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7th May 2000
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Zarook is proud of his Kingswood products 

By Bernie Wijesekera
Former Kandy S.C.and Up Country ruggerite M.Z.Zarook, a product from Vidyartha and Gampola Zahira has made a tremendous impact for the development of school rugby in the hill capital. Zarook, has had ups and downs in his career. He played for Kandy S.C. in the 60s. A utility player be it as scrumhalf or fly-half has contributed much for the development of schools rugby after retiring from the big league. Zarook who is now serving the Central Province Cricket Board was interviewed by the Sunday Times whilst watching the cricket match between Trinity and Ferntree Gully DCA. 

Who were your idols in this beautiful sport . Who was responsible at the start of your career? "Initially it was Sydney Ratwatte former Sri Lanka inside and Maurice Perera, a tough Sri Lanka forward. Both are Trinity "lions." The duo had a big hand in nurturing me. Today I am something thanks to them. 

Of course my idol was Denzil Kobbekaduwe. He was an officer and a gentleman. He played the game in the correct spirit and never sulked whatever the final outcome was. He led by example and I was fortunate to play under him in 1968. My first captain was Y.C.Chang in 1966 and then Jayantissa Ratwatte in '67 when I played for KSC.

That means after slow start you were fortunate to have played for and against the cream of Sri Lanka's best during your stint with Kandy S.C. "At that time there were no fringe benefits unlike today. But it was a pleasure to play and enjoy the game." With all your skills you couldn't make to the Lankan team ? "Yes, How could I find a place when there was maestro Denzil Kobbekaduwe, marshalling from the base. No regrets. But playing for Up-Country at that time, too was an achievement," Zarook added. The standard was very high unlike present times and very competitive at club level. 

"In 1967 I was dropped for the Clifford Cup quarter-final against the Navy. The match ended in a 3- all draw. After a few days it was replayed and I was recalled to the side. Took the opportunity and proved my mettle and had a big hand in winning the match. The sailors were a well-knit side. Scored two tries and put over a penalty for KSC to win 11-nil, and proved a point." 

You have been coaching Kingswood from 1979 - '86. Any outstanding achievements ? "Kingswood has produced some outstanding players in the past and continue to do today In 1986 in the All-Island schools sevens . The Randles School scored a great final under Rinnie Ibrahim. Beat Isipatana, Royal and S.Thomas' Mt. to bag the title. The lads produced dazzling rugby. It was a great moment in my career as a rugby coach." At that time school rugby was at its peak Any comments. 

"Firstly, it was fitness. Followed by the basics (skills). After training the squad was divided and a match between the forwards and the backline. This match was confined to 15 minutes. There was no aimless kicking . They had to run with the ball and indulge in open rugby. 

Today Isipatana is a force to be reckoned with due to their ability to run the ball which is eye-catching," he added. 

Outstanding players 

Any outstanding players you have produced at school level? "The present Sri Lanka skipper, Indrajit Bandaranayake, who played for Dharmaraja was coached by me. 

Dunstan de Silva . He captained Kandy. He initially came from Kundasala M.V., then to Kingswood, R.M.V. Ratnayake Navy centre, who played in the Lankan 'sevens' - a product of Kingswood. Rinnie Ibrahim (Sri Lanka Schools), Niloufer Ibrahim scrumhalf was coached by me (under -13). His brother Roy Ibrahim played for President's XV 'Lock' Palitha Wijesuriya Sri Lanka, Kandy S.C.and CH and FC. They all came under my wings at the start of their rubgy career."

Test matches of by-gone days. No: 5

Australia toured England in 1884 and played a three Test series. The final was at the Oval on 11, 12 and 13 August.

After Murdoch won the toss, Australia piled on the runs. At the end of the first day, Australia had posted 363 for the loss of only two wickets. When the last wicket fell, the score was 551. This was the first time that the 500 mark had been topped in Test cricket. And the Australian Murdoch became the first double centurian in the history of Test cricket. His stand with Scott for the third wicket of 207 was then a Test record. During this innings every player had a bowl, and the most successful bowler was the England wicket-keeper Lyttelton, who took 4 for 19 bowling lobs.

