11th June 2000
Front Page
Editorial/Opinion| Plus|
Business| Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine
The Sunday Times on the Web

An Old Zahirian attempts to make a breakthrough 
in the face of advancing Navy players. 
Pic by Ranjith Perera 

Contents Index Page
Front Page
Sports Plus
Mirrror Magazine

D-day for Cricket Board

By Marlon Fernandopulle
Amidst alegations and counter allegations from the two front runners for the Presidency Thilanga Sumathipala and Jayantha Dharmadasa,the much looked forward to Elections of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held at the Sports Ministry today.

Despite five candidates submitting nominations for the most prestigious post,the race has narrowed down to just two.

Sumathipala a past President and Vice President of the Cricket Board and a business magnate along with Jayantha Dharmadasa another business magnate and brother of a former Cricket Board President Upali Dharmadasa are expected to be locked in a race that cricket analysts point out would be a very close finish.

Both the candidates have openly declared in the print and electronic media that they are confident of winning.

Whatever the outcome of the elections is going to be,one only hopes it will not be a repetition of last year's elections where violence and thuggery ruled the day finally resulting in the elections being declared null and void and an Interim Committee appointed.Indeed it was Cricket's day of Shame!

Now that Sri Lanka Cricket has been put on the right track once again, its the wish of all cricket fans in the country that whoever is elected to the top today, will continue to ensure that the game will progress further and Sri Lanka will soon reach the pinnacle of both Test and One day Cricket.

It's not impossible,as one former Selector put it there is an abundance of talent to acheive this goal,if only selectors, administrators and all officials of the Cricket Board focus only on the game and its future and not have any other vested interests.

Archibald Pereira Trophy stays with the Thomians...

S.Thomas' play like champs, down Petes

By Jatila Karawita 
S.Thomas'College led by man mountain burly prop forward Gavin Jayasekere proved they are made up of champion stuff as they pulled off a worthy 13 points to 6 win over St. Peter's College, in their annual Inter-School rugby fixture, worked off amidst a big crowd at Longden Place last evening.

Thus the Thomians retained the Archibald Pereira Trophy for yet another year.

The winners scored their points through a goal and two penalties to that of two penalties by the losers. At half STC led 10-6.

Thomians who went into the game as the best school side this season, lived up to their lofty reputation through another marvelous performance by their crack forwards who dominated the set pieces and in the loose, while their backs were quite superb in their tackling which eventually stopped the Peterites in their tracks.

In a match where no quarter was asked nor given, and which was played at a furious pace from the kick-off to the end despite the soggy underfoot conditions. The Thomian forwards, skipper Gavin Jayasekere, hooker A. Munna, twins flanker Jayan Gunathileke and No. 8 Jeewan Gunathileke, along with lock Devaka Corea stood out for the winners in both attack and defence. 

Of the three quarters, winger Suresh Kandiah and full back Azwan Thajudeen were impressive in spoiling many a threatening move, and the latter was a tower of strength manning the last line of defence for the Thomians.

For the Peterites their forwards in an unyielding battle to the very end with their more powerful counterparts, tried their very best to pierce the solidly built Thomian defence, but their over reliance on playmaker no 8 Mario Oorloff, put paid to any chance of the Petes making an impact. 

The Peterites also paid dearly, for fluffing two sitter penalties right in front of the uprights, mid-way through the first half through fly half Lakala Perera, and if not for those missed penalties, the Petes could have made it tougher for the Thomians.

St. Peter's drew first blood in the game when in the fourth minute, Lakala Perera booted a 30-metre penalty to lead 3-0.

Thomians undeterred by it, came to the game in a big way, when lock Devaka Corea having picked the ball off a second phase move, sprinted some 30 metres in a powerful dash to go for the only try of the match, in the tenth minute as full-back Azwan Thajudeen converted to give the advantage to the Thomians 7-3.

Thajudeen extended that lead a few moments later, with another 30-metre penalty to spur the STC score to 10-3. Lakala Perera having bungled with two penalties mid-way through, narrowed the gap just before lemons with a 25-metre penalty, as scores read 10-6 in favour of the winners.

After the turnaround the latter half almost entirely belonged to the Thomians as their terrific cover defence and wonderful tackling in the driving rain meant that the Petes had to come second best to the victors who truly deserved their triumph. 

Full back Thajudeen fired across a 25-metre penalty late in the second half for the Thomians as it was the only scoring done by both sides in the final half which was played in semi darkness.

Referee- Mahinda Jayawardene.

CH revel in the mud

By Bernie Wijesekera
The defending under 24 Hameedia Trophy champions CH&FC had to sweat to earn a hard fought 19 points (2 goals and a try) to 6 (2 penalties) win over the gritty Old Cambrians in a quarter-final match played in wet conditions at Havelock Park last evening. At the break CH led 12-3.

It turned out to be a furiously fought out battle between the respective forwards who revelled in the mud. The scoreline was no indication as the Moratuwa Club, newcomers to competitive rugby, who gave a fine display against their reputed rivals.

