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4th June 2000
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Cricket Board AGM

'The Cricket Board's Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held on June 11, has got more prominence ahead of the country's General Election which is held every five years'.
By Leonard Ratnayake
The much awaited Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka is just a week away and those interested are crossing their fingers until its dawn. The cricket board AGM has got more prominence ahead of the country's general election which is held in every five years.

Unlike in the past, five individuals are in the fray for the top post and the heat is on in the contest with many objections forwarded against each other. Some try to get their rivals dismissed before the election to be elected uncontested while some others have expressed their confidence to defeat their rivals at the election.

However since 1996 when Sri Lanka won the most coveted World Cup under the presidency of Ana Punchihewa, there had been clashes among the administrators with many a politico trying to dominate the bat and the ball. The race for the presidency today has been more exciting than the game itself.

Nominations were closed at noon on Tuesday, the 16th of May and Milton Amarasinghe, the director of sports and the competent authority appointed to hold the election by the sports ministry had received a record 106 names for various positions in the board administration.

Following are the nominations for the top posts.

President (one post) : Thilanga Sumathipala, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Anuruddha Polonnowita, Ariya Kannangara & Sumith Perera.

Vice President (two posts) : KM Nelson, Jayantha Paranathala, Prasanna Ranatunge, Anuruddha Polonnowita, Thilina Tennekoon & AJM Muzzamil. 

Secretary (one-post) : Ajith Jayasekera, Gihan Siribaddene, Mohan de Silva.

Assistant Secretary (one-post) : Shammi Silva, Lawrence Amarasena, Jayananda Warnaweera & Mahinda Seneviratne.

Treasurer (one post) : Sunil Peiris, Ravin Wickramaratne, Trevor Rajaratnam & Anura Weerasinghe.

Assistant Treasurer (one post) : Sarath Ekanayake, Nimal Perera, Nihal Leuke, BH Perera, Maxie T Wijetillake & Chrishantha de Silva.

Thilanga Sumathipala

Thilanga Sumathipala- Re-organising the present regional development programme in order to enhance it up todate.
- Amendments to the constitution of the BCCSL to ensure continuation of decision implementation process so that change of regime would not stop on-going projects.
- Implementation of a new computerized system to maintain data of school cricketers and bring them up for various specialised clinics to improve their skills.


Sumathipala as a cricketer

- Has played for Nalanda College, Colombo First XI team and was the vice captain of the team.
- Has played cricket for Colombo Cricket Club in BCCSL's premier division.

Cricket Administration career

- President of the BCCSL for past two years.
- Vice president of the BCCSL from 1995 to 1997.
- President of Asian Cricket Council.

Thilanga Sumathipala is a Managing Director of the Sumathi Group of Companies.

Thilanga Sumathipala who was suspended from functioning as the president of the cricket board last June by a stay-order from the Colombo district court, said he would come forward this year duly because his last year's services to the country's cricket was obstructed due to an interim injunction.

He hopes to re-organise the regional development project he has already launched, as it suits today. He says the regional development which started two years ago has been internationally accepted and owing to a good primary structure that the Lankans were able to win the bid to host the U-19 Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka. Sumathipala says the present data system should be upgraded with a sophisticated computerised system and provide more facilities to schools by means of giving them annual grants providing basic necessities.

He is also optimistic that the present constitution of the BCCSL needs serious amendments, that there would be continuation of decision implementation process and see successful completion of projects despite a change of regime. He says there would be a change in the procedures in the eligibility of the office bearers to the board so that the members vying for the top posts should have been there in the executive committee at least for two years and thus parachuting of persons into the board will be stopped.

Sumathipala believes that the selection committee headed by Sidath Wettamuny should stay in position for longer, because they do possess a longer-term policies for cricket's upliftment. 

He says these honorary posts should be supported by some financial backing.

Jayantha Dharmadasa
Scope :

Jayantha Dharmadasa- To give due prominence to the cricketers and encourage them to do better to develop cricket in the country.
- Restructuring primary level of cricket in the country in establishing a Cricket Academy headed by a past foreign cricketer.


