Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday appointed former pacer Chaminda Vass as the national team’s fast bowling coach for the upcoming tour of West Indies.
His appointment comes following the resignation of David Sekar, who was the national fast bowling coach, SLC said in a statement. Vass currently serves as ‘Fast Bowling Coach’ at the High-Performance Center of the SLC, working with Emerging and National Team Players, it added.
During his illustrious career for Sri Lanka, Vass took 355 Test wickets from 111 matches and 400 ODI wickets from 322 games.
On Tuesday, SLC confirmed that the team will tour West Indies to play the all-format series, starting on March 3.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce the appointment of Chaminda Vass as the National Team’s Fast Bowling Coach for the Tour of West Indies. His appointment comes following the resignation of David Sekar, who was the National Fast Bowling Coach,” the board said in a media release.
The Sri Lankan team will leave for the Caribbean on February 23. During the tour, Sri Lanka will play three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Test matches, under a bio-secure environment in Antigua from March 3 to April 2.
Vaas has previously coached the Sri Lankan team on three occasions, in 2013, 2015, and temporarily in 2017.
Vaas, Sri Lanka’s most successful fast bowler with 355 Test wickets 400 ODI wickets, has been part of SLC’s development program and holds the post of fast bowling coach at their high-performance centre, where he works with emerging and national team players. He has also previously held coaching roles with Ireland and New Zealand.
Sri Lanka’s West Indies tour begins in under two weeks, with a three-match T20I series starting on March 4, followed by three ODIs and two Tests.
The three T20I matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the ODI series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua on March 10, 12, and 14.
The first Test match will start on March 21, and the second Test will commence on March 29
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Swiss Open: Final match against Carolina Marin won’t be easy, says Sindhu
Basel [Switzerland], March 6 (ANI): Ace India shuttler PV Sindhu feels her Swiss Open final with Olympic champion Carolina Marin won’t be an easy one on Sunday.
Sindhu on Saturday progressed to the final of the tournament after registering a straight games win over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the semi-final.
While, Spanish badminton player Marin beat Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-15, 20-22, 21-19 in the semifinal to set up the summit clash with the India shuttler.
Sindhu also said that her match against Mia was a kind of revenge as she had faced a defeat at the hands of the Danish badminton player in the Thailand Open.
“Am happy that I am through to the finals, it’s been a good win today for me, and playing against Mia was a kind of revenge I would because in Thailand I had lost against her so it was very important for me this win,” said Sindhu.
“Yeah really looking forward to the finals. Carolina is a good player so it won’t be an easy match I have to play my 100 per cent,” she added.
The Rio Olympics silver medalist Sindhu thanked the Badminton Association of India, Sports Authority of India, and the Sports Minister for helping her in preparation for the tournament.
“Training in bigger stadium similar to this stadium as I got used to it and it has helped me a lot here. I would once again thank everyone, BAI, SAI, Telangana State, and Sports Minister for all the support and for helping me with whatever I needed for training and preparation at the Gachibowli Stadium. It has helped me a lot,” said Sindhu.
Sindhu clinched the clash 22-20, 21-10 that lasted for 43 minutes. The World No. 2 faced a tough fight in the first game as it went neck-to-neck till Sindhu finally bagged it at 22-20.
But the Indian shuttler showed her class in the second game and did not give a margin for error for his opponent to dominate the match. (ANI)
Simranjeet shines as India hold Great Britain to 1-1 draw
Antwerp [Belgium], March 6 (ANI): A resilient performance from the Indian men’s hockey team against Great Britain in their third match of the Europe Tour saw them play out a 1-1 draw here in Antwerp on Saturday.
Striker Simranjeet Singh’s late equaliser in the 57th minute ensured India remained unbeaten on the tour. For Great Britain, Alan Forsyth scored in the 26th minute.
Indian men’s team dominated with ball possession early in the match and used hard press to tame Great Britain’s attack. Both teams created a number of opportunities in the first quarter but weren’t able to convert the ones in goals.
However, UK’s first real opportunity came in the 10th minute when they earned themselves a PC but were denied by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who made an excellent save. Though both teams created a number of opportunities in the first quarter, neither could convert.
