26th November 2000

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Man who knew too much

Businessman Ashraf Patel may have been silenced because of his links with the cricket world

By Quaied Najmi/Mumbai

The end had as much drama and mystique as his colourful life. Bollywood, whose movers and shakers rubbed shoulders with the dead man, could well have made a thriller based on his life. The connections of Ashraf Patel, 40, who was shot dead near the Noor Backer Building, opposite south Mumbai's Nair Hospital, were so vast that virtually the entire elite of Mumbai were shell-shocked. But post Hansiegate, it was his links with cricketers that became the talk of the town. Had the match-fixing scandal claimed its first casualty?

He was so close to Indian cricketers and board officials that some of them made him manage their earnings.

Large sections of the media initially dismissed the murder in routine manner. But as the police investigated, reports of his connections trickled in; the list of friends included Bollywood stars Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Tabu, Sunil Shetty, Juhi Chawla, Farah, Sangeeta Bijlani and former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin. Hours before he was gunned down, he had lunch with Dutt.

His closeness to cricketers made people wonder if it was a case of 'man-fixing'. What was more, there was a strong South African connection. One of his father's relatives was a cabinet minister in the South African government, while a cousin was a high-ranking official in the South African foreign ministry. In fact, his father had died while on a visit to Durban three years ago and many of the family members had gone there at that time.

Patel and other family members had varied business interests in the Cronje country. Of course, it is yet to be established if Patel had anything to do with Hansie. Or whether he was one of the top-rung bookies looking to ensnare big fish like him.

What is known is that he was an avid cricket fan and a regular at the venues of international cricketing events, particularly Sharjah. A family member confirmed that he was so close to Indian cricketers and officials connected with the game that he travelled with the team to Sharjah on more than one occasion. And that some cricketers and board officials trusted him to the extent that they made him manage their earnings.

A builder having family ties with the Patels claimed that Ashraf Patel was a key link between some cricketers, cricket board officials and bookies. And that he might have provided valuable leads to the authorities about the three suspects in the Cronje affair Kishen Kumar, Sanjeev Chawla and Rajesh Kalra.

This builder believes that a Chhota Rajan gang member tipped off the Delhi Police about the Cronje affair allegedly to settle scores with Dawood Ibrahim's gang. But after the CBI got into the act, he claimed, the same Chhota Rajan gang conspired with some bigwigs to silence Patel once and forever.

Rapid rise: Building where Patel lived

Patel's climb up the social ladder was sensational. An average school student who never attended college, the successful businessman had a knack of cultivating friends. He never missed a chance to throw or attend a good party and had the reputation of being a 'doer'.

Some of those qualities may have been inherited. Patel's father, the late Ibrahim Machchiwala, hailed from Jodia near Rajkot in Gujarat and owned a fishing company in south Mumbai. At some point in his career, Machchiwala came into contact with big-time smugglers like Yusuf Patel and Haji Mastan, Karim Lala and Sukur Narain Bakhiya. Along with fish, he started bringing in drugs, gold and contraband in his vessels, and later even by air.

Machchiwala was arrested during Emergency but he escaped conviction because there was not enough evidence against him. During the Janata rule, he along with other top smugglers surrendered before Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan.

He then turned to respectable businesses like real estate and film financing and settled down to a quiet life of social and philanthropic activities. Film actors like Dilip Kumar and Bindu became his close friends.

It was he, along with partners S.P. Seth and Omar Malabari, who built the famous Heera Panna Building and shopping plaza at Haji Ali in 1981. When Machchiwala retired in 1985, he owned half a dozen shops in the Heera Panna complex, that earned him a comfortable income.

Meanwhile, son Patel set up a travel agency but washed his hands off it after he found himself slapped with a case. It had to do with a scandal about hundreds of passengers travelling on stolen Air India tickets on the India-Canada sector. Soon, he launched Ikon, an outlet selling world class spectacles.

He rent out space in the Heera Panna complex at fabulous rates to high-profile clients while settling for modest premises for his own business. With the profits, he bought more space in the same complex. He also made huge profits by selling premises at opportune moments. To cite an instance, a premise that he had acquired for a few lakh rupees in the 80s fetched him about hundred times more after a decade when real estate boomed.

Bollywood personalities had been regular visitors to the Patel household since the days of Machchiwala but it was Patel who found ways of making moolah out of such long-standing friendships with Bollywood bigwigs.