- Deputy Chairman and Jt. Managing Director of Nawaloka Group of companies.
- Brother of Upali Dharmadasa , a former president of the BCCSL 96/97.
- Contested last year for the post of vice presidency of the BCCSL with presidential candidate Clifford Ratwatte.

Dharmadasa as a cricketer

- Has played for his school house cricket team at St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia.
- Has played in Mercantile Cricket Association's lower division tournament.

Cricket administration career

- Patron of Burgher Recreation Club's cricket team for 10 years.
- Vice President of Bloom field Cricket Club.
- patron of Mercantile Cricket Association for 10 years.
- President of Colombo District Cricket Association

Jayantha Dharmadasa who is contesting for the first time for the post of presidency of the cricket board, says that his vision is clear and would be able to achieve his scopes or he would resign if no progress were made during the first half of his tenure.

His plan with the cricket academy consists a foreigner-headed local administration, while it would spread to U-15 levels of school cricket.

He says each school will recive a coach from the BCCSL and there will be a district development coach to look into district level coaching clinics. The Cricket Academy would start with 30 odd players at the start and might go on to 150 maximum, as they would be provided facilities to follow career advancement studies while being in the academy. He says the system has been already implemented by few other countries and been immensely successful.

He is hoping to reconstruct some of the present international cricket venues in Sri Lanka upto floodlit level. He said he would not go ahead with the Dambulla ground project, instead enhance the facilities at Welagedera stadium. 

Dharmadasa was confident of imposing hard rules against alleged malpractice and misuse of funds in the cricket board, while investigating into past allegations of malpractice and ensure discontinuation of such practices in future.

He also stressed that our cricketers have not been given due prominence they deserve, while administrators had taken the lime-light. Dharmadasa says it was the cricketers who had brought the game upto this level and that due respect would not be abused during his regime.

Ariya Kannangara
Scope : 

- Implementation of the proper development structure which would probably be one that have been already discussed and kept a side due to regular change of regime.
- Imposition of a system to end the ongoing conflicts in the cricket administrations and the clashes created due to division among the administrators. 

Career :

- Was the president of the National Amateur Athletic Association for last two years.

Ariya Kannangara, a surprise entry to the race for the presidency of the cricket board is the Managing Director of the Trico-Maritime (Pvt) Ltd and has played at school level for S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. He holds a good name as a sports administrator for his excellent role played for the National Amateur Athletic Association. He has started as a vice president of the AAA in 1997 and held office as the president of the body for two years (1998/99). 

During his time Sri Lanka bred some champion athletes and gained much needed international glory and more exposure for local athletes at international competition.

His plan to contest for the cricket board president has mainly come from an urge from the sports loving public and few clubs affiliated to the cricket board. Kannangara says his prime goal is to bring back the lost glory to the cricket administration, and he would strive to end the ongoing disputes and clashes created due to division of the administrators. 

Expressing his confidence, Kannangara said he would definitely get the support from the parties which urged him to contest and there is a quite a lot of independent votes that would be decisive. He says there are many plans discussed for the development of cricket, but they have been kept aside due to the change of regime. 

Talking about the cricket team, Kannangara said that everything is in the right track for them now with the services of coach Dav Whatmore and the selection committee. He says he does not foresee any changes necessary in that area and the prime need is a proper administration to help them continue their good work.

Sumith Perera
Scope :

- Making the plans and proposals to develop outstation cricket a reality.
- Constructing an international cricket venue each for all the districts in the country.

- Structuring the selection procedure with a district cricket pool which consists a specialised district coach.

Profile :

- The president of the Baduraliya Cricket Club for 19 years.
- Conducting his own business.

Perera as a cricketer

- Has represented Baduraliya Cricket Cub at major tournaments like Brown trophy and Hatna trophy. -Has played for his school cricket teams, Matugama Ananda Sasthralaya and Horana Sripalee College.

Sumith Perera, one of the late entries to the fray for the cricket board presidency says his main objective will be to the development of outstation cricket in the country. He says a number of previous board presidents who have come mainly from the Western Province, have promised to develop cricket in outer pheripheries of Colombo but most of them have failed to do so. 

