Sports Plus
16th July 2000
Front Page
Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business
Sports| Mirror Magazine
The Sunday Times on the Web

Kippax the stylist who had to wait 

By Bruce Maurice 
When the game started, Kippax won the toss and had no hesitation in batting. The hesitation was to come later - in the batting. Within five hours, New South Wales were all out for 220. As the next day was Christmas Day, there was no play and the game was resumed on Monday. 

At half past eleven, Bill Woodfull and Bill Ponsford walked out to open for Victoria. Woodfull should have been run out when he was only seven and this would have been a vital breakthrough for N.S.W. Ponsford mistimed a pull shot from McNamee and the ball flew high to Kippax at mid-on. Woodfull had most probably not recovered from his Christmas celebrations, because his reflexes were muddled and he began charging down the wicket. 

This particular delivery was a no-ball, and Woodfull was committing the only known indiscretion of his career. He was completely at fault in going for that run and moreover it was Ponsford who should have done the calling. Ponsford rightly stood his ground and yelled, "No Bill: go back!" Woodfull was now stranded in no man's land, as Kippax fielded the ball and sized up the situation. As so often happens, on such occasions, time to think can lead to trouble. Quick, impulsive action is often best, ruling out errors of judgment. NcNamee, crouched over the stumps waiting for the return. Now McNamee was as mad as a hat but a write off as a fielder, one who had no patience to wait for the ball. Kippax, who was well aware of NcNamee's weakness and having all the time in the world, sent in a perfect slow lob. It was destined to land nowhere else but straight into McNamee's hands. But McNamee could not suffer the agony of waiting. The ball seemed to mesmerise him and it drew him forward. 

He made a grab for it and at the same time fell over the stumps, fumbled the ball and dropped it. In the midst of this horrible muddle, Woodfull raced safely back home. By that blunder, instead of the first wicket falling at seventeen, N.S.W. had to wait until the score reached 375! That was bad enough for N.S.W. But when stumps were drawn for the day, it was even worse. Ponsford was 334 not out and Hendry 86 not out, and the score one down for 573. Mailey had bowled 28 overs and given away one hundred and forty eight runs without taking a wicket. Ponsford's batting that day had been faultless and he did not give anything that resembled a chance. 

The next day when play began, the crowd poured into the ground anticipating Ponsford to break Clem Hill's Sheffield Shield record of 365, which he had made for South Australia also against New South Wales in nineteen hundred. But he did not break the record. Ponsford was out at 352. He snicked a ball onto his boot, from where it rebounded onto the stumps. He turned, surveyed the fallen bail, and said with almost tears in his eyes, "By cripes, I am unlucky!" The remark staggered the New South Wales fielders almost as such as the score. So to the disappointment of the crowd and the relief of the fielders, who had come to perceive the genus at amaranth in his bat and bulk, Ponsford trudged reluctantly back to the pavilion. Not to give thanks to the gods, but to meditate darkly on how fate had been so cruel to him. He batted for 363 minutes, scored 352 runs and hit 36 fours. Hendry threw his wicket away as soon as he reached his century. Love was out for 6 and King went for 7. But then came Jack Ryder, and he committed, first, assault and mild battery on the groggy attack and, finally, sheer murder. Ryder made 295 in 245 minutes with 33 fours and 6 sixes. The crowd were on their feet as Ryder was hitting his sixes. He was 275 when Andrews came onto bowl. 

Ryder hit the first ball for four; the next for six; the next for four; the next for six and then trying to reach his 300 with another six, he was caught in the deep by Kippax. Apart from the Caribbean, there is no more enthusiastic crowd in the world when it is worked up, and Ryder was certainly worked up that day. But the carnage did not finish with Ryder's going. Hartkopf, Liddicut and Ellis continued the slaughter and it fell to Ellis to hit the stroke that brought the thousand up. Ellis was a cheerful fellow and as he ran the three that brought the thousand up, he whooped, 'Come on, there is three in it. The thousand up! Long live Victoria.' Ellis and Morton then ran themselves out and Victoria were all out for one thousand, on hundred and seven, and Kippax led a footsore and humiliated team from the field. 