He dealt in expensive watches, glasses, luxury footwear and crystalware and acquired sole distribution rights for international brands like Cartier, Swatch, Longines and Tissot. He would promise multinationals that he would arrange top Indian film and cricket stars to endorse their products in return for sole distributorship. In this way, he made Azhar the brand ambassador for Tissot while Aishwarya Rai endorsed the Longines range. He was behind Swatch promoting Shah Rukh Khan-Juhi Chawla's maiden production venture, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.

Patel (with Aishwarya Rai) promised MNCs that he would arrange celebs to endorse their products in return for sole distributorship.

Recently, he launched the prestigious Swarovski crystal in India at the Crossroads, a stone's throw away from the Heera Panna complex. He had also secured government clearance to convert Milan Cinema in Santacruz into a multiplex.

It is said that Patel used to procure branded products through illegal channels even before imports of such luxury items were permitted by the Centre in the early 90s and supply them to his celebrity friends. Though he later opened official outlets in different parts of the city, he allegedly continued to get a bulk of his stock through the unofficial routes. "He could easily afford to give some pieces as gifts to famous persons,'' said a family friend. He is said to have given a watch worth Rs 12 lakh to a beauty queen and a luxury car to a senior Congress leader. A Union minister's family shopped in Mumbai at his expense. The list of his beneficiaries is long.

But his lifestyle wrecked his marriage; he and his wife of 20 years, Mahezabin of Pune, were living separately. There have been whispers of Patel's romantic links with glamorous women in the city. When Mahezabin came to pay her last respects to her estranged husband, she was thrown out by Patel's mother Zubeda and Farah, Tabu's sister.

During his last hours, Patel was accompanied by a cousin, Mohammed Abdul Sattar, who also suffered two bullet injuries. He is recuperating in a city hospital and may have some vital clues for the police. And all those who are interested in the match-fixing scandal.

After Patel's killing, Mumbai police were planning to question a few of his friends in the film industry. They had a telephonic talk with former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, who reportedly bagged an ad contract with a Swiss watch company thanks to Patel. The two men were believed to have had lunch together in a restaurant, a few days before the murder.

"The investigations are on, but there is nothing to be disclosed now," said Joint Commissioner of Police D. Sivanandan. In the absence of a conclusive link, the cops were reluctant to blame the betting mafia for the murder. "The data does not support betting and match-fixing as the possible motive behind the murder," said an officer. "Property dispute, hawala transactions and connections with the Dubai underworld are also being seriously investigated."

One theory being closely examined is whether the murder was a reaction to the killings of three Shiv Sainiks in recent weeks. The Sainik killings were allegedly carried out by the gang of Karachi-based don Chhota Shakeel. "Shakeel owes allegiance to Dawood. Patel was also alleged to have links with the underworld in Dubai. It is likely that the Chhota Rajan or Ali Bundesh gang eliminated Patel as a reaction to murder of the Sainiks," said an officer.

The hand of the betting mafia was not being ruled out, though. There were many who saw Azhar's friendship with Patel as a pointer to the alleged nexus between the cricketers, bookies and the underworld. Mumbai takes the lion's share of the estimated Rs 1,000 crore that reportedly changes hands in betting during a cricket match.

Investigations into the betting-cricket nexus were proceeding in other cities too. Two Scotland Yard officers, Martin Hawkins and Bruce Horbury, landed in Delhi last week and met Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police K.K. Paul and DCP (crime) P.K. Srivastava. The detectives are on the trail of Indian bookies who, according to England player Chris Lewis, approached him to throw away a match. The English & Wales Cricket Board had handed the case to Scotland Yard but it was closed in the absence of evidence. It has been reopened after Hansiegate. "Now the various links have to be established, and the accused have to be tried," said a Delhi Police officer.

The visiting policemen have reportedly handed over details of the mobile phone conversations of Sanjeev Chawla, a London-based NRI who is one of the prime accused in the match-fixing case. Scrutiny of the mobile phone records revealed that Chawla made several calls to Hansie Cronje and Bollywood actor Kishen Kumar.

In Ahmedabad, meanwhile, the crime branch claimed a major breakthrough on April 22 when they arrested four persons for satta while the Pakistan-West Indies match was on. "Satta has been popular in Ahmedabad even before cricket betting made the headlines!" said Subhash Trivedi, assistant commissioner of police (crime branch) Subhash Trivedi. "There is a lot of money in Gujarat."

But Trivedi refused to throw light on the mystery woman running a bookie racket from Gujarat and Mumbai and who, the Delhi Police suspects, acted as a go-between for the bookies and the South African players. She is believed to be connected to the gangs of Dawood and Chhota Shakeel.