Ending the first quarter in a 0-0 stalemate, the GB men started the second period aggressively and won themselves yet another PC, but the Indian custodian Krishan B Pathak, who replaced Sreejesh for the second quarter, made an outstanding save to prevent Great Britain from drawing the first blood.
In return, India did create potential opportunities in Great Britain’s striking circle but couldn’t convert. However, within a few minutes, Alan Forsyth’s strike helped Great Britain to break the deadlock, making the scoreline 1-0 at the end of the second half.
A dominating start to the third quarter saw GB earning back-to-back penalties, but India managed to nullify the threat. Vying for an equaliser, India penetrated twice inside Great Britain’s striking circle, but couldn’t make the most out of it.
In their bid to score an equaliser, the World No. 4 went all out in the attack, penetrating as many as three times in the striking circle at the start of the final quarter but were denied each time. After being tested hard, Indian men got their reward in the 57th minute. Simranjeet’s goal denied Great Britain from scoring a win.
Indian men’s team will play their fourth and final match of the Europe Tour as they take on Great Britain on Monday. (ANI)
ISL 7: NorthEast, Mohun Bagan finish first bout even with late thriller
Bambolim (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Antonio Habas was just minutes away from recording his maiden first-leg playoff win in the ongoing seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
But then, Idrissa Sylla headed in a stoppage-time header to help NorthEast United hold ATK Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw at GMC Stadium, on Saturday.
The second-half substitute struck in the fourth minute of injury time to cancel out David Williams’ 34th-minute goal. The result also meant Khalid Jamil is still unbeaten in the competition and extended NorthEast’s winning run to ten games.
With two teams known for similar styles, the match was expected to be a cagey affair and it was. Both sides relied on counters, knowing how difficult it would be to break each other’s defence.
It was an end-to-end duel, but neither side was able to test the keepers much. It was NorthEast who enjoyed better possession. However, Bagan scored with their first shot on target and it came soon after the water break. The goal had a touch of class.
Roy Krishna got a long ball at the edge of the box. The Fijian flicked it to his strike partner David Williams, who faked a first-time shot sending NEUFC defender Dylan Fox in the wrong direction. He then took a touch before slotting home to give ATKMB an advantage.
NorthEast came agonisingly close to scoring but were denied by the woodwork. Federico Gallego delivered a perfect freekick into the area where Ashutosh Mehta leapt high, only for his header to clatter against the crossbar. That was the closest the Highlanders came to scoring in the first session.
As expected, the Mariners tightened the screws on Highlanders, defending and blocking everything that was thrown at them making it difficult for their opponents to score.
However, they were lucky not to see a man being sent off. Luis Machado, while chasing a long ball outside the area, was taken out by onrushing Bagan keeper Arindam Bhattacharja. However, the referee waved off any appeal for foul though replays suggested the keeper made contact with Machado.
NorthEast had a constant supplier in Gallego, who sent quality deliveries into the box from set-pieces but his teammates couldn’t find a finish.
Meanwhile, Prabir Das had a couple of attempts. While one was easily swallowed up by Subhasish Roy, the other sailed over the bar.
Jamil introduced Idrissa Sylla and Britto PM in a bid to get the equaliser. They kept stitching passes together but the Mariners kept working hard at the back.
The Highlanders had a couple of chances late in the game. But Fox saw his header cleared from danger by Pronay Halder while Sylla tried from long range but hardly troubled Arindam.
Finally, in the fourth minute of extra time, the NorthEast camp had a goal to celebrate, thanks to Sylla who made his presence felt with a late equaliser, nodding in Luis Machado’s cross. (ANI)
Gavaskar is an icon and inspiration for generations to come: Viv Richards
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): West Indies great Vivian Richards on Saturday termed former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar an “icon and inspiration” for the generations to come.
Gavaskar, the former India skipper, on Saturday celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Test debut. Richards congratulated the former Indian cricketer on a “spectacular career”.
“Congratulations to Sunil on his 50th anniversary of a spectacular career debut. The man is an icon & an inspiration for generations to come. Thankful to have had the opportunity to dismiss him on my debut. Important catches mean a lot in making good results you know,” Richards tweeted.
Earlier in the day, BCCI felicitated Gavaskar for his contribution to Indian cricket as Secretary Jay Shah honoured the batting great during the lunch break on day three of the fourth Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Gavaskar made his Test debut on March 6, 1971, against West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Over his career, Gavaskar went on to break many batting records and established himself as one of the finest batsmen to ever play the game.
