The Headlines (for Mar 96)

The Headlines for Mar 96

FEB96 news items moved to ARCHIVE/CRICKET_NEWS/FEB96

For all news and articles relating to the the Wills World Cup 1996, please see the articles directory in the World Cup page.

Sun 31

West Indies beat New Zealand in the third one-day international to take a 2-1 lead in the five match series. The scores: New Zealand 219-8 in 50 overs; West Indies 225-3 in 45.4 overs (Brian Lara 146*).

David Lloyd has been appointed coach of England for the upcoming season, it was announced by the TCCB. See articles in news/.

Sri Lanka is going to make use of their `world champion tag` to get more international fixtures and to strengthen the `Cricket Funds 2000`. Sri Lanka`s fund raising campaign, to generate finances to find the infrastructure and better facilities to the cricketers, will be continued in Singapore next week.This will be taken to the West Indies,USA and Canada next month and will be continued in England next summer. Sri Lanka`s next aim is to be- come the best Test nation by the year 2000. A senior Cricket Board source said that Sri Lanka`s performance in the cup final should be an eye opener to the `lords at Lord`s`to give a full Test series to Sri Lanka. England have always treated Sri Lanka poorly and given only a one-off Test since gaining Test status in 1981.

Sri Lanka plans to replace off cutter Kumara Dharmasena with all-rounder Upul Chandana for their Singer Cup`curtain raiser` match against Pakistan to be played at the Padang cricket grounds, Singapore on Monday. Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga said he is eager to give chances to the newcomers who should be groomed as future prospects. Ranatunga said no final decision has been taken on the team selections. Sri Lanka will play their second match against India on April 3.

Sat 30

New Zealand beat West Indies in yet another thrilling one-day encounter with one ball to spare to tie the five match series 1-1. The scores: West Indies 238/7 in 50 overs; New Zealand 239/6 in 49.5 overs (Fleming 106*).

There was no respite for Tamil Nadu as the Karnataka batsmen smashed the bowling around to take their team well on course for a huge score in the final of the Pepsi Ranji Trophy cricket championship at Madras on Thursday. With 471 runs on the board for the loss of only four wickets and more batting to come, Tamil Nadu fielders will find the going tough. The highlights on the second day were the aggressive but purposeful batting by R. Vijay, who helped himself to his third century (146) in what is only his second season and the chanceless 114 by the stylish Rahul Dravid for his tenth century in the championship. The overnight batsmen, Vijay and Dravid, made the bowling look very ordinary. The 262 runs that the two added for the third wicket is a new record for Karnataka in Ranji championship.

After the excitement generated at the Wills World Cup in the Indian sub-continent, Singapore is preparing to host the first ever international cricket tournament in the first week of April. The World Cup champion Sri Lanka and the co-hosts, India and Pakistan, will be vying for the honours in the Singer Cup, beginning on April 1. Having lent its name both in Sri Lanka and Sharjah, Singer is now entering the Singapore market. Whether it can make Singapore another Sharjah is a different question. The Cup winner takes $ 30,000, the runner-up $ 20,000 and the third team $ 10,000. Another $ 10,000 goes to the Man of the Match. The cricket fever here has caught mainly the expatriate community. Besides the 7 per cent local population of Indian origin, there is a large contingent of expatriate workers and professionals from the sub-continent. All matches will be telecast live over STAR TV. Following is the schedule of the matches: April 1 - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka. April 3 - Sri Lanka vs India. April 5 - India vs Pakistan. April 7 - Final.

Dinesh Mongia slammed a fine 88, as Rest of India put up an improved display to draw the three-day(under-19) tie against South Africa, at Amritsar on Thursday. After the visiting team declared at its overnight score of 340 for eight, with a 137-run lead in hand, the Rest of India scored 280 for five when play was called off in the sixth mandatory over. With Rest of India showing enough resolve from early in the morning, the match meandering to a draw was a foregone conclusion by the second session of play. The scores: Rest of India - 1st innings: 203. South Africa - 1st innings: 340 for eight declared. Rest of India - 2nd innings: 280 for five wickets.

