| arnold: Off Lankan roster
Sharjah: Kenya and Zimbabwe have been invited to replace South Africa in next month’s Sharjah Cup, organisers said on Wednesday.
If both Kenya and Zimbabwe agree to take part, organisers will have a four-nation meet instead of the tri-series with Pakistan and Sri Lanka as other teams.
The tri-nation event, which was to feature South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, had been planned for April 1-10 but organisers were forced to reschedule after South Africa pulled out because of the Gulf conflict. It will now take place from April 3 to 10.
“We have invited Kenya and Zimbabwe to replace South Africa and the two countries are awaiting clearance from their respective ministries of foreign affairs,” Cricketers’ Benefit Fund Series president Qasim Noorani said on Wednesday night.
“If both teams are cleared by their ministries, we will have a four-nation tournament. We are confident of getting all-clear from at least one of the two countries,” he said.
“Our deadline is Thursday afternoon and we will know only after that whether we have a three or four-nation tournament,” he said. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already agreed to play in the tournament.
The CBFS also explored the possibility of staging the event in Colombo, but “South Africa were not prepared to play there,” Noorani said.
Lanka not to host
Sri Lanka has been ruled out as a possible venue for the troubled Sharjah Cup, officials said Wednesday, adds a report from Colombo.
CBFS officials had been quoted as saying that the event may be shifted to Sri Lanka following the withdrawal of South Africa.
But they have now ruled out the possibility of the tournament being hosted in Sri Lanka.
“Our president told me that the organisers have ruled out Colombo as a venue for the tournament,” said an official of the Sri Lankan board.
The Sri Lankan team named for the tournament features three new faces — batsman Michael Vandort, wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardene and leg-spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi.
Dropped are three seniors, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold and Kumar Sangakkara. The selectors also decided to rest Muttiah Muralidharan.
Indian team next week
The Indian selectors will meet in Mumbai next week to pick the team for the tri-series in Bangladesh next month, says a report from Mumbai. The BCCI secretary, S.K. Nair said from Thiruvanthapuram the selectors would meet on April 1 or 2.
South Africa and Bangladesh are the other teams supposed to take part, though the meet has become uncertain following South Africa’s withdrawal from another tri-series in Sharjah.
Apr. 11: Bangladesh vs India
Apr. 13: South Africa vs India
Apr. 14: South Africa vs Bangladesh
Apr. 16: India vs Bangladesh
Apr. 17: South Africa vs Bangladesh
Apr. 18: South Africa vs India
Apr. 20: Final.
Apr. 21: Reserve Day. (AGENCIES)