Scrapped tournament terror insurance claim denied by Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan insurance company has denied a 12 million-dollar claim for a cancelled One Day International (ODI) tournament, scrapped after a blast near the South African team’s hotel, arguing the matches were called off for bad weather, not terrorism.

A tri-nation series involving India, South Africa and the hosts was cancelled in Colombo last August when the Proteas abandoned the tour and flew home after the explosion, which was suspected to have been linked to Tamil Tigers rebels.

South Africa cricket team defend tour decision

The South African cricket team arrived back in Johannesburg on Saturday saying that they felt the decision to abort their tour of Sri Lanka was fully justified after a bomb blast close to the hotel they were staying in.

Seven people were killed on Monday when a bomb exploded in the Liberty Plaza shopping mall, 600 metres from the team’s Colombo hotel and often frequented by the players. “The criticism was upsetting and a tough pill to swallow,” Mark Boucher, who captained the team in the absence of the injured Graeme Smith, said.

South Africans deny team split over leaving Colombo

South Africa’s cricketers have struck back at suggestions made in Sri Lanka that senior players bullied lower-profile colleagues into agreeing to abandon the tour on security grounds.

Local newspapers lambasted the tourists on Thursday in a series of articles which called captain Mark Boucher and his team “chickens”.

They said junior players had wanted to stay despite a bomb blast close to the team hotel on Monday which killed seven people.

“We all decided together that we wanted to go home because it’s not safe here,” said 21-year-old AB de Villiers shortly before the team’s departure on Thursday evening.

South Africa pull out of tri-series

South Africa will abandon their tour of Sri Lanka on the strength of a report by an independent security consultant, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said here on Wednesday.

The report found that “the current risk to the team is at an unacceptable level”, a CSA media release said. “In the light of this independent report by the Olive Group, who were appointed at the behest of the International Cricket Council (ICC), we have no alternative but to bring the team home as soon as possible,” the release quoted CSA chief executive Gerald Majola as saying.

South Africa ready to pull out of tri-series

unitech cup 2006, south africa in sri lanka 2006A tournament billed as a clash between three of the teams most likely to wrest Australia’s crown at next year’s World Cup will now most likely give way to a bilateral one-day series between Sri Lanka and India after a bomb blast in Colombo on Monday afternoon prompted the South African team to reassess their presence on the island.

Unless the ICC threatens them with punitive measures, the South Africans – already rattled after an explosion killed three on the final day of their Test series – will head home on the advice of their consulate and the security firm in charge of their security. The players are united in their desire to curtail the tour, and Gerald Majola, the chief executive of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, is sympathetic to their stance.

Jayawardene stands firm to keep SL on track for series win

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Skipper Mahela Jayawardene hit an unbeaten 77 to get Sri Lanka within 90 runs of victory in the second Test and a series sweep against South Africa on the fourth day here on Monday.

Set 352 to win, the hosts ended the penultimate day at 262 for five, leaving three sessions and five wickets to achieve the 90 runs required. The Sri Lankan captain shared an unbroken 61-run stand for the sixth wicket with Prasanna Jayawardene, the wicketkeeper-batsman contributing 27 runs.

Muralitharan equals own world Test record

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Star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on Monday equalled his own Test record of taking 10 wickets or more in four consecutive matches, with his figures of 5-128 and 7-97 on the fourth day of the second Test match against South Africa, here at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium.

Muralitharan has now achieved this feat in four successive Test matches on two seaparate occasions. The eight instances are as follows:

11-196 v India Colombo (SSC) 2001

10-111 v Bangladesh Colombo (SSC) 2001-02

11-170 v West Indies Galle 2001-02

10-135 v West Indies Kandy 2001-02

Jayawardene guides Sri Lanka to clean sweep over South Africa

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Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene stroked a superb 123 to help his team to a dramatic one-wicket victory over South Africa on the final day of the second and final Test here on Tuesday, giving the hosts a 2-0 series win.

Sri Lanka, resuming the day on 262 for five and needing 90 for the win, added 71 in the morning for the loss of just one wicket to leave them just 19 runs shy of victory at lunch.

Sangakkara-Jayawardena create history

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s epic partnership of 624 runs for the third wicket in the first innings of the first Test at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo broke many records. It is now the highest ever stand between two batsmen in all First-class cricket, eclipsing the previous record of 577 runs between Vijay Hizare and Gul Mohammad for Baroda against Holkar in 1946-47. It is also the highest partnership in Test cricket bettering Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama mammoth 576 against India nine years ago. Overall, this was the eighth 500-plus partnership in first-class cricket. The accompanying table has the complete details.

Dean Jones sacked as commentator after terming Amla a terrorist

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Former Australian Test cricketer Dean Jones was sacked from his job as a commentator on Monday after referring to South African Muslim batsman Hashim Amla as a “terrorist”.

Dean Jones, who admitted making the comment and apologised, was on a TV commentary team covering the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo.

According to a statement issued by Cricket South Africa on Monday, viewers heard Jones say, “the terrorist has got another wicket” when Amla took the catch that dismissed Kumar Sangakkara.