Sri Lanka cricket team which arrives in Singapore tomorrow for the three-nation Singer Cup tournament,is scheduled to have a three-hour practice session at the Padang cricket grounds here on Sunday. There has been good response from the local sports enthusiasts and almost all tickets for Monday`s `curtain raiser` game between World champions Sri Lanka and Pakistan have been sold out. Local travel agents said there have been large number of tourist arrivals due the triangular series which will feature Asian cricketing giants India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

An official of the Australian Cricket Board said they have not yet taken any decision on their proposed tour of Sri Lanka scheduled for later this year. "As it is, the tour is on. But we have to review the security situation in Colombo at that time before arriving at a decision," he said over the telephone from Melbourne. He added that the Australian Cricket Board executive committee will meet will in the second weekend of May and a final decision on the tour of Sri Lanka will be taken there. Australia are due to tour Sri Lanka from July to play two Tests and participate in the Singer Quadrangular tournament which also features India and Zimbabwe. But there have been many speculations over the Aussies` presence here after they forfeited their World Cup first round match in Colombo last month.

Sri Lanka captain, Arjuna Ranatunga said his team is determined to maintain their super show, though they will be under tremendous pressure in the three-nation tournament in Singapore next week. "We will be under pressure,"said Ranatunga."However, the boys have banded themselves together well and will be giving one hundred per cent of their effort in the tournament," he assured. Ranatunga said that not much cricket has been played at this particular ground (international matches) and that it would be interesting to see what type of wickets are laid out for the matches.

The most valuable player in the World Cup Sanath Jayasuriya and opening bowler Pramodya Wickremasinghe were given a rousing welcome on their arrival in Matara. This reception was organised by the Old Servatius Sport Club. They were conducted in a motorcade to Kotuwegoda Grounds where there was a public meeting in their honour attended by a large crowd. On the cricketers request 2 minutes of silence was observed before the meeting as a mark of respect to the heros who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the nation. Addressing the large crowd skipper Arjuna Ranatunga requested people in Matara to provide more talented cricketers like Sanath and Pramodya to the national pool.

Fri 29

Sri Lanka have succeeded in convincing the ICC to form a panel to consider controversial issues such as ball tampering and chucking. See article in news/.

John Emburey has turned down the chance to become England`s coach leaving David Lloyd as most likely to be appointed. See article in news/.

The World champion Sri Lanka team will face their first hurdle after the cup final triumph when they embark on a three-week tour of Singapore, West Indies and USA this weekend. On the first leg of the tour, Arjuna Ranatunga will play in the threenation Singer Cup tournament,along with India and Pakistan in Singapore. On completion of the final on April 7 at Padang, Sri Lanka team will fly to Trinidad to play two one day internationals against the West Indies on April 12 and 13. The third and final leg of their tour will be in the United States to play two matches on April 20 and 21. The Lankan cricketers will be pitted against the USA national team on April 20 and on the next day will face up to the Southern California CA team before returning home on April 23. Both one day games will be played at the Woodley Park Cricket Grounds, Van Nuys, San Fernando Valley, California.

A local insurance firm gave free `life covers` worth 15 million rupees to the Sri Lanka cricket team which emerged World champions. The Union Assurance, where skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and two of his champion team members are employed, have given life insurance covers worth one million each to the 14-member squad and Manager Duleep Mendis. Union Assurance will give the cricketers a lump sum of million upon reaching the retirement age of 55 and this sum will be given to them on their 55th birthday. This same amount of money will be given to them even before the age of 55 if the cricketers become totally disabled by an accident

Thu 28

Two wickets by leg spinner W D Balaji Rao in the final session came as a soothing change for Tamil Nadu after hard toil the whole day. The youngster who was able to vary his spin better when he came from the far end may have even raised hopes for Tamil Nadu by stumps of spoiling Karnataka`s plans of amassing a huge total after Karnataka earned the precious opportunity of batting first. Still, the first day`s play in the Pepsi Ranji Trophy cricket final at Madras on Wednesday produced little to enthuse the more than 2000 people who had looked forward to an entertaining fare, with Karnataka making just 171 runs for two wickets in 372 minutes. The play was extended by 12 minutes to accommodate the stipulated 90 overs.

Captain Douglas Gain`s compact 88 helped South Africa to a position of strength against Rest of India XI, in the three-day under-19 fixture at Amritsar on Wednesday. At the end of the second day`s play, South Africa was 340 for eight in reply to a score of 203, with a defeat ruled out and a win a possibility. Having already run up a lead of 137 runs, the visiting side must be contemplating a declaration on Thursday to try and bowl out the opposition for the second time over. With South Africa`s batsmen having got good practice, the onus is on its bowlers to try to do their best on a batsman-friendly wicket.

