29th July 2001
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Indian batsman Rahul Dravid in action
during their one day match against
India. India beat Sri Lanka by
seven wickets with Dravid making 43.

Tumbling India turn tables

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Lanka favourites to beat Singapore

By M.Shamil Amit
After some fine and entertaining netball witnessed during the last six days at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium the curtain comes down in the 5th Asian Netball Championships today when the much awaited final will be played between defending champions and favourites Sri Lanka and Singapore due to begin at 4.30 p.m.

The championships were well organised. It was spearheaded by past President Tamara Dharmakeerthi Herath with the support from the three main sponsors the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and National Lotteries Board along with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Trans Asia Hotels, Standard Trading Co. (Pvt) Ltd, Jet Asia, SriLankan Airlines, 141 Intergrated Communications, Molten and Rupavahini Channel Eye joining hands to make this championship a success. The Chief Guest at the closing ceremony will be Lakshman Kiriella Minister of Tourism and Sports.

Sri Lanka, the defending champions and favourites to win this tournament, has played with confidence.

In the 4th championship final Sri Lanka defeated Malaysia. In the first match of this year's competition, Sri Lanka trounced Maldives 93-13 and then beat India 82-23. They drubbed Thailand 72-35 in the qualifying game and were given stiff opposition by Malaysia before overcoming them 60-47. 

Today's final is going to be a tough one for the Sri Lankan as they will confront a better side. Sri Lanka led by centre Damayanthi Jayatileke, who had a poor game against Malaysia, should sharper and feed the other players to give Sri Lanka a chance of winning. Goal Keeper Sandya Jayasuriya, an experienced campaigner, has been the most successful Sri Lankan player with her aggressive play she spoilt most of the moves made by the Malaysians in the previous game. The other players to watch are shooter Shashika Samarasinghe, who has done the bulk of the scoring for the Sri Lankans and debutante Visakhian goal attack Gishanthi Jayakody who is playing like a veteran. Gishanthi, undoubtedly will go places in time to come along with Ratna Victoria and Anoma Sriyakanthi. Sri Lanka are capable of retaining the title if they play a positive game with no mistakes, like in the game against Malaysia.

Singapore were placed third in the previous championship, are also unbeaten. In the first game against Malaysia they won 51-46 but had to fight hard for a win. In the next game against they chalked up the highest score winning by a massive 112-8 against Pakistan and beat Hong Kong 58-28. They beat Thailand in the qualifying game 62-42. 

Speaking to the Sunday Times on the chances of the team winning the game, coach Tina Lium said: "We will have to work hard to beat the Sri Lankans. They are definitely a better side but we will see how the game goes and plan a strategy."

Maldives, HK, Malaysia win

Maldives Hong Kong and Malaysia won their matches against Pakistan, India and Thailand. Maldives beat Pakistan 52-24, Hong Kong beat India 73-25 and Malaysia beat Thailand 62-60 in the 5th Asian Netball Championship played at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday.

With these results Malaysia was placed third, Thailand fourth, Hong Kong fifth, India sixth, Maldives seventh and Pakistan eighth. The winner and second will be decided after the clash between Sri Lanka and Singapore at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium which willl take place at 4.30 p. p.m today.-MSA

Randy Batcho karts to glory

Randy Batcho made his championship aspirations very clear by driving a scintillating race in Round I of the international class of the Colombo Prokarts. All Island Go Kart championship at the new Empire Circuit. Romani De Silva and Thomian schoolboy Dejan De Zoysa came in second and third respectively.

Yoga Perera had problems with his machine and failed to finish but is expected to come out firing in Round II. In the National Class S.A. Duminda won Round I, followed by Romani De Silva and Niroshan Perera.

Keen racing was witnessed in the Yamaha class with Zackie Ismail winning with Sampath Karunaratne in second place and Dhanuka Nadeera coming in third.

Fierce competition is on the cards this Sunday 29th at the Empire Circuit with racing stalwarts Rohan De Silva and Simon Lawrence also joining in the fray. A talented lady driver, Shehara De Silva is also expected to drive in the National Class.

The Open event saw Randy Batcho driving flawlessly to clinch first place with Dejan De Zoysa coming in strongly to finish second despite faulty kart settings. S. A. Harsha drove well to be placed third.

