. Why did they take such an insane risk? The subterfuge was so cack-handed – rubbing the ball with lurid yellow sandpaper, perfectly suited to be picked up by the TV cameras – and the potential rewards so slight that they seemed to be putting their careers on the line for next to nothing. Confronted with the filmed evidence, Smith confessed straightaway. As conspiracies go this one barely got to first base, since almost no thought had been given to keeping it secret. They can’t have wanted to be caught. Each of the three culprits looked distraught in the aftermath. But it does appear that they didn’t think getting caught would matter much.
Sarath Gamini De Silva, in Island, 6 June 2019 where the title was different**
I am an ardent cricket fan, being educated at a school giving pride of place to cricket. The annual “Big Match” was one of the most looked forward to events in the calendar. My own experience in the game was limited to playing with the soft ball in the backyard with my friends. Whenever time permits, I watch cricket on television but only occasionally do I go to see a match. I am overjoyed to see Sri Lanka winning matches, which unfortunately is a rarity now.
Today’s post brought a book from England. My long-suffering wife smiled and inquired politely about it, knowing full well that it would be another book about cricket. More specifically, about players and officials, from anywhere on earth, who have had some fame or infamy in that great game that is a passion for so many of us.
Harry Solomons, the Aloysian Australian Invincible, in Australian colours…. the same combination as his alma mater, St, Aloysius, Galle …. playing for Australia’s Over Seventies against New Zealand this February 2020 –where, he says, “we beat NZ in our only 70s International on tour…… [and] I played the full 6 matches on tour”. Harry then presents snapshots of the “emotional cap ceremony.”