Surrey are looking toward Andrew Bichel, an uncapped Australian fast bowler to replace Brian McMillan who pulled out of his contract recently. See article in news/.

India and Pakistan meet in five one-day internationals in Canada in September. Inderjit Bindra, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said the series was part of a plan to popularise the game.

New Zealand will be anxious to level what promises to be an exciting one-day series in Trinidad tomorrow after the West Indies pulled off an exciting one-wicket win with four balls to spare in the first game on Tuesday.

West Indies will retain the same team for the second one day international against New Zealand to be played in Port of Spain on Friday. West Indies who recorded a dramatic one-wicket win in the first one day international in Kingston on Tuesday, will field an unchanged side. The remaining games of the fivematch limited over series will be played on Saturday (Port of Spain), Wednesday (Georgetown), and Friday (St.Vincent) before West Indies play two one day internationals against Sri Lanka in Trinidad.

Sri Lanka team,led by Arjuna Ranatunga, will leave for Singapore on Saturday (30) night to participate in the threenation Singer Cup limited over tournament which starts in Padang on April 1. The Lankan cricketers resumed training on Wednesday after their successful World Cup campaign under the watchful eyes of coach Dave Whatmore and Manager Duleep Mendis. The tourney, which also features India and Pakistan, is a round robin one with the unbeaten two teams playing in the final scheduled for April 7. Sri Lanka will meet ex-World champions Pakistan in the `curtain raiser` game on Monday (1)

The International Cricket Council has once again picked former Sri Lanka Test captain Ranjan Madugalle as ICC match referee for the Champions Trophy tournament in Sharjah next month. Thirty six-year-old Madugalle is the youngest ever to function as an ICC match referee having officiated in the Test series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe two years ago. The Champions Trophy tournament which features India, Pakistan and South Africa, will be worked off from April 11 to 14 in UAE.

A total of Rs.106 million worth of gifts and incentives came Sri Lanka`s cricketers way after winning the Wills World Cup cricket tournament. This amount, however,does not take in the valuable `Audi A-4` car won by Sanath Jayasuriya for being picked as the `Most Valuable Player` of the tournament.Sri Lanka beat Australia in the cup final to win the most coveted prize in World cricket.

Sri Lanka Cricket Board is still confident that Australia team will undertake their scheduled tour here in July/August this year. The BCCSL President Ana Punchihewa said earlier that Sri Lanka will not set any deadlines as such but to convince the Australian Cricket Board to play here. He said that the matter should be handled in a diplomatic manner and his recent discussions with the ACB top men in Pakistan helped to iron out any misunderstandings.

The World champion Sri Lanka team will fly to the Caribbean Islands direct after they end the three-nation Singer Cup tournament in Singapore on April 7. An official of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board said the team will not return home and will fly direct to Trinidad to play two one-day limited-over matches against the West Indies on April 12 and 13, as part of the Centenary Celebrations of the Queens Park Cricket Club there. West Indies are currently playing a five- match one day international home series against New Zealand.

Wed 27

West Indies defeated New Zealand in a thrilling one-day international at Jamaica, and now lead the five-match series 1-0. The scores: New Zealand 243 all out; West Indies 244/9 off 49.1 overs.

Former Australian captain Allan Border bowed out of first class cricket in Melbourne. Allan Border was hoping to lead Queensland defend their Sheffield Shield Title but Western Australia made it to the finals on account of Victoria`s win over Queensland. See article in news/.

Ray Illingworth voluntarily opted out of his managerial role with the England cricket team after discussions with the chairman of the Test and County Cricket Board, Dennis Silk. See article in news/.

Brian McMillan has pulled out of his contract with Surrey after pressure from South African United Cricket Board. See article in news/. for further details.

Yorkshire fly off to Zimbabwe today for a pre-season tour without a first-team manager. See article in news/.

Seven seasons after Tamil Nadu last won the crown, Chepauk stadium at Madras is ready to host the final again of the premier domestic cricket show -- that of the Pepsi-Ranji Trophy tournament. What is unique this time when Tamil Nadu takes on Karnataka in the five-day match is that for the first time in 62 years, two south zone teams will be competing for the trophy. Batting has been Tamil Nadu`s strength and here the newcomers S. Ramesh and Reuben Paul have done well scoring a century each on debut. The team captain is Robin Singh. Karnataka`s captain Anil Kumble has a formidable team with Jagval Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Rahul Dravid.

