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17th May 1998

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Australia win Rs. 10 lakh CEAT ratings prize

The Australian cricket team with 94 points, topped ratings to win the second CEAT International Cricket team of 1997/98 award which carries a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs.

South Africa were second with 74 points.

The final ratings for the year were:

Australia - 60 points Tests, 34 points one dayers total 94.

South Africa - 25 points Tests, 49 points one dayers, total 74.

Pakistan - 40 points Tests, 32 points one dayers, total 72.

Sri Lanka - 14 points Tests, 50 points one dayers, total 64.

India - 14 points Tests, 44 points one dayers, total 58.

New Zealand - 14 points Tests, 31 points one dayers, total 45.

West Indies - 26 points Tests, 18 points one dayers, total 44.

England - 21 points Tests, 22 points one dayers, total 43.

Zimbabwe - no point Tests, 20 points one dayers, total 20.

Kenya - no point Tests, 4 points one dayers, total 4.

Bangladesh - no point Tests and one dayers.

Except for the series loss against India, Australia under Mark Taylor maintained their consistency by winning the ‘Ashes’ in England and the Test series against South Africa and New Zealand in Australia.

Their record in Test cricket during the period May 97 to April 98 was played 15, won 7, lost 4, drawn 4.

In one-day cricket under the leadership of Steve Waugh, they had a 50 percent success rate winning 14 of the 28 one dayers played between May 97 and April 98 in the process winning the World Series Cup in Australia beating South Africa and New Zealand and the Pepsi Triangular series in India which featured India and Zimbabwe.

The CEAT International Cricket Team of the Year award which is the second takes into account International cricket played by the 9 Test playing nations and 11 one day playing countries during the period May to April.

Pakistan won the award in 1996/97.

- Courtesy R. S. Hartley and Company Limited.

Mock athletic trial?

By Bernie Wijesekera

The AAA Junior Nationals, scheduled for May 29,30 and 31 will also serve as a trial to pick the participants for the forthcoming Junior World Championship be held in France in July.

How come without due notice the AAA organised a trial at short notice on May 9, after giving notice on May 8, in some sections of the media?

The participants, especially the poor athletes from the outstations were made to grope in the dark. Was it done to keep out the main contenders from taking part in this “mock trial” thereby making their favourites to gain selection?

This is the talking point, among the supporters of track and field sport.

At this juncture the AAA is in a spot over the Susanthika Jayasinghe episode, which has tarnished Sri Lanka’s image worldwide.

Why are the officials making matters worse, with a haphazard trial, without not giving due notice to the young future prospects of this healthy sport? It’s the country that’s going to benefit on the longer run.

Is the AAA interested in promoting track and field sport or helping individuals to send their hopefuls to go abroad? This is the malady that’s eating into sports in general.

It’s time the Sports Minister S. B. Dissanayake, who had done much to uplift and develop the skills of rural sports, probe into this “mock trial” which has caused heartburn among poor young prospects.

Had it been a trial at the Jnr. nationals as scheduled for May 29 to 30, the participants in the other events too could have come into reckoning.

Youngsters head Board XI team

Three-day match triggers off NZ tour of Sri Lanka

By Saif Izzadeen

New Zealand cricketers will kick off their Sri Lanka tour with a three day game against the Board President’s XI, at the P. Sara Stadium tommorw.

The most worrying factor among the cricket loving public and the officials at the present moment is the inconsistent weather which has hit the country for the past few weeks. It is hoped that the weather would not hinder the much anticipated match.

The Board Xl team is virtually a young team, with Mahela Jayawardena leading the side. He will be supported by vice captain Sanjeewa Ranatunga. Mahela will be captaining the Sri Lanka team for the first time, and all eyes will be on him to see whether he can make a solid claim in the senior line-up.

