WINDS BEHIND THE WILLOWS - THE JOURNEY SO FAR

02 December 2018

Why Winds Behinds The Willows is a must read for all Cricket Fans

Like in any other sport, the worldwide fan following is the life-blood that passionately nourishes and sustains cricket. Though they happen to be the most important stakeholders of the game, by and large, cricket fans are a neglected lot, as well.

Don’t they deserve to be treated with greater respect and dignity?

About Me

Wannabe IPL/BBL/PSL/CPL player, couldn’t even reach SLPL standards. Ended up as a village cricketer and wrote Winds Behind The Willows.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: The Front-runners

Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga proudly holds aloft the 1996 Wills World Cup

Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga proudly holds aloft the 1996 Wills World Cup, which he received from the then Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, having beaten Australia in the final on 17 March 1996 at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan. Master of Ceremonies Ian Chappell is at the extreme left. (Photo by Prasanna Hennayake).

England will host the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup from 30 May to 14 July, this year. Ten nations would compete in the round-robin format, with the top four teams advancing to knock out stage, semi-finals and final.

At the time of writing, nearly all teams seem to have issues to contend with; that may or may not be overcome prior to the tournament. Hence, prediction of outcomes seven weeks before a high-pressure tournament is a challenge in itself.

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Records by Sri Lankans at Cricket World Cups

Kumar Sangakkara batting against Chris Woakes (England) in Wellington, New Zealand, during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup (© Ranjan Mellawa)

Kumar Sangakkara batting against Chris Woakes (England) in Wellington, New Zealand, during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup (© Ranjan Mellawa).


Ranjan Mellawa hopes Sri Lanka will be inspired by their past performances in world tournaments and achieve something special at the next World Cup.

 

 

As the Cricket World Cup draws nearer, let’s revisit some record-breaking Sri Lankan individual and team performances in previous tournaments.

Sri Lanka was the first Associate team to defeat a Full Member at the World Cup when they beat India by 47 runs in 1979.

When Sri Lanka confronted New Zealand in 1983, an aggregate 29 maiden overs were bowled by both sides, the most in a single World Cup match. In the quiet that ensued, Sri Lanka bowlers delivered 17 of those and helped their team win the 60-over match by 3 wickets, with 43 balls to spare, in a ‘battle of the maidens’ as it were!

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Save the Blushes, Please

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan teams walking into the ground for the national anthems prior to their match in the 2015 Cricket World Cup on 22 February 2015 at the picturesque University Oval, Dunedin, New Zealand. (© Ranjan Mellawa)


Ranjan Mellawa thinks it’s not all doom and gloom for Sri Lanka, and they can still make a good fist of the next World Cup.

 

 

In an all-time low, Sri Lanka capitulated to Afghanistan by 91 runs in the Asia Cup 2018. Angelo Mathews, already tipped to lead in the forthcoming World Cup, was axed from both captaincy and the one-day squad.

Previously, Sri Lanka had played Afghanistan in the 2015 World Cup. Lethargic fielding by the Sri Lankans helped Afghanistan post 232 runs.

The first ball of the Sri Lanka innings, trapped Thirimanna lbw. Next over, Dilshan edged a back-of-a-length delivery and was caught behind for no score. Sri Lanka were tottering at 2 for 2 after 1.2 overs. It was only the second time in ODIs that both openers were dismissed for first-ball ducks.

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So Near…

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan teams walking into the ground for the national anthems prior to their match in the 2015 Cricket World Cup

Ranjan Mellawa believes that injury prevention and management, along with the quality of bench strength would be critical success factors at the next World Cup.

 

 

Mahela Jayawardena’s masterpiece (103*) gave Sri Lanka a commanding total of 274 for 6 in the 2011 World Cup final. Never before had a Jayawardena century led to a losing cause for Sri Lanka.

The 275 target looked imposing for India. No team batting second had scored more than 250 runs under lights at Wankhede Stadium. Sri Lanka’s varied bowling attack seemed geared to defend the highest run chase in a World Cup final.

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Written in simple and concise language

Winds Behind The Willows: A Sri Lankan's life in love with cricket, by Ranjan Mellawa

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