Colombo Prokarts owners of the Prokart Centre at Millenium Park are sponsoring this championship. It must be remembered that top karting drivers Randy Batcho, Dejan De Zoysa and Dhanuka Nadeera, had their baptism to racing driving prokarts. The Motor Racing Association (MRA) is conducting this six round championship for the third consecutive year.

Khan sisters take Pakistani women to int. cricket field 

By Rohan Jayatilleke 
The technique of over-arm bowling was innovated by a woman, When under-arm bowling was the accepted norm in Men's Cricket. This innovation was due to the ankle-long skirts worn by a woman playing cricket in their backyard with her brothers, interfered with her under-arm bowling action, prompting her to resort to over-arm bowling. In fact 'The Ashes' (Cup) enshrined in a bowl was innovated by a woman who burnt the bails of a match between England and Australia (POMs - People of the Mother Country or Fair 'Dinkums' in general parlance) and Australia winning the match and the creative and resourceful women burning the bails and passing it on to the cricket administrators of England rubbing salts on the wounds of Englishmen.

In the strictly conservative Islamic society of Pakistan the two sisters Snaiza and Sharmeen Khan aged 30 and 26, daughters of a wealthy carpet manufacturer in Karachi. in their bid to take Pakistani women to cricket as expected earned death threats, bureaucratic hostility, in a matrilineal society, sensing that women will make inroads into the men dominated game of cricket in Pakistan. Once a top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board told the sisters that he would not approve of women "getting out of the four walls". Traditionally and conventionally Pakistani women are not allowed to challenge the male dominated societal structure, but the Khans were of a sterner mettle and have amidst male machinations taken cricket to women of Pakistan for the sheer love of the game. In fact former lady Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazier Bhutto, is now in political exile owing presumably due to the tradition of male domination in all spheres of human activity. 

With the help of their wealthy father the two sisters formed the first Pakistani National Women's cricket team. It has been recognized by the government but, not by the men's Pakistan Cricket Board, which ultimately aims to take over the sport under their administration. The team has no outside sponsors but plenty of determination; 14 female players - most at ages when they are traditionally married and raising families. The team played against Ireland in July 2000. "Pakistani women are treated like slaves" Sharmeen was reported to have said. "Cricket is demanding, and you need a mind of your own to play it. This is what these women are trying to show - that we are here and we can do it", adds Sharmeen in a philosophical vein. 

The two sisters picked up the know-how of the game playing in the backyard of their palatial residence with their older brother. After the brother left for a boarding school, far away, Shaiza and Sharmeen toyed with the idea of their country competing at cricket in the international arena. In 1988 they applied for membership in the International Women's Cricket Council, the governing body of the game globally. They received death threats, for their Mission of Matter of Pride, the legend emblazing their cricket shirts. The resourceful father, knew the wolves were at the door and lost no time in despatched the two-some Apples of his eyes to study in England and to play cricket in peace. 

Shaiza captained the women's cricket team at the University of Leeds and Sharmeen too took the same path as the older sister. In 1996 they returned home to Karachi after graduating and formed the Pakistan Women's Cricket Control Association, retracing their footsteps of their early life in Pakistan. Everybody treated it as a matter of course, until the two sisters organized a match between their female players and a group of veteran male cricketers in Karachi. One of Pakistani fundamental religious groups Jamat-e-Islami, protested vehemently stating the match was 'detrimental to the Islamic identity' of the country. "To let women appear in front of men, is pure and simple heresy ", said Naimatullah Khan, Karachi President of Jamat-e-Islami. In this scenario, the match was cancelled but the two sisters were not to be left off the track. They garnered a team two weeks prior to the 1997 Women's World Cup in India. Having no grounds they practiced in a garage in Lahore and the Army came to their assistance providing them playing facilities in a school ground on the eve of their departure to the Women's World Cup in India. The lack of practice resulted in their finishing last in the Cup. Mary Brito, President of the Women's Cricket Council in New Zealand asserted, "You have a very strong character to go against tradition. I have a great admiration for you". 

