27th May 2001
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business|
By Aubrey Kuruppu
By their own exalted standards, Kandy Sports Club had a relatively barren season in 2000. They stumbled many a time, but recovered their poise and scattered wits to come back strongly and thrash their nemesis, the CR&FC in the Clifford Cup knock-out tournament. However that was a small crumb of comfort for a side that possesses such a preponderance of talent. The usually marauding lion's pride has been hurt and exacting revenge in some measure is all important.
That Kandy SC has an abundance and surfeit of riches, goes without saying. As many as nine members have worn the Sri Lankan jersey and two of them have led the national team. Yet for all, when it comes to the crunch, Kandy has sometimes failed to deliver.
This season could be different. Captaincy problems may have had an unsettling effect on the team. All that is now so much water under the bridge. In Nalaka Weerakkody, this season's skipper, the team has an exuberent, at times even arrogant, personality.
He does lead from the front. His tremendous kicking ability - the logical outcome of his years as a schoolboy soccer player - is in addition to his ball-handling, distributing and running skills. Opposing teams could well label him, 'public enemy number one'.
Bandaranaike, that smooth runner and Hettiarachchi who pounds his way through are the wingers, while speedy Sameera de Silva is a more than adequate substitute. The experienced Wijesuriya and the young Vithanage occupy the centre's berths.
The halves combination has more often than not performed adequately. Link-man Nilufer Ibrahim is a utility player and that's one of the reasons why he's picked for the Sevens'. Big-made Sajith Mallikarachchi handles the ball well and, given a little bit of room, can go through with his high-stepping run.
Dunstan de Silva is all eager and rarin' to go after his troubles last year. That is all to the good.
Hard-working Jeeva Galgamuwa is the other prop, while Mohamed Buksh retains the hooker's berth.
Ravi Jayasuriya, the brother of Dunstan, will be one of he locks while Sri Lanka skipper Asoka Jayasena will be the other. Jayasena will also move into the number eight slot when the occasion demands.
Bogahawatte, who impressed last year, Pradeep Basnayake, Kapila Silva and Malith Silva are all in contention for places in the third row.
Experienced C.P.P. Abeygunawardena has taken over the coaching from Hemantha Yatawara. CPP was responsible for many a successful CR&FC side and hopes are high that he will make a very good fist of his new job.
Last year, Kandy SC whipped the Airmen 55/10 in the opener, and another demolition job is on the cards when these two teams meet at Katunayake today.
Ordered out?An uniformed officer lost his temper and ordered out a member at the council meeting of a popular sport, since the questions raised by this member embarrassed this official. This matter is to be reported to highter authorities, asking where is the discipline.
Not the National CoachA coach with the hope of being given the National Coach post was told by those who attended a council meeting that this is not so, even though it was mentioned in the minutes. Rover wonders who is then the National Coach, please appoint one because the SAF Games, is close at hard. How come the Indian Coach who is only sending faxes on training schedules being paid around Rs 75.000/.
Yes menAll hell broke loose at a Sports Foundation meeting in the outstations, with no work done and all sirring the chief. What a way.
Internal fightingAfter a tour Down Under, the officials are making much news from the outstations with constant infighting. What went wrong on the tour for so much fighting?
By Subhani Hassimdeen
On behalf of the soccer-loving public and the soccer players of this country I owe the sincere gratitude and appreciation to the soccer Boss - Manilal Fernando for the tremendous work done to build up a fantastic Football Headquarters with all facilities. Further making all efforts and arrangements to build up a training centre in Beddagana, Kotte for the National Teams to train. No doubt Manilal Fernando will certainly go into the football history of this country.
The singular contribution to Football by Manilal Fernando in recent years needs no elaboration. The newly built Headquarters at Reid Avenue will stand as a living monument to his unremitting devotion and sincere admiration of the common man's sport. His magnanimous personal contribution towards the sustenance of the National Football Team is a reflection of his abiding interest in the sport and his genuine concern for the welfare of the players. It is indeed appreciable to hear from the National Players that they are well looked after by Manilal Fernando, they are provided with good food and also being given financial assistance.
Having said that it is rather disappointing to note in recent times, that not much headway has been made technically or organizationally to improve the playing standards of the game or its promotion as a truly National sport. The soccer-loving public while appreciating the contribution and the good work done by Manilal Fernando, we must not forget they use our National Teams' performance as a yardstick to gauge our standards.
