20th December 1998
by Saif Izzadeen
Despite Susanthika Jayasinghe pulling out of the contingent at the 13th Asian Games, Sri Lanka did fairly well.
The curtain will ring down in the Games today after 15 days of games participation where the participants had to face happiness, controversies, sadness, injuries, humour, heart-burn and a lot more. The Sri Lanka athletes broke a 24-year- old hoodoo of not winning a gold medal.
The Sri Lanka swimmers got drowned in the pool with poor performances. To make things worse Sri Lankan swimming coach Rizvie Zain passed away after a stroke.
This sad incident occurred minutes after the whole Sri Lankan contingent saw the lion flag flying high at the Thailand National Stadium thanks to Damayanthi Darsha and Sugath Tillekeratne who won 400 metre events.
However, Sri Lanka's first medal of the Games came from a sport which didn't have any hope. Lalin Jeerasinghe and Janaka won a bronze in the sailing Enterprise Class. to give Sri Lanka their first medal
The Sri Lanka shuttlers were overpowered by their opponents. The Sri Lanka rugby team too had to go through a rough time. They were thrashed by South Korea (90-3) and Japan (116-0) which was a poor performance. The kabaddi team surprised everyone with a spirited performance and if not for a stroke of fate against them where the time limit was concerned, they could have won a bronze.
Meanwhile a dark cloud hung over the Sri Lanka team after Sri Lanka sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe pulled out the eleventh hour due to a hamstring injury. This saw her missing the 100 metres as well as the 200 metres.
Meanwhile a Reuters report from Bangkok stated that China rocked the Asian Games when their officials accused rival competitors of offering Chinese stars cash bribes to throw away guaranteed gold medals.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which has overall control of the Games, summoned Chinese board members to emergency talks on the explosive allegations.
The first bribery charge came from Li Furong, vice-chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee, who told a news conference that one particular Chinese athlete had been repeatedly approached and asked to throw away a gold medal.
Li did not identify the athlete, but said the offer was categorically rejected.
He Xuixian, China's deputy team leader, expanded on the allegation, saying China's gold medal hopes had been regularly offered cash bribes to lose at Asia's version of the Summer Olympics.
"This has not just happened once," he told Reuters. He said other top Chinese stars had also been offered a cut of the large cash bonuses some teams offer to their medallists. China is the dominant power at the Asian Games, topping the medals table after 12 days of competition with 101 gold medals to South Korea's 59 and Japan's 48. "This is not a very common phenomenon, but Chinese athletes have encountered it before," He said. "If a Chinese athlete is guaranteed a gold, other athletes will offer them part of their reward to lose in qualifying rounds.
"But Chinese athletes always refuse," she added. "They do not compete for money but for the glory of our country. You can't buy our country's glory," she added.
He said the Chinese team did not intend to make an official complaint because their athletes' refusal to accept the money meant the bribes were never "a reality". But Li's decision to go public on the issue forced the OCA to act, and OCA Director-General Ahmed Mutalleb said he would find out "the who, where, when".
The Chinese allegations come only a week after a top member of the International Olympic Committee said potential Olympic hosts were being offered IOC votes for large amounts of cash.
Muttaleb said he had called in Wei Jizhong, China's member of the OCA executive board, to discuss the allegations.
The matter would be quickly escalated and all parties concerned called in for a wider meeting if Muttaleb thought there was substance to the allegations.
"As to the who, where and when, I still have to wait for all parties to give their views," Muttaleb said. "Then we will decide whether to take a stand."
Li Furong mentioned only one athlete at his news conference and said the competitor had replied to the bribe offer with the comment that even $100,000 would not persuade a Chinese to lose.
He Xuixian said that the bribes had not been offered in swimming or athletics — where China's gold medal tally has been well down on the last Games in Hiroshima, Japan, four years ago.
Referring to Li's specific allegation, she added: "It was not swimming or track, I can't say what event it is but it could be a ball sport or something like that."
China won four gold medals on Wednesday, in women's doubles table tennis, softball, fencing and cycling. Meanwhile Asian Games chiefs summoned China's most senior sporting official in Bangkok to emergency talks after Li Furong, vice-chairman of the Chinese Olympic Committee, told a news conference that a Chinese athlete had been repeatedly approached and offered cash to lose.
