Sa’adi Thawfeeq in Daily News 5 February 2020, with this title “The Kusal Perera saga”
Many opinions has been expressed and many words written on the exclusion of Kusal Perera from the Test squad to Zimbabwe. Perera as you may remember played one of the greatest match-winning innings in Test cricket against South Africa guiding his team to an epic one-wicket win at Durban hitting an unbeaten 153 as Sri Lanka chased down 304.
But since then Perera’s scores in Test cricket have been 20, 1, 23, 0 and 0. However the selectors persisted with him and took him to Pakistan but with the return of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal both of whom missed the South African series, he lost his place in the Test team and was pushed to the rank of reserves.
Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya who was reported for a suspect bowling action following the first Test against England at Galle last November was named in the 17-man squad for the five-match One-Day International series against South Africa starting on March 3 at Johannesburg. Dananjaya underwent remedial action to his bowling and was cleared by the ICC (see separate story) that has resulted in him finding a place in the one-day side. Dananjaya was the most consistent bowler in Sri Lanka’s ODI ranks over the past year and had begun to have success in the Test format as well when he was reported.
Sa’adi Thawfeeq presenting Mahinda Wijesinghe’s Choice XI …. courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, 1 April 2010
How dearly the national selectors would love to have a Cricinfo jury to help them pick the national teams, going by how straightforward the selection of Sri Lanka’s all-time XI turned out to be. The middle order of Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Mahela Jayawardene, and champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, were all unanimous picks, with 10 votes apiece.
Left-arm spinner Ajit de Silva and legspinner DS de Silva were tied for the spot of Muralitharan’s spin partner; but with Murali dominating from one end and Chaminda Vaas, whose nine votes justify his place as the spearhead of the bowling attack, from the other, you could assume the three other bowlers in the XI would have little to do. Continue reading →
Herbie Felsinger was a legend among local cricket umpires. Umpires of his genre are few and far between today in an ever changing world. “I feel we did a better job than the present umpires because when they have a doubt they always go to third umpire. In our time if we gave out that’s it, the batsman went. If the ball pitches within the sticks and if it doesn’t’ vary much and the batsman misses, it’s out,” said Felsinger. The standard of Sri Lankan umpires in Felsinger’s opinion is ‘below standard’. Sri Lanka umpiring standards have gone down from what it was during our time. The reason is more money. Umpires are always thinking of money not the game. They are keener to finish the match early and get the money.”
Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News21 April 2018, where the title is “The cricket tour that never took place but changed national selection policy” …. AND where Thawfeeq’s sub-title line runs thus: “Dhanasiri Weerasinghe a key figure in the controversy spills the beans after 50 years
It is fifty years since Sri Lanka first attempted a full cricket tour of England, that failed to materialize for several reasons. Many are of the view had that tour taken place in the summer of 1968, Sri Lanka would not have to wait to gain Test status for as long as 1981 but become a full member of the ICC much earlier.
Sri Lanka Test squad:Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Roshen Silva, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dhananjaya, Lahiru Gamage and Lahiru Kumara.
ONE: Rex Clementine, in Sunday Island, 14 January 2017
Sri Lanka have dropped promising top order batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama for the two match Test series against Bangladesh. Samarawickrama, who made his Test debut against Pakistan during the tour of UAE, played all three Tests against India and finished with 74 runs in six innings. The 22-year-old is one of the brightest prospects around having finishing the last domestic season as the highest run getter. His close-in fielding earned the praise of former Indian cricketers as he fearlessly stood at short leg after begin repeatedly hit by Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli. Continue reading →
The Sri Lankan cricketers got a taste of what lay ahead of them if they don’t fall in line with Chandika Hathurusingha at the inaugural practice session they had with their new head coach at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday. Hathurusingha’s no-nonsense approach has made him one of the most successful, respected and most sought after cricket coaches in the world today and he believes he has arrived at the right time to put Sri Lanka cricket back on the right track to success.
Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News, 7 Dec 2017, with title “Sri Lanka batting displays gumption to draw final Test”
Wednesday: The Sri Lankan batting which has been spineless in the last five Tests against India finally displayed its true colours to bat out the entire fifth and final day and deny the number one ranked Test team victory in the third and final cricket Test played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday.
Dhannajaya & Roshen take a run
Set an improbable target of 410 to chase in the fourth innings, Sri Lanka finished on 299 for five wickets to earn an honourable draw. The match was called off in mutual consent between the two teams at the final drinks break at 4 pm. Continue reading →
Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News, 11 October 2017, with the title reading “Lankan cricketers create history in UAE”
DUBAI, Tuesday – Sri Lanka inflicted on Pakistan their first Test series defeat since they made the UAE their home venue in 2010 when they beat them by 68 runs with more than two sessions to spare on the fifth and final day to win the second Test played at the Dubai International Stadium and thereby clinch the two-match series 2-0.