The Board Xl team has two players who might make their Test debuts against New Zealand in the first Test match. They are right arm fast bowler M. Villavaryan and left arm leg-spinner N. Bandaratiilleke. In addition, the selector’s eyes will be on A. Gunawardena, N. Nawaz, M .Jayawardena, T. Samaraweera, and the promising wicket-keeper from Moratuwa, P. Jayawardena. S. Thomas’ opening bat U. Fernando will make his international first class debut tomorrow against the Kiwis, and it will be interesting to see how the youngster performs.

New Zealand on the other hand will be hoping to get their tour off to a rollicking start with a morale boosting win. They are led by Stephen Fleming. The Kiwi side has a blend of youth and experience. They will be pinning their hopes on Stephen Fleming, Matthew Horne, Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle and Chris Harris to help them to make a good score. New Zealand will also be hoping that their bowlers of the calibre of Mark Priest, Paul Wiseman, Simon Doull and Shayne O’ Conner will strike good form before the big games.

The squads -

New Zealand - Stephen Fleming (Captain), Bryan Young, Matthew Horne, Craig Spearman, Nathan Astle, Craig Macmilan, Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Adam Parore, Dion Nash, Daniel Vettori, Mark Priest, Paul Wiseman, Simon Doull, Shayne O’ Conner

Sri Lanka Board Xl - A. Gunawardena, U. Fernando, S. Ranatunga (Vice Captain), N. Nawaz, Mahela Jayawardena (Captain), M. Mendis, P. Jayawardena (w/k), T. Samaraweera, N. Bandaratilleke, M. Villavarayan, R. Perera, P. Hewage, M .Bandara, and H. Boteju.

Malik touches down as a rugby selector

The former President of Sri Lanka Rugby Union, Malik Samarawickrema, is among the newcomers in the rugby selection panel, appointed by the Minister of Sports, S.B. Dissanayake.

The other new entrants are Brig. Jupana Jayawardena and Lalin Tennekoon. The current Chairmen of the panel, Lionel Almeida and Michael Jayasekera will continue as selectors.

Samarawickrema has served the game for a lengthy period of time. He played competitive rugby for Royal College and CR&FC. He was also an outstanding public schools athlete. His return to the scrum will be welcomed by the Sri Lankan rugby fraternity.

Brig. Jupana Jayawardena had accumulated a lot experience in the competitive arena during his playing years.

He played for Trinity College, Havelocks Sports Club, Army and the Sri Lankan national team. He has also been in the thick of SLRFU administration.

Lalin Tennekoon, an outstanding lock-forward, played with great success for Havelocks, Sri Lanka and Up-Country team.

Those overlooked in the previous panel are Anton Benedict, Nalin de Silva, and S.K. Sirisena.

With the amendments made to the panel, it will be interesting to &see the performance of the Sri Lankan ruggerites during their busy calendar this year at home and abroad. (B.W)

CH, the winners of a scrappy affair

By Bernie Wijesekera

The game between CH&FC and Police SC turned out to be a scrappy affair, but in the end CH&FC managed to win 23 (a goal, two tries and two penalties) 8 (a try and a penalty), in a Carlsberg Division A league match at Police Park, last evening.

The winners led 13-8 at half-time.

On paper, CH looked a better side, but failed to deliver their usual performance against the blue shirts sans their foreign players. The new look Police eight played a united game, while the CH pack played in patches.

The CH back division, who had much of the good ball, managed to plant three tries, thanks to the brilliant individual performance of Sudath Sampath, who riddled his way to an unconverted try. The second try was scored by winger Nishantha Chanaka, who darted his way to a corner flag, for an unconverted try, off a mid-field move in the 25th minute. CH were lucky to get the spot kick, thanks to the linesman failing to notice the ball which went over the touchline. Sudath Sampath converted the spot kick, to make it 13-3 to CH.

Minutes before the short whistle, Police won a five-metre scrum and powered their way to an unconverted try, by No. 8 Lalith Leelaratne, to make it 13-8. Police missed as many as five penalty kicks within their range. After the break, CH scored another penalty through Sudath Sampath.

