27th January 2002

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Junior boxers leave for India

Five boxers will leave for New Delhi, India to participate in an invitation boxing meet scheduled to be held from February 1 to 4. The invitation has been sent by the New Delhi YMCA requesting the ABA to send five junior boxers to participate in this tournament. Several countries are billed to take part.

The ABA held trials at the Depot Police to select the five boxers where over 25 boxers who had been champions and runner up in boxing such as the T.B.Jayah, Stubbs Shield and Junior championships were invited for these trials. After the completion of the trials five boxers were selected.

The team comprises two boxers from Seevali MMV Ratnapura and one each from Carey College, Nalanda and Vidyaratne Horana. The weight category that the five boxers will be taking part are. Under 45 kg N.I.Sudesh (Carey College) - Light fly weight. Under 57 kg G. Lal Kumar (Seevali MMV Ratnapura) - Feather weight. under 51 kg K. Lasantha Seneviratne (Seevali MMV Ratnapura) Fly weight. Under 60 kg M.L. Prabath (Nalanda College) Light weight. Under 54 kg D.L. Kahatapitiya (Vidyaratne Horana) Bantam weight. The team manager is S.K.Karunaratne (Secretary ABA) while the coach is Don Leslie of Carey College. 


Pakistan women's cricket developing fast-Shazia

By Bernie Wijesekera
The Pakistan's women's cricket tour here is not only to play cricket, but also to bring about understanding and to further cement fellowship between the two nations, said its manager Shazia Shabber, in an interview with The Sunday Times. 

Women's cricket has come to stay in Pakistan after our success against Holland when we won the 7-match one-day series 4-3. The first and last game was played under lights. The people are aware of women's cricket unlike in the past. 

Q. Are you one of the cogs-in the wheel for the promotion of cricket among the girls? 

A. I am a keen cricket fan and support the sport. Further I am the manager since 1998. Today its wings have spread to schools and colleges. It's developing fast. 

Q. Is there outside support or assistance given by the controlling body? 

A. No. But well-wishers and lovers of the game are assisting us. One of them is the present President of the PCB, Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia. He is personally assisting the association. The Karachi National Cricket Stadium is made available to us to train with all facilities. 

Most of the members of the tour party are school girls and the average age is under 20. 

The headquarters is at Karachi. But there are branches in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

Q. Who made this tour here possible? 

A. Two players in the team made it a reality - the captain Shaiza Said Khan, and her sister Sharmeen. Their father Said Khan, managing director of United Carpets Ltd., gave total support. He is the main sponsor. He's a patriotic person, put side his two children playing, in the team. 

Q. Any comments of the on-going tour? 

A. This is our second tour to Sri Lanka. The first was in April, 1998, in humid conditions. On the present tour the conditions are better for cricket. 

More than winning, the girls have much to learn whilst here. It's cricket-cum-educative tour. More cricket is off the field. The country's culture, its rich heritage and their way of life. Both countries belong to the Asian region and we must live with understanding and help each other. This could be achieved via sport. 

Sri Lanka cricket is very good
Sri Lanka cricket is very good. Even the women are very keen and have the skills. Mrs. Gwen Herat and her committee have done a good job whilst promoting the sport at grassroots level. It has borne fruit when Sri Lanka is qualified to play in the W.C. championship in New Zealand. 
Not happy 
But, I am not happy with the umpiring. They had to be consistent with their decision making. Before you pinpoint at others put your own house in order. From whatever quarter the poor players are made to suffer and at times apparently they may lose their cool. 

There may be human errors but must strive to avoid them. Otherwise it isn't cricket. 

Q. Are there any other tours in the offing for the Pakistani girls? 

A. A tour to Scotland and to the West Indies. Plans are afoot to invite Ireland. 

Q. Is there a professional coach to train them? 

A. Shakeel Sajjad, an experienced first class cricketer. He played for Karachi City C.A., from 1985-99 and for National Bank of Pakistan. 

Jayaratne creates history 

Sanjeewa Jayaratne, the lad from Eheliyagoda Central, created history to the newly formed Indoor Cricket Association and for Sri Lanka.

For the first time the Lankan team hosted World Cup champions Australia in a 3 Test series at Talawatugoda.