In their second innings, New South Wales were all out for 230 and lost by an innings and 656 runs. Kippax was learning captaincy the hard way but he was a light hearted chap who always saw the humour in things. One other point must be stressed. Despite the murderous assault, Kippax always saw to it that this bowlers bowled at the stumps and never wasted time in the field. This no doubt, contributed greatly to the fact that Victoria's one thousand, one hundred and seven was made in the incredible time of 574 minutes. 

But just two weeks later, retribution came hurtling out of the Sydney skies on to the heads of Victoria. New South Wales scored 469 and then routed Victoria in their second innings for a paltry 35! McNamee who took 0 for more than a hundred in Melbourne, this time took seven for twenty one! 

And no wonder they say that there is no greater leveller than cricket in this world.

Countdown to the Olympics - 60 days [17]

Chronicling the Olympics [Part 7]

By Annesley Ferreira
"Everybody should have a dream.

Everybody should work towards that dream. And if you believe hard enough, whether it be in the Olympic Games, or be in the business world, or the music world or the educational world, it all comes down to one thing. One day we can all stand on the top of the victory stand, and one day we can watch our flag rise above all others to the crescendo of our national anthem, and one day you can say, on this day 'I am a champion."'

Jesse Owens

The games to celebrate the centenary of the renaissance of the Olympic ideal did not take place where it all began - Athens, Greece: the birth place of both the ancient and modern Olympic Games. The modern games, one hundred years ago - was in Atlanta, Georgia of the United States of America. For the second time in just twelve years the summer Olympics were again in the US soil - a surprising choice. Atlanta is preceded by games held in 1904 in St Louis, 1932 and 1984 in Los Angeles. An estimated US $1.7 billion were spent at the 1996 Atlanta games.

Viewed globally by an unprecedented 3.5 billion people, a record number of 197 nations were represented by more than 15,000 athletes, officials and media personnel. There were 26 sports and 271 events held at these games. The most outstanding athletes were: Amy van Dyken/Swimming (United States) four Golds, Michele Smith/Swimming (Ireland) three Golds and one Bronze, Alexander Popov/Swimming (Russia) two Golds and two Silver, Gary Hall/Swimming (United States) two Golds and two Silver and Alexei Nemov/Gymnastics (Russia) two Golds, one Silver and three Bronze.

Sadly, a horrifying pipe bomb marred the centenary Atlanta games when an explosion took place as the popular centennial Olympic Park, a popular downtown meeting spot. Two people died and 113 were injured. In the tradition of the Olympic games, continued three days later, despite the shattering tragedy, as was in 1972 Munich Olympics, when the Park was reopened, people came back as if the tragedy never had taken place.

"But the Olympics are about nothing if not an athletic endeavour, and once again many events the competitors went faster, higher, and proved they were stronger than ever before, as the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius empowered them to do."

The much awaited magic moment arrived on July 20th in a moving opening ceremony. Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali with former Swimming Gold medalist Janet Evans, strode to light the Olympic flame to a rousing and warm crescendo of applause that thundered out of the packed stadium.

This was demonstrated with murmurs of discontent when the ioc decided to change the sequence of events for track, so that American Michael Johnson could attempt a 200-m and 400-m double, an attempt no athlete had ever successfully done before. There was no reason for anyone to complain about after Michael Johnson completed the Gold double. In the 200 meters Michael improved on his world record with a time of 19.32 seconds - a time most experts thought would only be possible in the next century or not earlier than 2050.

Canadian sprint "bullet" Donovan Bailey won the 100 meters in a world record of 9.84 seconds defeating defending champion, Britians Linford Christie who was disqualified after two false starts.

France's sprinter Jose-Marie Perec, emulating Michael Johnson, won the women's double of the 200 and 400 meters.