When England batted they were really up against it with 8 down for 181. But a partnership of 151 for the ninth wicket between Scotton and Read enabled them to reach 346. However, this total was not sufficient for them to avert the follow-on. But England managed to save the game. When stumps were drawn they were 2 down for 85.

Australia 551 (W. Murdoch 211, P.S. McDonnell 103, H.J.H. Scott 102).

England 346 (W.W. Read 117, W.H. Scotton 90) and 85 for 2 wickets. 

- Bruce Maurice

Chelliah's bridge team on top, Baskaran's team is second

The team event sponsored by Chandra de Alwis was won by Chelliah's team at the Bridge Federation Headquarters at the Race Course. Chelliah's team comprised, Dr. Rose Peiris, Mrs. Srihari Saravanayagam, Dr. Dilan Jan Soysa, M.P. Salgadoe and Anton Sevanayagam. 

Baskaran's team finished as runners-up with K. Baskaran, Ashantha de Mel, Paul de Neise, Dr. Keerthisena and D.P. Senaweera. Weerasuriya's team comprising H.A. Weerasuriya, Rex Perera, Mrs. Shanthi Rasiah and T. Thillainadarajah finished in third place. 

A mixed pairs event sponsored by Mahen Jayatilleka will be held on May 14 at the Federation Headquarters at 9.15 a.m. The Bridge Federation hopes to conduct the Mixed Pairs event on every second Saturday of the month.The inaugural event will be on May 14.

Rifle shooting under new rules? 

By Lee N. Field
The Open I.S.S.F. (International Sport Shooting Federation) Meet- 2000 organized by the National Rifle Association of Sri Lanka was held at the Welisara Navy Range and the Panagoda Range from April 23 to 29. This also served as the first of three trials to select the Sri Lanka shooting team to the SAF shooting matches to be held in Pakistan in November. 

The 60 shot Prone Rifle match was held on the first day at Welisara. During this event, Col. Lucky Rajasinghe, brought to the notice of the Range Officer, Russel Gray, Chairman, Technical Committee, that one of his targets contained two shot holes, whereas he was expected to fire only one shot per target. It was impossible to confirm that another shooter had fired the extra shot. Without referring to the Rule Book, Russel Gray had annulled the lower scoring shot and credited Col. Rajasinghe with the higher value shot. 

Col. Lucky Rajasinghe and Priyaranjana, a sailor from SLNS Gemunu tied for first place in this event with scores of 583/600. On a countdown, the first place was given to Col. Rajasinghe because his last series of ten shots was better than Priyaranjana's. This was correct according to the Rules of the International Shooting Federation. 

On the following day, the 3x40 three position match was fired at the Welisara Range. Elmo Rodrigo, a vetern International shooter and judge, was in charge. During the standing stage of the match, J. Dasanayake of the Navy, brought to the notice of the Range Officer that one of his targets contained 4 shots whereas only 3 shots had to be fired at each target. His neighbours denied firing the extra shot and as it was impossible to confirm that, another shooter had fired on his target, Elmo Rodrio annulled the best shot out of the four and credited Dasanayake with the values of the three lower shots. This was correct in terms of the Rule Book. 

J. Dasanayake promptly protested in writing, with the protest fee of Rs. 500/- that on the previous day, during the 60 Prone Match a precisely similar occurrence had resulted in the lower value shot being annulled. So why was he being penalized by having his best shot cancelled? 

The protest was sent to Russel Gray, Chairman, Technical Committee, who was also Chairman, Classification Jury, whose business it was to look into protests regarding scoring. 

Surprise! Surprise!! Russel Gray did not refer this protest to the Jury, but maintained that he was right, although there is no Rule in the Rule Book to justify his decision. Not only that, but he also took it upon himself to overturn Elmo Rodrigo's decision in the case of Dasanayake and awarded him the points deducted by Rodrigo. So everybody should be happy, even though the Rule Book was tossed out of the window, and Gray's Law took the place of the ISSF Rule Book, which is followed to the letter in those minor events like the World Championships and Olympics. 

