26th March 2000
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business|
Sports| Mirror Magazine
R.K. Sumith Prasanna - (Sri Lanka Army, Captain), R.M.A.B. Rathnayake - (Slimline Sports Club), C.L.K. Anthony - (Sri Lanka Army), N.B. Walisundara - (Slimline Sports Club).
They have been making preparations at residential training at Army Gymansium, Panagoda since beginning of February. During the last trial held in Seoul- Korea, Sumith Prasanna and Anthony of the Army gave a fine display and came very close to qualifying. In fact Anthony's score was equal at the final count and his fight had to be decided on number of blows. Both of them are determined to perform well and qualify. Rathnayake who is making his first outing for Pre-Olympic Trials says that his only ambition is to take part in Olympics.
Army and Kandy Boxers have dominated the boxing arena during the past year. Rathnayake and Walisundara who come from Kandy are now employed and represent Slimline Sports Club. The details of individual boxer's performances are given below.
RK Sumith Prasanna: National Champion of his weight class since 1988, Gold Medalist at SAF Games in 1991, 1993 and 1999, Gold Medalist at Pakistan International Boxing Meet in 1990, represented at Asian Games Boxing Championship in 1993, represented at Commonwealth Games in l994, represented at Pre-Olympic Trials in 1992 and 2000, represented at World Military Games in 1999.
R.M.A.B. Rathnayake: National Champion of his weight class for several years, Silver Medalist at SAF Games in 1995 and 1999, Gold Medalist at Indian International Meet in 1999.
C.L.K. Anthony: National Champion of his weight class, Represented at World Military Games and Pre-Olympic Trials, Bronze Medalist at SAF Games in 1999.
N.B. Walisundara: National Champion of weight class since 1993, Bronze Medalist at SAF Games in 1993 and 1999, Silver Medalist at SAF Games in 1995, represented at Asian Boxing Championships in 1994 and 1997, represented at Commonwealth Games in 1994, represented at Pre-Olympic Trials in 2000.
The national coach too had been a national champion during his younger days and has represented Sri Lanka at boxing during 1983 and 1984. On taking on coaching he has produced many boxers especially in the Army. He has followed many courses in boxing coaching the last being the one conducted in Sri Lanka by a Cuban Coach. Lt. Indrasena has been the coach during following tournaments.
Commonwealth Games in 1994, SAF Games in 1999, Pre- Olympic Trials in 2000.
The Amateur Boxing Association of Sri Lanka has already indicated to the National Olympic Committee that some of its boxers will definitely qualify to take part in Olympics and planning is being done accordingly.
ABA is also making arrangements for their team doctor Dr. F.A. Rajakulendran to attend a medical seminar conducted by the AIBA Medical Commission during this tournament. On completion of this course he will be awarded a diploma as a ring side doctor.
Colonel J. Jayasuriya will accompany the team as Manager.
By Bernie WijesekeraWhats ailing Sri Lanka rugby! They fared poorly at the recent Malaysian International 'sevens' and the MRFU tournament held in Malaysia. They virtually lost to all teams. On the first day the Lankans lost to H.K., Taipei and Thailand and got the better of UAE 19-12 and beat China the fast improving team in the Asian region. On the second day the Lankans were outclassed by Japan.
But this time China and Malaysia got the better of the Lankans. They only managed to beat India, who are now staging a comeback after a long lay off.
How far has the game progressed, despite much song and dance is the talking point among past stawarts and who have served the game well in the past. Its always good to have a vision for the future well-being with a proper infrastructure, to emerge as one of the leading teams in the Asian region.
In the past Sri Lanka ruggerites unlike today hadn't much foreign competition but still had the strength and the courage to match their skills against the best. Club rugby was more competitive with several foreign players from the Northern Hemisphere serving the planting sector and the CH&FC - players of international class. Harsha Mayadunne, who went as manager when contacted was somewhat disappointed by the performance of the team. He said Sri Lanka is placed sixth in the Asian sector 'sevens' ranking for the World Cup 7s qualifying S. Korea has already qualified, followed by Japan, H.K., Taipei, Malaysia, UAE, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, S'pore and India.