Pakistani corporate bodies have not been in the pipeline of sponsorship, as much as they are with the men's cricket. The sisters are taking the game forward depending on their father's magnanimity and munificence in paying for air passages, schooling and cricket gear. The team now practices on a cricket ground obstructed beside one of the carpet factories of their father. Players from remote areas live in a house the family owns in Karachi. 

A player Shajda Sheikh, a 12-year-old girl from Hydrabad, was committed to cricket, but her family would not allow her to play. Sheikh in protest stopped eating and the parents wilted and a allowed her to leave for Karachi to play cricket. The little girl said, "I was very scared that they might take cricket away from me". Another 22-year-old player from Karachi said, "Whatever I am today, it is because of cricket". 

Those who are keen to pull the cricket carpet from under the feet of the two sisters say, "They achieved what they wanted because of their father's affluence', but, many admire the twosome's commitment and dedication to Women's Cricket. As a gesture of gratitude to their father both graduated in textile engineering and textile management and now run the father's factories. 

The storm has not blown over yet. Two rival groups have formed two associations for women's cricket. The two Khan sisters' association is the national cricket association recognized by the International Women's Cricket Council. The Pakistan Cricket Board met with all the three associations and urged them to unite. 

The impact of the tireless efforts of the two sisters is reiterated by Shaiza, "We've given girls an opportunity to live their lives the way they want, to have their own inner happiness, the way we have". 

Sri Lankan Parallel 
In Sri Lanka too there are two Women's Cricket Associations. The one led by Mrs. Gwen Herat is recognized by the International Cricket Council as the Sri Lanka's women's cricket controlling body and not recognized by the Sports Ministry as the national controlling body. The other Women's Cricket Association is not recognized by the International Women's Cricket Council but recognised by the Sports Ministry as the controlling national body. In this conflicting situation it is best that the Sports Minister meets with the two associations and get them to unite under the Association recognized by the International Women's Cricket Council. 

Mullally takes 5-18, Australia crash for 97

SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 28 (Reuters) - England fast bowler Alan Mullally nudged the selectors on Saturday, taking 5-18 in 11.4 overs as Australia were dismissed for 97 against Hampshire on the first morning of their third test warm-up match.

Australia struck back to have the home side at 14-2 soon after lunch on an extraordinary day's cricket.

The touring side, resting more than half of their test side including Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, were in immediate trouble after losing the toss.

Hampshire seamer James Schofield, normally a second eleven bowler, removed opener Matthew Hayden for a single with his first ball in first-class cricket.

Justin Langer followed soon afterwards for two and captain Steve Waugh (10) also fell to Schofield before left-armerMullally, overlooked for the first two Ashes tests, removed Simon Katich, Wade Seccombe and Shane Warne.

He later added the wicket of Jason Gillespie before wrapping up the innings with the wicket of top scorer Ashley Noffke for 28.

Junior football

Nine teams competed in 3rd round of the Eveready junior under 19 inter league football championships Nine outstation teams entered the third round of the Eveready Junior Under 19 inter league football championships conducted by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

Jaffna, Mannar and Ampara entered the second round with wins over Point Pedro by 3 goals to 1, Vavuniya by 4 goals to 1 and Batticaloa by 5 goals to 1 respectively. In the second round, Badulla trounced Bandarawela by 10 goals to 1, Hatton beat Nuwara Eliya by 7 goals to nil, Kandy beat Matale by 8 goals to nil, Matara beat Kalutara by 3 goals to nil, Gampola beat Nawalapitiya by 2 goals to nil, Negombo beat Kurunegala by 3 goals to 1, Kegalle beat Mawanella by 2 goals to nil, Puttalam beat Chilaw by 4 goals to nil. Ampara beat Mannar by 6 goals to 5 in a close encounter.

Uva, Central in hockey final 

By Bruce Maurice
Uva and Central Provinces moved into the final of the Inter-Provincial hockey championships when they defeated Western and Southern Provinces at the Astro Turf yesterday. 

Uva beat Western 1-0. The scorer was Thanuja Waidyatileka. While Central beat Southern 15-0. The scorers for the winners were, Chathurangani Ratnayaka (6), Shyama Ranasinghe (4), Buddhika Ratnayaka (2), Sunethra Perera (2) and Jayalakshmi Kaluarachi (1). 

