24th June 2001
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business|
By M. Shamil Amit
Chilaw Marians Cricket Club started off initially with the support of Rev. Bro Edwin Ambrose, in the early 1970's. When the club commenced playing cricket there were the famous All Ceylon cricketers of that time like Fairley Dalpathado and Ben Navaratne and along with them Royce Perera and Brian Rajadurai. These players developed the game in the coastal town of Chilaw and also helped the schools in the area.
The Club started competing in the Daily News Trophy Tournament and then progressed to Division Two in 1980's and the Division One Sara Trophy in the year 2001.
The greatest year for the Chilaw Marians was the year 2001 when they ended up as runners-up in the P. Sara Limited Over Tournament, followed by a victory in the finals to become the champions in the P. Sara Championship.
Speaking to The Sunday Times the coach Mahesh Weeerasinghe said this was a great victory for us as a team from the outstation. The boys were very cooperative, and played with dedication. In fact Mahesh also coaches President's College, Rajagiriya in the school circuit.
The man behind the progress and development of cricket for the Chilaw Marians has been the dynamic Secretary and Cricket Manager of the club, Godfrey Dabrera who has spent much of his time to help the Chilaw Marians cricketers whether for cricket equipment or finance.
But Godfrey was highly appreciative of the coach whom he says was the man responsible in the Marians winning the championship. One cannot forget him for the great job he has done in a very short period because Mahesh had taken over only in 1999 and within the two years the Marians in the year 2000 won the Sara Under 23 Championship, Sara limited over champions and the Sara qualifying tournament champions and in the year 2001 tthey were Sara limited overs runner-up and the coveted Sara trophy champions.
In the run-up to winning the Sara championship, Chilaw Marians played twelve matches (inclusive of two final round matches) with three outright wins against Rio Ambalangoda, Kandy YCC and Saracens SC, five first innings wins against Matale CC, Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CC, Army CC, Kandy CC and Moratuwa SC. They tied their match against Leo Stadium Negombo, two no decisions against Old Cambrinas and Ragama CC and lost on first innings to Old Dhamapalians. - M. Shamil Amit
By Rex Wijewardene
Greg Chappell recalls the great captains he knew, and he gives an insight to what good captaincy is all about. I have based this article on his comments, cutting off the frills, to make it short. He was one of Australia's great captains, one gifted with the shrewdest brains in cricket. He could speak with anthority on the captains he knew, due to the vast knowledge he has of the game, he will remain a legend in the annals of international cricket, with his brilliant performances, both as a captain and player.
Here are some of his remarkable achievements in world cricket. 24,335 runs (Average 52.30), 74 centuries, 291 wickets (Average 19.95) and 376 catches, all in first class cricket. 7110 runs (Average 53.86), 24 centuries, 47 wickets (Average 40.07), 122 catches, all in Test matches. He remains as one of the few in Test cricket, who began and ended his Test career, with centuries. He started in a blaze of glory at Perth, where he scored a splended 108 against England in 1970. At the 1983 series, against Pakistan at Sydney, he made 182 runs, in his last appearance, what a glorious end to an illustrious career.
He goes on to focus on good captaincy. His vision is that the best player in the side, need not necessarily be the captain of the side. He should have the ability to get the best from his players. He would have to tackle the print media, The TV media, the match referee and umpires, with shrewd diplomacy. The selection commitee should back their captain to the hilt. He should be given time to form his own opinion of his players. When needed he should lean on his seniors of the side for their opinion. A good captain however talented, his leadership may be, would not have the desired effect, if his team is not up to standard. A good leader is one who has the skills and tactics, and the knack of getting the best of each individual, he should be blessed with the right material if he were to succeed as a captain. I wish to mention a few captains of my times. Clive Lloyd of the West Indies in the early seventies in my opinion was the greatest in my times. That West Indian Team comprised brilliant individual talent, and a man at the top was not that important. He had a battery of outstanding fast bowlers, and quality batsmen of the calibre of Viv. Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Jeff Dujon and Alvin Kallicharan. Lloyd was a dynamic captain, he showed his tact and skills, in a splendid manner. He was a top quality performer; as a batsman and catcher. Richard Benaud, he lost only 4 of his 27 Tests as captain, tactically brilliant, he led from the front. He had the cream of players such as Alan Davidson, Neil Harvey and Norman O'Neill. Ian Chappell was a shrewd leader, he handled his side in a brilliant manner. He always stood by his players. He was one of Australia's best captains ever. Mike Brearley, he was not a great player himself, but was brainy and tactical.
