Sri Lanka struggle on the field but board's net profit jumps 33 times in one year

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A full series at home against India is believed to be the main reason behind Sri Lankan cricket board increasing its net profit an incredible 33 times in one year.

The Sri Lankan cricket board on Wednesday announced it had made a net profit of 2.12 billion rupees ($14 million, Dh51m) in 2017. It was a mere 64 million rupees (Dh1.5m) earned an year ago. That’s a jump of 33 times.

Also, revenues stood at six billion rupees which were almost double the 2016 figures.

“This was a result of SLC’s strategic growth plans and prudent financial management,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

While the board didn’t explain the factors behind the exponential rise in income, reports suggested a packed 2017 calendar which included home series against Bangladesh, India and Zimbabwe was the driving force behind it.

In fact, the broadcast and sponsorship rights from the nine-match home series against India – three Tests, five ODIs and one T20s – is said to be mainly responsible for the income growth.

On the field, however, it was year to forget for Sri Lanka as they lost the home series to India 9-0 and even lost the home ODI series to Zimbabwe. Also, they were blanked 5-0 three times in ODIs – in South Africa, against Pakistan and at home by India in 2017.

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane added to ICC World XI squad for West Indies T20

Sudhir Gupta 16/05/2018
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The 17-year-old will take part in the T20I clash on May 31.

Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane is continuing to go places after the leg-spinner became the latest addition to the ICC Rest of the Word XI squad which will take on the West Indies in the Hurricane Relief T20I at Lord’s on May 31.

The 17-year-old prodigy had recently become the first Nepalese player to play in the IPL after he was given his debut by Delhi Daredevils in the loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

While Lamichhane has been added to the Rest of the World XI squad, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has decided to withdraw. He will join a star-studded line up which includes the likes of Eoin Morgan, Rashid Khan, Shahid Afridi, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Shoaib Malik among others.

The charity T20I match at Lord’s is being held to raise funds for the cricket venues damaged by the multiple hurricanes which swept the Caribbean region last year.

Lamichhane expressed his delight at being picked for the special occasion, saying: “It is an honour for the entire country and passionate followers of Nepal cricket, as well as an indicator that we are making our mark on the international game.

“Training, sharing the dressing room and playing with some of the trend-setters who we saw on television while growing up is something I look forward to. This is an opportunity for me to learn and improve, and I am committed to cashing in on this.”

For now, the wrist-spinner is putting Nepal on the cricketing map and judging by his debut performance, bigger things lie in wait in the future.

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Three reasons why Ireland were competitive in their inaugural Test against Pakistan

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Ireland showed great fight before succumbing to a five-wicket defeat to Pakistan in their inaugural Test in Dublin.

Ireland were forced to follow on after being bowled out for 130 but a fine century from Kevin O’Brien revived their hopes. Their seamers picked up three early wickets as Pakistan chased a tricky target of 160. But in the end, fifties from Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam did the job for the visitors.

Ireland gave a good account of themselves in Malahide. However, it shouldn’t come as a total surprise that they were up to the challenge in the Dublin match.

Here are three reasons why Ireland were competitive in their inaugural Test.

FIRST-CLASS EXPERIENCE

While it was Ireland’s maiden Test, their players have played enough first-class cricket. In fact, the combined first-class experience of their team, which amounts to 1103 matches, is substantially more than that of Pakistan – 799 matches.

Granted, Pakistan picked a predominantly limited overs teams as they want to prepare players for next year’s 50-over World Cup. However, that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Ireland players know the ins and outs of multiple day cricket.

Also, a majority of Irish cricketers play county cricket, with someone like Boyd Rankin having played Tests for the Englishmen. So the chances of them being embarrassed was remote.

CHALLENGING WICKET

A wicket with a tinge of green meant Pakistan’s batsmen were never going to be at ease. It has been a long time since Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan retired but Pakistan haven’t been tested extensively in the longest format since the twin retirements in May 2017.

Medium pace bowlers moving the ball around all day on a wicket tailormade for them can be challenging for most batsmen. More so for Pakistan’s line-up that lacked Test experience.

BEEN THERE DONE THAT

Ireland know how to perform at the highest level. Their performances at World Cups have left a mark on the minds of cricket fans. They famously knocked Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean before pulling off a remarkable chase of 328 against England at the 2011 showpiece event in India.

Seven out of 11 members of that 2011 World Cup game winning team played the inaugural Test against Pakistan. And while the format and conditions were completely different, Ireland did have players who knew what it takes to deliver at the toughest stage.

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