Manoj Prabhakar, the eternal fighter of Indian cricket, announced on Tuesday in New Delhi his decision to quit the game at the international level. There was no one as gutsy as him, a trait which propelled him as one of the most durable allrounders. For years regarded as India`s champion performer in limited overs cricket, Prabhakar could not recover from the humiliation of sitting out when his mates battled it out in the middle in the recent World Cup. One of the reasons Prabhakar cited for his decision was the shabby treatment he received during the World Cup. "I have no motivation left to continue after the treatment I received from some of the esteemed men who run cricket in this country".

The Rest of India batsmen perished just when they seemed to get hold of the situation, and managed just 203 in the first innings in the three-day under-19 tie against South Africa, at Amritsar on Tuesday. In reply, the visiting side was 78 for one at the end of the first day`s play. The best part about the South African approach was that the batsmen never curbed their shot making. And unless Rest of India manages to get a couple of early wickets on Wednesday morning, the match may well turn out to be a one-sided affair.

Minister of Youth Affairs,Sports and Rural Development threw a lavish party last night to honour the Sri Lankan cricketers who brought honour and glory to the country by winning the Wills Cup in Lahore, Pakistan. Minister S.B.Dissanayake said that Australia beat Sri Lanka in Australia, but that Sri Lankans were able to turn the tables this time and prove to the world that the country is not second to anyone when it comes to cricket. He said that the performance was indeed a great achievement that will never be forgotten. Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga officially received the keys to the Nissan Prisca car worth Rs. 1.5 million from Yasodha Holdings.

Sri Lanka aims to enter their fourth successive cup final when they play in the three-nation Singer Cup tournament in Singapore from Monday. In the last few months, Sri Lanka entered the Champions Trophy (in Sharjah),World Series Cup (in Australia) and the Wills World Cup (in Pakistan). Of the three finals, Sri Lanka only lost the World Series Cup after two keenly contested games against Australia early this year. Prior to the world crown`, Sri lanka had an impressive one day international record. Following a 1-2 loss in New Zealand in the one-day series, Sri Lanka came back from being 1-0 down in the 3-match series in Pakistan to beat the host country 2-1. They followed their triumph with a superlative performance in Sharjah where they beat West Indies in the final by 50 runs to take the Singer Champion`s trophy.

A high volume of canvassing is going on as the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka prepares for its annual general meeting. Incumbent President Ana Punchihewa will be contested by Upali Dharmadasa at the 47th BCCSL AGM scheduled for Sunday. Observers said Sri Lanka`s success at the World Cup final will greatly help Punchihewa to get a mandate for another term though there is an equal support for his opponent who has served as a vice President.

Tue 26

Aamir Sohail will be captaining Pakistan through the Singapore and Sharjah tourneys. Wasim Akram was not included in the squad and is still recuperating from the side strain which forced him to miss the World Cup quarterfinal match against India. Akram`s place is taken by Mohammed Akram whereas Basit Ali comes in for the retired Javed Miandad. The full squad then is: Aamer Sohail (captain), Saeed Anwar, Salim Malik, Ejaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Basit Ali, Rameez Raja, Rashid Latif, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed, Mohammed Akram, Ataur Rehman, Saqlain Mushtaq.

David Lloyd or John Emburey is likely to be offered the chance of becoming England`s new cricket coach. See article in news/.

The Indian Combined XI (under-19) team beat the visiting South African youth side by six wickets and 6.5 overs to spare, at Jalandhar on Sunday. Only Mithun Minhas, who remained unbeaten on 46 to help the combined XI chase a target of 155, played an authoritative knock in the latter part of the day. Mark Boucher did likewise earlier as he scored a strokeful 39 not out for the South Africans. Though the touring side did not put up much of a fight in the match, it is still early to rate the team.

The West Indies will not be able to accommodate Sri Lanka for a home Test series though they will be playing two one day internationals against the new World champions. An official of the West Indies Cricket Board of Control (WICBC) said that they are unable to consent due to a tight international schedule, though Sri Lanka asked for a possibility of a two-Test series. But, he said Sri Lanka team will play two one day internationals against the West Indies on April 12 and 13 as a part of the Centenary Celebrations of the Queens Park Cricket Club in Trinidad.

