continues to plague Murali
Hardly a day passes on the International cricket scene without there
being a report on an injured player. Muttiah Muralitharan who injured
himself on his thirtieth birthday last April has since had a horror
run. As he chased a ball as fast as he could, at the Adelaide Oval
last Wednesday, he jerked to a sickening halt. It was evident he
had hurt himself.
On a day when
Captain Sanath Jayasuriya's cricket brain was in a twist trying
to work out which bowler to bring on, Murali's spell was brilliant.
It prompted one of the commentators to say that it was the best
spell in the current VB series. I have no hesitation to second that.
Even the two overs he sent down on one leg were effective!
Fortunately the injury is not overly serious but it is of concern
as the World Cup is less than a month away. Pulasthi Guneratne flew
back home, to rest before the World Cup.
summer has seen a continuous trek of players visiting physio's doctors
and surgeons. The list of Englishmen who have suffered are too many
to mention. Australia are without Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie
at present and Glen McGrath bowling half fit. Elsewhere, Sachin
Tendulkar was missing as India were severely caned by New Zealand.
Little or nothing is heard these days of the mighty Brian Lara.
Those are some of the names that come to mind.
As much cricket
is being crammed in to these final weeks leading up to the big event,
has it been overdone is the question. The Sri Lankans have had very
little breathing space since they toured Morocco last October. Defeats
in South Africa and Australia and loss of form has meant that it
is tough to rest players. The Australians can afford that luxury
as they have such powerful second string players.
Stretch, Director of the University of Port Elizabeth's Sports Academy
and Chairman of the United Cricket Board's medical committee, has
researched cricket injuries at provincial and national level for
the past four years. He believes that there is no substitute for
a player knowing and understanding how far he can push his own body.
The competition to keep your place in the team and the earnings
that will be lost often outweigh all. Many also genuinely want to
serve the team. As Muttiah Muralitharan did, he knew the twelve
deliveries left in his allotted spell meant so much to the team.
In the end his effort was futile.
The World Cup
means the best of each country vying to win the once-in-four-year
championship. Should a dozen or so of the best are not available
or half fit, then it will take much of the glamour off the games.
The relevant teams will also be handicapped. It is up to the management
of each team to realize what the ultimate goal is. That is to perform
at best at the World Cup.
Ratnayake's classy performance
Mohan Ratnayake was the toast at the Ridgeways of the Royal Colombo
Golf Club after he clinched the President's Trophy with 2 rounds
of 73 and 64 totalling 137 nett. Doc. C. Thurairaja, the popular
sports star of yesteryear and presently the President of the RCGC
presented a handsome award to Ratnayake who had to be drawn out
from a crowd of pals who were not only felicitating him but also
seeking autographs. Lallith Ramanayake and Iskander Sarudin tied
for 2nd place with excellent scores of 130 each.
A small but very competitive field took off in the "A"
Division Classic. Lallith Ramanayake was outstanding with 39 points
while the rest of the competitors messed around getting lost and
found in distressing areas of the course. Sung Soo Kim, the extremely
popular Korean was beaming all afternoon after he was judged 1st
runner-up with 35 points.
That man Mohan Ratnayake once again was unmatchable and he got himself
streets ahead of a very competitive field to match 43 points and
the "B" Division Classic. His score was the best for the
day and he collected a special award. Cavalier Kumar Mirchandani
straight from the Janak Hirdaramani clinic was in good nick from
the first shot off the first too. Surprisingly he distanced himself
from the familiar out of bounds territory and saw very little water
through the 18 hole round. He was deliriously happy with 39 points
and his shot by shot description of play was exceptionally interesting
and drew a sizeable pack of listeners.
Smiler Nimal Ranasinghe and hefty Saman Premasiri gave cause for
recognition by the Handicap Committee. Striking 39 points each Ranasinghe
was declared the better of the two and Premasiri was deprived of
his first victory in 13 months. The weekend was packed to capacity
and the course was given a rough time. The pond boys picked a harvest
and they very wisely engaged a few extra hands to cope with the
rush of visits to water. The season of goodwill just concluded took
heavy toll of a substantial number of wayward strikers stricken
Over a few Carlsberg's at the pleasurable 19th the chat took shape
over excessive shots and longer walk during the happy 4 ball encounter
on Sunday with special attention to strayers. This special pack
of "porali" golfers stray all over the course and sometimes
some of them need the assistance of a Compass to return to the fairways.
It has been calculated that these special guys move 25% more yards
than the reasonably good golfer.
As the crow
flies the Ridgeways is 6400 yards long from 1st tee to 18th hole
but the strayers walk 8000 yards causing a helluva exhausting physical
burden on their frames. Golf is such a delightful game that no strayer
moans of the extra gruelling yards but lives another day to relate
the descriptive story of the odd good shots he had in 108 strokes.
A harvest of them take more than a century of strokes each to complete
the course averaging 6 strokes per hole striking 8000 yards in 240
gruelling sun riddled minutes.
gets a big boost for three more years
To uplift the game of rugby, the Rugby Union must get the maximum
out of this Caltex sponsorship. This will be done with a view to
help the game to enjoy for a better tomorrow said the Managing Director
of Caltex Lubricants, Kishu Gomes, at the Caltex Touch Down Awards
ceremony, held at the Hotel Intercontinantal.
different organisations are supporting cricket. They are pumping
money with good intentions. But companies need not give preference
treatment for cricket alone. There are other sports, too that deserve
encouragement via sports the country could get worldwide recognition.
This was the reason why Caltex have come forward to help many deserving
Rugby is a
popular sport in Sri Lanka and there is a great following here.
Though it has not being enjoying much success in the international
scene during the last year Caltex are still proud to have joined
the pack in 1999 with a sponsorship with the SLRFU. It will continue
with the package for three more years to develop the game.
Forget about the past, but start afresh. Give the game a better
professional outlook. The players, too have to show more commitment
Touch Down Rugby Awards 2002 is done with a view to inspire the
clubs and the players. The year 2003, should be a better year for
Sri Lanka rugby with top foreign players taking to the scrum said
the president of the SLRFU Harsha Mayadunne. It will generate more
excitement among the clubs at competitive level. He thanked Caltex,
for coming forward in their hour of need with this sponsorship.
It will be
laudable if Caltex could inject with more lubricant when the national
teams are on tour. Harsha, called upon the new officials who will
be elected to office at next month's AGM to make good of Caltex
support to promote the game to reach higher levels. The Sri Lanka
Army for the second successive year was adjudged the most popular