A great quality about him was that he could justify his place, in spite of his not too impressive batting, playing with him were two great English cricketers, Boycott and Botham. He had a brilliant academic career, which made him understand each individual in his team. He was one of England's most successful captains. Ray Illingworth, like Brearley, was not a great player, but he was an outstanding strategist, he was a popular figure with the press and players, he was every inch a professional.
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, he was another good captain that gave enough trust to his team. He believed spin was India's trump card and it proved successful. He was one of India's great leaders. Mark Taylor, an outstanding captain of recent times. He is a very attacking leader. Though he suffered with his personal form, he still held good. He has got the best of Shane Warne, an attacking bowler.
He had a wonderful line up such as the Waugh brothers and Glen McGrath. Arjuna Ranatunga, I admire the way he has managed things for Sri Lanka.
It was a head to head contest in the 1996 World Cup final in Lahore. Arjuna had the last laugh.
The Committee appointed by the Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Tourism & Sports, to inquire and investigate the affairs, deeds and transactions of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka during the period commencing from 11/06/2000 to 28/03/2001, submitted its report on 15th June, 2001.
The Committee comprising, Hemantha Warnakul-asuriya (Chairman), Maxie Wijetileke, M. Sivaratnam, Priyantha Algama and Sunil Abeyratne commenced investigations into the affairs of the dissolved BCCSL on 01/06/2001, and within a space of 15 days, was able to investigate and inquire into four major acts of malpractices, corruption, misuse and abuse of power, breach of trust and/or misappropriation of funds. After recording the evidence of a number of witnesses, and a number of documents produced before the Committee, the Committee arrived at a tentative but prima facie conclusions on the matters which involved misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, and cheating in a sum of over Rupees Three Million of the funds of the dissolved BCCSL.
The Committee found that the evidence was sufficient to warrant further investigations being carried out by the Police and/or the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), as it involves embezzlement of funds of the BCCSL of over Rupees One Million. The culpability or the innocence of the persons involved in this massive fraud, can only be arrived at by a thorough investigation under the normal laws of the land, and if the tentative conclusions of the Committee are further buttressed by such investigations, the report of the investigations conducted by such authority would be placed before the Attorney General to initiate criminal prosecutions.
It was the consensus of the Committee that the matters inquired into not only violates the provisions of the Constitution of the BCCSL but involves criminal culpability against those at whom the accusing finger is being pointed.
The Committee also inquired into matters connected with the construction of the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. It was the tentative conclusion of the Committee that on the evidence led and the documents produced before the Committee that the BCCSL did not possess in its office a single document or piece of paper which bears the right, title or interest the BCCSL has to the land on which the stadium is built. It is estimated that on the current estimates and the expenditure already incurred and the bills outstanding the stadium would cost nearly 500 Million Rupees when completed, in other words half a billion rupees.
It is beyond the belief of any reasonable prudent man, that the BCCSL would spend such a colossal amount of money on constructions on a piece of land to which they did not have in their possession any document to show title to it. After the BCCSL was dissolved, Mr. Anura Tennakoon, the Chief Executive Officer of the BCCSL was requested to trace any such document in the possession of the BCCSL, but there was no such document until a trustee appeared before him at the Dambulla Stadium and claimed that he was one of the lessees of the land. This trustee, Mr. Sujeewa Godaliyadda sent by fax to Mr. Anura Tennakoon a copy of the Lease Agreement bearing No: 10944 and later sent by fax a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the BCCSL had entered into with the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium Trust.