UAE and Malaysia are ahead of us? Yes, they have foreign players playing for them. Is that an excuse for our poor showing, then you must change the infrastructure by amending the law with the powers that be, rather than lamenting.
Even for these international contests what sort of planning the authorites had taken since January, 2000. Imagine teams like Malaysia, Thailand and China getting the better of us. The Lankan sport controlling bodies have the habit of making excuses when they face setbacks, rugby, too has taken this stance. In some quarters they say they have robust and bigger built players. Surely, Lanka is not short of this pedigree. Go to the outstations or to the Services there are plenty despite not playing school rugby.
Here, there is a tremendous following for the game and oozing with talent with more schools in the scrum rather than in Malaysia, Thailand and newcomer China. Today they seem to get the better of the game - a sad relfection among the powers that be. Past greats like Kavan Rambukwelle, Mahes Rodrigo, Summa Navaratnam etc., still could help the game but they are silent observers. If their advice is required then they will come forward, but will not go behind.
Its shocking to notice that six to seven players are on the injured list and can't make the tour to H.K. 'sevens'. What sort of fitness training they got in preparation for the forthcoming tours. Mayadunne admitted that they are injured but will have to undergo a fitness test for the Japanese 7s to be held in the first week of April. Why bank on them, instead infuse fresh blood for the future betterment of the game like what was done in cricket under the chairmanship Sidat Wettimuny. Past stalwarts of the CR & FC, who later served as referees agreed to this effect.
A member of the national rugby panel, too was disappointed with our performances. All are answerable for this sad episode. Excuses are not the answer for the ongoing ills. Be it be administrators of the rugby union, selectors, and the coaches, must take notice of. They must work in unison and keep out petty issues. Put the game before self. Today the rugby wings have spread to the provinces, where personalities like Kumar Abeywardena, Arjun Dharmadasa, and others are doing a lot with their own men and material. Even Brig. Jupana Jayawardena, had done much to uplift the sagging morale of Army rugby whilst getting an All Blacks coach Ken Farrington last season with his own initiative.
Imagine Bryan Baptist the former Royal, CH & FC and Sri Lanka forward is serving in the disiplinary committee. But he should be serving for the promotion and development of the game. He coached a set of greenhorns from the Navy in the past and they entered two finals in the K.O. - A and B, speaks well for his know-how and coaching ability. He will be a consultant to the Royal team in the coming season and the Royalists are assured of going places.
The SIRFU, must forget all personal issues and should take a cue from the Cricket Board's Interim Committee and should harness men of ability and experience to resurrect the game. Its a temporary assignment for them but they are doing a good job. The players in the recent tour of Pakistan gave a good performance with a united team effort where the officials backed them to the hilt.
By Sunil AmendraMany readers may be unaware that the construction of the Thomian Pool was not limited to a mere pool. It comprises a 6 lane 25x12 metres main pool with a diving end, a 12x6 metre junior pool, a new 10 metre diving tower, RCC tiers to accommodate 200 spectators, male and female changing rooms and toilets, complete rebuilding of the existing pavilion, new water supply, drainage and electrical services including mast lighting, and landscaping of the premises and surroundings. The main pool is a competition pool designed to serve the needs of meets, diving, squad training, water polo and experienced swimmers, and slopes from 1.5 metres deep at the shallow end to 4 metres at the diving end. The junior pool has a constant depth of 1 metre to serve the needs of school boys and novices. Both pools are served by modern pool equipment and filtration systems. In order to avoid unsightly structures, the pool equipment is located below the deck.
The pool configuration was adopted after lengthy discussion and consensus among representatives of all parties (club members, old boys, pool committee, coaches, masters-in-charge, etc.) to accommodate the varying needs of the school, the swimming club, the college squad, water polo and swimming meets. It was decided that the 2-pool concept best met the requirements. Thereafter the main competition pool, the diving tower and pit were designed to meet FINA standards.