Sri Lanka team Manager Duleep Mendis, looking to the future,said Sri Lanka should immediately concentrate on building up a second string side by sending `A` teams and under 23 teams on tours to sustain the present efforts. "If we are to prevent ourselves from falling into the same rut as some of the other countries we should start right now on junior tours," said Mendis. He said the MRF of Madras was assisting the Sri Lanka Cricket Academy, set up in January this year, towards achieving this aim. Mendis said although Sri Lanka had won the World Cup there were several avenues they had to improve on mainly bowling and fielding. He said it was time new faces were gradually introduced into the national side, so that the transition would not have any adverse affect on the overall performances.

South Africa is likely to host Sri Lanka for a three-Test series later this year,according to the Sri Lanka Cricket Board sources. The source said that the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) has responded favourably to Sri Lanka`s request for a Test series there. The UCBSA President, Dr.Ali Bacher has shown his willingness to host Sri Lanka. Dr.Bacher has requested a copy of Sri Lanka`s international calender to see when he can accommodate Sri Lanka for a home series.

Arjuna Ranatunga will be leading his country for the 108th time when Sri Lanka meets Pakistan in the `curtain raiser` of the three-nation Singer Cup tournament in Padang, Singapore on April 1. Ranatunga is the most successful Sri Lanka captain with 45 wins, 58 losses,4 no-results from 107 one day international matches.Ranatunga is the fourth to captain a country in a century of one-day matches after Allan Border,Imran Khan,Vivian Richards and Mohammad Azharuddin. He has won for Sri Lanka apart from the World Cup, the Singer Champions trophy in Sharjah in October 1995.

West Indies selector Holford has said that Carl Hooper has indicated that he is available for the New Zealand tour. Hooper is in Guyana getting much needed match practice. Tony Cozier, reports in the Trinidad & Tobago Express that Richie Richardson will continue his career as a batsman after handing over the captaincy to Coutney Walsh. However, Richardson will only be available for the last two one-day internationals and the Test matches against New Zealand.

Mon 25

Pressure builds on Ray Illingworth to relinquish his position as English manager. See article in news/.

West Bengal Sports Minister, Subhas Chakraborty has suggested an India versus Sri Lanka charity match to enable Calcuttans make amends for the unruly crowd behaviour which forced the abandonment of the Wills Cup semifinal at the Eden Gardens. The minister made the proposal at a special rally attended by for all sports- loving classes of the society at the Netaji indoor stadium to condemn the unfortunate incident. A large number of people took out a procession with placards and posters to express their apology for Sri Lanka.

West Indies have dropped four from their world cup squad - Keith Arthurton, Sherwin Campbell, Cameron Cuffy, and Courtney Browne. Additionally, Richie Richardson has stated that he is unavailable, whereas Otis Gibson has been ruled out due to a groin injury. West Indies takes on New Zealand in the first one-day International at Jamaica on March 26th. See article in news/. for full squad news.

Less than 24 hours after Lord`s confirmed him as a challenger, David Graveney pulls out of the fight with Ray Illingworth for the England chairman of selectors` job. See article in news./

Sri Lanka will invite another team, probably South Africa, if Australia fails to confirm its participation at the Singer World Series Cup which will be worked off later this year. The Australian Cricket Board will meet in mid-May to decide whether to go ahead with their proposed three-Test tour of Sri Lanka from July which ends with the four-nation Singer World Series Cup. But Zimbabwe and India have already confirmed their participation at the limited over tournament to be played in September.

Team manager Duleep Mendis said the main reason for Sri Lanka`s success at the Wills World Cup was the build up to the competition was the right one compared to other countries and are looking forward to maintain their image at next month`s three-nation Singer Cup in Singapore. ``The Pakistan tour followed by the one to Sharjah and then Australia - all of them gave us the mental strength and the team spirit to out score other countries," said Mendis. He said the turning point for Sri Lanka cricket`s recent success was the first Test against Pakistan in Peshawar last September, which the home team won by an innings and 40 runs inside four days. "You should have seen how their faces dropped after the defeat. The players knew for themselves they could perform better than that," said Mendis.

