The match could also be the first in Sri Lanka to host fans since the onset of the pandemic
A Sri Lanka Legends team is set to take on a team of current Sri Lankan cricketers, including those who have represented the national team, in a charity match on May 4 in Pallekele. The match is set to be televised and could also be the first in Sri Lanka to host fans since the onset of the pandemic – this, however, is still at the discussion phase with Sri Lanka’s health authorities.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s newly-appointed management committee will be overseeing the organisational aspects of the match. The committee was installed last week by Sri Lanka’s sports ministry to run day-to-day affairs at SLC until next month’s board elections, as the previous board’s term in office had expired.
“The whole country enjoyed watching cricket and watching these players playing again,” Arjuna de Silva, chairman of the SLC management committee, said. “At the same time we have not seen a live match for more than a year.
“From a spectators point of view it’ll be an exciting match, and from the current players’ point of view it will be a good experience, especially because many of them would love to play alongside their childhood heroes,” he added. “Some of the youngsters might also get an opportunity to play as well.”
It is understood that the match had been mooted ever since the Sri Lanka Legends team, which came runners-up in last month’s Road Safety World Series, had proved incredibly popular amongst Sri Lanka’s cricket-viewing public.
While the former stars set to turn out for the Legends’ team are yet to be confirmed, it is likely that Aravinda de Silva, who currently heads a sports ministry-appointed technical advisory committee at SLC, might play a part. However, neither Kumar Sangakkara nor Mahela Jayawardene will be available due to commitments with the IPL.
More New Zealanders watching cricket than ever before
More people watched women’s cricket than ever before and more cricket was viewed “on the go” during the home summer
More New Zealanders watched cricket than ever before during the first season of New Zealand Cricket’s six-year deal with Spark Sport and TVNZ. As per the findings, more people watched women’s cricket than ever before, more young people watched cricket and more cricket was viewed by fans “on the go” – via a range of mobile devices.
In a press release, NZC said that this was made possible because of the combination of free-to-air and digital subscription, a “ground-breaking arrangement which is taking cricket to not only more Kiwis, but demographics of New Zealanders previously lost to the game”.
The six matches screened live on TVNZ 1 reached 1.86 million viewers, while almost 240,000 Spark Sport viewers watched cricket during the summer. The most viewed T20I during the Australia series attracted 1.24 million viewers. The final ODI between New Zealand Women and Australia Women in Brisbane was viewed by 840,300 fans.
Without going into the numbers, the release said Test matches were also proving to be just as popular as T20Is. The most popular Test was the second one against Pakistan in Christchurch, which New Zealand won by an innings and 176 runs to wrap up the series 2-0. There was also an increase in viewership of both the men’s and women’s Super Smash, New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition.
NZC CEO David White said the results exceeded expectations and he was confident the reach will continue to grow.
“We’re hugely encouraged,” he said. “The production was professional; the look and feel was fresh and appealing – it was everything we were hoping for.
“On top of the increase in viewership, our latest census is also indicating a significant increase in the number of New Zealanders playing cricket – including a 12% increase in the number of female participants, and a nine percent increase in the number of males.
“We’ve also had excellent crowd attendances across the season, and we were well on track for sold-out crowds throughout the Australian men’s tour before COVID took its toll.”
Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch, said that getting younger audience on the board via streaming services was the game-changer. “To see these numbers in the first months of our six-year partnership is really encouraging, particularly when you consider sports streaming is still new to many New Zealanders and a sports streaming business like ours takes time to grow,” he said.
“It shows that New Zealand households are embracing streaming, which is consistent with the global experience, in which it is now the norm. We’ve unlocked a new younger audience with streaming given that close to half (47%) of our customer base is aged under 34 years old but are still catering to the traditional fan through TVNZ.”
Marnus Labuschagne to miss white-ball tour of the West Indies
Australian batter “deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” says Trevor Hohns
Marnus Labuschagne is missing from the Australia limited-overs squad for a tour of the West Indies starting next month, after it was decided he would play out his current county stint with Glamorgan instead.
A vast preliminary squad for the tour – which may still theoretically be followed by a trip to Bangladesh for more white-ball matches – includes the likes of Matthew Wade, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Swepson, all of whom missed out on Cricket Australia contracts in the annual list.
“Anyone who knows Marnus understands he would give absolutely anything to play for Australia and he is deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” selection chairman Trevor Hohns said. “We worked through numerous options in conversations with Marnus to find a workable solution but ultimately came to the conclusion it was more practical for him to remain in the UK.