He Xuixian said other top Chinese stars had also been offered a share of the large cash bonuses given by some teams to their medallists — and it was not a new phenomenon.
"If a Chinese athlete is guaranteed a gold, other athletes will offer them part of their reward to lose in qualifying rounds," He said.
"But Chinese athletes always refuse," she added. "They do not compete for money but for the glory of our country. You can't buy our country's glory," she added.Muttaleb said he had called in Wei Jizhong, China's member of the OCA executive board. The OCA has overall control of the Games.
A top Chinese sports official, Li Furong, earlier told a news conference that a Chinese athlete had repeatedly been offered money to throw a gold medal. He said the offer was "categorically" refused by the athlete concerned, whom he did not identify.
A top North Korean sports official said despite crippling effects of famine back home his athletes had performed well in their return to the Asian Games.
International Olympic Committee delegate Chang Ung said the mood amongst the athletes was buoyant even though they will fall well short of the 82 medals North Korea picked up in the 1990 Beijing games, the last time they made an appearance.
By Ranil Abeynaike
Should you happen to be a multi-skilled labourer there is great chance that you will not be spending much time without work. If not for one of your skills another will be required by someone. It also means that you could have heaps of work to do in a day. So too it is for the cricket all-rounder - the multi-skilled man in the sport.
At the present moment in the International game there are no players who could be classed as genuine all-rounders. Shaun Pollock is slowly worming his way towards that title but still has some way to go. Ian Healey is up there as a wicket keeper, batsman whilst Andy Flower is not far behind.
Romesh Kaluwitharane must get a mention. Perhaps he gets moved around the order for the benefit of the team but it must get tough for him as he has to play different roles in the different positions of the order.
The mid nineteen seventies to the early nineties saw some of the genuine type of all-rounders grace the cricket field. Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee and wicket keeper batsman Rodney Marsh all had two strings to their bow. Look closely at their performances and it shows that they provided performances as of an additional player in the team. Yes, should a team have a top class all-rounder it is equal to having twelve on your side.
Part of being an all rounder stems from the natural talent a player possess. Of course in many cases players often blossom in one area which is their stronger ability and once they are on the move in that area they start strengthening the other aspect of their game.
Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Richard Hadlee were such players. They initially burst into the international scene as pace bowlers. They had the ability to bat well at first class level and so they gradually worked at their batting until they reached a stage when they fell into the slot of recognized batsmen.
One of the main difficulties that allrounders face is to physically and mentally disperse their energies to perform both tasks equally well. The demands are such that after a long spell of bowling it is not easy to pad up shortly after and then go and perform at your best with the bat.
This becomes even tougher should you be a quick bowler. These days there is so much cricket being played that the demand becomes even greater.
With limited overs cricket playing a prominent part in the game it should be expected that more all rounders would emerge. However, what it has done is produce bits- and-pieces cricketers. Too many do not specialize in either department. The reason is simple - both batting and bowling requirements are of a shortened nature in one-day cricket. There are also many batsmen who bowl a few overs and many bowlers who can slog a few runs for survival. This does not elevate a player to an all round capacity.
One thing is certain - should a player be able to contribute in both aspects of the game his value is immense. Take the current England team in Australia - they totally lack the services of an all-round player. In the Test matches once half the side is gone the rest fold in without a semblance of a fight.
Quite the opposite of the Australians who somehow squeeze out valuable runs from the second half of the order. This of course is partly due to the presence of Ian Healy in the vital number seven spot.
No discussion on cricketing all-rounders would be complete without the mention of Sir Garfield Sobers. Like the immortal Sir Donald Bradman the batsman, Sir Gary's feats and performances as a player of many talents will remain unequalled for ever. In his day he was undoubtedly the best batsman in the world.
As a bowler he used the new ball delivering with reasonable pace combined with movement in the air and both ways off the pitch. As the ball wore older he took to spin bowling, both finger spin and wrist spin.
That was not all - he was a brilliant fielder. He sprung like a panther in the close region and floated around the outfield with an absolutely safe pair of hands and a powerful throw. You can't ask for any more than that, can you?
