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  1. South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka First ODI: September 2 Second ODI: September 4 Third ODI: September 7 First T20I: September 10 Second T20I: September 12 Third T20I: September 14
  2. The teams had also faced off earlier in the year when Sri Lanka played two Tests in South Africa South Africa had last toured Sri Lanka for a bilateral series in 2018 South Africa have confirmed their tour to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is during September. All six matches will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, with the series starting with the first ODI on September 2 and ending with the third T20I on September 14. "We are delighted to have another tour confirmed for the Proteas men's team with the ICC T20 World Cup just around the corner," CSA's acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki said. "Playing against quality opposition in the sub-continent is the best way for our team to prepare for this event and we are grateful to Sri Lanka Cricket for accommodating us during this time of the year where schedules are highly condensed." The last time South Africa played a bilateral series in Sri Lanka was in 2018, which included five ODIs and a solitary T20I apart from two Tests. While South Africa had won the ODI series 3-2, Sri Lanka took the only T20I on the tour. This time, they would be playing three T20Is, which would mean better preparation for the T20 World Cup in the UAE in October. "With an ICC white-ball world event in each year of the next three, game time is golden for every team and we are looking forward to watching our team play as they continue to add to the building blocks of their 2021 T20 World Cup preparation", Moseki added. The teams had also faced off earlier in the year when Sri Lanka played two Tests in South Africa, where the hosts triumphed in both matches in Centurion and Johannesburg.
  3. The owners of the Rajasthan Royals have bought a majority stake in the CPL franchise The IPL footprint in the CPL has expanded further with the owners of the Rajasthan Royals buying a majority stake in the Barbados Tridents, which will now be known as the Barbados Royals. The Royals Sports Group are the third IPL franchise to own a team in the CPL after Red Chillies Entertainment, owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders, bought the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2015, and KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited, the consortium that owns the Punjab Kings, bought the St Lucia Zouks last year. The Barbados franchise is one of the three teams to win the CPL title twice. The Tridents won the 2014 CPL under the leadership of Kieron Pollard, who is now captain at the Trinbago Knight Riders. In 2019 the Tridents ended the unbeaten run of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final to win the CPL under the captaincy of Jason Holder. The Tridents failed to defend their title, however, finishing fifth in the 2020 edition with just three wins in 10 games. The 2021 season of the CPL will be played in St Kitts & Nevis between August 26 and September 15. While Holder will remain the Barbados captain, Kumar Sangakkara, appointed as the Royals' director of cricket in the IPL, will also oversee CPL operations. Sangakkara welcomed the addition of the Barbados franchise to the Royals' "ecosystem". He said the Caribbean talent could be utilised to "innovate and develop strategies" for the growth of the Royals group. The Barbados Tridents won their second CPL title in 2019 Manoj Badale, who owns EM Sporting Holdings Ltd, which recently increased its stake to 65% in the Royals franchise, said the "opportunity was too good to be missed" on the acquisition in Barbados franchise. According to Badale, the Royals Group will have an 80% stake with the remaining staying with the Texas-based Manish Patel, the principal of the CMG Companies. Patel had previously owned the Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL from 2014 to 2016 before he sold his stake and re-entered the CPL by buying the Tridents in 2019 from the Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, who was previously owner of the Royals Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Patel is also the owner of the Austin Athletics in the Minor League Cricket T20 competition. Badale has long held a desire to create a commercial enterprise for the Royals group by investing across T20 leagues in the world. In 2010 the Royals had announced a global alliance when they joined forces with Hampshire, the Cape Cobras and Trinidad & Tobago to form a worldwide T20 brand. That venture did not take off, but the Royals have remained on the lookout for such opportunities. "The idea of creating a global network behind the Royals brand is something that we are keen to do for many many years, It was the opportunity too good to miss" Badale told ESPNcricinfo. "The IPL is only on our screen for a short period of the annual calendar. Secondly, it gives our fans an opportunity to follow Royals teams across the world and in different locations. Thirdly, from a cricketing perspective to trial new things." Badale said the CPL investment had the support of the RedBird Capital Partners, who recently picked up a 15% stake in the Royals' franchise in the IPL. The US-based RedBird has interests in the parent company of Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox. "They are hugely supportive of the Barbados acquisition."
