10th June 2001
Business| Mirror Magazine
By Bernie WijesekeraUnbeaten Royal produced high-octane rugby to outplay and outclass traditional rivals S. Thomas' by 30 points (three goals and three penalties) to nil to regain the Michael Gunaratne Trophy in their schools rugby match in the presence of a large crowd at Longden Place yesterday. At the breather Royal led 9-0. Last year S. Thomas' won 14-11.
It was a fine exhibition of intelligent rugby by the entire Royal back division. Their sleek backline ran the ball against the hefty Thomian pack. This paid rich dividends when three tries were scored in the second half and Royal took firm control.
Dev Wijewardena, manning the last line of defence, was the star both in attack and in defence. He constantly formed the overlap by making sizzling runs to penetrate the defence. In the end, he had a big hand in scoring 15 points with his spot kicks by converting three penalties, two of them from oblique angles. In the first half Dev made no mistake with the kicks and during the second half he arrowed his kicks straight and true to put over three conversions to assure Royal of a right royal victory.
Two players were sent to the sinbin. In the first half fly half Wasim Thajudeen (S. Thomas') and flanker Kushan Athukorale (Royal) in the second, for unwarranted play.
It was a comedy of errors for the Thomians in the first half when they missed a glorious opportunity of taking the lead. In the eighth minute fly half Wasim Thajudeen fluffed a simple kick in front. His over confidence cost the Thomians dearly. His kick went under the bar harmlessly. Two minutes later he fluffed another kick which lacked direction.
It was a pathetic display when scrum half Dilsiri Welikala missed the third kick. To add to their agony they had three short taps a few metres away from the Royal line. Their hardy eight failed to penetrate seconds before the short whistle and away went a certain try.
The Thomians tried to play with their hardy forwards led by Jivan Gunatilleke but the Royal defence stood firm with their superior cover defence.
In the second half the Royal backline made gaping holes in the Thomian defence. Centre Rajith Jayasundare in the 13th minute, off a short tap, passed to Wijewardena who in turn slipped the ball to Jayasundare, who with a fine turn of speed, bemused the defence to score under the posts. There was no stopping the Royalists from that stage as the Thomian defence was in shatters.
In the 24th minute Wijewardena was in the forefront again. Picking the ball from the Royal defence, Dev broke through and slipped to winger Lakshman Dissanayake, who made a 50-yard solo run to score under the posts. In the process Wijewardena injured his ankle. Incidentally 17-year-old Lakshman, a junior athlete, is the son of late Dr. Lakdasa Dissanayake who excelled for Royal in athletics and rugby.
During the dying stages of the game Royal scored again close to the line off a short tap. Scrum half Zulkarnain Hamid passed the ball it to Dushan Lewke to bulldoze over the line. Dev added the extra points when the referee Nizam Jamaldeen blew no-side.
In the junior match Royal won 15-0 after leadng 10-0 to bag the M.T.
By Marlon FernandopulleThe Interim Committee of the Board of Control for cricket in Sri Lanka has appointed a top audit firm PriceWater House Coopers to look into all transactions of the previous Cricket Board following a request from the Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella.
PriceWater House Coopers will look into all transactions that took place between the dissolution of the former Interim Committee and the appointment of the current Interim Committee and submit a report by the end of this month which will be handed over to the sports Minister.
Briefing the media on the work in progress the Chairman of the Interim Committee(IC) Vijaya Malalasekera re-emphasized that his committee is not on a witch-hunt but doing a voluntary job in a bid to run the day to day administration of the Cricket Board and also putting a structure in place to streamline the activities of the Board to make it effective and accountable.
Malalasekera who is a director of Ceylon Tobacco Company has already drawn up a structural plan with various committees clearly defining their respective roles and reporting lines.He is also in the process of drawing up a corporate plan with a vision and mission for the Cricket Board.However he stressed that his committee is only now coming to grips with the tasks ahead but slowly and surely moving ahead.