But everybody was not happy. Rodrigo demanded to know what authority Gray had to set aside a decision made by him which was completely in line with the Rule Book. The Navy made an official protest on behalf of Priyaranjana, who should have won the 60 shot Prone event had the Rules been followed correctly. To both protests, the Hon. Russel Gray, Chairman, Technical Committee and Chairman, Classification Jury, had the same answer. "I have deided and you can go to hell!!" 

Elmo Rodrigo has now informed the N.R.A. that he will not be avaialbe for scoring or conducting ISSF matches run by the N.R.A. in future, although his scoring has been highly commended at SAF Games. The Navy is figuratively girding its loins for a showdown at the next N.R.A. Council Meeting. 

We hope all parties will leave their guns at home!

At the Awards Ceremony held on April 30, Lucky Rajasinghe went home with a double handful of silverware including the "Best Performance" Prize, though many of those present were of the view that Gray deserved the Best Performance Prize for his quaint interpretation of rules. The poor sailor boy went home with a piece of paper - certificate for second place!

Countdown to the Olympics 136 days - 8

IOC Reforms - Adopts new rules 

By Annesley Ferreira 
In December 1999 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) enacted with near unanimity a set of sweeping reforms designed to restore its lost credibility following scandal after scandal that led to allegations of vote-buying and a host of other corrupt practices in the selection of Olympic sites.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch personally lobbied as many as 93 members to support the proposed reforms. Former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, warned the Lausanne held December assembly, making a case for reforms, stated that "failure to proceed along these line would create a crisis of public confidence" which led to members voting to accept some 27 measures.

IOC voted to include 15 active athletes to the membership, an independent selection committee to screen proposed candidates for membership, an eight-year renewable terms for members and a eight-year term for the president, with only one renewable term of four years.

These reforms would have drastic, long-term implications for an anachronistic organization where its members enjoyed, until now, serving for life or until they reached the age of 80 years. The December meeting reform agenda included a vote on the most contentious issue, if it should prohibit members from visiting cities bidding for Olympic Games, a practice that spawned scandals. Ten IOC members were booted out on revelation that they accepted lavish gifts, free trips and other forms of benefits, such as that took place when awarding the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City

Mindful of a possible disintegration of the Olympic Movement if timely reforms were not taken seriously, IOC President Samaranch sought the services to legitimise the reform package, by appointing an independent commission of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Samaranch's remarkable ability to rally some 100 members from 77 countries minimised the adverse impact on the proposed fifty items of reforms.

Key reforms approved by the lOC:

* Visits by IOC members to bid cities are banned. It is also not necessary for representatives of candidate cities or third parties acting on their behalf to visit IOC members.

* IOC Evaluation Commission to visit bid cities and prepare reports as a basis for members to make the final selection .

* Full IOC continues to choose host city by secret ballot.

* Introducton of minimum standards forcing cities to meet certain criteria before being allowed to bid thus avoiding unnecessary expense.

* National Olympic Committees to have full responsibility for the bids and action of the bid committees.

* All candidate cities that meet minimum requirements and evaluation criteria to take part in final ballot. However, the IOC executive board may select finalists if any cities are not considered ready to hold the Olympics. 

All of these reforms would not have been possible if not for the tough stand taken by Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona, a Republican presidential candidate who recently withdrew) and US Representative Fred Upton (Republican-Michigan) together chaired Congressional hearings on the scandal plagued IOC, threatened to withdraw the special tax exempt status that the lOC enjoyed in the United States forcing the IOC to take the proposed reforms seriously.

How would these reforms affect the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka? Would they bring strong and stringent controls, accountability and transparency of the affairs in the administration and management of the NOC, seriously nothing would change. Looking at as to how the NOC conducts its business is not only shocking but disgraceful - for the past several years carried on business under the control of the Ministry of Sports, with impunity and disregard for civilized democratic values and responsible accountability. 

NOC has no say on the selection of individuals or teams to any of the international competitions. NOC has been relegated to a mere rubber stamping entity at the behest of the Ministry of Sports to conform to IOC requirements. NOC, in association with the Ministry of Sports, have redefined the definition of the words: control, accountability and transparency. A trend set by the former NOC President and Secretary that held these two positions for well nigh sixteen years, misused millions of rupees given to Sri Lanka for the development of Olympic Sports.