The first match was played on January 22 amid pomp and pageantry in a carnival atmosphere. It ended in an enthralling finish. The Aussies made 88 in 16 hours. The Lankans were 84 and had to make 5 runs in the last ball. 

Jayaratne, the lad who has never played cricket for his school barring softball for Ratnapura Sivali Olympic Club had all fans agog with a straight six to dent the Aussie unbeaten record.

Jayaratne, a talented young all rounder, now turns out for Tamil Union and is employed at Access. He thanked The Sunday Times initially giving him that much needed exposure to play in the big league. It helped me tremendously and to Asoka de Silva, the international umpire who helped me.

The Austasia Sports Foundation is the brainchild of former Peterite, Cedric Anthony, who is its chairman. It's being financed by him, said its general manager Sanjeewa Weerasinghe. 

Cedric now domiciled Down Under. The biggest breakthrough was when the Lankan team created a new dimension, beating three times W.C. champs Australia in a thriller. 

That too, within six months after taking to competitive indoor cricket. Today more schools and schoolboys indulge in indoor cricket. Some of the club cricketers, too have opted for the shorter game, due to time factor, Weerasinghe said. 

Anthony has also helped us with an Aussie coach Craig Slocombe. Within the short period Craig has done a fine job with his charges. Last July 2001, the Lankans toured Australia, won six matches in a 7-match itinerary, speaks well for his experience.

The president Salinda Dissanayake, secretary V.C. Karunasena and the Ex-co which include Romesh Kaluwitharane, S. Weerasinghe, Chitral Amarasiri, Indunil Anthony and Rukmal Seneviratne had done an excellent job. Before long they will be having a swimming pool squash and badminton courts, too, all under lights. 

The stadium was completed in May 2001. This was entirely funded by Austasia Sports Ltd.


Neville: Football's honest custodian

Neville is no more. He fought his last battle as painstakingly as he championed the many causes of sport, especially that of Football. But like everything in life, there is a time to hang up one's boots, and take your rest.

What made Neville different, was that he more than many others, became the watchdog of many a sport in this country, speaking out against injustice and officialdom, and seeking above all, the rightful status of the player and his or her performance.

However it was to Football that he gave his all. Over the many decades, he became the doyen of the game, supervising as if it was his right the destinies of Sri Lankan Football. As a coach, he produced some of Sri Lanka's best players in recent times, many of whom have taken on the mantle from him. As an administrator he brought to the game unremitting discipline that he practised on the field. Many will bear testimony to the scathing criticism he made when convinced that a wrong move was in the making. And many will remember that Neville would be the last to back down when he felt that a principle was at stake.

I had the opportunity to encounter Neville as a colleague in two distinct Football administrations, first in the Board of Control and later in the new Federation. During both occasions, Neville oversaw the Technical Divisions and persevered to induce an element of professionalism into the game. I recall driving to his home in Maligawatte on most evenings during the mid-80's, to consult and plan the structuring of Football Development into a sustainable long term programme. The Junior Programme, we fashioned was one of this. The sponsorships that gave such a fillip to the game was another collaboration, I particularly enjoyed. Of course, there were the many debates we had in matters such as this, but never did I doubt for a moment where Neville's heart lay, and I was always the richer for it.

Neville has left us a void very difficult to fill. The many people who attended his funeral stood in a pained silence knowing that a strong voice for justice in sport was no more. Neville was the custodian of Football, never mind who was in charge. As I slowly walked away from Kanatte that evening, I could not help but wonder if the dazzle that Football once enjoyed, had also left with him.

-Trevor Reckerman

Veteran cagers go international 

The Sri Lanka veterans Basketball Association is to take part in the World Masters Basketball Tournament scheduled to be held in Melbourne. Australia in October2002.

The renowned World Masters Basketball Tournament, conducted for different age groups under seven categories, is to draw teams from all over the world and is regarded as one of the most popular sports events in Australia.

Contestants to represent Sri Lanka at the tournament will be selected from those who have already represented Defence Services, Mercantile Sector, Nationalized services, Police, Sri Lanka schools,all provinces in the island and players who earlier represented the country, districts or provinces at the National Tournaments conducted by the Basketball Federation.

Trials to select the pool for the tour will be held at the Royal College indoor gymnasium during February 2,9,16, and 23 (Saturdays) beginning at 6.30p.m.