  4. They will not be allowed to play domestic cricket for six months, ruling them out for much of the next season Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka have been handed the same sanctions as Niroshan Dickwella, who has no prior disciplinary breaches to his name Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella have all been suspended from international cricket for a year for breaking Sri Lanka's bio-bubble on a night out in Durham last month. They have each also been fined 10 million rupees (USD 50,000 approx), and will not be allowed to play domestic cricket for six months, which rules them out for much of the next season. In addition, they will be in probation for two further years, during which another year's suspension will hang over their heads. SLC has mandated counselling with a doctor recommended by the board as well. The suspensions are shorter than those recommended by the independent panel that had been commissioned to inquire into the the incident. That committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Nimal Dissanayaka, had recommended two-year suspensions for Gunathilaka and Mendis, who were deemed to have priors, and an 18-month suspension for Dickwella. Despite Gunathilaka having served two previous suspensions, and although Mendis had caused the death of a pedestrian while driving last year, the board has opted to hand them the same sentence as the one imposed on Dickwella, who had no prior disciplinary breaches. Although the international suspensions are shorter than the inquirers had recommended, the fines are understood to be twice what were suggested. The three players are being dealt with this harshly partly because of the public backlash against their actions. Had it not been for footage, captured by members of the public and posted on social media, Sri Lanka's medical staff may not have been aware that these players even left the team hotel and breached the bio-bubble on June 27. They will be a significant loss to the national team, however. Dickwella was the Test team's No. 1 wicketkeeper, and was on the fringes of the limited-overs teams. Gunathilaka was one of Sri Lanka's white-ball openers, while Kusal Mendis was finding his way back into the national teams following a patch of lean form. The suspensions do not necessarily have to be career-ending for the three players. Gunathilaka will be 31 before he is eligible to play for Sri Lanka again. Dickwella will be 29, and Mendis 27. In addition to breaching the bubble, the cricketers were found guilty of violating the team's curfew, which was 10:30pm, and "bringing disrepute to Sri Lanka Cricket and the country".
  5. Tiffany Haddish and Lakeith Stanfield are in talks to appear in the upcoming Haunted Mansion feature from Disney. A different The Haunted Mansion film came out in 2003. Much like the upcoming movie, the 2003 version was inspired by the Haunted Mansion ride in Disneyland. Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is located in New Orleans Square, which inspired director Rob Minkoff to set the film in New Orleans. In the 2003 film, Eddie Murphy and Marsha Thomason play realtors who are eager to sell the New Orleans mansion. However, when they stay the night with their kids, played by Aree Davis and Marc John Jefferies, they find themselves trapped in the haunted establishment and at the mercy of the supernatural who dwell there. THR confirms that Haddish and Stanfield are in the negotiation phase for Disney's Haunted Mansion helmed by Justin Simien. If cast in Haunted Mansion, Stanfield will play a tour guide who lost his spark and connection with the supernatural after becoming widowed. Meanwhile, Haddish will play a psychic hired to speak with the dead. Haddish is best known for her comedic roles in films like Girls Trip, Night School and Like a Boss. Stanfield has played more dramatic roles in FX's Atlanta and Judas and the Black Messiah. Unlike the previously existing The Haunted Mansion film, this edition will feature a family moving into the haunted mansion as their home. While reboots have become a recent trend for Disney, it's worth noting that the upcoming Haunted Mansion is not a remake or is in any way attached to the 2003 version. Rather, it is seemingly a part of an installment of Disney movies based on rides in its theme parks. Jungle Cruise is the first feature of this installment with Haunted Mansion seemingly next in line.
  6. The Suicide Squad's reviews are overwhelmingly positive and as a result, it may set a new record on Rotten Tomatoes. The first reactions and reviews for new comic book movies are always exciting to see and peruse through, because practically every film is highly anticipated and fans always want to see how good, bad, or mediocre a new installment will be in either the Marvel or DC universes. Unfortunately, reviews have become more controversial over the years, though that likely won't be the case with The Suicide Squad. Critics are currently responding well to The Suicide Squad, James Gunn's first movie in four years, with the two previous films he made being Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for Marvel Studios. At the moment, The Suicide Squad holds a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes; out of 68 reviews, only 1 is considered "rotten". It's guaranteed that the number will fluctuate over the next two weeks as more critics see the movie and review it. If the trend of positive reviews continues, then The Suicide Squad could uphold its high rating, but if not, it might drop to the low 90s. Still, it has a chance to break a record on Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes uses an adjusted score when ranking their highest-rated movies, but by pure percentage, the current highest-rated superhero movie is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at 97%. It released in 2018 and became a massive critical and commercial success, grossing over $375 million and winning the Oscar for best animated movie. It remains to be seen where The Suicide Squad falls at the box office and if it receives any awards nominations, but if it maintains a Rotten Tomatoes score over 97%, it will become the highest-rated superhero movie of all-time on Rotten Tomatoes. Even if it ties with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it'll be an achievement for Gunn and DC Films in general. It's no secret that DC movies have struggled with reviews and Rotten Tomatoes scores in recent years, becoming ever more divisive with each new release. Some films were "certified fresh" only to drop to "rotten" ratings with time. Still, there have been a few shining lights peppered throughout DC Films' slate; 2017's Wonder Woman holds a 93% rating and 2019's Shazam! has a 90% score. The only other DC movie to get over a 90% rating is The Dark Knight, but that released 13 years ago, long before the DCEU ever became a reality. The Suicide Squad will still be in good company - ranking alongside Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame, Logan, and more - if it doesn't retain a score above 97%. However, it could break Gunn's own record of 92% as a director, which he received for Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Critics seem enthused by The Suicide Squad and audience anticipation is as high as ever, so things are looking up for him and the movie.
