27th December 1998
Caravan Sports Club will meet Siyane Tharu Sports Club in the womens A division volleyball final played for the Lion Trophy on Monday December 28th at the Indoor Stadium Courts of the National Youth Council at Maharagama at 1 p.m.
The mens finals will be a contest between the Sri Lanka Transport Board and Nattandiya United Sports Club at 3 p.m.
In the women semi-finals Caravan Sports Club beat Kandy Central Province 3 sets to nil, 15-0, 15-2, 15-0 while Siyane Tharu beat Matara SC 3-1, 13-15, 15-2, 15-8, 15-13.
Kandy Central Province won the third place in the womens tourney.
In the mens semi finals, Nattandiya United beat Vijitha SC Gampaha 3-2, 13-15, 15-2, 14-16, 14-16, 15-12 and the Sri Lanka Transport Board beat Sri Lanka Army 3-2, 13-15, 8-15, 15-6, 15-11, 19-17.Vijitha SC Gampaha won the third place in the tournament.
At its tournament committee meeting of the Rugby Union it was decided on a majority vote 5=4 to debar foreign players playing for clubs in competitive rugby.
The clubs that voted in support of debarring expatriates (professionals) from playing were:- Havelocks S.C. Police SC, Petersons, Air Force and Navy.
Those who opposed the motion were CR&FC, Kandy SC, CH&FC and the Army SC.
By Marlon Fernandopulle
After the doom and gloom of the Bangladesh and Sharjah tours and memories of the previous Australian tour still haunting them World Champions Sri Lanka embark on a crucial tour Down Under to take on hosts Australia and a battered England side in a Triangular Tournament that promises to provide exhilarating entertainment .
The tour itself will be an acid test for Sri Lanka. After losing seven of their last ten one day games which included five in a row the forthcoming Triangular tournament will give a clear indication as to whether the World Champions have got back to the drawing boards and put their house in order or continue to slide down further.
With the Asia Cup postponed for the year 2000, the Carlton and United One Day Series will be the last tournament for Arjuna Ranatunga's team before they begin their defence for the World Cup in England.
"It's a very important tour for us, especially with the World Cup round the corner. Australia is always very tough. But we are going to win . The players are very positive and eager to erase those bad performances of the recent past", said coach Roy Dias in an interview with The Sunday Times soon after completing another strenuous practice session at the NCC grounds.
"The defeats in Bangladesh and Sharjah were good wake up calls. I feel it was a blessing in disguise. The team has learnt from those mistakes and made the players more determined in their effort to win".
Despite Sri Lanka beating England on the last occasion at Lords in the Emirates Trophy Final and also beating Australia on the last two occasions the sides met(at the World Cup final in Lahore and Singer cup final in Colombo) Dias expects a stiff challenge from the opposition teams.
"England will be a changed side after their Ashes defeat. They have infused a lot of young blood and will be keen to redeem lost prestige. Australia is a very formidable outfit and will have their tails up after their triumph in the Ashes. They also will enjoy the home advantage and will be very challenging", said Dias.
The coach was also pleased with the 16 member squad which comprises five medium pacies. "It's a very good move by the selectors to have included five pacemen . The hard bouncy tracks in Australia should be very condusive to this type of bowlers. "When asked about the fitness of Nuwan Zoysa the coach replied saying"Zoysa is not 100% fit , but he is bowling at his best now. We hope to play him in a couple of games, give him a brief rest and play him again. He has to be used in that manner if we are to make maximum use of this lanky bowler ", said Roy who will also have Chaminda Vaas, Pramodya Wickremasinghe, Suresh Perera and that promising prospect from Ananda Sastralaya Ruchira Perera to put the opponents on the backfoot.
The Coach also breathed a sigh of relief after Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan finally proved their fitness for this all important tour. "Murali has no problems with his bowling. However he has a slight difficulty in throwing and may bowl his throws in, but that is not a worry. We need him to bowl and he is fully fit for that job. Aravinda has been batting well at the nets . It's unfortunate that his club NCC did not come into the semis in the limited over tournament. However we have three good games against Australia A before the tournament begins and Aravinda will have the chance to have a knock in the centre".
Both Aravinda and Murali dismissed as baseless earlier reports stating that the two cricketers were not going on the tour for personal reasons. The duo who will no doubt be Sri Lanka's spearheads on the tour admitted"We have been training hard all these days to go on the tour to Australia".
The 16 member squad along with Coach Roy Dias, Manager Ranjith Fernando and Physio Alex Kontouri leave the island tomorrow.
By Annesley Ferreira
Sri Lanka's first woman gold medalist Damayanthi Darsha and Sugath Tillekeratne have been invited to train and compete in Australia from January to March next year by the Melbourne Track Club.
The General Manager of the Melbourne Track Club, Nick Bideau will be in charge of the athletes training programme with Ramsay Zeigelaar as their manager.
Both Darsha and Sugath are bound to gain immensely by this program as they will be featured at international meets in Australia which will serve as a fore-runner for the Year 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
The Sri Lankans domiciled in Melbourne, Australia have indicated their willingness to co-ordinate the athletes accomodation and meal arrangements and cover any domestic airline expenses in and outside Melbourne.
The invitation to Darsha and Sugath were received by Rohan Amarasinghe, Secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka from the Mr. Brian Roe, Competitions Manager (Athletics) in Australia.
Also instrumental in making this tour a possibility for Darsha and Sugath, who will also take part in the Grand Prix, is the Australia-Sri Lanka Sports Foundation, which is headed by businessman Ralph D'Silva and includes former Sri Lankan cricketer ad table tennis star, Buddy Reid, rugby player Noel Brohier and Chris Perera.
Earlier Darsha was trained by Cathy Freeman, arranged by the Australia-Sri Lanka Sports Foundation.
A senior cricketer is reported to have told the Cricket Board President that he would resign from the Sri Lankan team if any one of national selectors admit telling a newspaper reporter that he intends pulling out of the upcoming tour of Australia for personal reasons.
This cricketer conveyed his intention to quit over his mobile phone to the President who was away in India late last week after a newspaper report quoted a selection committee source as saying he would not make the tour to Australia.
The cricketer made the call in the presence of some reporters, three of whom were from the Sinhala media.
This cricketer is reported to have first asked the President for the names of the selectors in the committee and then told him to get them to the Board so he could find out who had spoken to the press.
In unleashing his fury over the newspaper report this cricketer is reported to have abused the mediamen and also used foul language on reporters saying that he would turn his back on them if they seek any interviews.
Three officials attached to the Ministry of Sports travelling on a plane of International repute packed their bags with forks and spoons, a small pillow and the blanket under the influence of liquor watched by many passengers.
A leading Sri Lankan athlete and former AAA official who witnessed this scene were threatened by these officials.
Three other leading officials from the Sri Lankan contingent coming to Bangkok on a delayed flight were seen visiting the cowboy for pleasure.
An official put up to look after the media held his breadth when the lift they were going up in for a dinner hosted by the Sri Lankan Embassy officials, was surprised to find that there was only the wall facing him when the lift stopped.
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