He says he would make the proposed development plans for regional development a reality rather than talk. 

Perera is of the view that most of the star cricketers could be bred from outstations and they are yet to see an international cricket venue in their districts. A district pool coached by a BCCSL affliated professional would be in action to push the outstation cricketers into the side. 

One of his most important tasks as the president of the BCCSL would be to put an end to the disputes rife among the cricket administrators and the cricketers as well. 

He says now the team is working towards one unit and there are still a few who may cause trouble. He praised the good work done by the selection committee and would foresee a few changes to that also. He says he is very much confident about his voter base after being affliated with the board for a long time.

Deva, still pedalling his way in Canada

By Bernie Wijesekera
C.T Devaraja, one of the pioneers in pedal sport (cycling) in Sri Lanka, now domiciled in Canada was here on a short holiday.

Though living in Canada, but still makes a regular trek to his motherland to help the needy - by way of community service, in collaboration with the Wishing Well Lions Club of Scarborough, Ontario, with a consignment of Eye Glasses as a gift to the Lions Club of Kotahena. This humanitarian gesture by C.T. is laudable as it will help the needy to get the glasses to improve their vision without financial commitments.

Devaraja, doyen of cycling in the past where he held office in various committees spending much of his time and energy to help promote the poor man's sport in the country. Better known as 'Cycle Raja' C.T. was interviewed by The Sunday Times, prior to his departure.

Q: What are your interests in Sri Lanka, now that you are living permanently in Canada? 

A: Well, I was born and bred in Sri Lanka, which country helped me to go places in life, this is one reason why I make an yearly visit to bring back nostalgic memories. In the process I am doing some community service through the Lions Club of Kotahena where I was a member.

Being a Christian the best way to serve God, is to help the less affluent even temporarily to alleviate sufering. God's gift is life, and what you do with it is your gift to God, and its your right.

Q: What have you got to say about cycling during your era and now? 

A: Without doubt it has made vast strides at present unlike in the past. Then cyclists are afforded with sponsorship packages and the Sports Ministry is giving all the encouragement to develop their skills with financial assistance.

The present Minster S. B Dissanayake is looking into their needs. Especially the rural sportsmen who have benefited much as a result. During my time the then Minister of Sports the genial K. B Ratnayake was a great inspiration and did whatever he could for the development of sport sans any barriers.

The Sri Lanka Cycling Association, too was given all support to pedal their way to stardom. Despite years rolling by K. B., is still going strong. As a token of gratitude and due respect to him I paid him a courtesy call on him at the Parliament.

Q: In what way did you contribute to help develop and uplift cycling in Sri Lanka? 

A: Firstly I was the founder Secretary of the S. L. C. A., later named as Cycling Federation. Served as its Secretary from 1970 1980 I am proud to mention that I pioneered the first Track Cycling Meet at the Sugathadasa Stadium in 1979, at which meet the Indian Cycling team, too participated, to give the locals that much neded competition. To make it a reality the late Julian Grero an ardent supporter of sport - especially track and field, gave all encouragement and continued his assistance to the federation until he passed away. Besides Grero, the federation was fortunate to have Edward Mason, M.B.Senanayake to continue the good work of Grero.

During my tenure I was able to get down the Bangladesh Cycling team to participate here, in 1978. 

Daya Tennakoon, an ardent supporter and a senior Executive of Ceylon Tobacco, was instrumental in forming district associations in Anuradhapura, Galle and Kandy. Served as Secretary of the Paragon Pedallars Cycling Club. Later managed the team for the All India Cycling championship in Bangalore in 1977. Mala de Silva won a ' gold' while L.G. Wilmon Perera a bronze at this meet. 

The other members of the tour party were: 

Sammy Mendis, Mahinda Karawita, Nihal Kulasekera (the present president of Paragon Pedallers Club), and G.Chandrasiri. 

Q: Who were the top pedallers at this time, who excelled for the country at the national level? 

