With every passing day the Indian Cricket League (ICL) launched by Zee Sports owner Subash Chandra is slowly gathering momentum.
According to sources former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu, former Sri Lanka cricketer turned commentator Russel Arnold, leg-spinner Upul Chandana, fast bowlers Nuwan Zoysa and Ruchira Perera and Moors SC all-rounder Anil Rideegammanagedera are spoken highly of joining the league for its inaugural multi-million dollar Twenty20 tournament scheduled to take place in India in October-November.
These players according to sources have been approached by former England captain and popular cricket commentator Tony Greig to sign up with other top celebrities of the game. Indications are that most of them will.
Greig who was in Sri Lanka to commentate in the recently concluded Sri Lanka-Bangladesh cricket series is one of the executive directors of the ICL board where former Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev is the CEO. Dean Jones and Kiran More, two former cricketers from Australia and India are the other members of the board.
Apart from Atapattu and Chandana who are contracted to Sri Lanka Cricket the others are not binded by any contract and are free to sign with whom they wish.
Arnold retired from cricket at the end of the 2007 World Cup while Chandana, Zoysa and Perera have not held onto a regular place in the national side. Rideegammanagedera has been overlooked for selection even in the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team despite winning Sri Lanka Cricket’s Player of the Year award last Sunday.
According to the news report from Mumbai a number of names of retired and semi-retired players are currently doing the rounds. Quite a few are expected to be from the English celebrity side Lashings where Atapattu is currently playing.
A Mumbai based news report said: “Marvan Atapattu has a ‘strong chance’ of moving over to the league. Atapattu is still nursing the wounds of being benched right through the 2007 World Cup. The right-handed batsman even opted out of the Bangladesh series, but Atapattu still retains hopes of playing for Sri Lanka. ‘I am still contracted with Sri Lanka Cricket. We have two upcoming series and want to play in that,’ said Atapattu from Canterbury. But despite Atapattu brushing off the suggestion, it is learnt that he is in talks with ICL along with teammate and fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa.”
The ICL initially signed one high-profile cricketer, former West Indies captain Brian Lara and indications are that former Australian bowlers Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and a host of other well known stars are due to sign on the dotted line shortly.
It is being speculated that Fleming, now leading English county side Nottinghamshire might end his international career to join ICL for a fee of $440,000.
The Twenty20 tournament has been organized with a purpose by Subash Chandra to prove to the Indian Cricket Board that Zee has the experience of telecasting matches internationally. The Indian Board overlooked Zee’s offer for TV rights despite them making the highest bid and signed up with Nimbus instead.
The ICL is a Twenty20 series featuring six teams comprising four international players and two Indian stars, with the rest made up of younger players.
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Sri Lankan cricketers celebrate their series whitewash and victory over Bangladesh by 39 runs during their third One-Day international cricket match in Colombo.
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Sanath Jayasuriya the ninth bowler to take 300 ODI wickets after his haul of 4 for 31 in the second ODI against Bangladesh. Jayasuriya – more known for his powerful shot-making ability than his left-arm slingers – is only the third Sri Lankan bowler to do so, after Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
Jayasuriya has also scored over 12,000 runs in ODIs, a feat matched by no other player. He’s no slouch in the field either, having taken 114 catches in 397 matches. Other than Sachin Tendulkar, Jayasuriya is the only player to have completed the unique treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches. The fact that he is currently the highest-capped player in ODIs does come to Jayasuriya’s aid, though.
Jayasuriya is the grand old man playing in the international circuit, with only Tendulkar having played longer. His crucial role for Sri Lanka with the ball is reflected in the fact that the team has won 22 of 30 matches when he has taken three wickets or more.
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The three-match one-day series followed a predictable script as Sri Lanka wrapped up the second ODI and the series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo with a five-wicket win. The victory was fashioned by a ruthless bowling performance, starting with Lasith Malinga’s incisive opening burst, followed by Sanath Jayasuriya’s finishing touches, restricting Bangladesh to 137, a score few teams can realistically defend.
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Sri Lanka’s squad of thirty players for the ICC 20 -Twenty World Cup which is scheduled to be held in South Africa this September.
However the selectors have once again omitted former skipper Marvan Atapattu who pulled out of the current series against Bangladesh from the squad while also overlooking new found opener Malinda Warnapura too. However the batsmen Jehan Mubarak and Michael Vandort who have not proved themselves in the shorter version of the game also has been given a chance to prove themselves. Avishka Gunawardena who also was kept in cold storage for a while also has been thought of for the initial squad.
The squad: Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Dilruwan Perera, Upul Tharanga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Avishka Gunawardena, Mahela Udawatte, T.M. Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Michael Vandort, Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandambi, Chamara Silva, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Ranga Dias, Dilhara Fernando, Ishara Amerasinghe, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Nuwan Zoysa, Akalanka Ganegama, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Muttiah Muralitharan, Hasantha Fernando, Malinga Bandara, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Gayan Wijekone, Upul Chandana and Dhammika Prasad.
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