Malalasekera together with CEO Anura Tennekoon will represent Sri Lanka at the ICC meeting next week.He dispelled doubts about the ICC's recognition of the interim committee saying the governing body was informed about the dissolution of the former Board and the appointment of the Interim Committee by the Sports Ministry which has been accepted by the ICC.
Answering questions on the Dambulla Stadium Malalasekera said," according to lawyers of the interim committee there appears to be a few discrepancies and grey areas.A draft to this effect has been submitted to the probe committee who has been entrusted to look into the activities of the previous Cricket Board".
Meanwhile Sidat Wettimuny also a member of the interim committee under
who's reins are all the cricket matters outlined to the recent developments
that have taken place.
By Bernie WijesekeraNCC, one of the oldest clubs in Sri Lanka, has spread its wings to other disciplines, besides cricket. In the past they played cricket, hockey and tennis at competitive level. They were the first Ceylonese Club to play rugby. Today they have a swimming pool of their own - thanks to the unflagging efforts of the two de Silvas - Chanaka and Elmo (the well-known architect).
Leslie Hewage was reselected president at its general meeting held last weekend. Hewage, who will be serving his last term was interviewed by The Sunday Times.
"I am not going to hang on but make way for the others to continue its good work. I must thank my predecessor, Chanaka de Silva, who did an excellent job by using his good officers.
Thanks to my dedicated committee of course. Got much support from the members and well-wishers," he added.
The Caps and Willow Air-conditioned Pub was one of them. It comes upto international standards and was declared open after the AGM. This will afford the members and their families to enjoy and relax.
Any other plans afoot? There will be badminton and basketball courts, too. It will give more playing opportunities at competitive level and encourage membership.
Already the swimming pool handled by Julian Bolling, is a driving force. I must also mention that Fazil Dole did much spadework. Spending much of his personal time for its completion.
"The modern scoreboard will become a reality before the Pakistani 'A' - Sri Lanka 'A' match next month. NCC has a historic background in the past having produced some of the best cricketers for the country, which in turn helped Sri Lanka to gain Test status, with players drawn from other clubs.
Today NCC continues to do so churning out international players.
The club dominated the Premier Tournament in the past and was tagged as the "Champion Club" under Vernon Prins. This year we won the P. Sara Trophy under H. Tillekeratne. Romesh Ratnayake, the coach did a good job with his charges on and off the field. It's not winning trophies the thing, but one must maintain a high standard of sportsmanship and sustain the spirit of the game at all times. Hewage said, the word Nonderscript is non-classified. The club is open to everyone, but adhere to standards and be disciplined. Indiscipline will not be tolerated from whatever quarter, no one is indispensable, he added.
"The club hasn't forgotten the 'Golden Oldies'. They in turn have been honoured. Evergreen Vernon Prins, is the Patron, while Harold de Andrado, Carl Obeysekera and Roy Abeysekera are the Vice-Patrons.
Besides improving and developing the club, NCC believes in community service and cementing fellowship via sports. My committee is finding avenues to help the senior veterans and assist them in their hour of need. Unlike the present day sportsmen who enjoy sponsorship packages, they spent their own resources to be in contention, to uplift the club's image".
He finally paid a glowing tribute for the ground secretary, Asoka de Silva, and his staff for maintaining the sward in good shape. The club is proud that Asoka today has been appointed an ICC cricket umpire. De Silva has been rewarded for his consistency and acted without fear or favour.
Hewage also thanked the media for all the assistance afforded to the club.
The club is transparent and constructive criticism is always welcome to overcome shortfalls if there are any, he concluded.
Office bearers for the ensuing year.
Vice Presidents: Ranjit Fernando, Kumar Abeysinghe; Secretary: Kumar
Fernando; Asst. Secretary: Fazil Dole; Treasurer: K. Nanayakkara; Asst.
