2008 has not been a particularly good year for Sri Lankan cricket. It was a year riddled with inconsistent performances, lack of quality test cricket and a cricket board in turmoil.The test team had limited opportunities with Sri Lanka only playing 5 games. Although managing to win 3 of those, a win was usually followed by a loss. A bad loss.

Issues in the middle order continued. For once, King Sanga was ordinary. Only Captain Mahela and young Malinda Warnapura Impressed with the bat.

Sri Lanka didn’t fare any better when they switched the white flannels for their colored kit. Another embarrassing home loss to India, an away loss in the West Indies and a near humiliation in Zimbabwe followed. Sure the score line read 5-0, but it would be an overstatement to suggest Sri Lanka were ever in control of the Zimbabweans.

So then a tour to Bangladesh would seem like a good opportunity to wrap the year up on a good note.

More will be expected of young openers Vandort and Warnapura, Vandort has been abysmal with 146 runs at 16 this year. Another bad performance will not go down well with the Selectors. Sangakkara also needs to find the same form that made him the number one batsmen in the world over the last season.

It is extremely difficult to be a fan of Jayawardene when the Sri Lankan fast bowlers and Murali score more runs than him. The captains form is a huge worry for the Sri Lankans. He has been under pressure in the media back home regarding the whole IPL and England tour saga, so maybe his heads not where it should be.

This can not be an excuse though and failure against Bangladesh, who on paper should be tougher than Zimbabwe, will only leave him as an open target.

Signs are good though. Mahela is going to take this series ‘very seriously’. Good. (As opposed to taking it mildly seriously in Zimbabwe then.)

However, Sri Lankas seriousness is immediately put into question when Tilakaretne Dilshan wins a test recall for doing absolutely nothing, while Thilian Kandamby misses out yet again. Tharanga Paranavithana is also overlooked. So the middle order still looks shaky. With only Thilan Samaraweera in any kind of form this year, Bangladesh might be trickier than Mahela expects.

On the flipside, the year has been totally dominated by the Sri Lankan bowlers. Mendis is the name on everyones lips and the man no batsmen wants to face.

So his recent injury could not have come at a worse time. Personally I am hoping young Sachithra Sennayake from SSC gets a call up. The off spinner had a brilliant season last year as he was the only bowler to pick up more than 50 wickets in the season.

Of course, Rangana Herath, proverbial understudy to all spinners in Sri Lanka got the call up after cracking performances in the A team

Chaminda Vass has been retained in the test team. A fair call from the selectors as Vass has clearly saved his best form for the longer version of the game this year with contrasting averages of 46 (ODI) and 26 (Tests). Add to this the emergence of Nuwan Kulesekara who does a similar job to Vass, the pace and angle of Thilan Thushara and Dammika Prasad, Vass’s ODI career is probably over now anyway.

Quite a bit will be expected from the fast bowling department, who are experiencing a remarkable renaissance at the moment. With Vass there to lead the way again, they are in good hands.

Then there is Murali. He aint half bad either.

Sri Lanka have never lost a test match against Bangladesh, either at home or away.

The best way to end a disappointing year is to not blot that record.

ajantha mendis dilhara dilshan jehan mubarak kapugedara mahela jayawardane mahela udawatte murali nuwan kulesekara prasanna jayawardene ranatunga sri lanka sri lanka v bangladesh sri lanka v zimbabwe test cricket thilan thushara thilina kandamby upul tharanga

First, a bit of Irony.

About a month ago the BCCI threatened to cut off all Bi Lateral ties with Sri Lanka.

After Mumbai, India are talking about strengthening the Asian block again.

Its a bit sad that so much devastation was needed for people to open their eyes when people like scorpicity from cricfizz and my self could see the potential dangers of this long before.

Arjuna, never a man to miss an opportunity, is attempting to weasel his way into the BCCIs ” People We Likey” column by offering to send a full strength Sri Lankan team to India for a charity match.