P. Sara development programme

The Development programme of the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium got underway on November 14, 2000, with a simple traditional ceremony at the premises that was attended by a distinguished gathering of members of the General Committee, sub-committees and donors. The Patron of the club, Mr. V. Balasubramaniam, cut the first sod and laid the foundation stone to inaugurate the programme.

The President, Mr. Tryphon R. Mirando, in welcoming those present said that the club is embarking on a building project after over 18 long years, when two buildings were constructed to host the inaugural Test against England in 1982. Referring to the initial programme, he said that with the funds received from the members of the club and donors, two badminton courts and two squash courts will be constructed with the necessary facilities for the membership. He further went on to say that the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka has also given them funds for the modernization of the existing dressing rooms in Phase I of a separate programme and towards the construction of a grandstand in Phase II, which will link up the two upper floors of the dressing rooms with the grandstand.

School Cricket in Kandy- mid term test

By Aubrey Kuruppu

The weather has been particularly harsh, yet the enthusiasm of the cricketers could not be dimmed. In between showers, as it were, the games have gone on. Kingswood has outstripped the others in the matter of games played. Almost all the other schools have settled for three while the former played five.

The newly-promoted Anthonians collapsed in a heap, not once but twice, to taste the bitter pill of defeat against Maliyadeva who, like them, only made the 'A' division this year, skipper Samson Burke has already passed the three figure mark twice (against Wesley and Vidyartha) but there is a lurking danger that the emphasis is on individual performance at the expense of the team. Last year's skipper Nafees Nizam has disappointed with the bat. Paceman Lahiru Fonseka and Nipuna Ratnayake have, by and large, delivered. Muthukuda should put his shoulder to the wheel more.

Rain on the second day prevented an interesting tussle for the lead in the Sylvestrian match against Trinity. However, the former's showing in the Colombo games was not all that impressive. Things should imrove when skipper Chanaka Wijesinghe starts hitting it big.

On the whole, his contributions thus far have been modest. Left armer Chamila Ratnayake has been among the wickets and has posed a consistent threat. Senior players such as Rifai and Lihindipita will have to make more substantial contributions. Pasan Weeraratne has been the mainstay of the Trinity batting and he will have to continue in the same vein next turn too. The Trinitians have capable batting down the line, Weerakoon, a late order batsman, has come up with good knocks. But the top order - Chandran, Rodrigo, Fernando, Rajaratne and Gamage - must pile it on. The Trinity bowling is weak and this area must obviously be causing some concern to the powers that be. Paceman Mendis is lively but not all that threatening while Gamage has been a bit disappointing. Skipper Rodrigo could be useful and would do well to give the ball some air. The Trinitians lost to the Sebastianites and have drawn their other games.

Dharmaraja's batting has been all about the performances of Haresh Ratnayake. He has rarely disappointed. Nirmal Wickremaratne has given notice of his improved all-round talents, opener Muditha Wijekoon is going through the horror, while skipper Anuradha Jayasundera can come up with bigger contributions. The high point of the team's performance was the win over Zahira, achieved with time to spare. Their game against the Thomians ended as a close-run affair, but this was due in large measure to a bold declaration by their opponents. Many teams in similar circumstances would have battled on and on to achieve that elusive first innings lead. Not so the Thominas who delcared behind their opponents total and thereby threw the game wide open.

Kingswood has been the busiest team. They had a good outing against Vidyartha, but when it came to the crunch, they didn't perform all that well against the Thomians. Skipper Chamara Seneviratne has led from the front, but he needs greater support from seniors such as Wattegedera. Their main bowler, Mauzoon, has not been terribly productive, but left armer Silva has helped bridge that gap. Off spinner Katudeniya has shown good form and Ekanayake has batted well. Once all the members of the team start chipping in, this team should be able to hold their own.

Vidyartha is a bit short on experience and relies a lot on seniors such as the Nanayakkara brothers, Sajith Perera and Dunusinghe. Youngsters Wekodapola and Kulasekera show promise. Skipper Sanjay Nanayakkara has already registered a hundred and will have to continue churning out the runs. Harsha, the younger sibling, should come good soon. Their showing in the third term wasn't all that impressive and Vidyartha must be hoping for better times in 2001.

Sri Rahula's problems have been aggravated by the fact that two of their leading batsmen have left school with 2 or 3 years of school cricket still to be played. The bowling has variety and has generally been equal to the task.

