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22nd October 2000

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Theekshana shows her class

By Leonard Ratnayake

A solitary Sri Lankan record and four five national records tumbled at the three-day National Swimming and Diving Championships which concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.

Theekshana Ratnasekera fresh after Olympics showed the difference, the participation at the Sydney Olympics had done to her, when she won her all three events with two new national records.

Theekshana bettered her own record in her pet event 50 M freestyle clocking 29.65 seconds which is 0.23 secs. shorter than her performances at the Olympics.

Her other record came in the 100 metre free style when she bettered the previous mark of 1.05.01 secs set by Deepika Chanmugam in 1989 with a timing of 1.04.26 secs.

"It really boosted my confidence," said Ratnasekera of her Olympic memories. However 19-year-old Colombo International School lass and Sri Lanka's future swimming prospect was not certain about delivering goods at the coming SAF Games in Pakistan, since her participation would clashed with her flight to the United States for studies.

Radeesha Daluwatte whose performances too had been improving in the recent past won three events out of five losing two to Ratnasekera and was able to set a new national record. Daluwatte's record came in the 50m backstroke event when she clocked 35.71 secs to better the previous mark of 36.14 secs set by Ruchira Money in 1999.

Nadia Senanayake of Ladies' College too had a record under her name when she won the breast stroke with a time of 39.07 secs. which is better than the previous mark of 39.14 by Melani Boange in 1999.

Arun Karunaratne was the only male swimmer to establish a national record in the meet when he won the 50 metre backstroke in 29.72secs surpassing the old mark of 29.87secs by H.E. Nishantha in 1999.

The only Sri Lanka record came in the invitational event when a Sri Lankan born canadian who represented Sihalese Sports Club won the 100 m freestyle with a timing of 53.42 to erase the old mark of 54.23 set by Indian Sebastian Xavier.

The overall National Swimmig and Diving Championship was won by defending champions S. Thomas' College with 167 points while SSC became the runners up with 113 points.

Ladies' College emerged the champions in the girls' events with 80 points with Bishop's College being the runners up with 73 points. Last year's champions CIS finished in third place with 70 points.


Inter-School Cricket

Pasindu's 53, the highlight

By Shanaka Silva

The match between Royal College, Colombo and D.S. Senanayake MV Wijerama ended in a draw at Reid Avenue yesterday.

A fighting knock of 53 runs by Senanayake's Pasindu Liyanarachchi was the only highlight of the innings.

He hit five sixes on his way to a quick half century.

Batting first D.S Senanayake declared their innings at 129 for nine and gave 152 runs for eight.

Among the Royalists Kaniska Edirisuriya (62) excelled with a fine half century.

In the second innings Senanayake made 171 for seven to give Royalists a victory target of 149 runs in 22 overs.

Royal escaped defeat at close of play being on 52 for six.

DS Senanayake MV - 129 for 9 dec. (P.Liyanarachchi 53, M. Wickremasinge 18; A. Kariyakarawana 3 for 8) and 171 for 7 decl in 68 overs (A Dhampriya 46, M.D, Silva 23, B.Vinod 21; J. Ratnayake 2 for 42, D. Perera 2 for 24)

Royal College - 152 for dec. in 46.1 overs (K. Edirisuriya 62, A. Perera 35, D. Perera 23; P. Liyanarachchi 2 for 43, Rajahetti 3 for 21) and 51 for 6 in 22 overs (A. Perera 12, P Wijerathna 10 not out, P. Liyanarachchi 2 for 6, Rajahetti 2 for 27)

St. Anne's crushed

A good allround performance by both bat and ball by skipper M. Pushpakumara helped Ananda to crush St. Anne's Kurunegala by an innings and 15 runs at Ananda Mawatha yesterday.

St. Anne's - 153 (U.Perera 42, R. Perera 25, R. Abeyratne 20; Kasun Fernando 3 for 49, T. Kandanby 2 for 17, M. Somaratne 2 for 26; M. Pushpakumara 2 for 30) and 90 (C. Ediriweera 35; Kasun Fernando 4 for 32, M. Pushpakumara 3 for 11).

