Daily Archives: January 19, 2015

World Cup 2015: ICC announces venues for knock-out stage


The International Cricket Council(ICC) Monday announced the venue allocation criteria for the quarter-finals of the World Cup which will be held from February 14 to March 29.

If World Cup co-hosts Australia and New Zealand were to qualify from Pool A, they will play their quarter-finals in Adelaide and Wellington March 20 and 21, respectively.

Besides the hosts, the current rankings list Sri Lanka and England as the two next highest ranked teams in Pool A. If these teams qualify for the quarters, Sri Lanka will play in Sydney March 18 and England will play in Melbourne March 19, irrespective of where in the top-4 these teams finish.

“It is customary for the ICC to afford the hosts the opportunity to play knock-outs at home where possible during the World Cup. It is also usual for the ICC to assign venues to the higher ranked teams on the assumption they will progress through the pool stage,” said ICC general manager (cricket) Geoff Allardice.

“This is done to assist teams and spectators with their planning by giving them greater certainty. On this basis, the ICC has allocated quarter-final venues to the next two highest ranked teams from Pool A.”

However, if any one of the two hosts or the two next highest ranked Pool A teams fail to reach the last eight, then the team that qualifies will play at the venue that was allocated to the side that did not qualify.

For example, if Sri Lanka fail to reach the quarters, the Pool A team that qualifies instead of Sri Lanka will play in Sydney March 18.

The venues for quarter-finalists from Pool B will be determined by their Pool A opponents on the basis of their finishing positions in the group stage.

For example, if defending champions India top Pool B in position B1, they will play against the Pool A team that finishes in position A4. Therefore, if Sri Lanka finish in position A4 then India will play Sri Lanka in Sydney March 18.

As far as semi-finals are concerned, if Australia and New Zealand qualify, they will play at home unless they are scheduled to meet each other. In this case, the side that finished higher in Pool A will host the match.

Once it is known whether Australia and New Zealand can meet in a semi-final (at the end of the pool stage), the semi-final venue allocations will be confirmed.

If both the hosts fail to reach the quarter-finals, the winner of the Wellington quarter-final will play its semi-final in Sydney.

Quarter-final matches:

Quarter-final 1 – A1 v B4
Quarter-final 2 – A2 v B3
Quarter-final 3 – A3 v B2
Quarter-final 4 – A4 v B1

A1 means the side that tops Pool A while B4 means the side that finishes fourth in Pool B

Quarter-final dates and venues:

March 18 at Sydney Cricket Ground
March 19 at Melbourne Cricket Ground
March 20 at Adelaide Oval
March 21 at Wellington Stadium

Semi-final matches:

Semi-final 1 – winner QF1 (A1 v B4) v winner QF3 (A3 v B2)
Semi-final 2 – winner QF2 (A2 v B3) v winner QF4 (A4 v B1)

Semi-final dates and venues:

March 24 at Eden Park, Auckland
March 26 at Sydney Cricket Ground

Final date and venue:

March 29 at Melbourne Cricket Ground

US Man Get $2,084 Tip for Delivering 1 Pizza

ANN ARBOR – Now that’s a special delivery!

A group of real estate agents meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, surprised a man by giving him a $2,084 tip for delivering one pizza Thursday.

The man, identified only as Rob, was stunned and said on video, “All I did was deliver pizza.”

Agents from Keller Williams Realty all pitched in while attending the company’s regional conference. Stacey McVey says they wanted to show their appreciation to someone from the service industry.

Besides cash, the man received a Visa gift card, lottery tickets and letters of encouragement.

Brian LeFevre, delivery manager at Pizza House in Ann Arbor, says the lucky delivery man was “ecstatic.” He says “that’s a pretty good day’s work” for just one pizza.


SL Coup Theory Alive With Arms Discovery

COLOMBO: The discovery of huge caches of arms and ammunition on board a vessel in Galle on Sunday, and in a room in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo earlier on Friday, has kept alive speculation about an attempt by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts to stage an armed coup to avert defeat in the January 8 Presidential election.