Distance king of Ehiopia, world record holder Haile Gebrelassie won the 10,000 meters defeating the challenging Paul Tergat of Kenya.

United States decathlete Dan O'Brien won the event to avenge his disappointment for not making the Olympics four years earlier.

Carl Lewis of the US made the ninth Gold by winning the long jump event.

American Gail Devers retained the 100 meters beating her arch rival Marlene Ottey of Jamaica by an almost immeasurable separation of 0.005 seconds - to give her home team a thrill in their home town. Gwen Torrance anchored the US women's 4 x 100 meters relay to victory in her home town.

Peerless Russian, Alexander Popov proved that he is the world's greatest sprinter by retaining the 50 and 100 meters freestyle and picket two Silvers in the two freestyle relays.

Athens to Atlanta took one hundred years, a phenominal record of accomplishments for the ioc to have sustained successfully such an elaborate festival of the Olympic games to what it is as we saw in Atlanta. With this piece the series on the "chronicling the Olympic games" is over with its final part 7. I thank C. Vijitha Fernando, trustee of the Duncan White Sports Foundation, for the many hours he had spent in researching the statistical part of these series. This attempt was indeed miniscule when taking into consideration the many highlights, the emotional participation and human drama that were chronicled in the past one hundred years of the Olympic games. These series gave as much that was relevant to keep our readers informed the importance of the Olympic games. The countdown to the Olympic series will continue until the opening ceremony that is scheduled for Friday September 15th at the millennium 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

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

When Held
July 20 - August 04



Fedex to prop junior rugby 

By Bernie Wijesekera 
FedEx has been in the forefront in promoting sports worldwide with its sponsorship packages for the last 27 years, said Hamidi Osmen, Senior Vice-President at a press briefing held at the Hilton Hotel over the weekend. 

This was revealed by Hamidi, when FedEx signed a two-year sponsorship with the the Rugby Union's development committee Chairman Y.C.Chang, who chaired the confab. 

Initially FedEx will donate 750 rugby balls to be distributed among the rural schools who have taken to the sport. It's a laudable move to start at grassroots level, where there is talent which should be harnessed and encouraged for he development of the sport. Besides giving the gear they will also help with expertise. The motive behind is to generate a new generation (youth) to involve them in sports and develop their natural skills for a better future for themselves and for the country in general. 

Is this part of your community service to help the less affluent. Any other countries where FedEx is involved? You are right, it's part of our community service. It has spread its wings to Middle East and in the sub-continent - Pakistan and Bangladesh and the African region. In Pakistan and in Bangladesh we are helping junior cricket. Recently Bangladesh has been given Test status. 

In Africa much attention is focused in Black townships, with men and material to develop sports. Before long there will be more coloured players vying for honours at the national level. 

This package to help Sri Lanka's junior rugby, became a reality thanks to my colleagues here - Udeka Tennakoon and Royce Samaratunga. Both are diehard supporters of the game. This is just a start and FedEx will continue to help rugby here - especially among the juniors with a long term programme, Osmen added. 

Y.C. Chang said, they were thankful to FedEx for coming forward to help inject enthusiasm among the newcomers to the sport. The Rugby Union has drawn a programme and has subimtted a model report to the International Rugby Union. The IRB after studying it was impressed and wanted other nations to emulate . As a result the Rugby Union's development committee is in lucks way with financial assistance from IRB to help continue with its good work.

This model report is the brainchild of the President of the Ruhunu RFU, Kumar Abeywardena. He is doing much for the upliftment of the sport in the Southern Province.

Initially it will start in the age groups, Under-19 and 17. Later the under-15 and 11 groups will be added. 

The project will commence in Galle among 187 schools and its wings will be spread to other provinces too Chang said. 

Don't you think its a hurculean task in finding coaches? You are right. But this could be overcome by training the masters-in- charge in sport in the respective schools. This will be done by our competent technical officers - who will impart the basics. Some of them are level 3 coaches. 