So, where have all the all-rounders gone? Should you have the talent, there is no better situation to be in than that of an all-rounder. It is the surest way to be involved in the game at all times. It will take a beating both mentally and psysically but the rewards at the end of the day will make it all worthwhile.
Yet another epitaph for Sir Don
Sri Lanka and Australia at cricket by Michael Roberts and Alfred James
In the mid 70' a seductive Lankan lass asked an English reporter to be kind to Sri Lanka when they eventually made the grade and played at Lord's. The Sri Lankan team's Australian tour in 95/96 witnessed many unkind moments.
Indeed it matched the notorious bodyline series for its plethora of flashpoints and heated exchanges. In an incisive outline of these episodes Roberts does not hesitate to skirt the unkind in his analysis of Australian responses.
His provocative review encompasses the Australian decision to skip the match in Sri Lanka during the World Cup in the months that followed. It also reaches beyond the cricket field in unpacking the characteristics and the occasional public comment.
The anthology records Australia's contribution to Sri Lankan cricket at numerous moments notably in 1981 when the country was accorded full Test playing status. Articles on Sri Lanka's cricketing history and Alf James's statistical record of Australian tours of Ceylon and Lanka substantiate the background of interaction.
The whistle-stop matches in Colombo are indexed by reports on the matches played by Bradman's and Hassett's teams- including accounts by Fingleton, O'Reilly and Learie Constantine. In this small way this book is yet another epitaph to a leading cricketing character, Sir Donald Bradman.
The book concludes its survey with a celebratory outline of the Sri Lankan cricket team's performance at the World Cup, in part through comments from non-partisam observers such as Peter Roebuck, Mike Selvey, Vijay Lokapally and Henry Blofeld.
The latter is affectionately known in some cricles as 'the Blo-fly'- because he is 'a character'.
This anthology introduces many a character in its passages.But it is also a story of character assassination and character building.
Its prosework is supported by 36 illustrations interspersed within the text.These include cartoons, but are mostly pictures.
Perhaps the most interesting of these are those of the Australian cricketers of yesteryear and their wives in Colombo, though the most striking are selections from the World Cup.
From a particular point of view the most significant item in this collection is the reproduction of a single-page leaflet circulated by Tamil millitant's who demonstrated at the Oval in London during the incident-full Australian match against Sri Lanka in 1975.
This is but one mark of the several ways in which issues of ethnicity, race and politics are threads that course through the book.
Lasitha Lakmal Gunasinghe of Royal College, Colombo has represented Sri Lanka at the Basketball Youth Camp of the 13th Asian Games held in Bangkok, Thailand from December 5 to 12. His participation was sponsored by the International Olympic Committee through the Sri Lanka Olympic Selection Committee and endorsed by the Sri Lanka Basketball Association.
Lasitha had the opportunity of meeting representatives from 43 countries at this internationl camp, where participants learnt about each other's cultures and the history of Olympics as well develop leadership qualities and sportsmanship through lectures, fellowship and other activities. The participants visited many of Thailand's famous historical sites.
Lasitha has represented Sri Lanka at several other international basketball events held in Singapore, the Maldives, Madras and New Delhi. He has earned Royal College Colours for Basketball and is a member of the National Schools' Basketball Team.
Sports for disabled
The National Sports Championships for the Disabled was concluded recently.
Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the meet. The meet was organised by the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan, in association with the Federation of Sports for the Disabled.
According to a spokseman from the Rotary Club, this was the eighth time the Club has been associated with the Sports Meet for the Disabled. It has been found that when a less able person takes part in sports, he/she develops confidence and a sense of comradeship.
In the previous years there were only around 250-350 participants but this year there were 807 participants. This is due to more awareness and the number of events being increased. The new events this year were, Table Tennis, Badminton, Shooting, Power Lifting, besides the other events held earlier such as, Wheel Chair Tennis, Marathon, Cycling, Swimming, Archery and Athletics.
According to the spokesman, such an event cannot be held without sponsorship. The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank who has sponsored this event for the past four years, once again came forward, together with Shell Gas and Ceylon Agro Industries (Prima). This year the Ministries of Social Service and Sports, also helped towards off-setting the costs.