The media quoted the police spokesman Ajith Rohana as saying that an armory belonging to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd (RALL), a quasi-civilian security agency affiliated to the Defence Ministry, had been sealed and that it would be opened on Monday after obtaining court orders.

The police have been quoted as saying that the armory was sealed after the ‘Anti-Corruption Organization’, which was formed by several outfits, including the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), complained that the weapons had been used during the elections. The documents of the company are being checked by a special police team. Daily Mirror reported that four containers of goods believed to have been imported by RALL and meant for distribution among voters, were also sealed. The police had received information that several suspicious looking containers were in the BMICH vehicle park.

Meanwhile, reports from the port of Galle said that the police have detained MV Mahanuwara, an arms vessel belonging to RALL.

A military source said that RALL has been in the business of providing Sea Marshals to protect commercial ships in the piracy-ridden seas off Somalia, in the Red Sea, off the East African coast, and the Arabian Sea, in collaboration with the Dubai-based firm Avant Garde Maritime Services. Avant Garde has a base in Galle and its vessel MV Mahanuwara calls at the port for replenishments. “It does not unload arms there,” the source told Express.

However the question that is asked is, how arms belonging to RALL found their way to the BMICH during elections.


Sri Lanka to keep army posted in north


Colombo, Jan 19 The new Sri Lankan government Sunday said it would keep the army stationed in the northern part of the country and give priority to national security.

Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena said that after President Maithripala Sirisena won the Jan 8 presidential election, there were several false reports that the army would be withdrawn from the north.

According to a Xinhua report, Wijewardena said President Sirisena had made it clear from the day he won the presidential election that he will not allow the country to be divided.

There were concerns over a possible withdrawal of the army from north Sri Lanka after Sirisena won the presidential election, as he was supported by the country’s main minority Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance, which has been pushing for a reduction in the army presence in the north, following the end of the war with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The rebels were defeated in May 2009, but the former government had refused to diminish the army’s presence in the north.

Wijewardena said the new government would ensure that the security forces were treated with respect and given all the facilities they might require.


Complaints against Rajapaksa brothers, police probe launched


Colombo: Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger brother ran “death squads” and ordered the murder of a high-profile newspaper editor, a loyalist-turned-foe of the former president has alleged, prompting a police probe.

Mervyn Silva, the former minister of public relations under the Rajapaksa regime, complained to police’s CID against Gotabhaya and Basil Rajapaksa, both brothers of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Authorities are investigating a claim that Rajapaksa’s brother Gotabhaya ran goon squads and ordered the 2009 murder of the editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

Silva said he has also implicated Basil Rajapaksa, the other brother of Rajapaksa and the former economic development minister, in a number of shady deals.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat in the January 8 presidential election has seen his family being reported to the police and to an anti-graft commission.

Silva said he has lodged a police complaint implicating Gotabhaya, the then powerful defence secretary, in the 2009 murder of the editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga.

“I raised all attacks against media in the recent past including Lasantha’s murder,” Silva said.

He blamed the Rajapaksa regime for what he termed the “white-van culture”.

Media personnel have often complained of government- backed “goon squads” coming in white-coloured vans to abduct and assault them.

The Rajapaksa government had turned a blind eye to such fears with Sri Lanka plummeting in the press freedom index due to frequent attacks on the media.

He also blamed the sons of Mahinda Rajapaksa for an assault on his son. “I know who hit my son”.

Silva said he wants all complaints investigated under the new Maithripala Sirisena-led government’s ‘good governance’ pledge.

Mahinda Rajapaksa ruled since 2005 and is credited with ending the LTTE separatist war.

His effort to win an unprecedented third term ended in a disaster with Sirisena, a defector from his own party, toppling him with support from joint opposition, ending a ten-year rule.


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