The Sri Lanka Veterans Basketball Association offered entry into two age group categories ;(a)45-49years of age (b) 50-54years of age, The age limits will be determined as of December31,2002.

Sri Lanka to meet Pakistan today 

Sri Lanka will open its bid to qualify for a semi-final place in the ICC Under-19 World Cup by playing Pakistan on Lincoln No 3 Today.

The Super League draw has been made after all the preliminary round games were completed on Friday with Sri Lanka qualifying in the same side of the League as India, West Indies and Pakistan. 

The other side of the draw has New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England. 

Sri Lanka's other games will be against India at Lincoln on Tuesday and West Indies at Christchurch on Thursday. 

The other game scheduled to be played in the super league today is between India and West Indies at Bert Sutcliffe Oval 

Thomian Schoolboy Jeewan MendisThomian Schoolboy Jeewan Mendis

In the first round matches Sri Lanka lost to Namibia, won against Zimbabwe and no result against New Zealand in the opening match due to rain.

Thomian Schoolboy Jeewan Mendis is in sparkling form with the bat scored two half centuries so far and also took seven wickets with his right arm leg spinners against Zimbabwe. 

Charith Sylvester(Wicketkeeper)Charith Sylvester(Wicketkeeper)

Wicketkeeper DeMaznod schoolboy Charith Sylvester created a world record by taking eight victims behind the stumps including four stumpings against Zimbabwe in the final first round match. His performance was an Under-19 world record and is probably the best wicket-keeping performance in international cricket at any level. 

Chief scores of first round matches played by Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka v New Zealand: Sri Lanka 85/2 (19.5 overs) Sumalka Perera 35 n.o., Jeewan Mendis 13 n.o. - No decision

Sri Lanka v Namibia: Sri Lanka 141 all out in 40.5 overs (Jeewan Mendis 57)

Namibia 146/6 in 44.3 overs - Sri Lanka lost by four wickets.

Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe: Sri Lanka 206/9 (Sumalka Perera 57, Jeewan Mendis 57, Charith Sylvester 36) Zimbabwe 143 (Jeewan Mendis 7/19) Sri Lanka won 63 runs.

Sajith and Kalpani TT champs

By M.Shamil Amit
Sajith Priyadharshana of Sri Devananda College Ambalangoda and Kalpani Herath of Girls High School Kandy emerged champions at All Island Table Tennis tournament held at the Madampe MV and the Fisheries Sports Complex, hall. The tournament was organised by the Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka and the Southern Table Tennis Association.

Five hundred and seventy three boys and girls from eighty nine schools participated in this tournament. In the boys Under 17 final Sajith Priyadharshana defeated Tharindu Samaraweera of S.Thomas Mt Lavinia in three straight sets and Kalpani Herath overcame Chandi Hansa of Sri Devananda College Ambalangoda. Kalpani Herath won the Under 15 prize. The Chief Guest was Vajira Abytwardena Minister of Public Administration.


Boys: Under 9 - Chameera Ginige (Dharmasoka College) beat Sanka Dananjaya (Dharmasoka).Under 11- Shantha Ganegoda (Royal Colombo) beat Milindu Keerthiratne (St Sylvesters). Under 13 - G.M.Liyanage (Dharmarajah Kandy) beat Samudhita Ishan (Sri Devananda). Tharindu Samaraweera (S.Thomas Mt Lavinia) beat B.C.Chaturanga (Sri Devananda). Under 17 - Sajith Priyadharshana (Sri Devananda) beat Tharindu Samaraweera (S.Thomas Mt Lavinia).

Girls: Under 9 - Pavithra Gimhani (Dharmasoka) beat Harindra Weerakoon (Maliyadeva Kurunegala). Under 11 - Dinusha Manori (Sri Devananda) beat Naduni Abeygunawardena (Girls High School Kandy). Under 13 - R.Wijekoon (Maliyadeva) beat Shimali Wimalaratne (St Paul's Convent Kurunegala). Under 15 - Kalpani Herath (Girls High School Kandy) beat Nelum Gunasekera (Dharmasoka). Under 17 - Kalpani Herath (Girls High School) beat Chandi Hansa (Sri Devananda). 

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