The international standard for competition swimming is 50 metres with a constant depth of at least 1.5 metres to permit the turn-around somersault. The requirement for water polo is 30 metres with a constant depth of 1.8 metres. Both these standards are not compatible with the needs of a multi-purpose school pool. The original pool was 30 metres long, adequate for water polo but did not meet either standard. It was not possible to extend it to 50 metres without demolishing existing buildings. Hence the next best solution was a 25 metre main pool, which also meets the standard for competition, and is an acceptable compromise for water polo. The shallow end depth was set at the competition standard of 1.5 metres, sloping down to a 4 metre diving pit at the deep end, adequate for a 10 metre diving height. Lack of space and funds precluded a separate diving pool.
Mayor's Cup footballThe Mayor's cup football final conducted by the Nuwara-Eliya Football League sponsored by Shakthi FM will be played on April 29 at the Race Course ground at Nuwara-Eliya.
The semi finals will be played on April 20 and 21 with the third place on April 28.
The teams participating and their groupings are:
Group A - Inco SC, Daystar SC, Redwings SC.; Group-B Summerhill SC, Hill Club SC, Municipal SC.; Group C- Grand Hotel SC, Naseby Lakeside SC, Cinda SC.; Group-D Zoom SC, St Andrews SC, Young Birds SC.
Youth World Cup NetballSri Lanka who did not fare that well in the Youth World Cup netball championships in Canada last time, will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with at the same championships in August this year in Wales.
In preparation for this championships the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka has picked on a pool of 16 players after a series of trials.
The final team will be picked a month before the championships which will be contested by Australia, England, New Zealand, and Asians Singapore, Malaysia and in probability the Maldives participating for the first time.
The Maldivians will be coached by Sri Lankan Yasa Ramachandra.
The 16 member pool comprises: Manoja Ranchagoda, Nazleen Hassim, Danushika Vidanalage, Sasha Wirasinghe, Chrishini Benedict, Wageesha Shashikala, Anjalee Lokuliyana, Shanika P. Goonawardena, Anoma Sriyakanthi, Thushari Dissanayake, A.P. K.M. Priyadharshani, Shashika Samarasinghe, W. Indubandara, Shani Nisansala de Silva, Menaka Thalangalarachi, W.M.N. Dammika.
Josephian's marchOn March 5, 2000 it was another eventful day in the St. Joseph's College calendar where thousands of past and present students paraded to mark the millennium.
The millennium march started after the morning mass at 7.30 am from college premises, and ably led by the staunch Old Boys who are always geared to give of their best to their alma mater. The proceedings were to the Lipton Circus and then back to the college gate via Deans Road.
I had the privilege of speaking to Rector / Principal Fr. Victor Silva since he was having a busy schedule on his hands. He complemented the Old Boys led by Keerthi Nugawila, parents, teachers and all the well-wishers of the college to make this event a memorable one.
After the walk was concluded it was a mini carnival atmosphere at the college compound which brought the ''blue and white'' family get together where the colleagues of yesteryear met each other after a long lay off.
The college premises was full and bright since there were trade stalls, food outlets, beer stalls, fashion parades and not forgetting a live band which thrilled the young and old.
As the afternoon dawned the crowds started saying " good bye" to each other with an intention of seeing once again for another impressive "Josephian walk".
The proceeds of the "Josephian walk 2000" will be in aid of refurbishing
and modernising of the Josephian Hall of Fame, Bonjean Hall.
Cycle race todayThe men's 2000 open cycle race organised by the Sri Lanka/German Friendship Cycling Association in association with the Sri Lanka Cycling Association will be held today.
The race will start at Galle near the Colombo Main Road Kalumodera being flagged off at 8 a.m. and proceed to Kalutara and turn around and finish at Kalumodera.
Cash awards amounting to Rs. 100,000 will be given away on this day.
In memory of them a limited overs cricket match, in memory of Capt. Chanaka Attanayake and Sqn. Leader Chintika Ratnapala, who died in action will be played on April 01st at the Shalika Grounds, Narahenpita.