It is always good for the sport, when its performance is evaluated and to be criticized particularly when its playing standards are poor. Only then will the sport improve provided of course, the administrators are humble enough to admit the drawbacks and take comments and criticism as a mode of assistance and advice rather than as an insult or confrontation. Further to point an accusing finger at those who may be responsible for this plight is a profitless exercise. What is essential is to identify the main drawback and take corrective action in the future.
Plan and promote the game and take meaningful steps to raise our playing standards in the schools, clubs and our National outfits. What we need is an all out efforts to raise our standards.
A nation's soccer standards is judged on its International performances on the field. A satisfactory international performance could only come our way if our base structure i.e. school football is strong and sure, our football leagues are vibrant and effective and our National squads are methodically trained.
KARACHI, May 26 (Reuters) - India will play their first test in Pakistan for nearly 12 years when they take on their traditional rivals in the Asian test championship in September.
The draw for the four-nation tournament, to run between September 1, 2001, and February 19, 2002, was released after a one-day Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting at Lahore on Friday.
Although the venue has yet to be finalised, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials said the game is expected to be in Karachi and confirmed it would be played between September 13 and 17.
"Karachi is most likely to be the venue but we will further discuss it with our Indian counterparts before announcing it," PCB chairman Tauqir Zia told Reuters.
India last appeared in a test on Pakistan soil in 1989 when Kris Srikanth's team played a four-test series against Imran Khan's side. They returned in 1997 for a three-match one-day series to mark the independence of Pakistan.
Since 1989, Pakistan have appeared in two one-day series in India as well as a two-test series in 1999. They also contested the opening match of the inaugural Asian test championship at Calcutta.
India, after their 1989 test tour, have cancelled four visits to Pakistan, the latest earlier this year because of restrictions by the government which has refused to give permission to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for bilateral matches.
"The government has clearly said for a multilateral tournament it has no objection at all," BCCI president A.C Muthiah told Reuters from Lahore.
Sporting relations between India and Pakistan remain strained because of political tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
India also skipped April's one-day triangular tournament in Sharjah, a move that angered Pakistan's cricket authorities who had said they would boycott the Indian team in future.
But the PCB said they have been given a commitment by Indian officials that the team will play in the September tournament, which also includes Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
"We have been given a firm commitment by the Indian officials that they will appear in the Asian test championship match," Zia said.
"I think the match will revive cricketing relations between
the two Asian powerhouses." he added.
The final is scheduled for Dhaka, which was also used in 1999 when Pakistan won by an innings against Sri Lanka, while earlier matches have been fixed on a home and away basis.
"Since Sri Lanka hosted India in 1999, now it is Sri Lanka's turn to play the qualifying round match in India.
"It's precisely on that formula that India will play in Pakistan," said Zia.
September 1-5 - Pakistan v Bangladesh in Pakistan
September 13-17 - Pakistan v India in Pakistan
September 21-25 - India v Bangladesh in India
October 2-6 - Sri Lanka v Bangladesh in Sri Lanka
Jan 31- February 4 - Sri Lanka v Pakistan in Sri Lanka
February 7-11 - India v Sri Lanka in India
February 15-19 - final in Bangladesh.
Annesley Ferreira reporting from Bangkok
Thailand beat Sri Lanka by 3 goals to nil, after leading 1-0 at the breather, at the Bangkok National Stadium under floodlights yesterday.
With this win the Thais enhanced their chances of playing in the next round of the World Cup Asia Zone Group Five second leg encounter.
In the first leg Thailand beat Sri Lanka 4-2 in Lebanon.
The game was played under a thin drizzle while the first game between Lebanon and Pakistan saw Lebanon drub Pakistan by 8 goals to 1 with four goals being scored in each half.
Mercantile A Division Cricket
By Marlon Fernandopulle
A 71 run fifth wicket partnership between Sampath Perera (45) and Thilan Samaraweera helped Sampath Bank to record a fine five wicket victory over Sampath Bank in a Mercantile A Division game at Reid Avenue yesterday.
After restricting Sampath Bank to 204/9 in 50 overs, Seylan Bank was in a spot of trouble at 92 for 4 wickets midway in their innings. But a fighting half century from Thilan Samaraweera including three sixes and a boundary and a stubborn 45 from Sampath Perera helped Seylan to reach their target and record their third successive win in the tournament.