Left armers Pieris (spin) and Gunasena (medium pace) have been impressive. Skipper Weerasekera had a good outing against Trinity and that should give him the necessary confidence. More runs are needed from the likes of Ratnayake, Fernando, Priyadarshana and Danukage.

Playing in Division 3, Sri Sumangala has started with a bang, registering two wins.

Ups and down for Kelaniya

Kelaniya C.C. led by Laksiri Costa won 3 matches and lost 3 in their Division II Under-23 Cricket Tournament conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka concluded recently.

Deepal Dasanayake 241 runs with 3 half centuries, Prasad Sanjeewa 237 runs with 2 half centuries, N. Tharaka 195 runs and S. Nimantha 114 runs with half a century a piece excelled in the batting for the K.C.C.

In the bowling, Laksiri Costa with 19 wickets, Suranga Fernando 14 wickets, Indika Ruwanpura 11 wickets and Lanka Chinthana with 10 wickets done well for the Kelaniya C.C.

The Score card
Kelaniya C.C. vs Nomads S.C.

Nomads 1st Innings - 203 all out: S. Nishantha 50, (I. Ruwanpura 2/34, L. Costa 2/22, L. Chinthana 2/29) and 103 for 2.

Kelaniya C.C. 1st Innings 234 all out N. Tharaka 63, P. Sanjeewa 62, D. Dasanayake 30 and A. Soyza 33 (B. Lukshantha 3/37). First innings points for K.C.C.

Kelaniya C.C. vs Old Cambrians

Old Cambrians 1st innings - 192 all out: S. Perera 54, T. Soyza 54 (S. Fernando 5/57, A. Soyza 3/37) and 134 for 4 wickets.

Kelaniya C.C. 1st Innings - 174 all out: D. Dasanayake 59, A. Soyza 29, S. Fernando 26 not out (S. Pieris 6/72).

Kelaniya C.C. vs Kalutara P.C.C.

Kelaniya C.C. 1st innings - 274 all out: S. Nimantha 73, D. Dasanayake 53, I. Ruwanpura 28 (D. Bandara 5/79) and 117 for 8 wickets ( L. Costa 34).

Kalutara P.C.C. 1st innings - 201 all out: D. Rathnayake 71 (L. Costa 5/41, I. Ruwanpura 2/33).

Kelaniya C.C. vs Old Anandian S.C.

Old Anandian 1st innings - 224 all out: L. Fernando 40, Y. Wickramage 39 (L. Chinthana 5/62, L. Costa 3/62, I. Ruwanpura 2/21).

Kelaniya C.C. 1st innings - 212 all out: D. Dasanayake 56, A. Soyza 34, P. Sanjeewa 28 (K. Fernando 5/54, M. Somarathna 4/50).

Kelaniya C.C. vs Ragama C.C.

Kelaniya C.C. 1st innings - 153 all out: S. Fernando 37, L. Chinthana 34, N. Tharaka 18 not out (S. Arangalle 4/32, S. Pinto 3/38, R. Dilruk 3/25).

Ragama C.C. 1st innings - 233 all out: S. Pinto 77, C. Hettiarachchi 46, M. Mallawarachchi 44 (L. Costa 6/77, I. Ruwanpura 2/69).

Kelaniya C.C. vs Colombo Malay

Kelaniya C.C. 1st innings - 204 all out: S. Fernando 47, N. Tharaka 43, P. Sanjeewa 30, Wasantha 21 (R. Wickramaratne 6/85) and 243 all out. P. Sanjeewa 77, N. Tharaka 38, I. Ruwanpura 30 (S. Fernando 4/26).

Colombo Malay 1st innings - 178 all out: M. Dilshan 54 (I. Ruwanpura 3/30, S. Fernando 3/37) and 92 for 7 wickets R. Wickramaratne 36 (S. Fernando 4/26).

Inaugural confab for Susanthika fund

Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Australia

The inaugural meeting to discuss the formation of the Susanthika for Gold - Athens 2004 Fund will be held on Dec. 8, with Sri Lanka's High Commissioner, in Australia, Mr. Bandara, by the Sri Lanka's Athletics and Sports Foundation, in Victoria. It will be held at the B.A. Centre, Clayton, Melway, Vics. scheduled for 7.30 p.m.

The live-wires of the Foundation, Dr. Olga Mendis, a key member of the Sinhala Cultural and Community Services Foundation in Victoria, and Eddie Gray, the former Olympic boxer, who was a member of the 1948 team when legendary Duncan White, won the first medal in Olympics for the little Lankans are the co-ordinators will discuss with the H.C. to finalise and make it a reality for Susanthika to continue her training without let or hindrance, in preparation for the Athens Games.