A: Maurice Coomarawel (Winged Wheel CC), Trevor de Silva, Desmond Gunawardena ( Paragon Pedallers CC ), Boniface Perera (Winged Wheel and Tobacco SC. ), G.H. Henderson (Sri Lanka Air Force), A.M. 

Sumanaweera (Paragon and Petroleum). 

Incidentally Trevor de Silva at the Asian Games won a 'Bronze' held in Bangkok, along with S.L.B. Rosa, who won gold medals for the country in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m he added. 

Q: Is the sport popular in Canada ? 

A: Yes, especially among the women, who have excelled at international meets and doing proud for the country. 'Deva' said there are quite a number of Lankan sportsmen of yester- year, now settled down in Canada. They are prepared to help Sri Lanka be it sports or otherwise. C.T. was the President of the Wishing Well Lions Club of Scarborough from 1997 -'98. He was instrumental in getting a regular quota of eye- glasses as a gift for the have-nots to be distributed through the Lions Club of Kotahena. He was an active member of the YMCA and served in the anti Narcotic Bureau , until he migrated to Canada.

Dr. D. Atukorale is a Post Graduate qualified family practitioner whose special interests are Sports Medicine, Industrial Medicine, Hospital Administration and Psychology where he has undergone training and holds certificates. He has been attending to rugby injuries for seven years and has been associated with all major sporting events.

Hamstring problems

1. General

As the name indicates these injuries limit the ability to run/walk and the 'power' of doing so in active sports involving running, long jumping and in hurdling, hockey etc. Pulled or strained hams are well known to sports people. Like the quadriceps of the front of the thigh, hamstring is a very bulky (group of) muscle with at least 3 more important injury prone muscles. Tendons of hams are easily seen on the back of the knee. The muscle called "short biceps" lying more on the outside of the thigh is very notorious to get pulled.

2. Why is it more injury prone?

Because it crosses two joints (like the quads) - the knee and the hips.

Starting from the pelvic bone (called ischial tuberosity on which "we sit") these muscles attach by different tendons to the bones of the leg.

As you see, there is a very wide area of the muscles (s) and the tendons (s) exposed to injury.

Do not forget to respect the muscles in opposition to hams - when you take care of hams strains - what are these opposing muscles? - Quads and psoas (the muscle in the groin helping you to bend the hip).

The sad side of the story is that the player with the best stretched and strengthened hams could end up with a badly pulled hamstring.

3. What's the reason?

At very high speed the muscle is highly tensed because of physiologic effects of certain types of muscle contraction. With advanced knowledge of how muscles work and by suitable muscle training we could reduce but cannot totally prevent - Ham strains! It is interesting to note that hams - strains are commoner when you grow old or when in cold conditions.

4. When do hams strains happen?

i. A runner suddenly cuts down speed and allowing the foot to strike ground for stopping; ii; Trying to take off to run; iii. To jump far - long jump; iv. To jump up-high jump; v. When suddenly speeding up during sport.

Research has shown that it is during the last part of our walking or running cycle (when strain on the muscle is highest) that the hamstring tends to suffer injury.

5. Why are some players more likely to get the injury?

Look for one or more of the following problems:

i. Weak hamstring; ii. Poorly toned muscle (not trained for sustained action); iii. Stiff lower (lumbar) spine (give a tight muscle, that easily breaks); iv. Unbalancing opposing muscles of thigh (quadriceps vs hams); v. Inadequate handling of past hams - injury; vi. Birth defects of pelvic bone - bending forwards; vii. Not warming up before playing and not cooling down after.

After a game warm down at 1/2 the intensity of previous activity. This is said to breakdown lactic acid produced by anaerobic activity. Also stretching at this time controls muscle tightness and non alignment one gets after activity.

6. What experts say.

When you attend to hams injury - promoting flexible muscles (apart from improved training methods) give good results.

7. How do you recognize the injury?

Naturally the player stops abruptly, with pain tender area over the muscle and there may be a swelling or a gap.

If not very severe, some may limp and play but soon will stop with aggravated injury.