World champions Sri Lanka will get their first opportunity of displaying their skills in the Caribbean when they play two oneday limited-over matches against the West Indies next month. The Sri Lanka Cricket Board has accepted an invitation from the Queens Park Cricket Club in Trinidad to play the matches on April 12 and 13 as part of the Centenary Celebrations of the club. Sri Lanka Cricket Board was trying to make use of the opportunity to play a couple of Test matches there against the West Indies during the visit by the Sri Lanka team. Sri Lanka and West Indies have met only once in a Test match in December 1993. The Test which happened to be Sri Lanka`s 50th was ruined by rain at the Tyronne Fernando Stadium.

It was no surprise that shortly after winning the World Cup,one of the personalities skipper Arjuna Ranatunga remembered was the late Gamini Dissanayake, a former president of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board. "If he was alive, he would have been the happiest man today," said Ranatunga, who has not forgotten how the late leader had helped him shape his international cricket career in the primary stages. Nuski Mohamed, who served the Cricket Board as secretary during Dissanayake tenure of office and who was a witness to the Lahore final said:"This is a culmination of the efforts of all the people who had served the cause of cricket in Sri Lanka over a period of years.

Sat 23

Pakistan ace bowler Waqar Younis warns India and Sri Lanka that his side will be out to prove a point in the upcoming Singapore tourney, during a stopover at Singapore en route to Australia for a World XI-Australia game. See article in news for more.

West Indies Cricket Board of Control will have a new president when the annual meeting is held this coming May. The incumbent, Peter Short has decided to relinguish his position for the "best interest of the future of West Indies cricket." See article in news for more details.

Captains Wasim Akram of Pakistan and Richie Richardson of West Indies feel bad but not crestfallen about their teams defeat in the Wills World cup cricket. In interviews to Pakistan`s private television channel they pleaded with critics to shun hostility and keep the good spirit of the game alive. "We let down the nation but we need support for future battles," said Wasim Akram, whose family received threats after his team lost to arch rival India in the quarterfinals on March 9. Wasim also felt sorry for Indian captain Azharuddin whose team lost to Sri Lanka, while batting second in the semifinals, igniting home crowd to riot. In his separate interview, Richardson said: "It is easy to criticise sitting outside, it is a different thing when you are in the middle of the field".

Former Australian fast bowler, Dennis Lillee, has said the MRF Pace Foundation will not stray from its objective of producing talented fast bowlers for Indian cricket. Lillee, who is on a visit to the Foundation in Madras to recruit new trainees and also conduct a special training session for two bowlers from Zimbabwe, two from the English county of Northamptonshire under the tutelage of former England fast bowler Neil Foster, told newsmen he had some fresh plans for the Foundation to make it a bit more sharper in its objectives. He said he would disclose his plans only after discussions with MRF, and the cricketers involved in the scheme.

Dr. Ali Bacher clears all speculation on whether South Africa will host the World Cup in 2003, saying that the earlier decision of having England host the 1999 tourney and South Africa - the 2003 tourney, is binding. See article in news/ for further details.

Northern Transvaal unveil their development project plans. See article in news/.

The South African squads for the upcoming Sharjah tourney and the Eng A tour have been announced. See articles in news/ for further details.

India have also announced their 14-man squad for the upcoming Singapore and Sharjah tourneys. Notable omissions from the world cup squad include Vinod Kambli, Manoj Prabhakar, and Salil Ankola. Rahul Dravid, Vikram Rathore, and Prashant Vaidya take their places. See full squad in news/.

Fri 22

West Indies ace batsman Brian Lara is at the center of more controversy. Lara is reported to have a heated row with team physiptherapist Dennis Waight on the flight from India to London after the world cup. See article in news/ for details.

West Indies captain Courtney Walsh states that they have the talent to make it back to the top of the world. See article in news/.

South Africa and India are in conflict over the hosting of the 2003 World Cup. See article in news/ for details.

Illingworth has criticized the behind-the-scenes lobbying on the behalf of David Graveney who is contending for the position of England`s chairman of selectors. See news/.

Australia beat World XI by five wickets in a day-night match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday, but the star of the day was local hero Dean Jones. Jones contributed 103 runs to the World XI`s total of 210 for 9. His efforts were not enough to prevent the World Cup finalists from passing the total with five wickets in hand in the 49th over, mainly due to Mark Taylor` 78. Jones was responsible for securing a respectable total for the world XI after its top order was unable to come to terms with a bowler-friendly wicket. Sanath Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana, the hardhitting opening pair from World Cup winner, Sri Lanka, did not last long. Australia scored 211 for the loss of five wickets.