The Committee on examining the Lease Agreement found that the land called 'Pohoranwewa' which belongs to the Rangiri Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya, 36 acres in extent has been leased out to a 'Trust' by the name of "Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium Trust". On a careful examination of the said Lease Agreement the Committee found that though it has been signed before an Attorney-at-Law, it bears no date and no stamps have been affixed and there is no attestation certifying that the deed had been attested. There was no evidence that the deed had been submitted for registration to the relevant Land Registry. The Committee then investigated into the so called 'Trust' and found that the 'Trust' had no legal existence, there was no trust instrument and it has not been notarialy executed and therefore in complete violation of the Trust Ordinance.
The investigations conducted by the Committee revealed that there was another deed relating to the identical land between the same parties signed by the same witnesses but bearing a different number which is 10946, This deed has a date on which it was attested, 43 stamps to the value of Rs. 40,031/60 and had been attested on 17/01/200l. The MOU that has been signed between the BCCSL and the spurious 'Trust' relates to the same land 'Pohoranwewa' but the schedule referred to in the deed reflects that the said land has shrunk by one acre and 09 perches in extent, but nevertheless the most important aspect of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is that it has been signed on 15/09/2000 between the BCCSL and the spurious 'Trust' though the trustee became the lessee of the land only on 17/01/2001.
With these infirmities, the Committee summoned the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, who, in his testimony before the Committee, stated that when his predecessor came to understand that a land belonging to the Maha Sangha was being cleared by bulldozers, he immediately wrote to the trustee of the land, Rev. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Nayake Thero, drawing the attention of the Nayake Thero to the salient provisions of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance. Later both Rev. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Nayake Thero and the Trustee of the spurious "Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium Trust" applied to the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs seeking permission to lease the said land to the said 'Trust' admitting that it came under the scope of Section 41 of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance.
This application to lease out the land for a stadium made to the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs was referred by him to the Buddhist Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana.
It is erroneous to state that the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs refused to grant permission to construct the stadium, but instead of which he submitted this application thrice over to the Buddhist Advisory Board, which comprised the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, two Members of Parliament from the ruling party and the opposition, the Public Trustee and Mr. O.S.M. Seneviratne, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court. Mr. Seneviratne is one of the most respected Judges living amongst us.
The conclusion of the Buddhist Advisory Board was that if a land in the possession of the trustees of a temple should be permitted to be leased out it may not be used for any activity which may be opposed to the principles of Buddhism. They concluded that though cricket may not be in conflict with the sacred tenets of Buddhism, the Stadium would be invariably used for advertising liquor and cigarettes, and liquor may be consumed when international cricket matches are played. Therefore, the Buddhist Advisory Committee rejected the application thrice over. Then on 01/07/1999 Rev. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Nayake Thero of the Rangiri Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya wrote to Mr. Sujeewa Godaliyadda, the Trustee of the spurious 'Trust', stating that as the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs has refused to grant permission to lease out the land and in compliance with the order, that the Rev. High Priest is withdrawing the verbal authority given to the trustees to survey the said land. The Rev. High Priest has instructed in writing to stop all work that is being carried out on the said land.
On receipt of a copy of the letter written by Rev. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Nayake Thero to Mr. Sujeewa Godaliyadda and after the Buddhist Advisory Board refused to sanction the leasing of the said land for a cricket stadium, the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, as far back as 26/09/2000 wrote to the President of the BCCSL which was sent to him under registered post stating that the Buddhist Advisory Board has refused to grant permission to construct a Stadium and warned the President of the BCCSL that the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs would not be responsible for any legal or other implications that would involve the BCCSL by proceeding with the constructions. The Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs also wrote to the Registrar General not to permit any lease involving the said land to be registered and also appraised the Attorney General of the situation.
The Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs has acted within the framework of the law of the land and has acted as a public servant who is entrusted with carrying out the duties under the provisions of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance.
