Sidath Wettimuny, the former interim chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, was critical of the past administrators of the country’s cricket board in an interview to a local newspaper, blaming them on Wednesday (March 2) for the defending champions’ lacklustre performance in the Asia Cup. The latest setback to Sri Lanka came when Angelo Mathews’s men went down by five wickets to India in Mirpur.

Concerns were raised over the decreasing popularity of cricket in India, a newspaper article from New Zealand asked if the flawed men of cricket should return to the game, and finally, the Delhi and District Cricket Association is close to obtaining the mandatory occupancy certificate required to host ICC World T20 matches at the Feroze Shah Kotla.

Cricket in a Fix: Why the Game’s Popularity is Falling (The New Indian Express)
Lofted on a pedestal by successful performers from other disciplines, who hailed BCCI as a role model of sports administration in the country, little did the board or anybody else realise that cricket itself would emerge its biggest rival. That the sovereignty defining BCCI is under severe examination, for inability to clean up house shows that more than any external force, India’s cricket establishment is confronting a crisis created by its own lack of foresight.

Waqar talks up Pak pacers (Deccan Herald)
For Pakistan, it has been a dream to beat India in a cricket World Cup, regardless of the format.
India-Pakistan contests have always produced quality cricket under tense situations. They have enriched the game. Their recent face-off here in the Asia Cup lived every bit of the hype it generated and whetted the appetite for the much-awaited clash in WorldT20 in the picturesque town of Dharamasala which is expected to be a total sellout onMarch 19.

Dale Steyn’s imminent return – WHO to drop? (The Daily Maverick)
While Dale Steyn is probably frothing at the mouth to have a crack at the Aussies, the selectors must be agonising while deciding who to drop to make room for their pace ace, returning for the three-match T20 series beginning on Friday.

Wettimuny slams past cricket administrators (Ceylon Daily News)
Former Sri Lanka Test cricketer and interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny blamed past elected administrators of Sri Lanka Cricket for the national team’s poor performances in international cricket today.
Commenting on Sri Lanka’s 23-run loss in the Asia Cup match to Bangladesh at Mirpur on Sunday, Wettimuny said, “I have always said that before long we would lose to Bangladesh. I don’t blame the players or anybody at the moment but I blame all the past board elected administrations who for the purpose of a vote never did what has to be done by developing the next level of our cricket.

Deadline over but hope floats for Kotla (The Times of India)
The suspense over Feroze Shah Kotla’s eligibility to host ICC T20 World Cup matches is set to end, with the stadium likely to be given the mandatory occupancy certificate soon.
The 20-day deadline set by the high court for DDCA to make 60 structural changes in the stadium expired on Mondaywithout the cricket body getting the municipality’s clearance to hold matches. However, both DDCA and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) say all suggested modifications were carried out by February 26, well before the deadline.

Cricket has a long history of flawed men who became great (Taranaki Daily News)
Brendon McCullum had a worthy policy of fit in or don’t hang around which has built a strong work ethic and good team values. It has been reasonably successful until they played Australia when their weaknesses are exposed.
Heading off now to the Twenty20 World Cup India without McCullum, in a group alongside India, Pakistan, Australia and possibly Bangladesh, there is every possibility that they will go no further than the first round and will not qualify for the semifinals. It’s a tough group to play in in the sub-continent. Replacing McCullum at the top of the order with Ryder might just have been the tonic required.

Cricket ground: a home away from home (Daily Times, Pakistan)
I have always known for a fact that there is a great number of Pakistanis living here in the UAE, but it wasn’t until last week; I realised it on the final day of the Pakistan Super League-PSL. As far as my sight could go, I saw scores of men wearing Shalwar Kameez walking towards the stadium with a wide smile on their faces. Women, children, elderly and youngsters – all wearing different jerseys to support their respective teams but chanting a single slogan, Pakistan Zindabad!

Geoffrey Boycott ‘disappointed’ with Yorkshire chairman’s snub (BBC News)
Former Yorkshire opener Geoffrey Boycott is “disappointed” chairman Steve Denison has asked members not to back his return to the board. Boycott, 75, is unhappy with the level of debt at the club, which is reported to be above £20m.
“I’m not trying to cause any problems, I’m not trying to create any trouble – I want to help the club,” he said.

For the roving T20 star, there is no away ground (The Hindu)
The concept of home advantage is one of the most fascinating in sport. It seems logical, even obvious, that knowing the conditions is the first step towards conquering them. But the jury is out on the issue.

Empirical evidence suggests that it does exist. Scientists, however, interpret the figures and conclude both that it does and doesn’t. The former theory has evolved from a platitude to a statistic. Popular sentiment is that crowds make a difference. They cheer the home team, raise their spirits and in doing so lower the morale of the visitors. Winning captains tend to thank the crowds for their support. Public relations or measurable fact?

Boy who lost arms in accident defies odds to captain state cricket team (Metro, UK)
Amir Hussain Lone skippers Kashmir’s para-cricket team, in the north of the country, and his incredible story has proved many doubters wrong down the years.
Mr Hussain Lone was told by teachers to give up on education and sport after losing his arms when visiting his father’s sawmill aged just eight. His unique technique of bowling with his toes, as well as holding the bat between his neck and shoulder, has won the 26-year-old countless admirers in his home town.

Now that’s a sales pitch: Homestead with rich history and private cricket pitch (New Zealand Herald)
A historic homestead, owned by one of New Zealand’s first MPs and boasting one of only two private cricket pitches in the country, is for sale.
The 57.19ha property, known as Bankhouse, in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley, has a heritage-listed house originally owned by Sir David Monro, who became a member of Parliament in 1854.