Ananda - 258 for 6 (M. Pushpakumara 94, Ishan Abeysinghe 64, N. Jayantha 37 n.o, Y. Wickremage 31; R. Perera 2 for 55)

Drab draw

The Josephian-Thurstanite cricket enocounter fizzled out into a listless draw yesterday with no side taking the initiative to force a result. Batting first the Josephians took 71 overs to score 219 and declare for the loss of 8 wickets. Top scorer was S. Perera with 65.

St. Joseph's - 219 for 8 dec. (D. Perumal 42, S. Perera 65, D. Bastian 17, C. Arvinda 23, T. Wijeratne 14, S.Jayakody 25; G. De Silva 4 for 59, N.Randika 4 for 61) and 49 for no loss (D.Pathirana 17 not out, D. Perumal 30 not out). Thurstan - 239 for 8 dec. (S. De Silva 31, Chamith Arvinda 47, P. Shanuka19, D. Karanagoda 12, N. Randika 39, S. Nishanthha 35, D. Pathirana 6 for 53).

-BM


"Susanthika - Athens 2004 Olympic Fund"

Further to our announcement of the establishment of a "Susanthika - Athens 2004 Olympics Trust Fund", the Foundation has now successfully negotiated a trust deed between the dwsf and a proposed set of trustees, naming Susanthika Jayasinghe has the sole beneficiary of this Trust. The Foundation has in its objectives provided for the mainteance of her aging parents and for Susanthika's disability should she become one. The proposed trustees are: Jennifer Moragoda, Chairlady of the Trust Fund in her ex-officio capacity as President of the dwsf. Daham Wimalasena as Susanthika's nominee to serve on the Trust. Chrisantha Perera, Chairman Forbes & Walker and dwsf Board member. Ranel Wijesinghe, President, Chartered Institute of Accounts of Sri Lanka and partner, Coopers Lybrand, President, National Olympic Committee in his/her ex-officio capacity or designated representative. President, Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, in his/her ex-officio capacity. Mohamed Muhsin, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, the World Bank, as Chairman of dwsf Liaison Committee, Washington DC, Elmo Rajasooria as Chairman, dwsf Liaison Committee, the UK, C. Vijitha Fernando, dwsf trustee and Acting Secretary will serve as Secretary to the Trust Fund.

Your contributions, be it small or large, by any negotiable instrument, should be sent to the:

"Susanthika - Athens 2004 Olympics Fund", Iceland buildings, 49/16, Galle Road, Colombo 3.


Amrith bags Robbialac award

Young Amrith de Soysa shot a great nett par round again to win the 'A' Division classic and take the Robbialac award despite unfavourable playing conditions. Coming behind him were Chula Amerasinghe, Anel de Silva and Jehan de Saram who shot nett 73 each. It was encouraging to see Tissa Chandradasa and Anura Rohana return to the scene. They had encouraging gross par rounds but still 2 strokes behind their handicaps. We trust we will see more of these lads more frequently. For example it will be worth encouraging 2 special stroke play rounds each month with only the following participating - Tissa Chandradasa, Anura Rohana, Jehan de Saram, Rusi Captain, Lalith Kumara and Amrith de Soysa thrown in for good measure.

Dilana Pieris wins

Young Pieris impressed considerably with an excellent round of 3 under par nett 68 and he will be amply rewarded with a fashionable medal and Robbialac for the impending season. Not so young Ron Bakelman and long range Neil Chanmugam struck 81 each to tie for the lowest gross score in Division 'B'. Bakelman with nett 69 came 2nd to Dilana Pieris. Loose limbed and gangling Mohan Alles had good reasons to be beaming all afternoon. He caressed a praiseworthy nett par round and treated himself and his mates lavishingly at the 19th. Tissa Jayasinghe had a comparable nett result to tie with Alles and stay prominent after the last hole. Unbelievably there were ten centurions in the 2nd Division with the most devastating stroke play coming from the Club heads of Mahendra Ambani whose nett score was 102. Sumal Perera, Ferin Careem & Bernard Fonseka were exceedingly lavish to the pond boys.

Premasiri excels

Saman Premasiri is studded with enthusiasm. He enjoys the game and relishes company if only the conversation was golf. He has been chasing to break 100 and last week was his great day when his Clubs responded, the balls obeyed and the greens were true to him. His nett 66 was a tremendous result and nobody envies the joy the result gave him with his take home Robbialac trophy. Wasantha de Silva who has been in the news just recently with his success abroad returned an excellent nett 68 to come 2nd in the 'C' Division.

