Sri Lanka Team News ICC Cricket World Cup 2007


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Sri Lanka Cricket Team News - ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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Jayasuriya is still Sri Lanka's trump card

At 37 years, Sanath Jayasuriya is still one of the quickest run scorers in world cricket.
The ideal player for the one-day game, he is a safe fielder with 111 catches and is still on par with younger players in fitness and quick running between the wickets. Yet he was on the Sri Lankan team that won the World Cup 11 years ago and is still around to chase its second title in the Caribbean.
Born in the island nation's southern coastal district of Matara on June 30, 1969, Jayasuriya made his limited-overs international debut in 1989 against Australia. Starting international cricket as a spin bowling allrounder batting often at No. 7, Jayasuriya gradually improved as a batsman and became one of world's most successful openers. Jayasuriya's first limited-overs hundred came five years from his debut in 1994, when he scored 140 runs against New Zealand, which triggered a rapid ascendance in his career. Two years later in 1996, he combined with Romesh Kaluwitharana to form one of the most exciting and successful opening pairs to exploit field restrictions in the first 15 overs. The pair took advantage of the rule to place only two fielders beyond the 30-yard (27-meter) circle hitting the ball over the top and this strategy helped Arjuna Ranatunga's Sri Lankans to win the World Cup in March 1996. Jayasuriya's exceptional batting, bowling and fielding performance brought him the man of the tournament title.
He has since been a regular opening batsman for his team and Sri Lanka's win or loss in limited-overs cricket has largely depended on how successfully Jayasuriya plays. The 2007 World Cup will be Jayasuriya's fifth and probably the final one as a player. He has so far appeared in 379 limited-overs matches and scored 11,538 runs at 32 runs per innings. With 23 centuries and 62 fifties the left-hander has maintained a strike rate of over 90 runs per 100 balls. Taking over the captaincy from Ranatunga in 1999, Jayasuriya led his side in 118 limited-over matches winning 66 matches and losing 47. He stepped down as captain after the 2003 World Cup in South Africa where Sri Lanka lost to Australia in the semifinal. Jayasuriya is only behind India's Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq in terms of limited-over appearances and runs. He has hit 224 sixes, the same as Pakistan's Shahid Afridi who has hit the same number in fewer matches. Bowling left-arm spin Jayasuriya has taken 285 wickets in limited-overs matches and is known for containing batsmen at the end overs.

Sri Lanka set for World Cup

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene says that his team want to play aggressive cricket, like they did in 1996, to secure their second World Cup success.
Sri Lankans ended their pre-World Cup preparations losing to India earlier this month. The loss could have been a cause of worry considering the two play each other in the league stages. However, Lankan coach Tom Moody clearly has his thinking done on how Sri Lanka can win the World Cup a second time. The coach might be exuding confidence, but the captain knows that nothing can be taken for granted, when it comes to the game of cricket. "You know we have to focus on all sixteen teams. That is how will set our minds. We are not going to set our targets against particular teams," Jayawardene said. "If we are to win a World Cup then I think we need to beat everybody and make sure don't take anybody lightly. So that will be our focus," he added.
But it's worthwhile remembering that the Sri Lankan squad is back to full strength. The presence of a world-class spinner like Muthaih Muralitharan makes the team a dangerous outfit, given that the West Indian tracks are likely to assist spinners. And it's never possible to count out an experienced campaigner like Sanath Jayasuruiya whose explosive starts were instrumental in his team's 1996 triumph. Lankan fans will no doubt be looking for an encore.

Sri Lanka name cricket team for World Cup

Sri Lankan leg-spinner Upul Chandana and left-arm pacer Nuwan Zoysa, who are currently touring India, have been omitted from the 15-member World Cup squad announced.
Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and left-arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas, who were rested for the four-match one-day international series in India, have been recalled for the tournament beginning in the West Indies next month. Sri Lanka are placed in Group B along with India, Bangladesh and Bermuda for the March 11-April 28 tournament. Sri Lanka World Cup Squad: Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Kulasekera

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

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All World Cup Cricket matches in West Indies start at 09:30 local time (14:30GMT). The first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will be played on March 13, 2007 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, between the host West Indies and Pakistan.

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Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.