Several free-lance scribes have screamed to high heavens asking the former minister and the present one to probe the financial scandals of the IOC solidarity funds, only for a "one person commission" appointed - an antiquated and effete stoop to inquire into the mountain of allegations of the past two NOC officials and audit to the huge largesse of the IOC solidarity funds - was instead rewarded to form part of the contingent to the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Games for having hushed and squashed the inquiry to everyone's disgusting dismay. Reports available show that some rupees one hundred million have been squandered by those who were, or are directly involved in the past years, no accoutnts or audits being made public. 

Where does all this lead to. IOC charter strictly calls for independence of the NOCs - and what do they do - buy almost all the top government officials so that the NOC officials can lavish from the huge benefits made possible by the IOC. On one occasion the NOC gave part of this to a high official and then kicked him out to accommodate the balance of stay at the Barcelona Games to a high ranking bureaucrat. 

On another occasion, a high ranking official ordered the NOC to make an advance deposit for him and his entourage to attend the Atlanta Olympics - ignoring the protest by a single voice that was drowned by those who benefited from such a gesture to this powerful official. 

A former NOC member who handled IOC solidarity largesse is now brazenly canvassing to head the NOC since the present president is out favour with the government, the minister and the ministry. How sad, at one point he was considered the most influential and powerful immediately behind the secretary to the president. A former NOC secretary is also making a come-back with the assistance of the spouse who holds a senior and influential position in the ministry who also has the ear of the minister. A senior offical not seeking office of a big time sports organization commented - "if one were to see how greedy, fastidious and avaricious are those who hold top position in the ministry". 

The much expected sports authority to be established outside the grip of the ministry is now long gone as the very persons who proposed the authority feels that such an organization would not have the kind of control it would have over the NOC and the NGBs.

In association with C. Vijitha Fernando, Duncan White Sports Foundation.

(Comments note in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of DWSF).

Sponsors for the rugby club CR

CR &FC one of the country's foremost rugby playing clubs, is to be sponsored for the on-going Inter-Club SLRFU 'A' division rugby season by Millennium (Information Technologies) and six other co- sponsors said the incumbent president of the Ceylonese Rugby & Football Club Michael Matthysz when he briefed the media at the CR club house on Thursday evening.

Speaking at the briefing Matthysz said 'We announce with great pleasure that Millennium alongside with several co-sponsors have come forward to back the rugby team for this year.

Millennium is to be our prinicipal sponsor in this venture and I must also be grateful to the other firms such as Growth Lanka, M A S Holdings,Carlsberg,Mast Lanka, Ceylon Cold Stores, and last but not least for Sri Lanka Air Lines in deciding to join us in our scrum for the season.'

Matthysz continuing further said the sponsorship of Millennium will not be confined to the on-going season alone but it would go beyond the 2000 season,and called on the supporters of the club to rally behind the Longden Place club so that the players could deliver the goods at the end of the season.

'The crowds have dwindled to a great extent and that is a sad aspect of the present rugby scene in colombo.

I only hope that our boys will continue to play good quality rugby and woo the crowds back as it were to the Longden Place as that could be one way through which the sponsors could be able to get mileage for their products in the long run' said the President of CR Michael Matthysz who thanked SriLankan Air Lines for looking after the tickets for their expatriate coach from Western Samoa Tavita Tulagaese.

Tulagaese is to be assisted for the 2000 rugby season by former Sri Lanka stand off and CR full back Thomian Asanga Senevirathne.

Kumar Senevirathne, Business Development Manager speaking on behalf of his firm Millennium said "This is the first time we have decided to sponsor a sports club.

We chose CR because they have contributed a lot to Sri Lanka rugby in general over the years.

We have signed a three-year sponsorship contract with the Longden Place Club and we sincerely hope through this sponsorship package the popularity of rugby not just at CR but in the country will rise as close to cricket in the years to come".

One-time leading referee and Chairman of the sponsorship committee of CR Vipula Dharmadasa also addressed the media.

The red shirts who were the runners-up of the league and knock-outs of '99 will be led this time by Sri Lanka flanker and former Thomian Skipper Savantha De Saram. J.K. 

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