Sampath Bank - 204/9 in 50 overs (Shantha Kalawitigoda 50 n.o, Asela Jayasinghe 20, Rangana Herath 46; Dilhara Fernando 3/33 Thilan Samaraweera 2/46)
Seylan Bank -205/5 in 48 overs (Ian Daniels 35, Sampath Perera 45, Thilan Samaraweera 55 n.o; Rangana Herath 2/24)
Dharmasena routs Keells
Six wickets from Kumara Dharmasena including a hat-trick helped Hatton National Bank to rout John Keells by 153 runs at Braybrooke Place yesterday.
The Bankers batting first hit up 224 for 7 in 50 overs with Russell Arnold top scoring with an unbeaten half century. John Keells in reply had no answer to the off spin of Dharmasena who finished with 6 for 13 including a hat trick and were bowled out for just 71 runs.
Hatton National Bank- 224/7 in 50 overs (Avishka Gunawardene 41, Prasanna Jayawardene 27, T. M Dilshan 32, Russell Arnold 52 n. o, Kumar Dharmasena 32, Chintaka Jayasinghe 21; Dinuk Hettiarachchi 3/39 Jehan Mubarak 2/36)
John Keells - 71 all out in 26 overs (Trevor Cramer 20, Micheal Vandort 21; Kumar Dharmasena 6/13)
Easy for Access
Access maintained their unbeaten record in the Mercantile A Division tournament when they scored an easy six wicket victory over Janashakthi Insurance at Havelock Park yesterday.
Janshakthi batting first were bowled out for 155 with Aravinda de Silva claiming 3 for 13. In reply Access reached their target in only 27 overs scoring 156 for 4 wickets. Indika de Seram top scored with a half century while Aravinda de Silva was unbeaten on 30 when Access registered their third win of the tournament.
Janashakthi - 155 all out in 48.2 overs (Sagara Kumara 21, Tharaka Gunaratne 43 n.o; Ishara Amarasinghe 2/26, Pramodya Wickremasinghe 2/21, Aravinda de Silva 3/13)
Access-156/4 in 27 overs (Gayan Wijeyakoon 22, Indika de Saram 57. Aravinda de Silva 30 n. o, Anil Ridigammanagedara 22 n.o; Lassana Dias 2/36)
Tilakaratne props Singer
An unbeaten 88 by Hashan Tilakaratne helped Singer beat E-wis by two wickets and register their first win in the Mercantile A Division game at Maitland Place yesterday.
Chasing 199 to win Singer lost wickets at regular intervals. However left hander Tilakaratne anchored the innings with an unbeaten 88 off 145 balls to help Singer to tast victory for the first time in the tournament.
E-Wis - 198 all out in 49.2 overs (Dhamika Sudarshana 62, Viraj Perera 52; Nilantha Perera 2/29, Thushan Jayawardene 3/46, Roshan Mapatuna 2/40)
Singer-202/8 in 47.1 overs (Manjula Silva 23, Hashan Tilakaratne 88 n.o, Prabath Kumara 23; Viraj Perera 2/33, C. Buddhika 3/36)
Fourteen men and eleven women finished under the qualifying standards set by the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union (NAASU) to be eligible for entry into the SAF Training Squad at the 2nd Selection Trials concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium Pool yesterday.
The selection trials conducted over three days from 24th Thursday, also saw a new record being set on the opening day. Arun Karunaratne swimming in the 200m Backstroke set a new mark of 2:20.07 seconds, while the qualifying time set for the event was 2:30.00 seconds.
The Colombo Championships Tennis Tournament, conducted bytheSLTA (Playing Section) Club will be held from June 2 to 17.
Entries will be accepted up to May 31 at 4 p.m. while the draw will take place at 6.30 p.m. There feree ofthe tournament is K. Subramaniam, while the Hony. Physician is Dr. B.J. C. Perera.
By Bruce Maurice
A superb fightback by Police, after trailing CH & FC by two goals to nil, enabled them to draw their Singer Cup hockey match at the Astro Turf yesterday.
In the 27th minute P. Warusavithana made no mistake with a penalty corner to put CH in the lead and in the 38th minute, left inside S. Charitha made it 2 nil with a field goal. With a 2 nil lead at half time CH seemed to have had the game all sewn up.
But now came the never say die cops.
In the 71st minute Kulasekera reduced the lead when he converted a penalty stroke and this inspired the Policemen.
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