The selection of the Indian team for the one-day tournaments in Singapore and Sharja next month has been put off by a day. The selectors will assemble on Saturday and finalise the 14 for the two tournaments. The meeting will be attended by captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

"We should try to forget the defeat to Sri Lanka in the World Cup semifinal and now concentrate on the ensuing Singapore and Sharjah tournaments," Sachin Tendulkar said at a function in Mumbai after receiving a new Maruti Esteem car presented to him for topping Pantaloon best Indian cricketer contest.

Sri Lanka will invite another team, probably South Africa, if Australia fails to confirm its participation at the Singer World Series Cup which will be worked off later this year. The Australian Cricket Board will meet in mid-May to decide whether to go ahead with their proposed three-Test tour of Sri Lanka from July which ends with the four-nation Singer World Series Cup. Zimbabwe and India have already confirmed their participation at the limited over tournament to be played in September.

Pakistan, who were knocked out of the World Cup tournament plans to take revenge from their arch rivals India and also to put an end to the World champions Sri Lanka`s unbeaten run at the Singer Cup tournament in Singapore early next month. Beating the newly crowned champions Sri Lanka will help Pakistan to regain lost prestige. Pakistan will meet Sri Lanka in the `curtain raiser of the Triangular International Cricket series to be played in Singapore on April 1. The last league match between India and Pakistan is scheduled for April 5. The tournament will be worked on a league basis with the two top teams meeting in the final on April 7. Sri Lanka`s second league match will be against India on April 3.

Sri Lanka is scheduled to play two one-day games in Los Angeles, after their tour of the West Indies. See article in News.

Thu 21

Peter Willey and Mike Denness, the former England Test players, have been chosen to officiate during New Zealand`s forthcoming tour to the West Indies. Denness will make his debut as the International Cricket Council`s referee for the five one-day internationals and two Tests in Barbados and Antigua, while Willey makes his bow as the overseas umpire for the first Test in Barbados on April 19.

John Emburey may be forced to retire despite being told Lord`s that he could continue playing. See article in news/.

The World champions Sri Lanka team is scheduled to leave for Singapore next Satu rday (30) to play in the Singer Cup threenation tournament to be worked off in Padang. The 1 4-member tour squad, which is expected to be the entire team which played in the recent World Cup, will be led by Arjuna Ranatunga. Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan in the `curtain raiser` match to be played on April 1. Their second match will be against India on April 3.

Sandeep Patil, who has just started his innings as Indian cricket team manager, has said that there would be no drastic changes in the national team for the forthcoming season. Patil said that he preferred not to sack players at the drop of a hat for that would only spoil the morale of the players. Moreover it was the "team`s decision" (including the Indian team selectors) to put Lankans into bat after winning the toss and one person should not be held responsible, he said.

Indian Vice-Captain, Sachin Tendulkar, who scored the maximum runs in the just-concluded World Cup cricket leads the standings this week for the Indian Cricketer of the Year award under the Sungrace Mafatlal Awards scheme 1995-96. Tendulkar overtook leg spinner Anil Kumble at the top of the points standings this week with a superb allround performance at the World Cup semifinal against Sri Lanka in Calcutta.

The first South African under-19 cricket squad has arrived in Bombay to play three tests and three one-day internationals against Indian Colts in March-April. The 15-member team, which has two left arm leggies, is led by 18-year-old Douglas Gain.

Wed 20

Sri Lanka will retain the victorious 14-member World Cup squad for their forthcoming tour of Singapore to play in the threenation Singer Cup tournament, a senior selection committee source disclosed on Tuesday. He said there will not be any changes from the 14- member squad picked for the Wills World Cup. National Selectors are scheduled to meet by the weekend to pick a 14- member team for the limited over tournament which also feature India and Pakistan. World champions Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan in the `curtain raiser` match to be played on April 1 in Padang.

Sri Lanka is going to make use of their `world champion tag` to get more international fixtures as some of the so called `big names` in world cricket have often refused to accommodate Sri Lanka in their Test calenders. Sri Lanka`s next aim is to become the best Test nation by the year 2000. A senior Cricket Board source said that Sri Lanka`s performance in the cup final should be an eye opener to the `lords at Lord`s` to give a full Test series to Sri Lanka. England have always treated Sri Lanka poorly and given only a one-off Test since gaining Test status in 1981.