This Division was loaded with quite a few commendable performances. Jit Wanigasekera with a new accelerated swing was longer then usual off the tee. He was miserely with his strokes and was amply rewarded with a nett 69. Mohan Ratnayake was another good performer richly deserving of his nett 69. The others who impressed were Dayananda Hewawasam & Kenji Kojima on nett 70 followed by Ray Takata the tender son of the popular Japanese personality T. Takata who is a spritely young player showing great promise and much is expected of him in the years to come.

Disaster zone

This area was further infested with a harvest of century makers, 3 dozen of them raised hell, moved earth, plunged into ponds and generally messed around in search of success and I must comment that in the true spirit of the game the centurions thoroughly enjoyed their outings on the battered Ridgeways. The 19th hole showed much evidence of their pleasure and happiness.

Senior Ambanpola

K.B. Ambanpola continues to dominate the Senior Division. The last outing was exceptionally impressive and I want to see the handicap Committee saw down his handicap promptly. His nett score of 64 deserves a massive slash. Prof. M. M. Ismail who is raising his head in this Division came 2nd with a nett par round. The Ridgeways of the Royal Colombo Golf Club was packed to capacity with participants accepting the invitation from Lankem, the Robbialac people to play in their sponsored medal round which was outstandingly successful thanks to indefatigable Lionel Almeida and A.D.C. Ariyadasa.


New Zealand all round stuns favourites India

March 1996, in Lahore, saw the greatest achievement in International Cricket, when Sri Lanka, one of the least favoured teams destroyed all opposition to win the World Cup. New Zealand's achievement in winning the "Mini World Cup" in Nairobi wasn't as testing or as tough, but they went in as one of the underdogs and walked away with all the riches. Their most recent one day encounters were against Zimbabwe. On home soil they lost the series 2-1. Not a result to boost confidence in anyway.

In the opening round they met the same opposition. The tournament only entertained winners. The Kiwis dealt a knock-out punch and did not look back from there. To win a tournament such as this it is essential to play good cricket consistently. The Sri Lankan shone against the West Indians, then were off colour against the Pakistani's. South Africa won overwhelmingly over the Englishman but could not get their act together against the Indians. It was a rare day when their bowling and fielding faltered. That was enough for the Indians to capitalize. They put up an untouchable 295 runs and the tournament favourites and inaugural champions had to bow out . Pakistan could not maintain the form they produced against Sri Lanka, when they met the Kiwis. They played well in patches, but that wasn't helpful. New Zealand had the will to claw back from difficult situations. They were able to turn things around just when the opposition seemed to be getting on top. It was a rude shock for the Pakistani's who must have fancied their chances to become champs after they toppled Sri Lanka.

India played positive, attacking, sensible cricket for three games and twenty overs in the finals. The pace and bounce on the pitches suited their batsmen perfectly. From their opening game against Kenya, Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid and company took to the surface like ducks to water. Saurav Ganguly is reaching the peak of his batting powers. He could be classed as the most elegant left hand batsman in the world today. Off the front foot he displays power and timing. In particular he drives on the off side is sheer mastery. Since being appointed national captain Ganguly has batted with even more responsibility and together with maestro Tendulkar are a treat to demolish any new ball attack in the world.

In defeat, one of the consoling factors for the Indians was the emergence of Yuvraj Singh and Ranjeev Khan. They needed to bolster the batting in the absence of Mohomed Azzurudhin and Ajay Jadeja. Yuvraj did just that. Khan did the same in the bowling department filling in for Javagal Srinath. The left arm paceman need some chiselling to reach a sound end product. At present he has the makings to become a potent quick bowler. Teenager Yuvraj Singh of the Champion under 19 team took the giant step to big time cricket with absolute ease. He is technically sound with a good temperament and should be a mainstay for India should he continue his game in the fashion he has began.

New Zealand clinched the plum through an all-round team effort. They fielded very well in all three games. The bowlers picked up wickets and bowled accurately in the middle overs between twenty and forty. The batsmen who got in and got set continued to go on and make a big score. All vital factors in winning at one day circket.