Treasurer: Lucky Fernandez; Cricket Secretary: Marlon Ranasinghe; Committee:
Chanaka de Silva, Paul Fonseka and Dayantha Fernando. All were uncontested.
Rover learns that much thought has been given by the Schools Cricket Association, as to whether a change in the schools calendar is neccessary or not after many hours of discussion about the AL Examination to be held in March/April.
Many schools will not be at full strength because of this, hindering the big matches.
A Vice-President of a game played indoors, has again been picked as a selector, not done indeed. Aren't there persons fit to be selectors, what has happened to the past players are they not invited or are they refusing to be selectors?
Over to you Mr. Minister.
It has been mentioned that ten officials went on tour to Bangkok just one short of fielding a team, what nonsense, only six were there. Further it has been stated that the Manager and Assistant Manager were treated shabbily by the Coach and Trainer, what a way to lie, when both were seen sitting on the bench at the venue. What purpose of lying.
A coach doing much for the promotion of the game of rugby from a leading club in Colombo is targeted to be removed since he insists that players should be fit and those only should play not others. Scheming is going between three such players for the removal of this coach who is held in high esteem.
Who is laughing at whom for not getting a valid lease of the Dambulla Stadium which now only covers 29 years when it should have covered 99 years.
Accounts asked for
It is heard in the cricketing circles that the Minister of Sports, has wanted the statements of accounts for a leading outstation Association to be released soon, since he feels something fishy has gone on. What a noisy AGM it was with insults thrown at each other. The truth will come out soon.
It is learnt that an official on contract from a popular sports has been served with interdiction orders. Time will only tell for what it is.
Cancellation of Bar
Higher authorities have directed that no bar be opened at the headquarters of a medal winning sport. Outraged by this the bigwig is contemplating to open up a new sports club and have the bar opened under its name. Over to you Mr. Minister.
It was only last month that the head of a sports body went as the chief
guest to a championships organised by his wife and again he went as chief
guest uttering nonsense at a carnival.
According to a senior member of the NSW Foundation, the Sri Lanka Schools Association's Secretary B.S. has submitted the names of the needy schools in the outstations who deserve encouragement in the field of cricket.
This innovative partnership between NSW Foundation the Australian High Commission, Colombo, Kingsgrove Sports Centre NSW and Mercantile Shipping, Colombo, has jointly made this venture a reality to help promote cricket at grassroot level here. These schools are going to be the nursery for the future betterment of the willow wielding sport.
The Foundation in NSW sowed the seeds during the tenure of Cricket Board, President Ana Punchihewa. Ana, did much to improve the infrastructure via marketing with his know-how in business management. But his good work was nipped due to power hungry petty politics in sport, which is the bane in most sport bodies, here.
The following 25 needy schools in the outstations will receive the new
gear: Devapathiraja Central, Ratgama; Telijjawila Central, Matara; Rajapakse
Central, Weeraketiya; Ranpokunugama MV Nittambuwa; C.W.W. Kannangara Central,
Matugama; Embilipitiya National School, Embilipitiya; Sri Dharmaloka Central,
Kelaniya; Wayamba Rajakeeya Vidyalaya, Kurunegala; Poramaduwa Central,
Rikillagaskada; Siddhartha Maha Vidyalaya Eppawela; Rajarata Maha Vidyalaya,
Hingurakgoda; Joseph Vaz, Wennappuwa; Royal College, Panadura; Kandawela
MV Ratmalana; C.W.W. Kannangara MV Borella; S. De S. Jayasinghe Central,
Dehiwala; Kekirawa Central; Hunumulla Central; Gamini Central, Bentota;
Karandeniya Central; Azhar Central, Akurana; Sri Piyaratna Central, Padukka;
Divulapelessa Central, Mahiyangana; Wellassa Central; Bibile; Zahira College,
Kalmunai. These schools are going to be the beneficiaries of this magnanimous
gesture coming from the Sri Lankans domiciled in Sydney and well-wishers
drawn from the Australian supporters of Sri Lanka cricket. Any further
details, contact: Michael Berman, Tel/Fax 61294167779 (B.W.)