Eccentric contractions of muscles is very important in cutting down speed and in absorbing shock. Before a hams injury the great speed is blocked by powerful such contractions in the moving legs. i.e., in hamstring muscle. At the same time quardriceps which opposes the hamstring absorbs the shock as the foot strikes the ground (the force across the quadriceps is over 6 times the bodyweight). So you will see this sudden lengthening contraction breaks the muscle when the sportsman has not been trained in this kind of muscle activity.

9. What is this flexibility?

This is one's ability to move a joint or being able to use muscles for this purpose.

10. Very Important.

At time of hams injury due to eccentric causes - there are only a few muscle nerve units that are in force. Also there is less oxygen used at this time and the metabolic cost to the body (muscle) is even closer to that of the resting muscle, in spite of the great forces generated.

In this powerful eccentric muscle contractions, the muscle works quicker than otherwise and most of the energy is used to cut down the speed. The important thing to remember is that the damaged muscle fibre and connective tissue makes the muscle employ more muscle nerve (motor) units because of the fatigue that sets in at the peak of play.

However, when the eccentric forces are at maximum hamstrings occur because the force in the muscle is twice as much as in other types of muscle contractions.

11. Muscle Injury After Exercise.

There are two types of injury. 

1. Doms - Delayed onset of Muscles Soreness - Player has pain and limited movement about 10 hours after the game; getting worse on the third day. Researchers have found the muscle enzyme creatine kinas and myoglobin in higher concentrations in the venus blood. This kind of injury takes 1-4 weeks to heal. However, the good side of the story is that sportsmen started training with eccentric exercises after this injury recovered faster and better afer recurring injuries. This applies to hamstring and other muscle injuries. This is because the muscles get used to this kind of strong shearing forces brought on by eccentric exercises.

2. 'Hams Pulls' - This is the other type of injury after exercise and is more severe and comes on suddenly with large muscle tears and bleeding. This happens when one tries to cut down speed suddenly, using the powerful eccentric forces which soon is followed by maximal shortening (as opposed to lengthening) contractions when the foot strikes the ground. This last contraction unlike the previous one tries to move the thigh faster preventing the knee from damage by overstraightening.

Researchers advocate following a hams pull the following basic procedure based on the observations mentioned above: Stretching limited eccentric exercises concentric exercises.

Security for referees should be assured

If the security of the referees on and off the field is not assured by the host club, then they are not going to officiate any rugby match, conducted by the Rugby Union said the president of the Referees' Society, Brig. Jupana Jayawardena, to The Sunday Times.

The Refs. Society held an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday May 31, chaired by Brig. Jayawardena to discuss what action should be taken when two of their members (linesmen) were manhandled by a section of the crowd after the CH & FC - Army tie at Maitland Crescent.

The president said that the security arrangements were found wanting be it at club or school matches in the ongoing season. To this effect the Society has brought to the notice of the controlling body to take remedial measures. The referees are doing an honorary job. The prime duty of the governing body and the clubs is look into their safety. 

There is a dearth of referees. Critics are aplenty including those who have played the game, which sport has helped them to go places. Instead of being armchair critics, they could give something back to the game by joining the fraternity to overcome the shortfall. This in turn will help improve the game, Brig. Jayawardena added.

Today many schools have taken to the game. Past stalwarts and the lovers of the sport should come forward even to blow a school game. With the available cadre the society is doing their best. But in the end it's not bouquets, but brickbats hurled at them even by a section of the elite. This may attribute to club loyalty and to win at all cost? Times have changed. But my Society is concerned about the safety of its members.

Why only the Refs., what about the security of the visiting teams and spectators? who come to enjoy a game? Yes. Don't blame others for the setbacks, but it's the responsibility of the host team. Heads of schools must take notice and educate the students to be on their best behaviour, whatever the final outcome. Otherwise official referees will refrain from officiating, Brig. Jayawardena concluded. - B.W.

Play hard, but not dirty....

By Bernie Wijesekera
Dirty and unwarranted rough play has raised its ugly head in the on-going rugby season. There has been a spate of incidents when the referees had a daunting task of controlling the game, where some players had to be sent to the sin bin as a result.

