the curator alone
By Bernie Wijesekera
The preparation of cricket pitches is a specialist's job, not meant
for amateurs or for interested parties to win at all cost. The P.
'Sara' Stadium has many firsts in the willow wielding sport.
test between Sri Lanka and England was staged here, after the country
gained ICC status in 1981. The head grounds-woman was Mariamma.
Today she is a legend in the country's cricket history. Last year
for the first time a test match between Pakistan and Australia was
played on a (neutral venue) at the P. 'Sara'.
was handled by the Tamil Union curator and came in for high praise
by both teams. No one interfered with the preparation neither the
ICC, nor the host nation Pakistan. But one pundit now turned a consultant
tried to belittle the local curator that it was prepared with the
assistance of a Pakistani curator. In the end had to eat his own
words. The Aussies won the game under Steve Waugh. But Shoaib Akthar,
the 'Rawalpindi Express', was the showpiece.
After a long
lay-off the Tamil Union (P. 'Sara') was afforded with the first
Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Of course the preparation
of the pitch was handled by the Cricket Board curator, who supervised
its preparation. It was quite good with a tinge of grass for an
even contest. The official curator had stint with Tony Ware, Aussie
curator at the MCG (Victoria). He was satisfied with the preparation.
But in its
wake the 'Mr. Know Alls' drawn from the C.B., some players and apparently
selectors intervened. They insisted that the pitch be shaved again.
It was done. But still insisted on another shave, which even embarrassed
the official curator for this unwarranted interference. He was disgusted,
but was helpless.
Ware, the competent
MCG curator, who works with his professional team works without
let or hindrance. Had the opportunity of meeting him in one of Sri
Lanka's tours Down Under. In the end their strategy to outplay the
young Kiwi team sans seniors backfired. The much look forward to
cracks failed to appear for the spinners to exploit. The local bowlers
were made to look mediocre, barring 'Work Horse' Chaminda Vaas,
who bowled his heart out. He regularly probed the Kiwi batsmen,
despite bowling on a flat pitch.
Stephen Fleming gritty left-hander, led the run chase for his team
to pile on a tall score. He made 274 n.o., and 69 n.o., had no problem
in handling 'Murali's' wiles. In the end he agreed to a question,
that on any pitch with better technique one could counter the bowlers.
In the end 'Murali' had more roasties on his spinning fingers. It
was only on the final day that the worn out pitch started turning.
But a lost cause.
Sri Lanka captain
Hashan Tillekeratne, "The Rock of Gibralter" matched his
vis-a-vis with a stubborn 136. The Lankan top-order, too was among
the runs, but still fell short of the Kiwi total by 32 runs. According
to sources it was suggested that the venue be shifted to the Galle
Esplanade. The Lankans have met with much success there and in turn
'Murali' has reaped a rich harvest of wickets.
Had the pundits
left the curator along - this pitch could have been a result-oriented
one. Under-prepared and a slow pitches at home is not going to help
develop the game. The batsmen must learn to play on tracks fast
and with even bounce. The local pacemen given the opportunity could
have bowled with much fire. Away from home, they will be all at
sea. In the Wanderers Test in S. Africa, in the last tour the match
was over under three days.
Minister of Sports, Lakshman Kiriella, afforded the Cricket Board
with fast tracks at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Apparently the players
refused to practice on them saying that it was, too dangerous. Thereby
failed to prepare ahead. This even surprised Kiriella. This attributes
to weak management all round, when players have their own way.
Thomian Fun Motor Rally
S. Thomas' College Mt Lavinia are making arrangements to hold a
PTA Fun Motor Rally on May 10 2003. The rally will cover 50 kilometres
which will begin from the school premises at Mt Lavinia and scheduled
to end at the Villa Ocean View Hotel in Wadduwa. The rally is scheduled
to be flagged off at 8.30 a.m.
will be given the route on the day of the rally with instructions
on what to do. They have the option of carrying the brand or products
of their sponsors on their vehicles. The number of entries will
be restricted to 75 vehicles and the first ten to finish the route
will receive prizes and a prize will be awarded to the best decorated
regarding the rally could be obtained from Shamitha Karunaratne
(641309), Geethika Perera (0777-321699), K. Amarasinghe (645230),
Sonali Thahir (884320) or Shakila Marjan (724116)-MSA
vs Arjuna clash at Cricket Board elections?
By Marlon Fernandopulle
The much talked about and eagerly awaited Cricket Board Elections
has been finally scheduled for June 6 at the Sports Ministry Auditorium
and under the supervision of the Director General of Sports Milton
Amarasinghe. Nominations for all posts will be received from May
8 to 13 during working hours as laid down by the regulations.
The last elections
to the CB was held nearly three years ago and was marred by ugly
incidents that saw some shameful and disgraceful events at the CB
Headquarters. In that instance Thilanga Sumathipala and Clifford
Ratwatte were the leading candidates for the Cricket Board President.
It is believed
that Thilanga Sumathipala, a past President of the CB and former
Sri Lanka Captain Arjuna Ranatunga are the potential candidates
for the hot seat. Both personalities have publicly spoken against
having Interim Committees and have also indicated their desire to
serve as the Cricket Board President.
They are expected
potential candidates to finalize their respective teams this week
before handing in their nominations next week. Although it is early
to predict the winner it is certain that if Sumathipala and Ranatunge
contests the elections will be very closely contested.
Tickets for the Olympic Games in
Olypmpic Games are scheduled to be held in Athens, Greece in August
witness the various events in these Games could be booked at the
National Olympic Committee office at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium,
Colombo. Bookings will be accepted upto 31st May 2003.
could obtain further details from the NOC by either writing to them
or telephoning them at 471067 or 471068.
Cricket in Dambulla
has been a big boost to promote Sri Lanka's cultural heritage and
scenic beauty in this little Isle of Paradise. In its wake has been
able to get that much needed exchange to fill the country's coffers.
With cricket follows, the cricket fans. There were fans aplenty
when the England cricket team visited Sri Lanka in 2001. The hotels
down South and in the Hill Capital were crowded to capacity. The
then Minister of Sports and Tourism Lakshman Kiriella, left no stone
unturned to make it a roaring success.
The year 2003,
the start of the domestic international cricket season, the Kiwis
are here (New Zealand) joined by Pakistan for the triangular series
which will start at the Rangiri International Cricket Stadium starting
on May 10.
Rangiri Stadium surrounded by its scenic beauty will afford the
fans and their families to enjoy watching cricket and a weekend
for relaxation, in ideal conditions.
is on target. They have planned 'Catch the Cricket Action' live
for those fans, who like to watch cricket for both foreign and locals
to enjoy a unique experience, religious, cultural and scenic beauty
in this agricultural district.
Bandula de Silva, the Director - Target a subsidiary of Ranfer Tea
Shop has organised this package for everyone to take this opportunity
at a reasonable target. They will be accommodated at Dambulu Oya
Family Park and Namala Resort. Those desirous of making it could
contact Bandula de Silva or may contact Sanjeewani - 686805/6 or
077-6026078 for further details.
May 10 - Sri
Lanka Vs Pakistan, 11 - Pakistan Vs New Zealand. Last match 13 -
Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand. The weather should be fine over there.