The final will be worked off at the same venue today. 

Ajmeer College triumph

Ukuwela Ajmeer Central College, Matale, did exceptionally well to defeat the more fancied Christ Church College, Matale by 3 goals to nil to win the under 13 Inter Schools Inter District Football Championships conducted by the Matale District Football Association and organised by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka at the Bernard Aluvihara Stadium.

The scorers for the winners were, M.R.F. Rifnaz (2) and M.N. Nazeer (1).

Inaugural Kandyan Marathon in September 

By Bernie Wijesekera 
A marathon with an international flavour will be held come September in the Kandy district - inaugural Kandyan Marathon. 

A media briefing was held chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Lakshman Kiriella, at the Le Kandyan Resorts. Incidentally Connaissance Group will be one of the sponsors of this historic happening. 

The N.O.C. has sent invitations to some of the leading long distance runners from Europe and to the SAF region nations. They were confident of getting the I.O.C. blessings. 

Minister Kiriella, who addressed the audience assured them of support from his Ministry to make it a reality. 

"Whilst in South Africa watching Sri Lanka against S.A., I noticed a group with the Sri Lankan flag cheering the Lankan team on the field. I asked my security officer to check who they were. They were all Sri Lankan Tamils, who have left the country after the 83 riots, but still supporting their motherland", said Minister Kiriella. 

Minister Kiriella sans much security generally moves around and gets a bird's eye view about the happenings in his ministries. 

After the meeting - the Minister mingled freely with the media and may have come to know some of the shortcomings at this confab. 

At Nittawela 

After the briefing at Le Kandyan this scribe had the opportunity of meeting the poor Night Kaday man at Nittawala grounds. He has come to witness his son playing for Kandy Youth against the Havies. He was introduced to me by Maurice Perera. 

He commended The Sunday Times for the exposure and Minister Kiriella for helping KYCC. 'Sir there are many more like my son, who could play but lack playing opportunities'. 

Rover Pinpoints....

Jolly rides
Rover learns that husband and wife combinations will be on tour at the World Athletic Championships in Canada, thus outnumbering the participants with many other officials to go on tour adding to it being, 'more the merrier' with officials from the Sports Ministry going as observers. Only time will tell the exact number.
Wrongly adviced
The medal winning sport, has wrongly informed both the electronic and print media that the National Championships will be held from August 20 to 22. Better be careful ! Do not give wrong information, as Sri Lanka is to host the Asian Championships in August next year.
Fully occupied
How come the commentators box in the second floor of the R. Premadasa International Stadium which is fully airconditioned is full of policemen. They even demand food served for the commentators.
What a way
How come a leading sport in the country, enters over 40 participants for an event, with only one third of them taking part. The names are entered in the programme. What a waste it is, or is it for purposes of showing qualifications whilst seeking office. What bluffers !
What a waste
Past cricketers were invited for the Sri Lanka vs India triangular series, with an enclosure reserved for them, titled Lions Den. Rover learns only five were present, while soups, dinners, tea and coffee ordered from a five star were wasted. Incidentally this is the second such occasion where food was wasted. Could it be bad planning.
No quotations
Rover learns that coloured kits for both Sri Lanka and India were ordered from a Sports Good store, without any quotations being called. It is mentioned that this Sports Good store is owned by two former cricketers while the third is a member of the present Sri Lankan team !
Not happy
Rover learns the invitation extended to a former Cricket Board President, asked to be the chief guest and what a cheer he received from the crowd. But insiders, Rover learns, was trying their level best to stop him being the chief guest which act they failed to do.
Why National team for club tournament?
Rover is informed by Sri Lanka Basketball Federation Exco members that the ABC Invitation Basketball tournament in August at Hong Kong is for the best club team from Sri Lanka. Why is SLBF sending the National team? Over to you President SLBF?

Why not Colombo Bulls basketball team?

Rover is asked by the Basketball lovers why Colombo Bulls Basketball Club who are the Champions in all club tournaments in Sri Lanka since 1999 have not been allowed to participate in the ABC Invitation Basketball tournament at Hong Kong next month?