This match has been organised by the '87 group of Old Boys of D.S. Senanayake who played in the years 1986,'87 and '88.
A wheelchair will be donated on this day to a disabled soldier in memory of these two old boys at the match.
The 14-year-old Dilshani took up netball when she was only 11 years old. Thanks to the efforts of Mrs Kurumbalapitiya of Colombo International school. She also thanked her parents who encouraged her to take up the sport.
Rather than netball Dilshani also plays basketball in a free time. Dilshani's future ambition is to become a doctor and is hoping to take up medicine.
In last year's tournament Dilshani won the best centre court player award and this year she won the netball queens award. Her favourite food is Japanese.
Dr. Dilangan Soysa the new President of the Bridge Federation partnered by the former President D.P. Senaweera finished as runner-up.
H.A. Weerasuriya and Rex Perera finished in 4th place followed by Ismeth Magdon Ismail/ T. Shamugalingam, M.Chelliah/Frotsz Perera, Asantha de Mel/ K.Baskaran.
Twelve pairs participated.
An open pairs event sponsored by W.A.P.Fernando will be held on Sunday April 2 at the Bridge Federation Headquarters at the Race Course at 9.15 a.m.
Last weekend the Royal-Thomian was played over three days and in the end it convinced me that all Big Matches need to bring in some drastic changes to attempt to end the spate of boring draws. The schools sell tickets at these games with a view to raising funds, much needed to keep the game alive. There is no doubt that it is not the main reason to play the game. The gathering together of past, present and well-wishers is the main objective. Whatever those reasons, should entertaining cricket be played it will encourage many more to come in through the turnstiles. With only a couple of big match weekends remaining no results have yet been achieved and it is unlikely to happen either.
This game is the most important fixture in the calendar of the participating schools. In this day and age when nobody wants to end up being a loser, coaches, captains and players all want to keep that record. "We did not lose", seems to be the first stance. With that being the case the authorities must now move in to amend the playing conditions so that results could be achieved. If not, the games must be played positively and the draws entertaining.
The concluded Royal-Thomian provided many of the negatives of big match cricket. Most concerning was the over rate. On day one bad light stopped play twenty minutes before close. The Thomians were still short of bowling nineteen overs. The light never improved and that was it. On the following day the Thomians batted on till 6:20 p.m. in similar light to complete the day's quota of offer. Totally unsatisfactory overall.
It simply underlined the fact that the teams were playing negative cricket because there was no certainty of gaining the upper hand in the game. Late on day two the Thomians batted positively to set up a game for the final day. The Royalists followed that lead but stuttered and stumbled when it came to the declaration. To bat one over after tea and declare thus losing four is a reflection on a totally negative attitude. The target of scoring 269 runs in 46 overs gave neither team a semblance of a chance of victory. The meaning of a declaration at that stage of a game is to have some chance of a win. Not to do it for the sake of it. Once again the over rate on the final day was shocking. When play was called off at 6.20 p.m. still eight overs remained to be bowled.
The Josephian-Peterite game took a turn in the correct direction. They limited the first innings to sixty overs per side. This enables the game to go into the second set of innings but being of two day duration it would definitely need an imaginative declaration to set up a victory.
I remember playing in a three day tournament in India many years ago where the first innings of each team was restricted to ninety overs and the second innings of each team to fifty five. So an outright result was achieved within the space of three days.
True, traditions have to be guarded in this noble sport. It is time though that the playing conditions are looked at carefully.
There must be a restriction in overs. Definitely in the first innings. lf the relevant authorities are bold enough then enforce it to the second as well.
Slow over rates must be penalized too. There must be an independent match referee who together with the umpires, at every break, enforce a penalty should the required number of overs be not bowled. It must be heavy too, something between 5 and 10 runs per over.
The playing conditions must be changed to make big matches attractive. The game the world over is heading towards positive cricket. Big matches in this country which have become very much part and parcel of the game must make positive progress in the new millennium.
