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India reach WC finals amid pitch changing allegations



India roared into the Finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup last night (15), after beating New Zealand by 70 runs.

Kohli became the first man in the history of One Day International cricket to score 50 centuries in the format, with India setting up a first-innings score of 397/4. 

India will now face the winner of Thursday’s second semi-final between South Africa and Australia.

However, India’s cricket board, the BCCI, has been accused of intervening in the choice of pitch for India’s semi-final against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The selection of pitches at the tournament is the preserve of the International Cricket Council, governed by the principle that surfaces will be chosen to promote a neutral set of conditions, neither favouring the host nation’s strengths nor devaluing the evenness of the contest for the global audience.

Wednesday’s match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai was due to be played on a new surface but has been moved to one previously used twice.

Pitches are selected and prepared by the local groundstaff and authority with oversight from the International Cricket Council’s pitch consultant.

No regulations have been broken but it appears the ICC pitch consultant was only informed after the change had been made.

“Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length, and has already happened a couple of times,” said an ICC spokesperson.

“This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host.

“The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said, “It is a bit of a sour taste.” 

“It doesn’t sit with me that a World Cup semi-final is played on a used pitch.”

“They have played the best cricket by a country mile. They shouldn’t have got involved in what the surface should be,” he has further said.



Four national sports federations temporarily suspended




A Gazette notification has been issued by the Minister of Sports, Harin Fernando, announcing the suspension of the Sri Lanka Cycling Federation, the Sri Lanka Rugby Federation, the Sri Lanka Automobile Federation, and the Sri Lanka Netball Federation, effective from Wednesday, May 29.

The Extraordinary Gazette also appoints Professor (Rear Admiral) Shemal Fernando, the Director General of the Department of Sports Development, as the competent authority for the limited purpose of organizing the elections of office bearers for these national sports governing bodies.

In a post on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Sports Minister Harin Fernando clarified that the government will not appoint any interim committees for any sport federation.

The Gazette notification states that the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs has temporarily suspended the registration of the aforementioned federations, exercising the powers vested in him under Sections 32 and 33 of the Sports Law, No. 25 of 1973, and its amendments.

Additionally, Professor (Rear Admiral) Shemal Fernando has been appointed as the competent authority effective from May 29, 2024.

His role includes managing administrative and other necessary activities for the federations, organizing and conducting relevant elections, and performing duties appropriately until the elections are completed.

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Darshana secures Gold Medal in 400m




Sri Lankan sprinter Aruna Darshana has secured the Gold Medal in the Men’s 400m event at the second Belt and Road Athletics Invitation Meet in Chongqing, China.

He clocked 45.48 seconds.

This further boosted his chances of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

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Kolkata Knight Riders wins third IPL title




Kolkata Knight Riders lifted their third trophy in the Indian Premier League with a crushing eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a completely one-sided final here on Sunday.

Having lost the toss, KKR produced a clinical effort with the ball to dismiss SRH for 113, the lowest ever total in an IPL title clash.

KKR chased down the target of 114 with as many as 57 balls to spare. Venkatesh Iyer remained not out on 52 off 26 balls.

Mitchell Starc (2/14), Andre Russell (3/19) and Harshit Rana (2/24) were the most successful bowlers for the Knight Riders, as SRH simply failed to turn up for the big game.

Opting to bat first, SRH were off to a disastrous start as they lost their top guns Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head with just six runs on the board, with the latter getting dismissed for a first-ball duck to a beautiful outswinger.

Before that, Abhishek was bowled by Mitchell Starc on the fifth ball of the first over, a peach of a delivery opening up the left-hander before hitting the top of the off stump.

SRH were in all sorts of trouble as Starc accounted for the wicket of Rahul Tripathi to leave them reeling at 21/3 in the fifth over, the swing doing the trick for KKR bowlers early on.

First-change bowler Harshit Rana continued the good work and got rid of Nitish Reddy (13). Andre Russell dismissed Aiden Markram in his first over as SRH slipped to 62/5 in the 11th over.

SRH could not recover from there.

Brief scores:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 113 all out in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24; Mitchell Starc 2/14, Andre Russell 3/19, Harshit Rana 2/24).

Kolkata Knight Riders: 114 for 2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 52 not out).

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