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6-yr. ban on Marlon Samuels

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Former West Indies batter Marlon Samuels has been banned from all cricket for six years after being found guilty of breaching the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) anti-corruption code. The ban commenced from November 11, 2023.

Samuels was charged by the ICC on four counts in September 2021 before he was found guilty of the offences in August this year. The charges relate to the Abu Dhabi T10 in 2019, where he was part of the Karnataka Tuskers but did not play.

The four charges Samuels was found guilty of were:

  • Article 2.4.2 – Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official, the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the Participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute.
  • Article 2.4.3 – Failing to disclose to the Designated Anti-Corruption Official receipt of hospitality with a value of US $750 or more.
  • Article 2.4.6 – Failing to cooperate with the Designated Anti-Corruption Official’s investigation.
  • Article 2.4.7 – Obstructing or delaying the Designated Anti-Corruption Official’s investigation by concealing information that may have been relevant to the investigation.

“Samuels played international cricket for close to two decades, during which he participated in numerous anti-corruption sessions and knew exactly what his obligations were under the Anti-Corruption Codes,” Alex Marshall, the head of ICC’s HR and Integrity Unit, said.

“Though he is retired now, Mr Samuels was a participant when the offences were committed. The ban of six years will act as a strong deterrent to any participant who intends to break the rules.”

Samuels, who top-scored for West Indies in the final of both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup, last played international cricket in 2018 and announced his retirement in November 2020 with over 11,000 international runs across formats. He was no stranger to controversy during his career, the lowest point of which was his two-year ban after being found guilty, in May 2008, of “receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute”.

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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