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Sunday, 22 November 2015

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Sri Lankan team made a box-office hit


Sri Lanka T20 captain Lasith Malinga (left) talks to the teamís latest paymaster Indian CJ Roy as former Miss Sri Lanka Stephanie Siriwardena moves in the background (Picture by Saman Mendis)

One of India's superstars of the backstage Bollywood movie industry has grabbed the Sri Lanka cricket team for an undisclosed sum of money and wants the islanders to successfully pocket the next blockbustreT20 World Cup after turning away from a losing West Indies team which he backed for two years until they were hounded out in 2015.

Whether his plans for serious on-field action to go according to make-believe movie scripts can succeed is left to be seen, CJ Roy, a Bangalore based corporate giant claims he has found the right horse to bet on in all probability forcing Sri Lanka push the borders further ahead when the World T20 starts in India in March.

"The best team in the T20 format is the one and only Sri Lanka. Their team-spirit is amazing and I want to be with them", said Roy sounding as if he now owns the Sri Lankan brand name at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo yesterday.

Roy is the founder of an entity called the Confident Group which owns the best golf course in India and has billion dollar stakes in the hotel industry, aviation, high-rise building construction, healthcare and entertainment with bases in America and the United Arab Emirates.

But the usually swashbuckling Sri Lanka T20 captain Lasith Malinga perhaps aware of the pressures with the added demands to raise the bar was circumspect during his team's sell-out and promised nothing other than admitting his mates can only be as good as the last match although they will move into the hot-spot of cricket as defending champions.

"Being defending T20 champions can mean only about what happened in the past. It will always depend on how we play as a team. Things can change always and we must do our homework before we play. If all can contribute then we can do it", said Malinga.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief Sidat Wettimuny had nothing to hold back and could only shower high praise on the country's new found keeper.

"Cricket is the biggest brand in Sri Lanka. We have formed the nucleus in our squad, set the management and have the base for a happy (players') dressing room. Cricket has so many uncertainties but we have what it takes to win", said Wettimuny who, if all goes according to the script, will be out of the game's administration should a scheduled election of administrators be held in six weeks time.

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