Why is the team not selected up to date?
Rover is flooded with inquiries about the Sri Lanka Basketball National team not being selected up to date. Is it because the self appointed National coach was confirmed at the Exco held this month or is it because of the irregular attendance of the pool players & the absence of the selectors at the practices?
Where are the District Basketball Associations?
Rover is made to understand from the Exco members of the SLBF that there are more office bearers at the Exco meetings than the District Basketball Association representatives. Are these meetings valid as the quorum must be from the persons who are entitled to attend and vote at such meetings? Over to you President SLBF ?

St. Matthew's strikes it rich in Jnr. rugby

St. Matthew's College, Dematagoda who only recently took up to rugby, won the under 11 Plate Trophy at the Granville Rodrigo memorial Junior Novices trophy at the tournament conducted by the Western Province Rugby Association held at the Thurstan College Grounds. 

St.Matthew's beat Vijaya Vidyalaya by 10 points to 5, with Maharagama MV winning the Cup in the under 11 age group defeating President's College Horana by 5 points to nil, and Rasik Fareed MV Mattakkuliya beat St. Matthew's who bagged a double winning the under 12 Plate by beating. Hanwella MV by 10 points to 5 to win the Bowl trophy. 

In the girls' final, St Anthony's Madampitiya beat Bloemendhal College by 5 points to nil. 

The other respective age group winners and runners are: 

Boys Under 9 - Cup - St. Anthony's Wattala beat Harischandra MV Negombo 10/5. 

Plate - Hamza Muslim MV Mutuwal beat Padukka MV 15/20. 

Bowl - Horana Royal beat Rasik Fareed Mutuwal 5-nil. 

Under 10 girls - 

St. Anthony's Madampitiya beat Sri Sangabodhi 11/5. 

Under 10 boys - Cup - Kalutara MV beat President's College Maharagama. 

Plate - St John's Mattakuliya beat Hanwella MV 5-nil. 

Bowl - Homagama MV beat St. Anthony's Wattala 10/5

Under 12 boys - Cup - Sri Sangabodhi MV beat Vidyawardena 5-nil. 

Plate - St. Matthew's beat Padukka MV 10/5. Bowl - St Anthony's beat St. John's Mattakuliya 5-nil. 

Under 13 Girls- Bloemendhal College beat St Anthony's 10/5. 

Boys under 13 Cup - Vijaya Vidyalaya beat Harischandra MV Negombo 5-nil. 

Plate - St Anthony's Wattala beat Hindu College, Mutuwal. 

Bowl - Kalutara MV beat Royal College, Horana 5-nil. 

Boys under 14 - Cup - Harischandra MV beat Kalutara MV 10/5. 

Plate - Vijaya Vidyalaya beat Sir Baron Jayatilleka MV 

Bowl - Razick Fareed MV beat Hanwella MV 10/5. 

Boys under 15 B - Hindu College beat Veluwana MV 15/5. 

Boys under 15 Cup - Harischandra MV Negombo beat Kalutara MV 15/10

Plate - Royal College, Horana beat T.B.Jayah M.V. Slave Island 10/5

Bowl - St. Mary's Dehiwela beat Maligakanda MV 5 nil. 

Arjun Dharmadasa, Chairman Development Committee Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union was the chief guest in the tournament organised by Basil Rodrigo, the Chief Technical Officer, Western Province and N.J. Mudannayake, Regional Development Officer/SLRFU. 

CR to promote rugby for kids

CR&FC has started a new project to promote rugby among the kids every Sunday from 9 a.m. -10 am 

This move initiated by its rugby committee headed by burly Michael Mathysz is open to all. This promotion drive to focus interest among the kids is open the all. 

The club has decided that all CR matches played at Longden Place - no gate will be charged for school children. This is a laudable move to bring back dwindling crow-ds. This season CR&FC rugby has hit a new low. 

They are finding doubly difficult even to field a team in the 'B' division - CR "Bees". They were thrashed by Police "Griffins" 84-0 in all probability "Bees" may pull out of the second leg. 

This year's main sponsor is Millennium I.T supported by Growth Lanka. McCallum Breweries, Ceylon Breweries, Cold Stores, Pepsi Cola and Mas Lanka. (B.W) 


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