In the pre-quarter final match Old Cambrians beat Katubadde Campus 37-6.

Two players from either side was sent to the sin bin for unwarrented play.

The Cambrian team is being coached by the former Police scrum half C. Samarakoon who has done a good job with his charges. There are quite a number of future young prospects who could make the grade with better exposure. CH opened scoring in the 12th minute off a short tap five yards out. Prop J. Ranaweera barged over for an unconverted try. Old Cambrians fired back with a penalty put over by Dhanusha Pubudu (5-3).

CH scored their second try through their forwards close to the Old Cambrians line for prop Ranga Gunewardena to roll over. Diluk Wijeratne added the extra points. 

CH scored their third try through winger R. Wekadapola which went unconverted. (19-3)

During the dying stages Old Cambrians put over another penalty through Danusha Pubudu to make it 19-6 at the long whistle of referee K. P. Navaratne.

Navy too good 
In the second match for the evening the sailors playing cohesive rugby outclassed the Old Zahirians by 27 points (2 goals, 2 tries and 1 penalty) to 3 (1 penalty) at the same venue. At lemons the fitter and strong Navy led 20-3.

The sailors showed better rugby skills and dominated play. The first try was scored by Sri Lanka poolist scrum half and former Isipatana captain Krishantha Chandran. S. Pradeep converted. The Old Zahirians three points came in the first half through Fazmy. (7-3). That was all the scoring they achieved for the entire duration. Winning much of the good ball in the long throws and in the set pieces they went on a spree to score two more tries before the break, to lead 20-3.

The second try was by winger Ranjith Hemantha, which went unconverted. The third was by A. Costa.

The second half was played in semi-darkness. But the Old Zahirians showed much coordination and tackled furiously to keep their opponents at bay.

Just before the long whistle Navy scored their fourth try through scrum half S. Malewana. 

S. Pradeep added the extra points. Referee Priyantha Gunaratne.

Joes rally to down Mahanama

By Ravi Nagahawatte
St.Joseph's produced thunder in a late second half rally to beat Mahanama 14-10 in an inter-school rugby fixture at Bambalapitiya yesterday.

The winners fought back creditably and handled the wet ball well to score twice and win after trailing 0-10 at the breather . 

The forwards were behind all the impressive moves with prop Gihan Munasinghe leading the team's fightback with a timely touchdown .

Munasinghe was a source of inspiration to the Josephians when he crashed over for a try after his pack mates pushed forward from a maul.

Then came an intelligent break by centre Malitha Wijesoma who made things happen after he picked up the scraps from a broken three quarter move and darted through to score.

Kicker Cartic Mohandas lived up to the occasion and goaled both tries to seal their victory. 

Earlier Mahanama undid the Josephians with two tries which came through the efforts of Amila Perera and T. Hanan. 

But the Josephian come back proved too hot for the losers with the second half holding nothing but gloomy memories of a series of errors commited by them . 

S.Thomas', Mahamaya retain swim titles

S.Thomas' Mt. Lavinia and Mahamaya Kandy emerged champions for boys and girls respectively at the 26th Age Group Swimming and Diving Championships to retain their titles at the meet which concluded at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

S. Thomas' aggregated 251 points followed by Ananda (200 pts) and Royal (160 pts) in the boys' section while Mahamaya aggregated 215 points followed by Ladies' College (202) and Asian International School (199) in the girls' section.

In all five records were broken - two each by Jayamal Wijeratne of Ananda and Akshayan Rajasingham of Otters and Arun Karunaratne of Elizabeth Moir International School.

Jayamal broke the records in the under 50 and 100 metres free style events while Akshayan broke the records in the 200 metres individual medley and 200 metres backstroke in the under 16 age group while Arun broke the record in the 200 metres backstroke in the under 19 age group.

The age group champions are: Girls' - Under 10: Prabha Madavi Dharmadasa (Mahamaya), Under 12: Chaturi Abeykoon (Ladies), Under 14: Rukshani Gunaratne (Mahamaya), Under 16: Melissa Boange (Bishop's), Under 19: Theekshana Ratnasekera and Radeesha Daluwatte (Colombo International School), Open: Irosha Miuni Gunasekera (Gothami BMV).

Boys' - Under 10: Rahul Edirisinghe (Asian International School), Under 12: Manjith Thamanegama (S. Thomas'), Under 14: Naveen Perera (Ananda), Under 16: Akshayan Rajasingham (Otters), Under 19: Arun Karunaratne (Elizabeth Moir IS), Open: Ajith Weerakody (Navy).

Kobbekaduwe Clubhouse for Nittawela grounds

By Bernie Wijesekera
The new clubhouse of Kandy S.C. will be declared open on June 14 at Nittawela amid pomp and pagentry. It's a rare milestone in the annals of Kandy S.C. with their humble start even struggling to survive to keep the game on the surface with their limited resources.

It was at this time Denzil Kobbekaduwe, the Trinity 'Lion' roared for Kandy S.C. sans personal gains. Nittawela grounds was a venue forgotten by all and sundry due to its conditions and limited facilities to indulge in sports.