Therefore, it was very clear to the Committee that the BCCSL has ignored the instructions of the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs and thereby violated the law of the land.
The Executive Committee of the dissolved BCCSL, according to records available to the Committee, has spent nearly 8 Million Rupees for professional fees and legal advice on, but there is no record that the BCCSL sought the advice of any expert on the desirability of leasing out temple land to construct a cricket stadium, and the legality of the 'Trust' and the ability of the trustees to enter into an agreement with the BCCSL and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the BCCSL and the trustees of the "Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium Trust".
It is interesting to note that both in the Lease Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) there is a provision that the Stadium will not be used for any purpose which will be in violation of the sacred principles of Buddhism. It was revealed before the Committee that on 23/03/2001, the date on which the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium was officially declared open the BCCSL threw a grand cocktail party and spent large sums of money on liquor and the invitees consumed the most expensive liquor in the market to-day.
This also proves the wisdom of the Buddhist Advisory Council in refusing to grant permission to construct a cricket stadium on sangika land. They have been proved correct by the very act of the former BCCSL of gross indulgence.
The conclusions and recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry are given below:
We conclude that neither the BCCSL nor the Trustees have any right, title or interest to the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
i. Every single member of the dissolved Executive Committee be made responsible for the gigantic sums of money spent in constructing the stadium from the funds of the BCCSL, for having spent such a colossal sum without any right, title or interest in the land.
ii. Therefore, we recommend that the land be acquired by the Government after paying compensation which will be deposited with the Public Trustee.
iii. The Constitution of the BCCSL be amended so as to prevent any one power group, being elected to power, with unfettered power.
iv. The Minister of Sports to have power, if deemed necessary to appoint any person to look into the propriety and legality of the decisions of the Executive Committee and a representative of the Treasury to prevent gross abuse of financial irregularities and mismanagement.
v. As provided by the Sports Law, the accounts to be audited by the Auditor General.
vi. Sports Law to be amended to include the property, and the funds of the BCCSL and all sports bodies be deemed to be public property.
Unbeaten St. Anthony's College scored their first win over rugby crazy Isipathana, in a rousing Milo trophy final - winning 10-8 at Longdon Place on June 20.
After the match a section of the spectators went berserk and pandemonium raged. The large crowd, who witnessed this match including fans from Kandy enjoyed one of the finest schools games this season.
In the end bottles were thrown around and the panic-stricken spectators ran helter skelter for safety.
The Principal of Isipathana Mr. Upali Gunasekera and some of the old boys of Patana along with the police moved out to drive away the unruly fans and finally sanity prevailed.
The stunned Isipathana team could have pulled off the game during injury time but fluffed a spot kick and lost the lead and the match. They moved to the dressing room in a daze and the shutters were pulled down.
It was a fine gesture on the part of the jubilant Antonian team, who had pitched their camp behind the venue. They walked to the Isipathana dressing room headed by their young coach Priyantha Gunaratne to shake hands. For the Katugastota lads it was the game that mattered in the end but not the final outcome. But surprisingly door was closed and was on the verge of going back.
But Mahinda Jaywardena, one of the co-ordinators of the Isipathana rugby moved in and got it opened and invited the Antonian team. Everyone shook hands and embraced each other and all was forgotten. It was a fine gesture indeed by Jayawardena, who had played this body contact game and has got battered and bruised.
He has faced setbacks, be it as player or referee. His prompt action healed the wounds and fellowship prevailed.
The conduct of the Antonian team led by Tikiri Dissanayake has done proud to the school and for Hill Capital rugby. It just showed there is more rugby off the field than on the field. Well done chaps! A lesson for other teams to emulate. -B.W.
The slow, red clay at the Stade Roland Garros has given way to the fast, grass courts at Wimbledon - The all England championships start tomorrow and the Gustavo Kuertens, the Carlos Mayas and the Arnaud Clements of the tennis world yield place to the Sampras', the Raffers' and the Henmans.' Seven-time grand slam winner Andre Agassi certainly deserves to be mentioned in this latter, august company. But he is a kind of one-off, a rara avis, having won grand slam titles on all surfaces.