By Bernie WijesekeraThe media facilities afforded to journalists by the Pakistan Cricket Board was par excellence at the just concluded cricket series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The PCB media manager, Iqbal Baig, left no stone unturned and looked into the needs of the journalists in all the venues, no excuses if there was any lapses, but just say 'sorry' and promptly look into its needs unlike here when some officials will try to make a mountain out of a molehill even say I am, too busy come later even to collect a pass. Apparently this is due to lack of professional skills and doesn't understand or the know-how, the problems the print media has to face -'deadlines' etc. Baig, himself a former jounalist has wide experience. True, he is stationed in Karachi, but men of ability are posted at the venues be it Rawalpindi, Lahore or Peshawar, etc.
They respect the media. Even the president of the PCB Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia, whom I met and had a friendly dialogue, never mixed punches or made excuses. He was the first to congratulate the Sri Lankan team, when they beat Pakistan 3-0.
"Your chaps played well and they deserved to win." Even a section of the Pakistani media was in some quarters, was critical but he never shun them or tried to use his powers. But just walked into the Media box to iron out problems.
How many of our officials will strive to make such a visit. Oh, they are writing rubbish, we don't read them. Such people, are even kept out of official functions. This is the press freedom one enjoys when they spotlight shortfalls and write the truth, apparently some jounalists dont enjoy. Even being threatened with nuisance calls.
Three of my colleagues, who were there will testify to this effect how the media was treated in Pakistan. A good example is the Seocnd Test in Peshawar on the fourth day, the match was over in just ten balls and in nine minutes when Sri Lanka wrapped it up. But the media official, who was assigned to the task, never ran away or put up the shutters, but waited till everyone finished their work especially the Lankan journalists. He made sure that the telecommunication staff was there to help despite most of the local media had left after the humiliating Pakistani defeat to their desks as they had the time to pen the report in their offices. The Pakistani fans, from whatever walk of life are staunch supporters of cricket. They hate to see their country at the receiving end. This scribe had to face some problems when sending my copy. Apparently one of them was trying to take off from me as a result. Something went off with the Fax machine.
There is a technical error you have to pay for that too. Its no fault of mine. No, no, you have to pay I know you are upset because Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka, now that you are trying to take off from me. There was another official, who was more conversant with the language and spoke in Urudu and told him to sort it out in collaboration with the media official, who was most helpful at all times. Pity, another member from the Sinhala media had to suffer as a result. Well I had still to pay with a slight amendment. But this scribe had a bit of mind. Look this is the curse in the sub-continent, not confined to Pakistan alone. Our former colonial masters have taught us two things - the English language and this gentleman's game called cricket, which is now being plagued by hatred, jealousy, money and to win at all cost.
Apparently, to a great extent its being polluted by politicians. The President of Pakistan came to witness one of the Test matches for a short while. There were no barriers. Media movement was not restricted unlike here.
He came and enjoyed the game for a while and departed unheard, unsung. There was a security cordon by all in uniform. They were well trained and adhered to their task without let or hindrance. When they see a media man with an official accreditation card, they are allowed to move around. Even the Police are helpful to them even to find their way out.
Another intresting anecdote was when Sri Lanka played a one-day warm-up game in the UBI grounds in Karachi. After the game was with the media manager, Iqbal Baig, for some advice. The match was over much earlier than expected. An official from Sri Lanka, contacted him and asked what happend to the match. He said won by Sri Lanka by 8wkts.
Who was the highest scorer how many fours etc. I can't give all the details, jokingly he said you should have been here to get all the details.
Even in the Media box no outsiders are allowed to enter, only those, who are assigned to their task. They had to mark a daily register. This is something the local Cricket Board should strive to do rather than trying to curry favour with some bootlicking mediamen, who write articles in favour of them.
It really happened. The Sunday Times wrote a critical article for the delay in declaring the winners of the Div. 'A' championship. S. Skandakumar, now serves in the Interim Committee. He was questioned by a colleague. "Your friend has cirticised us. Yes, but its his job. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. We have to take the blame for this delay."