India toured the West Indies during the 1970-71 cricket season for a five-Test series. The series turned out to be one of the most memorable ones as India won its first-ever Test series against the West Indies.
India, led by Ajit Wadekar, emerged victorious 1-0 in the five-match series and Gavaskar finished as the leading run-scorer, registering four centuries including one double ton. In his career, Gavaskar played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India. He was also a part of wins in 1983 World Cup win and in 1985 World Championship of Cricket. (ANI)
I-League: Sudeva Delhi return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Chennai City
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Sudeva Delhi came back from a goal down to defeat Chennai City 2-1 in their Group B fixture of the ongoing I-League on Saturday.
William Pauliankhum cancelled Jockson Dhas early goal, before Hero of the Match Sairuatkima headed in the winner in first-half injury time, and broke Sudeva’s four-game winless streak.
Chennai City came knocking on Sudeva Delhi goal as early as the second minute after Demir Avdic threaded a through pass for Vineeth Kumar, but Sudeva keeper intercepted and cleared the danger.
Satyasagara’s side took the lead in the sixth minute after Demir Avdic won the ball of Sairuatkima in the area, and cut his cross back to Jockson Dhas, placed his finish into the right bottom corner.
Fuelled by his goal against TRAU in the last game, William Pauliankhum came close to levelling the scores in the 18th minute after he cut in and curled his effort, only to see his shot crash against the woodwork.
Sudeva finally cracked the Chennai City defence in the 34th minute when William latched on Naorem Mahesh’s through pass and powered his strike through the keeper’s legs and levelled the scoreline.
Demir Avdic had another chance in the 42nd minute, a carbon copy of the opening goal, but failed to hit the target from inside the area. With half time approaching, it was Sudeva’s turn to threaten after surviving three close scares. But unlike Chennai City, Sudeva made good of the one chance they got as Sairuatkima headed in Kean Lewis corner, making up for his earlier error.
Sudeva finished the first half with a 2-1 lead over Chennai City. Demir Avdic had a sighter in the 64th minute from just outside the area, but his toe-poked effort flew inches over Sachin Jha’s crossbar.
Meanwhile, Sudeva forced the Chennai City keeper into making two stops- first from William Pauliankhum in the 73rd minute and Shubho Paul two minutes later.
Satyasagara brought in Elvedin Skrijelj and Pravitto Raju, and the latter came close to equalise in the 85th minute, when he met Jockson Dhas’ cross, but his diving header ended on the wrong side of the post.
Chennai City pushed for an equaliser, but the Sudeva Delhi defence stood tall throughout the five minutes of injury time and secured their victory.
With the victory, Chencho Dorji’s side now has 12 points from 11 games and move within three points of Aizawl FC. Chennai City, on the other hand, fall more behind in their fight for survival. (ANI)
WTT Star Contender Doha: Indian paddlers Sutirtha, Ahyika make winning starts in tournament
Doha [Qatar], March 6 (ANI): Indian paddlers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee started their campaign at World Table Tennis (WTT) Star Contender Doha with comfortable victories in women’s singles qualifying round one on Saturday.
While the World No. 95 Sutirtha registered a dominating 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 victory over her opponent Ala Mohamed from Qatar, World No. 131 Ahyika notched up an easy 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win over Qatar’s Maha Faramarzi. With these wins, both the players moved into the second qualifying round of the tournament.
Meanwhile, bronze medallist at the recently concluded National Championship Sreeja Akula went down fighting in a 5-gamer against Japan’s Sakura Yokoi. She was seen trailing by 2-1 before making a strong comeback to make it 2-2. However, Akula couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost the match 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11.
Later tonight, Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath will be in action in the women’s singles qualifying round one. Among men, World no.73 Harmeet Desai and World no.99 Anthony Amalraj will begin their campaign in the first round in the singles qualifying.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, who are ranked 32 and 37 in the world respectively, have received direct entry into the men’s singles main draw while World No. 63 Manika Batra has also earned a place in the women’s singles main draw.
In the mixed-doubles category, the Indian pair of Manika Batra and Achanta Sharath Kamal, who received a bye in the first qualifying round, will begin their campaign in the second on Sunday. (ANI)
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