The innings that Chris Cairns played was undoubtedly the best of the tournament. Any batsmen would have been proud to play such a knock. Cairns proved that day that his is worthy of being tagged the best all-rounder in the world. As the tension mounted the big Kiwi stayed calm and guided his team to the first major cricketing success, for quality of cricket they play, played, they thoroughly deserved the success.


"We have all the chances of clinching the Women's World Cup 2000' says women's cricket chief

'Our team has vastly improved and they are ready to take up the challenge' said Gwen Herat, President, Women's Cricket Association of Sri Lanka. 'They are confident enough to go beyond what they achieved when they debuted at the Women's World Cup 97.' With new young blood introduced and experienced Rasanjali Silva captaining, I don't see any reason why we should not clinch the title and perhaps salvage the prestige Sri Lanka lost at the men's World Cup 1999. This will boost the image of both men's and women's cricket in our country.

This year the Lankan team goes as a Test team and will battle it out with the other finalists, England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Ireland, India, Australia and South Africa. Sri Lanka is tipped as the 'dark horse' to take the title from present holder, Australia. Sri Lanka is the youngest member in the International Women's Cricket Council with full voting rights. The Women's World Cup is sponsored by CRICINFO and organised by NEW ZEALAND CRICKET on behalf of IWCC. Lanka Tiles is the principlal sponsor of the Lankan team while Hatton National Bank, Samarasinghe Brothers, LATEC, CIC Paints, Mast Lanka, L B Finance are among many co-sponsors. The team is coached by former Test Cap/Wicket Keeper, Guy de Alwis who successfully coached the 1997 World Cup team.

Team Rasanjali Silva (Captain) Sudarshini Sivanathan, (Vice Captain) Dedunu de Silva, Kalpana LiyanarachchiChamani Seneviratne Ramani Perera Hiruka Fernando Thanuja Ekanayake Champa Sugathadasa A D Janakanthimala Hiroshi Abeysinghe Indika Kankanage A A Indralatha Chandrika Lakmali.


"Scouring the Augean stable of sports"

By C. Vijitha Fernando

Congratulations Lakshman Kiriella, for your appointment as Minister of Sports: of all the appointments of Her Excellency the President appointed, perhaps an appointment that brought the biggest relief to all Sri Lankans in every corner of this troubled land of ours, was yours. A special thanks to the President for this great and fine appointment.

For even a moment condemnation is not contemplated on the role played by your predecessor - his was the most despicable administration ever faced in its short history - brought only disgrace instead of the many accolades the government should have received for some of the most phenomenal successes Sri Lanka achieved during these years - be they from winning the World Cup in cricket, to the steady improvement of other sports to a degree of admirable success, to finally the fantastic Bronze Medal in the women's 200 metres at the Millennium Sydney 2000 Olympics. None of these were by the former minister.

To scour the Augean stable at the Ministry of Sports will truly be a "Kiriella" task that is usually expected of a Herculean like person that has been thrusted upon a "Lion" for no fault of yours. Perhaps your tenure of office would only touch the depths of depravity to corruption, to downright disgraceful events that have been reported, particularly in the print media, would indeed be a candidate for an Olympic medal for that task alone - if such a medal is possible in the affairs of the sports.

The first, order of business for the honourable minister is to remove every vestige of influence, position, and association in the Ministry of Sports. Simply show them the front door to all those in the previous administration. Start with the secretary, all the way down to the one who leaned to the ministry coolly Bring a fresh lot of people who are versed in sports, who have played sports and who understand sports.

Be hard and harsh in this respect. Your will start well and will do whole lot of good. The cancer set in the ministry is of unbelievable proportions.

Second, throw out everyone at the Sugathadasa Stadium management complex. This magnificent complex is in ruins - run down because of improper maintenance, management given to those who had no idea of managing such a vast and modern complex. You should advertise the post or bring down foreign expertise to manage and make profitable such a great complex. Director-General's closeness to the minister caused havoc to this National Complex. Millions of Rupees may have to be poured to upgrade the complex to what it was.

Third, boot the chairman and the present members of the National Sports Council. NSC served no purpose nor did it improve, give proper guidance for the administration of National Sports Associations or advanced their sports in general. Its chairman was the minister's hatchet person, as one put it more aptly. "Judas of all Judas's!" - was handsomely rewarded for his treacherous effete role, got to go to two Olympic games, lived lavishly at the beneficiary end, serving as the NSC's chairman for over six years.