CH scored their thrid try off a five-metre scrum, thanks to No. 8 Nazeem Mohammed. Sudath Sampath added the extra points to lead 23-8. Police opened their score through fly-half, Ajantha Rodrigo, who put over a penalty. Both teams lacked a decent kicker.

Englishman, Andre Melros controlled the game.

The Army vs Petersons match, scheduled for today, has been postponed to May 21 on a request made by Army Sports Club, as a mark of respect to the Late Brig. Larry Wijeratne.

CR crush Navy

CR ran riot at their recent assignment against Navy. They won 114-3, which is possibly a local record.

Top post for Manilal

Manilal FernandoV. Manilal Fernando president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, has been elected Vice President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on a unanimous vote.

He started his career at Tissa Central Kalutara and Kalutara Vidyalaya where he represented them in cricket and football and thereafter represented Green Field Sports Club.

He has been an Attorney-At-Law & Notary Public since 1972 and an unofficial Magistrate. He is also the Managing Director of Puttalam Cement Company Limited since 1996 and Chairman Shipping & Cargo Logistics (Private) Limited.

Manilal was elected President of the Kalutara Football League in 1976 and thereafter was elected as the President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka in 1979, being the youngest President of the FFSL.

He was a member of the Asian Executive Committee from 1979 to 1982 and 1990 to 1994 and from 1994 to 1998.

Manilal is presently the Chairman of the Rules Committee and Deputy Chairman Finance Committee and serves in the legal committee of FIFA since 1994. He was awarded the AFC Distinguished Service award for ten years service in 1996.

Other than these Manilal has been a member of the AFC and FIFA in several International Delegations in charge of tournaments.Those elected at the AFR are: President - His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmad Shah (Malaysia); Vice Presidents - V. Manilal Fernando (Sri Lanka), Naboor Noor (Indonesia), Asad Taqi (Kuwait), Zheng Jilene (Peoples Republic of China); Treasurer - General Farouk Bouze (Syria); FIFA Vice President - Dr. Chung Mong Joon (Korea); Executive Committee: (Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE, Iran, Singapore, Lebanon,Japan, Brunei, Uzbekistan).

Rajasingham assures Isipatana of sponsorship

By Bernie Wijesekera

There is no let up even in the ongoing season too as Isipatana M.V. will be the side to watch, said Mr. M.W. Rajasingham, the Chairman of Rajasingham Industries (Pvt) Ltd., who are sponsoring the school’s rugby team, at a press briefing held at the CR&FC on May 6.

Rajasingham, who chaired the meeting with the Principal of Isipatana, Mr. Upali Gunasekera, and Dilroy Fernando, the spokesman of the OBA, said that his firm was only too happy to continue with the package, which has borne dividends. “I am not an old boy, but till my last breath I will continue to help the school’s rugby to go from strength to strength”, he added.

he was proud to note that the school has won 34 matches in a row - starting from mid-1995 to date. This speaks volumes for its infrastructure and training ability.

Today Isipatana has become one of the main nurseries in Sri Lanka for producing outstanding players at national level.

He will be too happy if the school’s OBA started a club of their own and play in competitive rugby. “You can rest assured if this becomes a reality. I will give my whole hearted encouragement”, he added.

Mr. Gunasekera, thanked the sponsors for their continued support and the old boys rallying around to help the school to be in the forefront in the schools’ rugby scene. With this unstinted support he was confident that Isipatana will be able to produce many more talented players and do the Havelock Town school proud, he said.

OBA spokesman Dilroy Fernando paid a glowing tribute to Mr. Rajasingham and his firm for their continuous support, which is a tremendous boost for further development of this popular sport, where Sri Lanka has made a mark in the S.E. Asian region. This year’s skipper, Shamlie Nawaz and his deputy, Nishanta Kumara also attended the confab. The team is being coached by Kelum Gunaratne.

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