Zahira's 'Group of 80'
"At the Annual General Meeting of Zahira College, Colombo Group of 80, held at the Galle Face Hotel, the following were elected as Office bearers for the year 1998/1999.
President: M Rafee Razak, Vice President : A Aslam Thowfeek; Vice President : Mohamed Azmi;
Vice President : M Z. M Fazhan. Chairman of Committees : S. Akram Moulana; Secretary : S Salim Rifay Moulana, Treasurer : M M M Naushad. Editor : Milhan Lafir.
Executive Committee Members:
A M Naina Mohamed; M H Miskat Zaid; M S M Feroze Inham; M Hill Sanoon; A R M Yoosuf; M Niyas Rizwie; S D M Mulaffar; M H Roshan Hameen".
CTC Eagle were the official insurer of the Sri Lankan Wind Surfing team for the Asian Games 1998. This is the first time Wind Surfers have been sent from Sri Lanka to the Asian Games. Thusal Gunawardene and Lalin Lalendra were nominated to represent Sri Lanka.
The insurance cover for the wind-surfers was handed over by Mr W S M Kulatileka, General Manager (General Insurance) CTC Eagle Insurance Co. Ltd to Mr Ranil Dias, treasurer of the Windsurfing Association.
Seminar on cricket pitches
Mr. H.T. Brind, Pitches Consultant of England Cricket Board arrived in Sri Lanka on an invitation exended by the BCCSL to conduct a programme to the Curators and Groundsmen, who are engaged in preparation of pitches on venues where international and major tournaments are being staged. Acourse followed by a seminar began on Dec.17 and will conclude on Dec.21. The Course Director is Mr. A . Polonowita, Vice President of the BCCSL.
Kalutara cricket tourney
The Kalutara District Cricket Association has organised a limited overs cricket tournament to be worked-off at Panadura, Kalutara, Horana and Matugama on December 26 and 27 in memory of Sir Cyril de Soysa.
The tournament will be sponsored by CEAT. The winning team will receive a cash prize of Rs 15,000/= and a trophy. The runners-up will be awarded Rs 7500/=.
Semi-final stage reached
In the inter-School Under-13 cricket tournament - 1998, conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association for the Horlicks Trophy, the following teams have reached the Semi-finals, and their groupings are as follows:-
Division I - St. Sebastians Vs St. Anthony's 'A' Katugastota; St.Peters 'A' Vs St. Annes, Kurunegala.
Division II - Royal 'B' Vs St. Benedicts; St. Josephs 'B' Vs St. Peter's 'B'.
The following teams have qualified to play in the fourth round of Division III:- Royal 'C', Christ King, Ja-ela, St. John's, Panadura, Boraweva MV, Tissamaharama, Maliyadeva Model School, Kurunegala, St. Thomas', Matale and Bandaranaike Vid, Gampaha.
For details the Masters-in-Charge of school cricket are requested to contact the Tournament Secretary, Mr. H.S. Peiris (Phone - 034-37232).
- Marcus Joseph
The Cavaliers led by Sri Lanka's first Test Captain/former National Director of Coaching and Manager Sri Lanka National Team - Bandaula Warnapura returned to the Island following a highly successul tour of the UAE at the invitation of Lanka Lions Sports Club Dubai which is the leading Sports & Social Organisation in the Emirates.
During this tour, the Cavaliers played 5 matches and conducted 2 Coaching Clinics. Two matches against Lanka Colts and Lanka Lions Veterans XI and a Coaching Clinic were held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium while the other 3 matches and a Coaching Clinic were conducted at the Dubai Cricket Council grounds.
The Cavaliers opened their tour with a match against Dubai Cricket Council Starlets a strong young Pakistani/ Indian team and did well to win this game. Also, the second game against Lanka Colts another young side at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium was convincingly won by the Cavaliers. The third game which was more of a friendly side game against a Sri Lankan combined Invitation XI led by Priyantha Amerasinghe was won by the opponents on the last ball. This match was played in a very friendly carnival atmosphere and Cavaliers rested several of their key players for this game. The fourth match was against Lanka Lions Veterans XI at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where a strong comparatively young Sri Lankan side having many well known cricketers led by Derrick Jansen, Gihan Karunaratne, Heshan de Silva, Chandana Fonseka, Ranasiri Peiris, Malan Mallawarachi and several others was won by the opponents.