It was then this warrior gentleman and an officer, stood firm and played a decisive role on and off the field which won him much admiration.

Today Kandy S.C. is the only club in the district, which is catering to the needs of the national team whilst giving playing opportunities to the schoolboys in the hill capital to scrum down with pride.

The new clubhouse with all the facilities is fittingly built for a champion club, who could be tagged as the champion team of the 1990s - winning fame for the hill capital and for the country in general.

Many people had a hand to make this new clubhouse a reality. Amid a cool breeze blowing across the historical Nittawela valleys it will be declared open by that brave widow Lali Kobbekaduwe, who had to bear all that agony of losing her husband. It will be named Denzil Kobbekaduwe Clubhouse, a fitting tribute for a lifetime. Lali always spotlessly dressed in white since his demise will focus much attention where people from all walks of life will mark the occasion.

Denzil, is one of the many brave sons, who sacrificed his life so that others may live. Humility was his codeword and he mixed with everyone sans caste, race or colour. The building was donated by Penguin Group and was furnished by Singer Sri Lanka, Lion Brewery, Ceylon Ole Spring Bottlers, Ceylon Tobacco and Access International etc. It could be one of the best in the country.

According to a senior source of the club there will be no barriers - all could make use of it to further develop and improve their skills be it rugby, football, hockey, billiards. This was achieved without state assistance. A joint team effort indeed, he added.

The rugby Union headed by Anton Benedict, who donned the Police and Havies jersy, has agreed to stage an exhibition match to mark the occasion that too in memory of a legend - Kobbekaduwe, who led a simple life to the end.

The President's XV will comprise players drawn from the squad now in training for the upcoming Asiad. The Barbarians XV will draw players on the fringe of gaining national honours. It's a privilege for anyone to be a member of the Barbarians XV, a name which has gained international recognition.

Wisden's Top Five cricketers

On April 5, 2000 the Wisden Cricket Almanac which is considered as the "Bible" of Cricket, published its much awaited five cricketers of the twentieth century. It must have been an arduous task for the selectors to compare players of different vintages. But as Sir Donald Bradman once said, "a champion cricketer in one era would always adapt himself to become a champion in another era". 

Of the selection it could be said that four knights and one surprise claimed the honours. Shane Warne was the only current player not to have been knighted. The others were Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, the late Sir Jack Hobbs and the still youthful Sir Vivian Richards. 

The choice was made by a special panel of 100 players and associated experts on the game ranging from Alf Gover (age 92) to Steve Waugh (age 34) who was the only one currently playing. The panel included voters from every Test nation, still their final choice of five came from only three teams - two Australians, two West Indians and an Englishman. 

Don Bradman's dominance was dramatically underlined by the fact that every single member of the panel voted for him. Gary Sobers did as well receiving 90 votes, and leaving no room for any doubt as to who was the gretest alrounder of the century. 

The next three places were hotly contested, with 47 other players receiving at least one vote, but in the end the verdict was clear. Hobbs received 30 votes, Warne 27, and Viv Richards 25, six more than the best of the rest. The lion-hearted fast bowler Dennis Lillee and that great cricketing ambassodor Sir Frank Worrell polled 19 votes each. 

Shane Warne was far and away the greatest player of the present day in the eyes of the panel, winning twice as many votes as the other four players on the list put together - Sachin Tendulkar (6) Wasim Akram (3) Curtly Ambrose and Alan Donald (1 each). 

England, naturally, had the most number of players on the list. Following Jack Hobbs was Wally Hammond with 18 votes. However, there were not too many players who represented that country after the nineteen sixties. Ian Botham was the only recent player in with nine votes. 

It is no easy feat to remember and select the top five amongst thousands of those who performed successfully. Notable absentees (without a single vote) were: Colin Cowdrey, David Gower, Graham Gooch, Alan Knott, Brain Lara, Steve Waugh, Jim Laker, Geoff Boycott, Keith Miller, Hanif Mohamed, Rod Marsh, Greg Chappell, Niel Harvey, Mark Taylor, Barry Richards, Peter May, Aravinda de Silva, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weeks. 

Nobody voted for himself, but Walter Hadlee, after doing some soul searching, voted for his son, Sir Richard. He had this comment to make: "This has to be embarrassing for me, but there has to be a job to be done. I will cite the bare facts....... It came down to Hadlee versus Lillee. Richard had more wickets, 431 to 355, many more runs, and a greater impact on the game - a factor that the panel had been asked to take into account. I consider him to be marginally ahead of Dennis Lillee. Richard Hadlee ended up in tenth position on par with his contemporary allrounder, Imran Khan. 

England, Australia and the West Indies dominated International Cricket for seventy five years of the past century. Only after the Inaugural World Cup did the other cricketing nations begin to stride forwards. There are top class players emerging from around the world. We will not be around to witness it, but at the end of this century undoubtedly players from other nations will definitely stake a claim. Who knows there may be a Sri Lankan in the top five!


More Sports

Return to Sports Contents


Sports Archives

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business| Sports| Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to 

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.
Hosted By LAcNet