Petulant, tempestuous yet colourful, John McEnroe never won the French Open. Ivan Lendl missed out on the tournament that matters (Wimbledon) and the great Swede, Bjorn Borg never completed his portfolio because he came a cropper at the US open. Even Pete Sampras has a score to settle. Try as he may, he has yet to hold aloft the French Open Trophy. But Andre Agassi, arguably the best returner of serve in the men's game, has conquered all surfaces at some time or the other with his brilliant baseline game.
Chivalry demands that the ladies be given pride of place. The women's game at the present juncture is extremely healthy with a surfeit of potential champions - Wimbledon title-holder Venus Williams, Sister Serena, the number one Hingis, the 1999 winner Davenport and Capriati who is running hot right now.
Capriati, the youngest Wimbledon semi- finalist at 15 years and 95 days, has already annexed the Australian and French titles. Her second coming has produced phenomenal success.
Arrested for possession of marijuana, and thereafter accused of shop-lifting, the American has experienced the highs and the lows of life. The fact that she has steeled herself to obliterate her murky past and that she has been able to produce some sublime tennis, points to her champion quality. Not short of confidence, Capriati says " I think I can play well on any surface... I think my chances are as good at any of the Grand slams".
Hingis was brushed aside 6/4, 6/3 in the Australian Open by Capriati. Have pity on the modern-day Martina who did all the hard work beating Serena and Venus Williams in successive rounds, only to stumble at the last hurdle. Came the French tournament, and Jennifer Capriati blitzed her in the semi-final.
Davenport and the William's sisters have missed out on the slams, but they remain potentially devastating performers. Venus, the reigning champ, could put it all together once more, even as she did last year when she overcame a struggling Davenport. Serena should be there or thereabouts, although the chances of her adding to her Grand slam tally are slim.
Would it be another curtain call, possibly a last hurrah for the seven time Wimbledon and thirteen time Grand slam winner Pete Sampras like Boris Becker did before him, Sampras has come to regard Wimbledon's hallowed grass courts as his 'lair' A fourth round loss at Melbourne Park and an even earlier exit at Roland Garros bode ill for the great man. However Sampras has that indefinable something - the knack of raising his game a few notches when it matters most - that separates the true champions from the honest toilers and journeymen
Charismatic Agassi could give him a good run but his head-to-head record against Sampras (especially at Wimbledon) isn't two good. Pat Rafter has the weapons to trouble Sampras and has beaten him on other surfaces.
Another Aussie, youngster Lleyton Hewitt did beat Sampras last week at the Stella Artois tournament on grass. Yet, he seems to be a bit of a long shot as far as Wimbledon goes.
That leaves Marat Sufin, Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Ferero, all relatively untried on grass. Another American, Jan Michael Gambill, big built and aggressive could provide the shocks. - Aubrey Kuruppu
Twelve matches will be played during this weekend in the Sharp FA Cup third round football Division 1 championships conducted by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.
Seven of these matches will be played in the outstations and five in Colombo. The matches are: Port Authority Vs Maligawatta Youth at the Railway grounds; Super Beach Vs Army at Reid Avenue; Java Lane Vs Pettah United at the M.H. Mohammed Playgrounds; Red Diamond Vs Negombo Youth at Reid Avenue; Young United Vs Old Bens at the M.H. Mohammed Playground; Navy Vs Pelicans at the Shirley Corea Stadium, Chilaw; Red Rose Vs Hyline at the People's Bank Kurunegala; Veani Vs AirForce at the Maris Stella ground, Negombo; Wanathamulla Youth Vs Police at the Railway grounds, Ratmalana; Winners Vs Cooray at the Sir Albert. F. Peiris Stadium, Wennappuwa; and Victory Vs New Young at the People Park, Kurunegala.
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