Sri Lanka needs more personalities like Skanda, to serve the game.
If did happen in the Mini-World Cup here in January 2000. There was no gate charges, but the media movement was restricted. There were officials aplenty sporting colourful ties. Some of them were made to look mere spectators, with not much to do. On, the final day some of them tried to push the media around despite their official accreditation cards. Media movement restricted. Sports loving evergreen Speaker K.B. Ratnayake was the chief guest along with Sports Minister S.B. Dissanayake. Seeing me, asked why I am not coming in? No sir, I am not allowed to come in and meet you. He was walking out just broke the barrier and spoke to both of them. This was possible thanks genial K.B. an Old Boy of Hartley College, Jaffna who learnt the English Language and cricket at this institution.
Thus he joins 9 others to score 5 or more ducks in a Test series. Indian pace bowler Ajit Agarkar was the last to join this band last January when he scored a record of 5 consecutive ducks against Australia.
The full list is given below
Ducks Innings Venue Year
1. Pankaj Roy (I) vs E E 1952 5 7
2. N.A.T.Adcock (SA) vs A SA 1957-58 5 8
3. R.C.Motz (NZ) vs SA SA 1961-62 5 9
4. W.N.Clark (A) vs WI WI 1977-78 5 7
5. A.G.Hurst (A) vs E A 1978-79 6 12
6. M.Amaranath (I) vs WI I 1983-84 5 6
7. A.D.Mullally (E) vs A A 1998-99 5 7
8. G. Mcgrath (A) vs E A 1998-99 5 7
9. A.Agarkar (I) vs A A 1999-2000 5 6
10. P. Wickremasinghe(SL) vs P P 1999-2000 5 6
Pramodaya also joins another 20 illustrious circketers, including some well-known batsmen and all-rounders to score 16 ducks in their Test career.
This list is headed by C.A.Walsh, the West Indies opening bowler. Walsh has 35 ducks, having broken New Zeland's D.K. Morrison's record of 24.
1. C.A. Walsh (West Indies) 35 153
2. D.K. Morrison (New Zeland) 24 71
3. B.S. Chandrasekar (India) 23 80
4. C.Ambrose (West Indies) 22 129
5. G. McGrath (Australia) 21 72
6. B.S. Bedi (India) 20 101
7. S. Warne (Australia) 20 113
8. D.L. Underwood (England) 19 116
9. Wasim Bari (Pakistan) 19 112
10. M.Atherton (England) 19 175
11. J.Snow (England) 17 71
12. T.G.Evans (England) 17 133
13. J.Garner (West Indies) 17 68
14. S.R. Waugh (Australia) 17 198
15. P. Wickremasinghe (Sri Lanka) 17 62
16. Kapil Dev (India) 16 184
17. M. Gatting (England) 16 138
18. K. Rutherford (New Zeland) 16 99
19. J. Emburey (England) 16 96
20. D.C. Boon (Australia) 16 190
21.D. Malcolm (England) 16 58
By Ravi NagahawatteMartial artists Nirosha Nilmini Perera and Sunil Vithanage earned a name for themselves in England when they secured second and third place respectively at the World United Martial Arts Association's Millennium Cup 2000 Championship.
Twenty-three-year old Nilmini fighting in the 60kg weight category took second spot after a hectic battle with an Italian competitor. She probably becomes the first woman from Sri Lanka to win a medal in a martial arts tournament outside. Nilmini's coach Charles Anthony giving his views on his student's performance said that Nilmini had floored her opponent in the first round. However according to Charles, Nilmini had failed to keep her fighting spirits and had got battered in the remaining rounds.
Thirty-two-year old Sunil Vithanage had also had a memorable moment in the first round of his fight where he sent his opponent once on to the canvas. Vithanage however never showed the ability to make a comeback like his British opponent who had rallied in the remaining round to win the bout.
Both competitors from Sri Lanka fought in the full contact category.
Placing in the tournament had been on a points system taking into account each fight. The Lankan contingent was sponsored by Chandran Ratnam.
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