25th February 2001

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Japan's Kouno is surfing king

Masakazu Kouno of Japan the number 4 seed beat all opposition to win the Sri Lankan Airlines Pro-Surf championships in the All Japanese contest held on the Indian Ocean in Hikkaduwa.

The first two days of surfing in the four day championships restricted to only the Japanese saw all face the starter in front of the A Frame Shop.

Kouno sporting a red T shirt won the cash award of 700,000 yen (approximately $ 6,500), while Takao Kuga in white won the second place and won the cash award of 300,000 yen (approximately $ 2,500).

The tussle for supremacy in the International race saw ten Sri Lankan surfers compete against 9 Maldivians, 5 Japanese, 4 Israelites one each from Germany, France, Denmark, Italy and England.

The beach at Hikkaduwa held a 'Rock Festival' with the best of reggae and rock bands in attendance which saw a large crowd enjoy every minute of it.

This championships, the first of its kind, sponsored by the SriLankan Airlines and co-sponsored by Jetwing Travels, Carlsberg, The Sunday Times and MTV supported by the Hikkaduwa Hoteliers Association was a big attraction, with at least three hotels being full up for the entire duration of the event.

The site of this championships was given the OK by the Japanese Professional Surfing Association which was established in 1981 and is an affiliate of the Association Professionals who conducts ten surfing championships a year in Japan.

The prize giving took place at the Coral Gardens Hotel with many rewards.

Suranjith,Tilan have Panadura in a spin

By Marlon Fernandopulle

SSC Spinners Suranjith Silva and Tilan Samaraweera shared nine wickets between them to send Panadura SC crashing to 167 all out in a Premier League Division one game at Maitland Place yesterday.

Silva picked up 6 for 28 with his leg breaks while off spinner Samaraweera claimed 3 for 53 as the visitors were bundled out for 167 and were forced to follow on. Only K. Wimalasena countered the spin to remain unbeaten on 56 with four boundaries. Earlier SSC declared at their overnight score of 426 for 5 wickets. Following on 259 runs behind, Panadura made a bold start to be 93 for 1 wicket by the close.

Kalawitigoda century helps Colts

Opener Shantha Kalawiti-goda scored a fluent century as Colts SC edged out Bloomfield on the first innings in a Premier League game at Havelock Park yesterday. Kalawitigoda stroked a dozen boundaries as Colts hit up 270 in reply to Bloomfield's first innings total of 240 all out. Right Arm off spinner Manoj Abeyawardene who was making his first class debut claimed 5 for 100.

Premier League cricket scores at a glance SSC vs Panadura SC at Maitland Place SSC - 426/5 decl. Panadura SC-167 (K.Wimalasena 56 n.o, S. Abeywardene 23; Tilan Samaraweera 3 for 53, Suranjith Silva 6/28) and 93/1 at close (R. Perera 37 n.o, M Perera 42) Colts vs Bloomfield at Havelock Park Bloomfield - 240 and 51/1 at close (Chaminda Ruwan 25) Colts SC-270 (Shantha Kalawitigida 119, Sujith Janaka 38, Dulip Samaraweera 21, Eric Upashantha 24; Manoj Abeywickrema 5 for100)

Shane Warne ready for Indian test series

BOMBAY, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, who took seven Bombay wickets in a test warm-up on Saturday, said the haul was just what he needed ahead of the series against India.

Warne had been hit for 81 runs for a lone wicket in the first innings but bounced back with figures of seven for 38 in the second.

"It was a pretty good workout today, exactly what I needed before the first test," Warne said.

The leg spinner, who had missed Australia's recent 5-0 sweep of the West Indies with an injured finger, said he was raring to go against India in what he predicted would be three tough tests.

The first starts in Bombay on February 27.

"India in India is probably the toughest tour to play. They are the hardest to beat at home and that's what we're looking forward to doing. I think it'll be a fascinating series," he said.

Australia have not won a test series in India since Bill Lawry led his team to a 3-1 win in 1969.

The visitors have struggled in their first two tour games against local Indian sides but Warne said things would change once the test series began.

"I don't think these warm-up matches mean very much once the test matches start. They should just be used as a good workout."

Warne added: "I was experimenting a great deal in this match. I bowled round the wicket, wide of the crease, flighted the ball more and bowled bouncers as well. I got hit for a few runs in the first innings but I beat them in the end."