By Aubrey KuruppuTime was when Belle Weerakoon, who had seen many a Table Tennis summer, reigned unquestioned and undefeated year-after-year as Ceylon's Queen of ping pong (as it was then commonly called). To Belle's credit, she withstood the onset of the years and put the young upstarts and pretenders to her throne in their place.
The women's scene today represents a far cry from the days of Belle. The reigning national champion is Kalpani Herath. If one asks the question, "Kalpani who?", one has to be forgiven. In actual fact, Kalpani, presently fourteen years of age, won the National championship at the oh so tender age of 13 years and six months. (The multi-talented Vajira Premaratne, I believe, achieved that same distinction at the age of 13 years and 9 months).
A grade nine student of Girls' High School Kandy and a portage of Mahinda Ellepola (the two seem to go together!), Kalpani's TT career has been a continuous tale of success. She shot into prominence and began to hog the limelight in 1999. In that year, she won the Under- 13 title at both the Ashok Melvani and the Junior National Tournaments. Possibly 2000 has been her Annus Mirabilis. She won the Under-15 title at five major tournaments, the Under-17 title at two of them and finished runner-up (Under-17) at the Junior Nationals and the Chrys Gunaratne Memorial event.
The Udayanga Bandara Memorial Tournament and the Ithuru Mithuru Junior open championships in 2000 saw Kalpani being awarded the accolade for the most outstanding player. But the thing she covets most is the National championship which she triumphed at in 2000.
Currently, Kalpani is ranked number three in Sri Lanka, behind Deepika Rodrigo and Dilini Madawala. At the recently concluded all Island Inter school Under-18 championships, Kalpani triumphed in both her singles and thereby helped in no small measure, her school to get the better of Dharmasoka in the final. The 2001 SAF Games are beckoning and Kalpani, along with school-mates Upekha Kotinkoduwa and Eranga Gunaratne, has been included in a training pool of twelve.
Pakistan will not be altogether unfamiliar territory for Kalpani who participated in a training camp for junior Table Tennis players at Lahore not all that long ago.
Kaplani possesses an all round game and controls the rallies well. Her forte undoubtedly is her forehand smash which she delivers with telling accuracy and force on both flanks. For one so young and lean, Kalpani generates considerable power.
What does the future hold for Kalpani? She has taken the local TT world
by storm and has annexed the prize that matters. This leaves only foreign
fields for her to conquer. However lack of exposure and lack of sufficient
competition may stand in her way. The ball is in the court of the Table
Tennis authorities. If she is not taken in hand and directed on the right
lines, hers could be a talent that is, wasted in the desert air.
He was instrumental in improving the standards in the schools by implementing a number of programmes both at District and All Island level and also assisted in the continuation of the Brazil Cup.
Farook went as the Assistant Manager on the Schools tours of Brunei, India, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. He was also instrumental in taking the Royal College team on a foreign tour in its history of 150 years and followed it up with another tour, the first to Bangalore and the second to Bangkok in 1999, 2000.
He was also instrumental in introducing the identity card system, which to a great extent prevented schools from fielding overage players.
Farook wishes to be of any assistance in further promotion of the poor
man's game - football.
Last weekend, the Old Anthonians comfortably defeated the University side in the last quarter-final. Brothers Tyronne and Shirly de Silva made 45 and 32 respectively in the Old Anthonian total of 182 in 39 overs. The campus lads found the going rather tough and folded up for a mere 115 in 33 overs. Vipula top scored with 43, while Jayawardena winkled out four batsmen.
Come Poson day and Kandy CC will engage Old Anthonians in the first semi-final. Saracens take on Kandy YCC in the other semi-final on the 10th. Both games will be played at the campus grounds.
Some of the matches have been well attended and Singer Sri Lanka should be complimented for their involvement in this venture.
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to