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7th June 1998

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Stop meddling with the team - Yardley

PERTH (Australia). Sac-ked Sri Lankan cricket coach Bruce Yardley warned the country would fail to reach its Test potential unless officials stopped meddling with the team.

Yardley, a former Australian Test player, was the Sri Lankans' coach for 16 months until he was replaced by Roy Dias after the tour of South Africa this year.

"There are a lot of people in Sri Lanka who want to be part of the team but aren't, that is the biggest problem." Yardley said. "They've got all the talent there, but there is more interference from outside the team than I've ever seen anywhere else in the world."

Yardley said the interference distracted the team. "It gets to the players and there is a lot of pressure on them," Yardley said. "If people just left them alone to play cricket, I think they could really go on from here."

Yardley said the performance of the team on the tour of South Africa demonstrated its capabilities despite losing both Tests. The Sri Lankans also lost the first Test against New Zealand last week with Dias as coach.

"We came back to Sri Lanka all very excited about what we learned there (South Africa) and we wanted to go on from there," Yardley said.

"But then there was a change at the top in the Cricket Board and they wanted to restructure the whole coaching programme,which virtually ended it for me.I realy believe we were on the right track because there is so much talent there," Yardley said (AP)

Aravinda will lead if...

By M.H.M. Manasique

If for any reason Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga is unable to lead the team Aravinda de Silva will be given the reigns while Sanath Jayasuriya will be trained to lead the team in the future, Chairman Duleep Mendis, told The Sunday Times.

Mendis who has been in the centre of some major changes after he temporarily stepped down from the post of Manager, was clarifying reports that star batsman De Silva is unhappy about the change in vice captaincy.

The chief selector said he had told De Silva about the change which he felt was justified in the long term interest of the country.

Mr. Mendis also said he had not received any notice calling for explanation regarding the alleged contravention of Cricket Board regulations in convening the meeting of the selection committee before the first Test against New Zealand. He said he believed he was acting accordingly while pointing that any decisions taken was by the whole committee including the new national coach Roy Dias and not by him individually.

Mendis said the last meeting of the selection committee was convened in the same way as other meetings held during his tenure of office.

Board Secretary Saliya Ahangama told The Sunday Times that he knew nothing about it and in any event did not have the authority to talk to the media.

Mendis said that regular and important changes were made by all major cricket playing countries and Sri Lanka also needed to streamline the team when necessary.

From Sports to Holy Orders

Fr. Lucien Ireneus Dep who is at present the parish priest of St.Mary's Church Bambalapitiya is an Old Boy of St.Joseph's College Maradana.In his school days Fr.Lucien was a top class athlete and a fine cricketer. He represented the school in both sports.

In 1945 after his father died he entered the boarding. There he took up cricket and athletics simultaneously.

His achievements in sports began during these years. In an inter -schools athletics meet held during this period Lucien won a pole vault event convincingly. Soon after he won the best fielders award at the Josephian Peterite annual cricket encounter.He also took 38 wickets in one partcular year where only seven matches could be played in a session of two half days. His personal best is 6 for 46 vs St.Anthony' Katugastota. Thus he won his cricket colours in 1948 for his outstanding bowling and fielding performances.

In athletics his main interest was in the pole vault. But he took to putt shot, and relay (4x110and 4x440) to develop his shoulders and stamina.He developed such a liking for them that he won these events for three years running from 1946-1948.

At the 1946 schools athletic meet,Lucien threw the gauntlet at his friend Harold Matheyz of Wesley.Harold who was a better jumper was handicapped with a shorter pole.He requested Lucien to spare his pole which was longer.Lucien willingly did so.This enabled Harold to clear the championship leap.

Lucien came under heavy criticism from colleagues, officials and relatives as a result. Only Fr Peter Pillai,the Rector of St. Joseph' s accepted what he had done.Lucien bodly dissimised the charges saying "This could be the last year for Harold, but I am blessed with another year."

His most colourful year was 1948 where he captained the schools athletic team for the Public Schools Meet. He participated in the pole vault, putt shot, discus,and also did two relays.

He established a new public schools record of 11'4" for the pole vault.

This record was broken only in 1991 by Suminda Saparamadu of St.Sebastian's.

After attaining priesthood from the National Seminary in Kandy he returned to St .Joseph's as a prefect of games and helped with coaching athletics and cricket.

