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Sri Lanka in must-win situation vs Windies

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Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup

Chester-le-Street (England), June 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign might look to be all but over, but going mathematically, the island nation still have a slim chance of sneaking through to the semifinals provided they win their remaining two games and the results in the other group matches go their way.

So come Monday, the Dimuth Karunaratne-led side will look to give their best against the West Indies who are already out of contention for a place in the knockouts.

A 20-run win over hosts England pumped life into Sri Lanka’s campaign before a nine-wicket loss against South Africa jeopardised their chances.

Sri Lanka are placed seventh on the points table with six points from seven matches and will need to win their remaining two games besides hoping for favourable outcomes in England and Pakistan’s remaining fixtures.

The Jason Holder-led West Indies, on the other hand, have managed just one win from seven outings while one match was washed out. With only three points in their kitty, the two-time former champions have nothing to lose and will aim to finish on a high and spoil Sri Lanka’s slim chances of advancing to the semifinals.

Inconsistent batting was the reason behind Sri Lanka’s loss to the Proteas and Karunaratne should ask his batsmen to step up as it will be now or never for them. Also, West Indies pose a challenging bowling attack and it won’t be easy for the Lankan batsmen to score easily against them.

With a below par batting attack, a lot will depend on the Lankan bowlers to restrict the Windies to a low score. Their bowling will once again be spearheaded by veteran speedster Lasith Malinga. With Nuwan Pradeep’s exit from the tournament due to chickenpox, Sri Lanka will rely heavily on Malinga to come good.

West Indies kicked-off their World Cup campaign on a rousing note by hammering Pakistan by seven wickets. However, things have worsened for them since then.

Lying at the penultimate spot just above Afghanistan on the points table, the West Indies batting line-up posses some great power-hitters who can destroy even the best bowling attack of the world when on song.

Their destructive batting line-up features Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite and if any one of them clicks, life would be miserable for the Lankan bowlers.

Their bowling will once again be led by Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and the experienced Kemar Roach.

Both Sri Lanka and West Indies, who are coming on the back of losses against South Africa and India, respectively, have clashed a total of 56 times in ODIs with the Lions winning 25 of them and the Caribbean side emerging victorious on 28 occasions.

Squads
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Ambris, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Darren Bravo, Fabian Allen.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha , Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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