The final game was played in a Dubai Cricket Council desert concrete pitch sandy ground, against a strong UAE Veterans XI having outstanding Pakistani and Indian cricketers who have excelled in this type of cricket. All these games were played in an extremely friendly atmosphere in the true spirit of the game which is being advocated by the Cavaliers in the promotion of the game and also locally through their Outstation Cricket Development Programme.
At the conclusion of the final game, a brief ceremony was held at the Dubai Cricket Council grounds attended by representatives of the Sharjah Cricket Council and Dubai Cricket Council and the two teams exchanged gift mementos. Bandula Warnapura thanked the organisers of this game which was the Indian Sports Club, Dubai, and briefed those present of the Cavaliers, objectives and the activities conducted by them in Sri Lanka for the development of the game. Lakith Peiris, Cavaliers President extended an invitation to the UAE Veterans XI to tour Sri Lanka next year which they accepted.
The two Coaching Clinics were well attended by students of several nationalities mainly Sri Lankan, Indian and Pakistani children and their local Coaches.
They were extremely satisfied and valued the professional manner in which these were conducted and even the parents of the students were very surprised that these were conducted absolutely free of charge which is unheard of in that part of the world.
This tour received wide media coverage in the UAE and regionally and consisted of a Press Conference held at the Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai on arrival followed by two Radio interviews of Bandula Warnapura by Capital Radio, Abu Dhabi and Radio Asia Dubai which is broadcast throughout Asia. Also extensive coverage was given in the local press Khaleej Times and Gulf News.
The Cavaliers were hosted at several official functions including the Annual Dinner Dance of the Lanka Lions at the Meridien Hotel.
The Sri Lankan nationals living in the UAE were extremely appreciative of the achievements of the tour and have pledged their support to the Cavaliers Outstation Cricket Development Programme and any other activities to promote the game further in Sri Lanka.
According to President Lakith Peiris, the tour was a great success in that they achieved their objectives of promoting "Peace, Service & Goodwill'' through cricket in the U.A.E. which is an extension of their domestic programme.
The tour was co-sponsored by Hatton National Bank and Access Group of Companies and supported by many wellwishers.
The tour party consisted of Bandula Warnapura (Capt.), Jayantha Seneviratne (Vice Capt.), Jerry Woutersz, Kirthi Gunaratne, S. Illangaratnam, Bandula De Silva, Basil Perera, Damian Fernando, Mervyn Fernando, Daya Sirisena, C.P.P. Raj, K.H. Nandasena, Dushan Soza, Zareen Hameed, Chitral Mendis, Mahes Jayasekera, Ranjith Rajapakse, Dr. Ananda Gunasekera, Pemlal Fernando and Lakith Peiris (Manager/President).
By Ismail Khan
Cheltenham Saturday last had its early piece of glory as the Tripleprint Gold Cup Handicap Chase was put on offer for a Grade Showpiece, for 5 year olds and upwards run over 21 furlongs of this most treacherous jump track in England.
Contesting the event were 13 thoroughbreds of first calibre where Stormy Passage was sent out favourite at 7/4 and ridden by Richard Dunwoody.
The race itself was run at breakneck speed with All The Aces and Dr Leunt running from the word go in front as if a hundred devils were chasing them, resulting in a few horses including the favourite Stormy Passage losing their momentum and coming a-cropper.
As it turned out A. P. McCoy ridden Northern Startlight took advantage of the situation to pop up the question nearing the last fence and as he had no answer from the rest jumped the last fence in style and thundered down the homestretch to land the spoils from Simply Dashing (L. Wyer) and Mr Strong Gale (J. Tizzard) who finished second and 3rd respectively. At 15/2 the winner was at good odds as he had won 13 of his 28 races todate and that too trained by Martin Pipe the champion jump nurser. I really don't know how our Sri Lankan punters missed him and went for Stormy Passage ridden by Dunwoody. At least now it should dawn on them that Dunwoody cannot oblige them every day. For that matter even McCoy or any other rider. They should follow the run of the horse as against the going and centre. The winner Northern Starlight finished 3rd of 11 to Red Marauder at Ascot on 21/11. That was good form to back him up for a Cheltenham Gold, one he won handsomely by 3/4 length.