In Brief

Blue and Gold Stag 2001

The traditional Blue & Gold Stag Night will be held on the 1st of March 2001, the first day of the Annual Royal-Thomian encounter, at the CR & FC grounds from 8.00 p.m. onwards. It is expected that over 1000 old Royalists would participate at this event. Entertainment will be provided by Saman and the Clan together with guest artistes of the calibre of Sunil & Piyal of Gypsies and Sangeeth in attendance. The usual entertainment with added special surprises await the participants.

Former Royal-Thomian Cricketers Dinner

Former Royal and Thomian cricketers will be gathering at a formal dinner on 28th February at the Hotel Taj Samudra from 7.30 p.m. onwards. This annual gathering by the old stalwarts, that too before the Battle of the Blues, is a much looked forward event among the old cricketers of the two institutions. This traditional dinner will bring back nostalgic memories of the "Good Old Days". The likes of Bertie Wijesinghe, brothers Ronnie and Bradman Weerakoon, Vernon Prins, C.I. Gunasekera, Channa Gunasekera, Mahes Rodrigo, Gamini Salgado, P.I. Peiris, Anura Tennakoon, Neil Chanmugam, Michael Tissera, Duleep Mendis, Vijaya Malalasekera, Ranjan Madugalle, Asantha De Mel, Sumitra Warnakulasuriya, Sudath Pasqual, Manoj Mendis, Anura Gunawardena, Rochana Jayawardena to name a few who are expected to attend this inspirational gathering of Blue & Gold and Blue & Black stalwarts. Those who are interested to attend this dinner should contact: Neil Chanmugam, Tel (O) 698908, Ajith Pasqual, Tel (O) 341006, Lakshman Thalayasingham, Tel (O) 448306, Trevor Rajaratnam, Tel (O) 421547, Sashi Ganeshan, Tel (O) 300750, Anushka Polonnowita, Tel (H) 695527, Manoj Mendis, Tel (O) 300750, Anura Gunawardena, Tel (O) 432286 ext 3424, Michael Jayasekera, Tel (O) 446591 ext 8371, Umesh Paramasivam, Tel (O) 446591 ext 8925/6 ,

Coaches barred

The Minister of Sports and Tourism, Lakshman Kiriella has got the act together. In future no coaches from whatever disciplines will be eligible to hold office in any controlling body. He has made it law as a result led into unwarranted abuse by those holding office. According to Sports Ministry sources, in whatever discipline coaches must confine to their job of coaching their charges and not tread on other paths. They can't light the candle from both ends. As a result some talented youth had suffered due to the influence of the coaches, who make use of their official position to include their charges, even when they are not upto the mark. The Minister's action though belated, but has been lauded by all to put an end to the prevailing malady, which has caused much heartburn to talented sportsmen, who were made to suffer due to no crime committed by them. According to the same source even past coaches are barred from holding office. It will help cleanse the Augean Stables for a better future. No other country allow coaches to hold office. There prime duty is to coach and be with their charges at all times. Minister Kiriella, in an earlier interview with the Sunday Times said I can't rock the boat at once. Give me time. There are shortcomings, remedial measures must be taken. All must strive to put the country before self, forget other issues. The Minister's action in barring coaches holding office has been lauded by all sport loving people - including the green corner. BW

Talking Point

Developing and Promoting cricket in the outstations and among the lesser known clubs is something that is very often preached by the administrators of the game.But the question asked is whether they practice what they preach? A classic example is the case of a young,promising fast bowler from a lesser known club who was selected for a couple of practice games against the touring England team.He performed admirably to catch the eye of two Coaches of leading clubs who were quick to invite him to their clubs next season. Strangely both these coaches are directly involved with the current administration.If responsible coaches act in this manner and attract the cream of lesser known clubs how do they expect a development in these clubs?

ICC approves seeding system for Next World Cup

By Marlon Fernandopulle The International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved the seeding system devised by South Africa for the 2003 world cup.South Africa, the hosts for the next world cup have devised the seeding system based on the the performances of each country since the last world cup in 1999 in England, up until September this year. The Seeding System has been based according to the percentage of wins by each country during the designated period.Accordingly currently Australia are right on top with 80% followed by South Africa (64.5%), Sri Lanka (61.3%), Pakistan (55.1%), England (55%), India (47.1%), New Zealand (38.1%), West Indies (37.2%), Zimbabwe (25.4%), Bangladesh (0%) and Kenya (0%).The Eleven Countries will be joined by the three qualifiers from the ICC trophy making it 14 teams for the World cup According to the South African Seeding System the teams Seeded one, four, five, eight, nine, twelve and thirteen will form Group A, while the remaining teams will form Group B.

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