Tue 19

Four Sri Lankans have been included in the World X1 squad which will meet Australia in a one day cricket match to be played at the Melbourne Cricket grounds on Thursday. Vice captain Aravinda de Silva,paceman Chaminda Vaas and pinch-hitters Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana have been included in the 13-member squad which will be captained by West Indian Richie Richardson. The limited over game is being organised by the Victorian Cricket Association to mark it`s centenary year. Others in the squad are Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan),Martin Crowe (New Zealand), Dean Jones (Australia), Shaun Pollock (South Africa),Jonty Rhodes (South Africa), Heath Streak (Zimbabwe), Paul Strang (Zimbabwe) and Waqar Younis (Pakistan).

The world champion Sri Lankan cricket team which returned to the island on Monday after beating Australia by 7 wickets in the dream final in Lahore,will only have a 12-day break before they embark on their first ever one day international tour of Singapore later this month. Singapore will emerge international cricket`s newest offshore venue when it hosts a three-nation limited overs tournament from April 1 too 7. Asian cricketing giants India and Pakistan, along with newly crowned World champions Sri Lanka, will compete in the ground-breaking triangular competition.

The Singer Cup triangular tournament organisers in Singapore said the three-nation championship which starts on April 1 should turn out to be an exciting one. An organising committee official said on Tuesday morning that the presence of Sri Lanka, the new World champions, will make the tournament more competitive. Asian cricketing giants India and Pakistan,along with Sri Lanka, will compete in the triangular contest, the first ever one day international series to be played in Singapore, from April 1 to 7. They will play a round-robin league, with the top two advancing to the final.

Sri Lanka which did not come across the reigning champions Pakistan on its way to the 1996 Wills World Cup, can look forward to fulfil their dream when they play in the three-nation Singer Cup tournament in Singapore early next month. Pakistan who were knocked out by India in the World cup quarter finals, will meet Sri lanka in the `curtain raiser` of the triangular contest in Padang on April 1. Sri Lanka which beat India twice in the World cup,both in the preliminary round and in the semi finals, will meet Mohammed Azharuddin`s men on April 3. The battle of the arch rivals India and Pakistan is scheduled for April 5 with the final on April 7.

The Daily Telegraph in Australia reports that Sir Donald Bradman will be honored by the release of a $5 coin next month (April). The Royal Australia Mint say that the coin will be acknowledged as legal tender but will most likely not be seen in general circulation.

Jagmohan Dalmiya today announces that he will contend for the post of ICC chief.

Mon 18

Senior cricket administrators in England have revived their dream of a cricket academy, similar to the one run in Australia, with England dismal performance in the World Cup. See article in news/.

Sun 03

Sri lanka to host two international cricket tournaments

Sri Lanka will host two international cricket championships by the end of next year. The first of the two will be the fournation Singer World Series, which involves, India, Australia, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, in September. The next Asia Cup cricket tournament too will be played in Colombo in 1997. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will clash for honours in the four-nation tournament.This is the second time that Sri Lanka is hosting the Asia Cup limited over tournament having staged it in 1986. On that occasion Sri Lanka won its first ever international tournament when they beat Pakistan in the final under Duleep Mendis who is the present team manager.

Sat 02

Australia still undecided on Sri Lanka tour

Australia are yet to decide on whether they will go ahead with their proposed tour of Sri Lanka in July/ August this year. An official of the Australian Cricket Board said in Brisbane that they have still not decided on the tour though paceman Craig McDermott said on Thursday that he doubted the tour would go ahead.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board asked the ACB for an early confirmation last month but the latter has still not replied. Australia are scheduled to make a three-Test tour of Sri Lanka and play three one day internationals. They are also expected to play in the four-nation Singer World Series against India, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Malaysia plans to get Test status by year 2020

Malaysia plans to achieve Test status by the year 2020. The Malaysian Cricket Association has launched an extensive program aimed at gaining full membership of the International Cricket Council within the next 25 years.

Malaysia will host the Asia Cup later this year, the ICC Trophy tournament in 1997 and in 1998 the Commonwealth Games where cricket has been included as a discipline for the first time. Malaysia was elected as an associate member of the ICC in 1967.