This list includes high rollers like, Reg Dickson and most of the people at the ECB.

Although it still remains to be seen how Arjuna can ‘Weasel’ his way into anything other than to queue-jump a buffet line.

Actually, this is quite a nice thing to do from Arjuna.

On the one hand, his image goes up a few notches.

On the other, since the England tour has now been canceled and all his efforts have gone to waste, there is no better time to buddy up with the BCCI again.

Cuz we can be sure that the ECB wont be extending a helping hand anytime soon.

Showing solidarity at a time like this is in the best interest of the SLC and Arjuna.

bcci ranatunga

No one knows how it happened but a few nights ago Labrooy was bumped from behind and left reeling.

For those who might not know, which might be many of you, Labrooy was in fact the chief match referee of the SLC.

As chief match referee Labrooy had power over the umpires committee and that’s important because he got to boss the umpires around about their whites not being white enough and not clipping their nails and such.

Labrooy was particularly fond of his ‘coaching whistle’, which he blew at every possible opportunity.

However, Labrooy was ‘rudely’ awakened a few days ago when he found out his post had been moved under the umpires committee.

Meaning, Labrooy is now under the umpires, literally. All those years of bullying the umpires have come full circle.

Karma is a bitch.

The kicker is that no known knows who ordered this.

“I am also in the dark as to who has taken this decision” added Labrooy.

Labrooy went on to describe feeling a large squishy thing pressing against his back. “It felt like a large pillow” said Labrooy.

The case remains a mystery to all.

In a completely unrelated story, Labrooy is still the secretary of the players association, who have been instrumental in the fight with Arjuna regarding the Sri Lankan players participation in the IPL.

grame labrooy ranatunga

Yesterday at around noon, Mahela and Kumar Sagakkara become victims of another vicious attack by the play ground bullies. The bullies threw their toys on the floor and chucked their lunches into the sandbox.

Mahela and Kumar had been so looking forward to their chicken sandwiches but had to go home in tears.

When the PTA meeting was called to find out why these two are being bullied so much, Mahelas rich dad and mommy showed up in raging anger.

They asked the rest of the parents “Why are you abusing our son ? Just because he is the captain of the cricket team it does not mean you can bully him like this.

He is a very sensitive boy and his feelings have been deeply hurt.”

When a heckler made a comment about the size of Mahelas eyebrows, Mahela started weeping and cried out for his mother.

At this point, Kumar’s father stepped in “Listen here, I am Kumars father and I am a very important man and I know more big words than Kumar, so you will listen to what I say.

Our boys just want to play cricket for their country in a peaceful manner. Why are you sending them bouncer after bouncer like this. It is wrong..”. As his voice got groggy and eyes started to well up, his wife put a loving arm around him and his son and asked who ever it was to own up.

It was then that Rex’s dad stood up.

“Ok fine, it was my son. But you know why no body likes your son?

You say he is the captain of our team but we found out he has been secretly playing for the team across the road”

“Has he no sense of loyalty or does he only care about maximising his profit making opportunities”. said Rex’s dad.

“My son bullied your son and I’m proud of it.”. Rex stood up at this point, beaming.

The rest of the parents yelled “Amen to that !!”.

Kumar and Mahela clung to each other, sobbing uncontrollably, snot and drool wetting their tight fitted t-shirts.

“Please just leave us alone…we just want to play cricket….sob…we only wanted to make some money…is that so wrong..sob..sob…”.

“It was Arjuna who told us we could play for the other team”.

It was then that, Jabba the hut, Arjuna’s dad, said “My son said no such thing ! How dare you little rich rascals accuse my son !”

Someone throws a chair at Jabba the hut, which bounces off his belly and hits Rex square in the face. Who throws a rotten tomato at Kumar and Mahela.

A fight break out…

Thus ends another day at SLC Junior High.

mahela jayawardane ranatunga rex clentine sangakkara