  7. A new video sees writer/director James Gunn and the cast of The Suicide Squad surprise fans testing their trivia knowledge on all things DC Comics. The standalone follow-up to David Ayer's 2016 film of a similar name marks Gunn's debut in the DC Extended Universe after rising to stardom with the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Guardians of the Galaxy films. The new film will see the returns of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag, Viola Davis' Amanda Waller and Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang. The story for The Suicide Squad sees Waller building a new Task Force X and sending them to the fictional South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy the Nazi-era laboratory and prison Jotunheim and learn of the mysterious Project Starfish. Some of the villains making their DCEU debuts in the film include Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher 2, King Shark, Bloodsport, Savant, Javelin, Blackguard, Weasel and T.D.K., amongst others. Gunn has already begun expanding his footprint in the Warner Bros. franchise, having recently wrapped production on the John Cena-led HBO Max spin-off series Peacemaker, which he created, wrote, executive produced and directed five episodes of. While doing press for the highly-anticipated film with, Gunn and some of The Suicide Squad cast teamed up with ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis to surprise fans. Recorded over Zoom, the fans believed they were entering a trivia match to test their knowledge on the Suicide Squad and DC Comics, only to find they were facing off against the celebrity group. Of the many marketing campaign gimmicks studios and publications utilize to build anticipation for their film, few are as satisfying as the cast of a film surprising fans in some capacity. Between Johnny Depp's visits to Disneyland in Jack Sparrow attire to filmmakers such as A Quiet Place Part II's John Krasinski popping up at screenings for surprise appearances and Q&As, the excitement felt by fans in the videos is always a fun thing to witness. Though some of the fans in The Suicide Squad surprise video would probably have preferred the chance to meet Gunn and the cast in person, there's no denying their anticipation is at an all-time high for the film at this point. They aren't the only ones whose excitement for the film is through the roof given the incredibly-high rating The Suicide Squad has on Rotten Tomatoes. There wasn't much doubt that Gunn wouldn't be able to deliver another exciting outing in the comic book genre given his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but the near-record-setting reviews thus far have certainly raised the bar for audience expectations on the film. With any luck, it will clear those bars by a good margin when it arrives in theaters and on HBO Max next week.
  8. Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the release of Black Widow on Disney+. Johansson has long been a mainstay in the MCU, debuting in 2010's Iron Man 2 as Natasha Romanoff and starring in a slew of other Marvel projects as the character. Fans long called for Nat to get her own solo MCU film and Marvel heeded the call only after killing off Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow was originally meant to release in May 2020, but was delayed multiple times due to the pandemic. When Marvel officially kicked off Phase 4 of the MCU with WandaVision on Disney+, they seemingly made the decision to move full steam ahead with their release plans. This included the release of Black Widow and many wondered if Disney would decide to premiere the movie on their streaming platform akin to the releases of Mulan and Soul in 2020. Ultimately, the studio decided to do just that, releasing Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ simultaneously. They did so through their Premier Access platform, which charges subscribers an additional $29.99 for access to the film. Throughout the pandemic, the streaming release of blockbusters has been a point of contention for many in the industry. Now, according to WSJ, Johansson has filed a lawsuit against Disney in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing that the release of Black Widow on Disney+ was a breach of contract. This is due, in part, to the fact that Johansson's salary is contingent on the box office success of the film, something that could be hindered by the film's release on the streamer. The suit says, in part, "Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel." Marvel and Disney have yet to comment on the situation. Black Widow serves as Johansson's swan song in the MCU and if the lawsuit is any indication, it may truly be the last time the character of Natasha Romanoff is seen in a Marvel project. Additionally, the entire industry will be waiting for the outcome of the suit. As Hollywood continues to adapt to the pandemic, more and more studios are becoming lenient with how and when they release their biggest movies. Warner Bros. caused an uproar at the end of 2020 when they revealed that their entire 2021 slate would hit HBO Max and theaters simultaneously. Co-financier of Dune, Legendary Studios, reportedly considered filing a lawsuit against the studio about the release of the film. Wonder Woman 1984's release on HBO Max saw star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins receive a $10 million payout, but it's unclear what kind of compensation Warner Bros. biggest talent could be getting for the other films that will be released on streaming. Johansson's Black Widow lawsuit will also serve as a blueprint moving forward in terms of how other talent and creatives will react to the streaming release of their films and it could certainly prevent studios from releasing their films like this in the future.
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