Despite trials and turbulations unlike late Duncan White, the Warakapola girl had guts and determination to help Sri Lanka, win its second medal after 52 years.

According to Dr. Mendis, who is doing much for the Lankans here with her community service told The Sunday Times, she was able to get the act together along with evergreen Eddie Gray. Of course H.C.Bandara and the Lankan community has assured of all support for this great happening to help Jayasinghe.

Gray, said, not only the Lankans, but he was confident of the sport loving Aussies, too will contribute to fill its coffers.

After the first meeting with H.C, Susanthika will be invited to Victoria and hosted to a reception and meet the Lankans here personally.

Incidentally, it was a rare milsetone for Gray to have witnessed both the medal winning runs first at Wembly Stadium when Duncan White won the first medal.

Then after 52 years was there again to witness Susanthika's heroics in Sydney. He had a bird'-seye view of what happened on and off the field, when she made it a medal winning run. Gray, was appointed as co-ordinator for the Lankan team by former Sports Minister S.B. Dissanayake. In its wake Eddie masterminded this fund along with Dr.Olga Mendis. Daham Wimalasena, who served the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, under late Gamini Dissanayake, is co-ordinating for Jayasinghe at this end.

Inter school cricket

Tame draw at moratuwa

By Shanaka Silva

A good all round performance by Buddhika Dananjaya, match bag 10 for 59 against Isipatana which ended in a draw at Moratuwa yesterday.

From overnight 74 for 4, Isipatana were all out 109, in reply to Prince of Wales first innings total 288 for 9 dec. In the second innings, Isipatana were in deep trouble at 67 for 5, but R. Hasan's knock of 39 with 5 boundries saved the day for Isipatana.

Scores: Prince Of Wales: 288 for 8 declared (C.Rodrigo 64, Manjula Bandara 49, Rashan Pieris 38, S.Galappatti 21, Buddhika Dananjaya 47, Isuru Vindana 2/54, R.Silva 2/36

Isipatana 109 all out in 47 overs (R.Indika 17, Rasika .Hasan 15, B.Dananjaya 4/17, S.Rajith 3/19, and 160/9 Rasika Hasan 39, C.Perera 16 no, I.Vindana 14, S.Rodrigo 15, Buddhika Dananjaya 6 for 42, A.Paliyakoon 3/34

Das hits maiden test century

NAGPUR, - India were 306 for two at the close on the opening day of the second test against Zimbabwe on Saturday.

Opener Shiv Sundar Das scored his maiden test century as India plundered easy runs.

They had raced to 222 for one at tea.

Das, playing only his third test, was unbeaten on 110, he and the in-form Rahul Dravid (59) having shared a 150-run second wicket stand.

The diminutive Das reached his hundred just before tea. It included 19 fours.

He and Dravid, who scored an unbeaten 200 in the first test in Delhi, accumulated 131 runs in the second session.

Sadagopan Ramesh scored a brisk 48 in the opening session before being run out by Heath Streak's throw to the non-striker's end as he attempted a quick single.

Volleyball at Matale

The Volleyball Federation of Sri Lanka will conduct the first round fixtues of the senior men's and women's Volleyball National Championship - 2000, on a district basis from December 2-10 and the two champion teams of either sex from each district will make it to the final round that will be held at the National Youth Services Centre (NYSC) Courts in Maharagama from December 17 - 21.

The men's and women's volleyball tournament for the Matale District Championship, jointly organised by the Matale District Volleyball Association and the District Sports Office will be worked off on December 9th at the Bernard Aluvihare Stadium.

High scoring in Bambalapitiya

Experienced batsmen Udara Silva (156), and Amila Wettasinghe (108) cracked two magnificent centuries while adding 151 runs in a sparkling fourth wicket partnership to power Kalutara M V to a mammoth first innings score of 360 for 7 wickets in reply to St. Peter's first innings of 320 for 3 declared as their inter school cricket fixture petered into a high scoring draw at Bambalapitiya yesterday.

Udara Silva who resumed at his overnight score of 42 simply set about demolishing the lacklustre Peter's bowling as he along with Amila Wettasinghe scored their runs at better than run a ball to gain the honours in the drawn encounter.

On a ideal batting strip Silva last season's skipper and a fifth year player lashed 17 scorching boundaries as well as two huge sixes in pulverising the home side's bowling.

His partner Wettasinghe a fourth year player hammered11 fours apart from clubbing two sixes to delight a partisan crowd at Bambalapitiya.

