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Dimuth Karunaratne fined $7,500 for drink driving by Sri Lanka Cricket




Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne was on Wednesday fined $7,500 by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), for involvement in a drink driving incident.

The fine is equivalent of the match fee Karunaratne would receive for one Test, according to a ESPNCricinfo report.

“When you’re preparing for an important competition, like the World Cup, and we’re spending so much money on this upcoming (Super Provincial) domestic tournament, we cannot tolerate this kind of nonsense,” SLC secretary Mohan de Silva told ESPNcricinfo.

Karunaratne was on Sunday arrested for drunk driving after he was involved in an accident that had the driver of a three-wheeler in hospital.

Karunaratne later offered an apology on his Facebook page.

“We just want to send a strong message to everyone that we mean business,” de Silva said.


Hoping Pakistan won’t settle for a draw in England, says Shoaib Akhtar




Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has urged the team to not settle for a draw but go for victory in their upcoming series against England.

Pakistan will take on England in a series involving three Tests and as many T20Is in August and September, after the completion of West Indies’ three-Test series against the ‘The Three Lions’ starting July 8.

Akhtar has advised the Pakistan team to go into the series with a positive frame of mind and belief that they can beat the mighty England team in their own backyard.

“I want to see players’ (COVID-19) test negative but want their mindset to be positive. Pakistan needs to play really good cricket,” Akhtar said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.

“There is no cricket going on across the world and Pakistan will get to play against England. Before that West Indies is playing against them.

“I hope the team is able to assess the situation better in England and come up with a solid team combination,” he added.

Akhtar also trained his guns towards former Pakistani batsmen and said they faltered many-a-times in England when they could have gone on to win matches. He also urged Azhar Ali’s troops to go for the win and not settle for a draw.

“I pray to god that Pakistan won’t try to just draw the series there. In the past, we could have won many games in England but I feel the mindset of the batsmen just wasn’t there,” Akhtar said.

“I just hope they come up with a good combination out of the squad that have travelled to England,” the former Pakistani speedster added.

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CWI chief Ricky Skerritt says Simmons’ job safe despite attending funeral



Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has come to the aid of head coach Phil Simmons after the latter came under scrutiny for going out of the bio-secure bubble to attend a funeral recently.

Simmons was heavily criticised by Conde Riley, who heads the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), and he had said that the head coach’s actions endangered the lives of the players in his side who are currently in England for the three-Test series.

After Riley had asked for Simmons to be sacked, Skerritt allayed any such fears and said his job is safe and he remains the best man to lead the team.

“I want to assure West Indies cricket fans that Phil Simmons still has the full backing of CWI, no matter what has been said,” Skerritt said during a video conference as per Sky Sports.

“When all is said and done, Phil’s job is not in any way threatened by that letter. He went through a very vigorous recruitment process nine months ago and was the best man we could have found for the job. He’s still the best man,” he added.

Simmons had taken permission from CWI for attending the funeral and the board had allowed him to do so but that didn’t stop Riley from calling for his head.

“I am being bombarded by concerned parents and members of the BCA. This behaviour is inconsiderate and reckless,” Riley was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“It endangers the lives of those 25 young men in the UK and in fact the entire management team and cannot be tolerated.

“The English press will have a feast on his judgement and I suggest we act swiftly.”

Simmons is currently under mandatory self-isolation as he came out of the bio-secure bubble put in place by the authorities for the safety of everyone involved in the Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.

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Manohar must evaluate damage done to BCCI during his tenure, says Niranjan Shah



Former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has said that Shashank Manohar stepping down as ICC Chairman was rather obvious and he must now look back and evaluate what he did during his time at the helm.

“Shashank Manohar stepping down as Chairman of ICC was rather obvious. Shashankji must be having mixed feelings from what could have been done for the promotion of cricket at international level and what was done to cricket of India during his tenure.

“In the relaxed phase now he may evaluate his tenure as Chairman of ICC and also as of BCCI that has been the platform. He may appraise what damage was done to Indian cricket and BCCI during his tenure; forgetting that cricket and cricket fans of India have given utmost popularity to the game; and also how much revenue and fame cricket of India has brought to the world of cricket,” he said.

Shah further stated: “BCCI went through much turmoil in last couple of years. And ICC during these years took undue advantage to damage cricket of India and BCCI in all possible manner. However, I am fully confident that present strong and worthy leaderships of BCCI shall have strong, beneficial and constructive representation and initiatives at ICC.”

Reacting to the turn of events, former BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry told IANS that the development is purely on account of the increasing clout of the BCCI at the ICC and the apprehension that Atlas might shrug.

The ICC in its statement on Wednesday said: “ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has stepped down after two, two-year tenures at its helm. The ICC Board met today and agreed that Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson until a successor is elected.

“The process for the Chairperson election is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.”

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