The Education Ministry has promised us with all assistence. Even the women teachers could join the scrum. 

Today, Sabaragamuwa is a force to be reckoned in the juvenile tournaments. Sabaragamuwa is headed by Arjun Dharmadasa. Like Kumar, Arjun too is contributing much for its development in the district. 

With a united effort nothing is impossibe. Put aside narrow issues, let's rally round to help Sri Lanka to emerge as a frontline rugby nation in the Asian region. With the support rendered by the sponsors, my committee will make further inroads to develop the sport. 

Already Hoodvian Group Chief Executive Officer Ramai Wiersch, who was present along with Leory Fonseka (coach) has afforded Galle district with a long-term sponsorship package, for the Ruhunu Rugby Club. 

The others, who attended the confab were - Milter Azizi, Snr. Manager Global Service, Harsha Mayadunne, Kumar Abeywardena, Udeka Tennakoon, Royce Samaratunga, Gamini Godakanda (Media Manager MMBL Group) and B.K.Ramachandran.

When Fielder claimed 6/82

Test matches of by-gone days

When Australia and England met at the S.C.G. on the 13th of December for the first Test of the 1907-08 series, England's Captain A.O.Jones was indisposed and F.L. Fane had to lead the England side. Australia lost the toss and England took first strike on a perfect batting wicket. The Notts batsman George Gunn took A.O.Jones' place and made 119 and 74 on his Test debut to top score in both England's innings.

When Australia batted, Clem Hill made the top score of 87 and Australia totalled 300. This gave them a lead of 27 runs. A. Fielder returned the best bowling figures of 6 for 82.

In their second innings, England matched Australia's first innings score and Australia needed 274 to win the Test.

Trumper, Hill and Macartney were disposed of before they could stir a muscle and the innings continued to stutter. The seventh wicket fell at 185 and they still needed 89 runs. However, wicket keeper Hanson Carter with 61 (the top score), Cotter 34 not out and Hazlitt, 33 not out, steered Australia to an exciting two wicket victory. The unfinished ninth-wicket partnership between Cotter and Hazlitt realizing 56 in just 39 minutes.

England - 273 (G .Gunn 119, A. Cotter 6 for 101 ) and 300 (G.Gunn 74, J. Hardstaff Sr. 63).

Australia - 300 (C.Hill 87, A.Fielder 6 for 82) and 275 for 8 (H.Carter 61).

- Bruce Maurice.

Caltex rugby on Sept. 3 

Caltex the pre-eminent lubricant marketer in Sri Lanka has embarked on yet another major brand building initiative when Caltex kicks-off the final round of the inter-club Caltex Rugby league tournaments on Friday 7th July and the Caltex knock-out tournaments on 8th September, 2000.

Associating the high energy and vitality features of its' brands to a daring and high energy sport such as Rugby, Caltex further strengthens its pre-dominant status held in the sporting arena. Caltex is actively involved in upgrading many sports including Motor sports and Cricket. Many drivers and riders have received the checkered flag with the high performance energy provided by Caltex. The Caltex SSC 1st XI team is probably the best in the national cricketing arena.

In conjunction with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) the company has signed a 3-year contract as the sole sponsor of inter-club rugby in Sri Lanka. In addition Caltex has also confirmed the sponsorship of the Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees for the remaining period of year 2000.

Caltex Rugby will be powered with the energy of superior Caltex brands such as Havoline, Delo and Revtex. The high energy and vitality features of these brands is the driving force that empowers Caltex to dominate the sporting arena. Caltex brought in the much-needed change to Motor sports in Sri Lanka, added strength to Cricket and is now ready to scrum down to Rugby to add more life to the game.

Caltex will work closely with the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) to ensure progress of the game, to pick up and create a force to be reckoned within the Asian and soon in the International arena.

Index Page
Front Page
Mirrror Magazine

Return to Sports Plus Contents


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