“Had we not been in the middle of a global pandemic, Marnus would be on this tour as a well-established member and important part of the one-day side. It’s an unfortunate circumstance of the many challenges the world is facing right now. As it stands, Marnus has the opportunity to continue in county cricket and T20 games with Glamorgan as we head into the World Cup and home summer.”
Daniel Sams, who was part of Australia’s squad for the recent limited-overs tour of New Zealand but then endured an unhappy time during the IPL where he tested positive for Covid-19 before the tournament, which was then cut short by India’s spate of outbreaks, asked not to be considered for the trip because of personal and mental health reasons.
Ben Oliver, the head of national teams, said that while discussions about the Bangladesh phase of the tour were continuing, the squad had been cleared to receive vaccinations before their departure in line with those being afforded to Australia’s Olympic team scheduled to compete in Tokyo later this year.
“It was great to see our Olympians receiving their vaccination shots ahead of the Tokyo Games and we are working through logistics for the Australian men’s team with the relevant agencies.” Oliver said. “We will comply with all government directives in relation to vaccinations and international travel.
“The Australian men’s team has completed successful tours of England and New Zealand during the pandemic, including the accompanying quarantine periods, and we are hopeful of being able to travel to Bangladesh at the completion of the West Indies tour. Those discussions are progressing well and updates will be provided in due course.”
Australia are scheduled to play five T20Is in St Lucia and three ODIs in Barbados between July 9 and July 24, their tour sandwiched between tours of the Caribbean by South Africa and Pakistan.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
Eng vs NZ 2021 – Majority of New Zealand Test contingent arrives in UK
All contingent members will spend the first three days in hotel room isolation in Southampton
The majority of the New Zealand Test contingent landed in London on Sunday after flying from Auckland via Singapore, for their tour of two Tests against the hosts and the World Test Championship final against India next month. The players and support staff were transferred from the London airport to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, their base for the first two weeks of the tour.
An NZC release stated the squad is “adhering to strict health protocols”, starting with pre-departure vaccinations and Covid-19 tests, in the wake of the pandemic.
“While in England, they will operate in a ‘controlled team environment’ to limit outside contact and risk of transmission,” the release said. “All tour members will complete a daily self-reported health screening as well as undergoing regular covid testing.”
All contingent members will spend the first three days in hotel room isolation before “mini training groups” of six can be formed from days four to six, pending negative Covid-test results.
Tim Southee, BJ Watling, Ross Taylor and Neil Wagner will depart Auckland on Monday afternoon New Zealand time to join the squad in Southampton.
A few players and support staff members who participated in the truncated IPL in India had earlier flown to the Maldives and will arrive in the UK on Monday, local time. This group includes captain Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, team physio Tommy Simsek and trainer Chris Donaldson.
Batter Will Young, who scored back-to-back centuries for Durham in his month-long County Championship stint recently, will also join the squad on Monday and undergo isolation at the Ageas Bowl before he can start training with his team-mates.
The squad members are scheduled to play a three-day intra-squad game from May 26 to 28 at the Ageas Bowl, where six local bowlers have also isolated in advance to help make up the sides.
Fast bowler Trent Boult is still in New Zealand and will fly to Mount Maunganui to see his family before “a plan is made around his departure to the UK”. He could miss both the Tests against England but will be available for the WTC final.
The Test series against England will begin on June 2 at Lord’s followed by the second game starting June 10 at Edgbaston. New Zealand will then take on India in the WTC final from June 18 in Southampton.
Soccer6 days ago
Premier League games set for crowds of 10,000 as government decision confirmed
NFL5 days ago
Allegiant Stadium’s Wynn Field Club brings Las Vegas club, DJ experience to Raiders games
Soccer6 days ago
Ian Wright sends message to Stan Kroenke amid 'massive concern' over two Arsenal players
Motorsport4 days ago
Michael Schumacher health update, wife Corinna selling Lake Geneva mansion
Soccer4 days ago
Zinedine Zidane to quit Real Madrid as Florentino Perez identifies two replacements
Soccer3 days ago
EPL news 2021, Championship play offs final, Barnsley vs Bournemouth, Moneyball, Billy Beane, Premier League, latest
Soccer3 days ago
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blames Man Utd stars for creating 'own downfall' in Liverpool loss
Motorsport5 days ago
Lewis Hamilton puts heat on Red Bull rear wing, Mercedes, new FIA testing