Rugby football is still a gentleman's game sans betting and match-fixing todate. But its future, too is uncertain. Are trophies more important than the game? Thereby to win at all cost. Professionalism in any sport is good. In turn helps the players to be financially viable for their well-being. 

First, a gentleman and then a ruggerite is the code word in this beautiful sport played worldwide. Play it hard and clean. But don't indulge in cannibalism. Apparently in some quarters some players indulge in biting and trampling their opponents, causing pain and injury. It isn't rugby. Such ugly behaviour by the seniors is a bad example to the youngsters. Even the spectators in club and school matches are answerable for this sad episode, by hurling brickbats.

It did happen during the school match between Royal and Thurstan which ended in a stampede after match. The parents in their numbers were witnessing this match. This was a sad spectacle.

These matches are certainly played to bring about understanding and fellowship among the youngsters for their future well-being. In this context rugby takes pride of place unlike in other sports. After the match it's a get-together and all forgotten what happened at the middle.

Even the CH & FC-Army match was soured, when a section of the crowd tried to manhandle the linemen after the match. Pandemonium broke. Timely intervention by the respective authorities prevented an ugly scene. If this trend is allowed to prevail, no referee will agree to blow in a match. Unlike the cricket umpires they are doing it in an honourary capacity. No refs. means no rugby.

The Sunday Times interviewed some past stalwarts of the game.

Ana Saranapala, the present coach of Havelocks S.C., a former national coach and President of the Refs. Society. Besides, he has coached school teams like S. Thomas' and Lumbini MV. He has been a successful coach for over 10 years winning many trophies in the process for the respective teams. He says, 'Its a game which should be played hard, but within the rules at all times. But one should try to avoid dirty play, thereby causing pain and injury to a fellow player. The Refs. are there to oversee and penalize the player concerned. Despite this warning and booking of players this unruly behaviour still continues. Then the clubs should take action and suspend the player concerned as a deterrent to others, rather than awaiting the disciplinary committee of the Union to take action. The coaches have a vital role to play to this effect', Ana added. Michael Jayasekera, a versatile sportsman who played with distinction for S. Thomas', be it rugby, cricket or athletics. Later he played for the Havies and for Sri Lanka as dazzling forward. He says the players should indulge with their rugby skills to outwit their opponents, but certainly not with roughhouse tactics. It isn't rugby. Look, a player indulging in skillful rugby is a treat to watch. The fans come to watch a clean and hard game, but not dirty play. If this is going to be the trend then they will have second thoughts of sending their children to watch a game or encourage them to take to this sport, Jayasekera added. 

There may be accidents, its part and parcel of the game. Dirty play must be avoided at all costs. Unlike in the past there is much encouragement and support for the players, but still it has not made much headway. This may attribute due to the lack of modern rugby skills. That means there is quantity, but no quality?

Chaminda Rupasinghe, an outstanding Sri Lankan forward of yester-year, who captained the Havies in 1989, is a keen student of the game. Today he is the Chairman of the Park Club's rugby committee. He says the players should abide by the rules and always strive to play to enjoy it to the fullest. They must always try to maintain the spirit of the game, even if you are at the receiving end. The refs. do make mistakes. But they, too must strive to maintain a high standard and command respect on and off the field. The refs. should focus attention on both teams and must act without fear or favour. Whatever the outcome I don't condone dirty play. Its just a friendly game not a war, burly Rupasinghe said. 

Arjun Fernando, the former Sri Lanka tennis ace, was one of the youngest to win a national tennis title. An outstanding sportsman to hail from Royal. He has never played rugby, but an ardent fan and a supporter of the game. He says rugby is a beautiful sport and it should be played to be enjoyed be it player, fan or otherwise. Dirty play with a view to harm others is not sport. It may attribute to greed, lust and to win at all cost. Always respect authorities, even if things go against your way in a hotly contested game. At times decisions come in your favour. Sometimes it goes the other way around. This is part of the game. Don't make geticulations to rouse the fans. The fans should cheer good rugby all the way, Arjun added.

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