He was awarded a schorlarship in 1969/70 to Manila, Philippines to complete a diploma in religious education. He also did a stint in Israel, studying scriptures at the Ecumenical Institute for Advanced Theoretical Studies.-(M.H.M.M)

Susanthika: decision soon

SusanthikaThe local controlling body for Athletics has denied charge that it is dragging its feet on Susanthika Jayasinghe controversy and assured a final and fair decision will be made within a week.

Rohan Amarasinghe, Secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) of Sri Lanka told "The Sunday Times" the committee probing alleged drug abuse by Sri Lanka's sprint queen would be meeting over the weekend for full hearing.

He said all the submissions made by Susanthika would be looked into by the committee. The champion sprinter who won a silver medal last year and was hoping for a first ever gold in the Olympics has charged that her urine samples had been tampered with by some elements who were trying to ruin her career.

In April this year, the AAA imposed a temporary suspension on Susanthika after urine samples revealed she had been using the banned performance enhancing drugs nandolane.

Last week Susanthika accused the AAA of dragging its feet in the inquiry. (MHMM)

Royal ends Isipatana invincibility

By Saif Izzadeen

A scintillating injury time try by winger Viraj de Silva enabled Royal to score an exciting 14 points (two goals) to 10 (two tries ) win over Isipatana, enabling Royal to regain the Major Milroy Fernando Memorial Trophy after nine years, in a Milo Inter School Zone I rugger match played in front of a massive crowd at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. The game produced thrilling rugby from the start with exchanges being even. Both teams didn't deserve to lose but the Reid Avenue school who attacked the Isipatana goal line relentlessly in the second half were rewarded with an injury time try.

Isipatana played their hearts out and dominated the first half with wave after wave of attacks on the Royal goal line but a defiant defence by Royal prevented Isipatana from scoring. However Isipatana were rattled by Royal in the second half in the face of some daring rugby and they succumbed during injury time.

Royal who had a poor first half staged a magnificant second half rally and kept play in the Isipatana goal for most of the time and they found a winner in Viraj de Silva during injury time. The game got off to a fast start with both teams playing running and attacking rugby, but Isipatana had the edge in the first half and had the chance opening the scoring in the sixth mintue but Charith Kodagoda missed an easy penalty.

Then Isipatana kept on attacking but poor finish saw them missing two scoring opportunities through winger Nishantha Kumar who was brought down just inches away from the goal line.on both occasions. Isipatana finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute. Isipatana worked the line from midfield which saw full back Amith Costa scoring by the right corner flag, but the conversion was missed by Charith Kodagoda which gave Isipatana a 5 -0 lead.

Then Royal hit back in the dying minitues of the first half through winger Chamith Perera who dummied his way past several defenders from the Isipatana 25 to score by the left corner flag. The conversion was put over by Rananjaya Gonaduwa which gave Royal a close 7-5 lead at the breather.

The second half started with a bang with Isipatana scoring in the opening mintues.Isipatana won a linesout and in a second phase move captain and No.8 Shamly Nwaz barged through to score by the right corner flag..The conversion was missed by Charith Kodagoda which gave Isipatana a 10-7 lead. After this Royal got their act together and raided the Isipatana defence with waves of attacks and kept play in the Isipatana goal line for 30 mintues, but stout hearted tackling by the green shirts deprived Royal from scoring. However, Royal's crowning moment came during injry time which saw winger Viraj de Silva screaming over for a try under the post after dumming several defenders .The try was converted by Ranajaya Gonaduwa to give Royal this close win.

Referee - Anil Jayasinghe

Isipatana won the junior game 10-8

Scrabble is the name of the game

High class scrabbling will be in store, at the 9th All Island scrabble competition which will be held on the 4 and 5 of July at the Sumithrayo Trading Centre Colombo 7.

The tournament is conducted and organized by the Sri Lanka Scrabble League(SLSL) and sponsored by Yes FM. Yes FM have undertaken to sponsor the tournament for five years. The press briefing was held last Friday at the boardroom of Minds Lanka Ltd.

The competition will be held in four categories. They are the 'open' which is open to anyone. Then comes the Open Novices, which is opend to those who haven't participated in competitions previously.

There are also tournaments for juniors which will be held for those under 15 years and the other is for the sub-juniors which will be held for those who are under 12.

The juniors and sub juniors qualifying rounds will be worked out on Saturday the fourth of July. On Sunday the fifth of July the open and Open Novices qualifying rounds and the Championship rounds for all categories will take place.

The Chief Guest will be Mrs Susan Donnelly, wife of United States Ambassador for Sri Lanka. She will also give away the Prizes to the winners.

Speaking at the press briefing Mrs Shaila Amalean President of the Sri Lanka Scrabble League said "We are pleased to hold this tournament for the ninth consecutive year. There seems to be an improvement in the standard in the sport for the last nine years which is very encouraging. We are also pleased to see the amount of outstation schools taking part in the sport which is a good sign for the future.

''She also went onto add "The only draw-back we are facing is the media exposure to the sport. If the media could highlight the importance of this sport to the public I think the people who are interested will come to participate.

The defending champion of this tournament is Missaka Warusawithana who is ranked 18th in the world. Missaka is closely followed by Naween Fernando who is ranked 19th in the world. Naween also has two other jewels in his crown: they are the Gulf Championships and being runner-up in last year's competition.

Another player to watch will be Suresh Chinnaiyah who is ranked 54th in the world. Suresh who is 16 years old. won the scrabbler of the year trophy last year.

The competition is sure to produce good fare, with talented scrabblers participating in the sport for the first time. They are expected to give Missaka and Naween a good run. - SI

Sajith helps John Keells to beat Singer by 44 runs

ohn Keells, with a spirited team effort, defeated Singer Sri Lanka by 44 runs in a Mercantile A Division 50-over tournament match played at the P.Sara Stadium yesterday.

John Keells, sent in to bat, helped by a solid 52 runs by all-rounder Sajith Fernando and 2 for 20, was the architect of this third win for JK this season.

Singer, after a firm start with the score reading 78 for 2, but indisciplined batting by the middle-order saw them crashing for 135 all out.

John Keells - 179 in 49.3 overs (Sajith Fernando 52, P.Abeygunawardena 24, C.Hathurusinghe 10, R.Herath 10, Kosala Kuruppuarachchi 4 for 24, Rohan Soysa 2 for 25).

Singer - 135 in 42.2 overs (C.Amarasinghe 39, Buddhika Perera 47, Chaminda Hathurusinghe 2 for 25, S.Fernando 2 for 20, R.Herath 2 for 28) (BW)

Schools football reaches q/f stage

The quarter-finals in the Colombo Schools Football Association's under-16 tournament for the Edirisinghe Trophy, will be played today at Cooray Park, Wellawatta.

The qualifiers for the quarter-finals are, St. Joseph's, Mahanama, St. Anthony's Wattala, Hindu College, Hameed Al Hussaniya, St. Joseph's Grandpass, Isipatana and Zahira, Maradana.

The semi-finals will be played on June 10 and 11 with the final fixed for June 12.

In the run up to the quarter finals, Ananda bt Prince of Wales 3 nil, Nalanda bt Thurstan 2 nil, Zahira walkover St. Joseph's Grandpass, St. Joseph's bt Royal 1 nil, St. Joseph's, Grandpass bt Thurstan 6 nil, Zahira bt Nalanda 8 nil, Hameed Al Hussaniya bt St. Thoma prep 5-1, Isipatana bt Wesley 6-1, St Anthony's bt Lumbini MV 1 nil, Hindu College bt Ananda 9 nil, Zahira bt Thurstan 12 nil, Mahanama bt Thurstan 3 nil, St. Anthony's bt Royal 6-1, St Joseph's,Grandpass bt Nalanda 4 nil, Lumbini MV bt St. Joseph's 1 nil, Mahanama walkover Hindu College, Hameed Al Hussaniya bt Wesley 3 nil, S. Thoma Prep. walkover Isipatana.

Rover Pinpoints...

Selector airs his views

A cricket selector, when asked as to why 'so and so' was not selected to play in either of the three day games against New Zealand? hits back Rover learns, by asking "What is the position if 'so and so" scores a fifty, we will have to pick him for the England tour.

To counter media

Rover learns that the Cricket Board is contemplating bringing out a magazine in Sinhala and English every month to counter the allegations made by the print media, and giving their side of the story.

New Manager, new Coach

Rover learns that the Cricket Board has picked on Hemantha Devapriya to be the Coach of the Sri Lanka A team for the visit of South Africa A with K.M. Nelson as Manager.

What has happened to the fund?

What has happned to the fund organised by Ronnie de Mel running into ten lakhs in the Cycling Federation? A four member committee has been appointed to inquire into this matter.

Registration a must

All racing riders who had not registered themselves with the Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka in obtaining their licences, will not be permitted to ride in official races.

Kurunegala beaten by Cavaliers

Lanka Cavaliers led by Bandula Warnapura beat Kurunegala DCA by 3 wickets in their limited overs match played at the Ibbagamuwa MV grounds.

This match was the 8th in the outstation programme consisting of a coaching clinic conducted by the Lanka Cavaliers with the previous programmes being held at Anuradhpaura, Monaragala, Matale, Badulla, Ratnapura, Gampaha and Hambantota.The coaching in Kurunegala was held at the Welagedera Stadium.

Kurunegala DCA - 190 for 6 in 25 overs. S. Guruge 91 not out, Ajith Ekanayake 22, C. Ratnayake 17, A. Yatawara 17, Upali Senaratne 14, Baratha Herath 10, Basil Perera 2 for 31.

Lanka Cavaliers - 195 for 7 in 24 overs. Damian Fernando 72, Bandula Warnapura 40, C.P.P. Raj 29, Basil Perera 21 not out, Sushan Soza 10, S. Guruge 2 for 30.

Wickremasinghe at the helm of Bloomfield C and AC

Shelley Wickremasinghe was elected as President of the Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club at its annual general meeting held recently.

Stanley Kuruppu was elected as Secretary. Bloomfield is one of the oldest cricket playing clubs in the island.

The others elected to hold office for the ensuing year are: Vice Presidents: Danny Liyanasuriya, Terrence Perera, D. P. Wickremara-chchi, Mahinda Wijesinge and Jayantha Dharmadasa. Assistant Secretary - R. K. Suresh Chandra.

Treasurer - Thilak Hewakapuge. Assistant Treasurer - Gamini Happawana.

Peiris wins

A fine display of tennis was witnessed at the Monara Air Open Junior Masters Tennis Championships worked off at the Queens Club and Health Department Courts ahead of schedule.

The championships was organised by Sudantha Soysa fort he second successive year.

The winners of the respective age groups are as follows:

Boys Under 8: M.Hazari bt R.Ediriweera 7-4; Boys Under 10: M.Nishendran bt U.Wickremasinghe 7-2;Girls Under 10: T.Abeysinghe bt S.Dandeniya 7-3; Boys Under 12: S.Wickremasinghe bt Shyhalan Sabanathan 6-2,4-6,6-3; Girls Under12: M.Perera bt E.Dias 6-2, 6-4;Boys Under14: H.Godamanne bt D.A.Abeygunawardena 6-1,6-1; Girls Under14:M.Perera bt D.Gunawardena 6-2, 6-0; Boys Under 16: R.Peiris bt E.Weerakoon 6-2, 1-6, 6-1;Girls Under 16:U.Dias bt S.Wijesekera 6-0, 6-1; Boys under 18: R.Peiris bt E.Weerakoon 5-7,6-2, 6-3;Girls Under 18: M.Abeygunawardena bt U.Dias 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. (AF)

Ten teams vie for honours in Women's six-a-side

Ten teams will battle for supremacy at the All Island Women's Six-A-Side cricket tournament conducted by the Colombo District Women's Cricket Association on June 13 and 14 at the Nomads Grounds. The two day contest will be sponsored by Coca-Cola.

On June 13 (Saturday), sixteen teams will be in action in the Inter-Club competition while 18 schools will also be in the fray in a separate schools contest.

On Sunday (June 14), the contest will see Nomads A, Young Ladies,Shakthi SC Anuradhapura, Colombo Ladies A & B,Lanka Ladies, Lanka Superior,Slim Line SC,Kalutara PCC and Nomads B enter the fray for the senior competition.

Cash awards will be given away to the winners in all three tournaments, in addition trophies will be presented the best batswoman,best bowler and the woman-of-the-tournament.

As there will be cash awards to the winners the spectators could be assured of high class cricket as well as entertainment.A grim battle between teams could be expected.

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