The day at Cheltenham Saturday last opened out well as the favourtie Lady Rebecca ridden by R. Farrant made most of the running to slam Zafarabad by 12 lengths. The winner was trained by Miss V. Williams whose yard has suddenly struck form and winners are cascading from all corners of the jump scene in England.
Follow this lady trainer for more laurels. Horse to follow from this race is the winner Lady Rebecca. She will win many more Hurdle events.
Flying Instructor won the George Stevens Handicap Chase run over 2 miles from Ashwell Boy by 16 lengths. This 8 year old can score again and again. Back him till beaten.
King of Sparta, (Jamie Osborne) won his 10th race of his career when he added the Doubleprint Novices Chase to his list of imposing trophies. This 5 year old beginner is gradually been upgraded and is one for your short list of Cheltenham Festival runners. The runner-up Scotia Nostra beaten only 1/2 length should also be noted for an early success.
The next race - the Tripleprint Gold Cup was run and won by Northern Starlight from Simply Dashing and Mr Strong Gale as I said earlier. One to note from this event is Simply Dashing who with a pull in the weight could notch a few races prior to going over to Cheltenham's Festival Meet in March next term.
The Bonusprint Bula Hurdle over 17 furlongs and 9 flights was won by Dave Nicholson's Relkeel at 8/1 from Grey Shot ridden by Jamie Osborne. Horse to follow from this event is the vanquished Grey Shot who was unlucky.
The curtains came on this Gold Cup meet in the 6th race, the Bristol Novices Hurdle, a Grade 2 event run over 3 Miles and 110 Yds over 12 flights. This event also run at a fast clip went to C. Llewellyn ridden Bosuns Mate who benefiting from a good second to Calling Wild at Chepstow on 7/11 plucked the £15,000 event from under the very nose of Irish Banker who ran a sparkling race though beaten. Horses to follow from this event - both the winner and the runner-up. They will run well once again.
So that's all for today. More next week.
This is wishing you a Happy Christmas!
The All-Weather flat race meeting took off well at Wolverhampton, Saturday last and a card of six events were worked off.
The opener - the 12-furlong Festive Fun Handicap went to Ronquista D'Or ridden by S. Drowne at 10/1 from Roma and Count De Money. One to follow - Count De Money as he encountered harassment when issuing his challenge.
The next race - Santa Claus Novice Stakes over a mile for 2 year olds went to Miss Take who ridden by G. McLaughlin made most of the running to beat Daunted. Follow the winner on any All-Weather track. He is sure to win again.
Race number three at Wolverhampton saw 8/1 chance Failed To Hit hitting top form at last clinching the Turkey and Tinsel Handicap over 9 furlongs from Be Warned and Mazeed. Follow Be Warned the 7 year old from J. Pearce's yard who was set alight a little too late.
The Archibald Stakes over 7 furlongs had 10 competitors and off a ragged start C. Lowther ridden Eurolink Moussaka hammered home the advantage of good riding over Dryad and Naked Oat. Going at 5/1 the winner was good value for money as he had finished a good fifth of 16 to Katyushka at Lingfield on 8/9.
Noufari the 7 year old stayer as expected took the Christmas Seller over 14 Furlongs from Evezio Rufo and Katie's Cracker. Noufari at 4/6 odds-on was one of the horses to follow I had given in my earlier articles. Horse to follow is Noufari the winner plus the 3rd Katie's Cracker. Both should be able to draw fresh blood in due course. The last race the Ladbrokes Freephone Handicap over 6 furlongs also saw a poor start and Pride Of Brixton shooting out like a bat out of hell made all the running to score as he liked from Ellwa Prince and Theatre Magic. The winner ridden by Dane O' Neill was at 8/1 and the price was worth it as it had come second to Miss Hit at Wolverhamton recent run. Horse to follow - Theatre Magic ridden by J. Fanning who with an even break would have gone close to winning. Follow her for an early success.
That much of flat news for you today, see you later. Before I wind up let me wish you a Happy Christmas! - I.K
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