Fourth, remove the co-ordinating secretary of the former minister from all its roles and duties. His spouse, serving as assistant director from the ministry, which you should do forthwith and the national coach, for their sordid roles for what sports has become to be.

Their arrogance, blatant authoritative discharge of their duties, impunity and disregard for all civilized norms of government administration, devastated at all levels of our sports.

Fifth, conduct an audit of the vast sums of funds that was made by the co-ordinating secretary, his spouse, national coach, chairman of the NSC, made over the past six years, particularly the former two.

Sixth, dissolve the National Olympic Committee and call for fresh elections. Its officers were never elected. NOC president enjoyed government patronage until he fell foul of government powers that be. Its secretary received special cowardly dispensation from the Sri Lanka Navy to serve as Director-General of Sugathadasa sports complex.

Seventh, audit the International Olympic Committee solidarity funds allocated to Sri Lanka. Tens of million of Rupees of Olympic solidarity funds have been squandered and/or used for their personal use.

Eighth, dissolve all National Sport Associations and appoint Interim Boards until March 2001 when fresh elections will be held for new elected officials. There will be several servile sycophants who will come forward as "White Knights" to regain their lost positions. Please be mindful of such persons and you will know who they are by inquiring around.

Ninth, appoint a sports officer at a deputy directorate level to look into the affairs of each has in an attempt to ensure that these NSA's conform to their constitution and sports law. Favoured treatment given to some of them by the ministry led to the decline of these NSAs: example - Naasu.

Tenth, engage the services of a reputed auditing/accountancy firm to review and report on the financial statements and audited accounts of the NSAs. This will force NSAs to be accountable to funds obtained from the government and sponsorship. Lastly, please set up a National Sports Authority to manage the affairs not only of our Olympic sports, but all sports.

The control of these NSAs at ministry level have led to this sorry situation - Susanthika Jayasinghe affair is a clear case of such despicable involvement by the Ministry of Sports and the application of the sports law to the detriment of those who attempted to do the right thing for the sport, by a despicable few.

All this cannot be done in the first 100 days - but it will be useful to give it a good start at the very outset before the cancer is allowed to continue. Good luck and the courage needed to scour the Augean stable of sports of ours.


Rover pinpoints .

Already leaking

The newly built AAA headquarters at Torrington Square has started leaking and the scheduled hush-hush meeting due to be held on Friday was shifted to its old Headquarters at the Race Course.

The Treasurer of the AAA is a notable absentee from meetings, breaking the tradition of accounts being presented at every AAA meeting.

One wonders why.

Forged letter

Letters calling Rover words which cannot be described has been sent by a fictitious writer with a bogus address and forged signature. It looks as if the anonymous writer is not able to stomach what has been said which is 100 percent true.

Come, come admit the faults and also take note of an ardent swimmer turned selector making use of his position to take revenge from a swimmer because he was not given an extension by the swimmer's father.

Where is the SLBF Treasurer?

The president and the members of the executive committee of the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation were at dark when the treasurer had not attended the last EXCO meeting held recently at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Where has the treasurer gone?

Is SLBF Treasurer in USA?

Rover understands from reliable persons that the treasurer has been sent to USA by the Vice President SLBF after collecting a large sum of money on a scholarship awarded to SLBF from a University in USA.

Congratulations President SLBF

Rover scores in bringing the two Basketball Federations under one umbrella to promote and develop Basketball in Sri Lanka. At a recent EXCO meeting the president of the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation using his powers vested in him invited members of the newly formed federation to attend the EXCO meeting and present the grievances.

Affiliation to SLBF

Rover is reliably informed by members of the SLBF EXCO that Gampaha District and Sri Lanka Army have been re-affiliated to the SLBF. But Colombo District has not been affiliated. Which Colombo District is the active association is what has to be decided.

ABC Youth Championship - Qatar

Rover is informed that our youth team that toured Qatar lost all the matches and earned the name as the last team in the rating in the Basketball Tournament. Why did we lose the matches even against the week teams? Why were the best team and best players not taken in this tour?

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