Sri Lanka incompetence corner
You know the drill. There's one of these for every Briefing.
This month it's Sri Lanka's bubble-popping trio (Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella) being handed 12-month international suspensions plus fines, on top of other punishments. It seems harsh when you consider that we've all committed a version of the wrong in our teenage years - sneaking out when you're not supposed to, smoking a cigarette maybe, being spotted scoffing down some street food on the way back home.
But then it's a particular shame to be punished so severely by this particular board. I mean, how many of us had parents who were this dysfunctional? It is largely this group of administrators who have overseen Sri Lanka's dramatic slide down the rankings in all three formats, and flat-out refused to do anything to fix things, while taking credit for every minuscule victory.
This is like being grounded by parents who have gambled away a perfectly good house so everyone is now living in a tent. Except the tent is made of old umbrellas. And the umbrellas are on fire. And the parents have popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the fact no one is wet.
India + SL = BFFs
Although India's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka was beset by several Covid-related complications, both series were played in exceptionally chummy spirits. India coach Rahul Dravid was seen chatting to Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka at one point. Later, India captain Shikhar Dhawan was seen giving a little speech to the Sir Lanka huddle.
But folks, wouldn't it be funny - and I'm mostly joking - if India lent out some of the batters they don't use in their main team to Sri Lanka? I just think it would be a riot, you know? Suryakumar Yadav batting in Sri Lanka's middle order, haha. Hardik Pandya coming in at six. Come on, BCCI. Hardik already knows the words to the Lankan national anthem. Think he's trying to send you a message. Could be kinda fun, right? Don't answer right away. Take a week. Just promise, you know, that you'll think about it. *flying kiss emoji*
Australia don't have a great track record of honouring touring commitments, particularly to Bangladesh. Last time they were due to go there, the series had to be postponed because the players and board were involved in a contracts standoff. They have also not invited Bangladesh down under for a Test series since 2003.
So it seems almost unthinkable that in the midst of a pandemic, Australia look like they will play the matches they had agreed to play in Bangladesh. Australia's medical staff have insisted that Mushfiqur Rahim not be allowed to join Bangladesh's bubble because he came home after his parents contracted Covid-19, instead of staying in the team bubble in Zimbabwe, which seems a little harsh. But them's the breaks, Bangladesh. Maybe drop a couple more of your best players to make sure Australia stay for the whole tour?
The greatest show in sports?
The Hundred promised entertainment, and a couple of weeks in, oh man, has it delivered. On social media there are scintillating exchanges between those who think it is cheapening the county game and those who think it is worth a shot. Thrilling encounters between pundits who think too much has been spent on it, and others who are taking their families to the thing like they are supposed to. There have been truly absorbing passages of writing, spectacular spouting of opinions, and riveting moments of pulse-checking.
Meanwhile the Southern Brave are doing okay in the women's competition, and uhh the Trent Rockets are leading the men's? I don't really know, to be honest. Who could possibly tear themselves away from Hundred Twitter?
Will this event ever make it?
Best of luck to this obscure sporting event happening in Tokyo at the moment. Look, until cricket gets involved (and, honestly, why would it want to?), we all know this thing is probably going to struggle to make anything of itself. But let's try to be generous and look in on this every now and then. Good luck, Olympics. You'll be as big as the Royal London One-Day Cup eventually.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf