16th September 2001
A tremendous stride towards the progress of golf from grass- root levels emerged at the Victoria Golf Club, Rajawella through a splendid effort of skilful planning by Jennine Weeratunge.
It was a residential camp for little golfers all tender juniors. The camp was arranged for golf in the morning and early afternoon followed by a gymkhana of pleasurable events to create a spirit of togetherness through fun and games. There were pony rides, rockclimbing, swimming, obstacle courses, totem poles and ending up with a camp fire and Barbecue. It was all tremendous joy and laughter for the kids who also took their golf seriously under expert supervision. DIALOG GSM, PEPSI-COLA and The Sri Lanka Golf Union sponsored the long weekend with tender care and lavishness.
The Open Junior Championship was won by Padmanadan who shot 80 followed by Logaratna 84 and Vijitha 87 and according to the Caretaker Jennine Weeratunge the kids played great golf on a tricky course with speedy greens.
Nine Hole Event
This event was followed by a nine hole competition in which 32 participated. Closely contested Suhayb Sangani came through as winner followed by Avinseh Jayalingham and Nuwan Hemachandra. Then came the great event for absolute raw beginners through one hole. Here Manisha Jayalingham won after a play off from Sanjeev Fernando with Vishal Jayasekera coming 3rd. Jennine says that the little enthusiastic kids gave the many adult spectators many a heart warming thrill with their stroke play.
Another interesting event was the putting competition. In the age group 4 to 7 years Meehan was unmatchable beating Ranjeewa de Run and Sanjiv Fernando. In age group 8-10 years Teekshana de Run blazed ahead beating Moleena Awn and Talib Esufali.
Finally, all the contestants had the great thrill and happiness of a putting championship in the presence of a large adult audience. Quite unnerved the kids showed excellent promise with Sidath Hemachandra most impressive to lead from Nuwan Hemachandra and Sanjay Wettimuny.
Great Week End
It was a great weekend of golf for a crop of delightful kids through the courtesy of the Victoria Golf Club. The Award ceremony by candle light was a happy occasion with the kids showing a tremendous spirit of togetherness. Victor, the Elephant Mascot was an enthusiastic spectator and he was given a large dose of attention which he appeared to enjoy. 82 kids participated and they ungrudgingly paid tribute to the lady who made the happy and rewarding weekend possible. Jennine Weeratunge was quick to respond to thank her band of friends who helped. Summith, Si, Baboo, Tony, Tushara, Peggy and not forgetting Peter and the Caddies.
Kids at play
Meantime in Colombo at the Royal Colombo the Clinic for kids continues under the care of Radha Sundermpillai. Improvements in style have been identified and all reports have it that the enthusiastic kids are shaping well.
If plans work out, Norman Gunewardena, a senior member of the Club will cut the ribbon and light the oil lamp to re-open the Ridgeways over the weekend.
He will also strike the first tee shot and it is hoped that he will improve on the original shot made by Governor West-Ridgeway. It is reported that the Governor's opening tee shot coughed and crawled to settle a couple of yards from the tee to create loud laughter from a galaxy of invitees who were watching the opening ceremony.
Sri Lanka completed a couple of gruelling months in the heat with a very comfortable win in their inaugural Test match against Bangladesh. It was no surprise at all. In fact the inevitable was delayed on the third day with the opposition batting resisting stubbornly.
To enter the "Test" playing ford needed plenty of qualifications. Sri Lanka knocked on the door for over a decade. Their credentials required a good national team, sufficient backplayers nearly equal to the first eleven, sufficient Test venues with the required facilities, a well organised and strong domestic first class tournament, a sound infrastructure, were all considered requirement. It was with the greatest difficulty that Sri Lanka finally achieved that goal in 1983 and played their inaugural Test match against England in 1982.
The game suddenly began to grow in popularity with the advent of one day cricket. Kerry Packer's rebel tours which introduced coloured clothing, playing under lights, the use of the white ball and black sight screens, field restrictions, all added to a new dimension. All this coupled with the ever improving TV productions made the game popularity to soar. It also awoke the governing body of the game and individual governing bodies of countries. They realised it was more than a game - in fact a business.
This meant that the gospel had to be spread. The dominance of England and Australia began to reduce. Initially it was a bitter pill for them to swallow. After the Packer affair was resolved the Aussies were quicker to accept practicality. They changed with the times. Accepted that other countries were also developing fast. Realized that they had to have players who could succeed in conditions around the cricketing world.
Initially the game was promoted at the one day level. With Sri Lanka winning the World Cup in 1996 many countries were encouraged to take up to the game. However, the real form of cricket - the two innings game - was beginning to suffer. So more teams had to be included into the international fold.
Zimbabwe got the nod first. Their better cricketers, some of whom had played in South Africa and others professionally in England held the team together to earn some respectability. Although lacking in the other areas required Zimbabwe have managed to produce a crop of players capable of providing a decent fight against a number of opponents at home and faring reasonably well at home.
Bangladesh have now played first Test and lost the lot. Almost all being one sided affairs. So, has the ICC made the correct decision in awarding them Test status?
In terms of the competition they provide it is certainly not the correct decision. The players who were on show at the SSC grounds did not display great potential to become world class players. Young Mohamed Ashraful was the exception showing good technique and temperament as a batsman and bowling useful leg brakes. He made the most of a placid batting pitch to notch up a debut hundred.
There are murmurs to the effect that Kenya may be granted Test status. Should that happen it would be a disaster. Countries who show considerable improvement in their game, should be granted One Day International status, to encourage them to keep them interested. Test status must be given only to the countries that absolutely deserve it.
The ICC should organize a four-day tournament annually amongst the six next best cricketing nations. Although Bangladesh have got Test status they should also compete in those games. In that way they could get an initial introduction to the long game. Also "A" teams of Test playing nations should be encouraged to visit those countries regularly.
Lowering the standard of Test cricket does nothing to improve the game.
SHARJAH, Sept 15 - The three-nation tournament between Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will go ahead as planned in October, organisers said on Saturday.
"There is absolutely no change in the schedule and all the three teams have committed to play here and they will stick to the plan," said Zahid Noorani, chief executive of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series.
Tuesday's terror attacks on New York and Washington have disrupted sporting schedules around the world, including New Zealand's three-test tour of Pakistan which was called off on Thursday.
The past students of the class of '69 at Royal College, Colombo have organized a fundraiser by way of a "Derby" to be staged at the Mt. Lavinia beach on October 28.
The funds raised at the event will be channeled for infrastructure development of the school and as donations to the disabled soldiers' and Police welfare funds. Based on the success of the recently held beach carnival at Matara and the lessons learnt therefrom, this event is being planned on a much more grandeur scale to attract a larger spectator base. Entries will close on October10. Registration forms and more information will be available from undersigned at Premadasa Group of Companies, 179, Jayantha Weerasekera Mawatha, Col 10. The 10 events scheduled to be held are: Thorough bred horses 1; Thorough bred horses 2; Thorough bred horses 3; Thorough bred horses 4; Half-bred hourses 1; Half-bred horses 2; Three-quarer bred horses; Gentleman Riders; Novices - Lady Riders; Novices - Gentleman Riders.
No back bone
Come, come face the facts, not all were refunded with the deposit paid by the competitors at the racing meet held at Katukurunda, only their Catchers might have been obliged.
If necessary the names of those who had not received payment will be published next week.
Why challenge the Rover with a letter signed with a big 'No'. This proves that barking dogs never bite. Amidst your faults, what has happened to the promised inquiry of the Ratnapura race which killed a spectator ?
What a way
Rover was used by this so called official to help his child in the runaway episode from a big car sales family, least this is forgotten, since he cannot stomach the revelations and his buddy who is ruining the sport with their cowardly acts which is a well known fact among the sport, showering praises with public announcements that has come to cover the meet at his own expenses! Why lie? It is a common tale but true, lets face facts.
Who selects the teams
Is it the selection committee appointed by the Minister of Sports or the NOC who picks the team for foreign tours. Going by the facts one would notice the deserving is told to find their money to travel abroad to represent the country.
Those who could only afford same are assured of being honoured to represent one's country, not the best!
Brawl at Cager Dance
Rover is informed by Cager National players - Men & Women that they were forced to attend a Dinner/Dance in a Hotel at Kollupitiya held last week-end paying a big sum as entry fees.
But the result was a fight between officials with broken bottles, glasses & use of languages not accepted by respectable people.
How can a National Coach maintain discipline among the National players when such acts take place in public?
Brawl for the Money
Rover is informed by the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation Officials who attended the Dinner/Dance free that the brawl was for the Money. As to who is to take the Collection home the cause for the brawl. SLBF officials slowly slipped out of the hall. Over to the presidents of the inactive CDBA & SLBF?
President Cager Referees Association
Rover is informed by members of the Sri Lanka Basketball Referees Association that a non-member has been elected as President of the SLBRA. How was he elected in violation of the constitution? Why not a FIBA referee?
The President elect is a former National Coach and have gone on un-limited number of foreign tours in all possible designations using the name of Basketball. Over to you President SLBF.
Cager girls tour to Bangkok
Rover is informed by members of the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation Exco that the team for the ABC championship in Bangkok has been finalized with just two days of trials & all selectors not being present at the trials.
Is this the best National team or a team of players from the Schools coached by the two self appointed Coaches, is what is asked by the other coaches? Over to you Minister of Sports?
Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Kandy
S. Korea were beaten for the first time in sevens rugby by Sri Lanka at the Singer-SriLankan Airlines sponsored International Sevens organised by Kandy SC in Bogambara yesterday.
After losing to Malaysia 12-14, the Lankan rugby team had all their supporters agog, when they scored this stunning 26 points (3 goals and a try) to 19 (two goals and a try) win over S. Korea in a Group A match.
Fittingly it created a new phase in the tear-drop isle's rugby history and it was created in Kandy amidst all the pomp and pageantry rugby has to offer.
Skipper Sanjeeva Jayas-inghe was in outstanding form scoring his fifth try for the day. Army forward C. Fernando scored the second. It was no let up when Radhika Hettiarachchi touched down to put the Lankans in the lead at 19-12 when Indrajith Bandaranayake fired over the crossbar.
Played in a typical carnival atmosphere the competition generated tremendous excitement to the rugby crazy fans.
The Lankan win was celebrated and was followed by a torrential downpour, thunder and lightning.
Drama was enacted when Thailand turned tables on last year's defending champions Chinese Taipei at 24-19 in an enthralling game.
In Group A South Korea and Sri Lanka, on a better try aggregate, entered the Cup. while Malaysia are placed third, will play in the Plate Competition.
Today's games will start at 9 a.m. with the Cup quarters. The cup Final will be at 5.30 p.m. It should generate exciting fare to Sunday rugby fans.
Schools on top
Three schools from the Hill Capital producing superb fare namely St. Anthony's, Trinity and Vidyartha entered the semi-finals, in the schools section continued yesterday. SACK after being led 5-0 by St. Sylvester's scored a runaway 21-5 win. Arch rivals Trinity after being held to 5-all by Royal won the match in a rousing contest. Vidyartha added much pepper and salt to topple rugby crazy Isipatana 12-5. St. Peter's kept Colombo alive with superior brand of rugby demolising the strong Kingswood team 24-8. The Petes once they took control to make gaping holes in the Randles School defence, Petes meet SACK; while Trinity confront Vidyartha in the second Semi-final.
Champika Fernando reporting from Kurunegala
The Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sriyani Kulawansa crowned herself for the eighth occasion as the best women's athlete at the XXVII National Sports Festival which concluded at the Welagedera Stadium in Kurunegala yesterday.
Sriyani who finished first comfortably, clocked 13.32 seconds in her pet 100 metres hurdles while finishing second in the 100 metres sprint final behind Olympic bronze medalist Susanthika Jay-asinghe, who clocked 11.71 seconds to seal her victory. Kulawansa clocked 12,08 seconds.
Harijan Ratnayake had no real threat from other athletes as he strengthened his position in the 400 metres hurdles and bagged the award for the best male athlete. Ratnayake clocked 51.7 secs to finish first. Ratnayake represented Sri Lanka at the Sydney Olympics as well as the IAAF World Championships in Edmonton, Canada in August.
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to