Silva's fantastic innings came off 217 deliveries while Wettasinghe's knock realised in 105 balls underlining the sheer dominance of batting by the southern school.

For the home side leg spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi bowled best claiming figures of 4 for 99 while the rest were pummelled.

Peterites faced with a first innings deficit and with no possibility of gaining a decision opted for batting practice in the final session making 127 for 2 when stumps were drawn.


Kalutara M V 63/2 cont, 360/7 wkts dec.

(Udara Silva 156, Amila Wettasinghe 108, J Soyza 10, Nadeera Nawela 16, Tuan Sampath 13, Pramuka sudesh 20, Ranga Fernando 13 n.o., Kaushal Lokuarachchi 4/99)

St.Peter's 320/3 dec, & 127/2 wkts at close.

( Denver Faux 35, Jehan Jayasuriya 30, Arjuna Garumanna 17 n.o., Anuruddha Gallage 35 n.o.,Geethan Joseph 2/51) (J.K)

Ranjith grapples his way to 69 kg title

The best wrestlers medal was won by S.A. Ranjith of Kochchikade Community Centre when he emerged champion in the 69 kilogram category at the first open wrestling championships conducted by the Veterans Wrestling Federation held at the Central YMCA Fort.

T.H. Fernando of the Sri Lanka Air Force won the best loser's medal in the championship held to honour Wimaladharmasooriya who won a silver plate in the wrestling championships held in Germany in the 18th century.

The overall championships was won by the Air Force and was presented the Wimaladharamasooriya Challenge Trophy.

Over 200 grapplers participated in this meet from the Defence Services, Universities, Schools and Community Centres.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Song Young-Oh was the chief guest and gave the awards.


Weight Class 32 kg

1. Dilum Thushara (Katuneriya WC), 2. Taraka Salinda (Kochchikade CC), 3. E.M.S. Priyankara (Premil WC), 4. P.G. Isuru (Siyane WC).

Weight Class 35 kg

1. L.M. Rajapaksha (Kochchikade WC), 2. Shantha Bindu (Katuneriya WC), 3. W.A.S. Ravindra (Katuneriya WC), 4. S. Chanaka (Katuneriya WC).

Weight Class 38 kg

1. A.N.B.P. Kumara (Kochchikade CC), 2. A. Wijendra Kumar (St. Mary's WC), 3. S.K.N. Fernando (Premil WC), 4. M.K.H.C. Senarathna (Gampaha MMV).

Weight Class 42 kg

1. J.A.G.H. Dushantha (Kochchikade CC), 2. Y.M.P.K. Bandara (Sri Lanka Army), 3. W.M.C.R. Sanjeewa (Katuneriya WC), 4. R. Fonseka (YPCC).

Weight Class 46 kg

1. M.D.P. Appuhamy (YSWC), 2. W.M.D.N. Fernando (Katuneriya WC), 3. P. Ranasinghe (YSWC), 4. M.M. Harris (Kochchikade WC).

Weight Class 50 kg

1. M.A.U. Mallawarachchi (Sri Lanka Air Force), 2. W.R.S. Appuhamy (Katuneriya WC), 3. A..M.M. Milan (Kochchikade CC), 4. Amila Chaminda (Kochchikade CC).

Weight Class 54 kg

1. T.S.I. Kumara (Sri Lanka Air Force), 2. K.L.S. Perera (Sri Lanka Air Force), 3. P.A.D. Kumara (St. Mary's WC), 4. K.P.T. Perera (Kochchikade WC).

Weight Class 58 kg

1. W.A.R. Fernando (Katuneriya WC), 2. E.A.M. Priyankara (Premil WC), 3. R.I. Liyanage (YSWC), 4. Y.R.D. Fernando (Sri Lanka Air Force).

Weight Class 63 kg

1. M.C.S. Salgadu (YSWC), 2. W.S.D. Fernando (Sri Lanka Air Force), 3. U. Sampath (Armstrong WC), 4. R.M.D. Rajanayaka (Sri Lanka Army).

Weight Class 69 kg

1. S.A. Ranjith (Kochchikade CC), 2. P.N. Fernando (Sri Lanka Air Force), 3. R.A.R. Aravinda (Sri Lak WC), 4. G.M. Alwis (Sri Lanka Army).

Weight Class 76 kg

1. W.M. Wishmajith (Katuneriya WC), 2. S.M. Jan (Sri Lanka Air Foce), 3. K.A.R. Ruparathna (Katugampala SC), 4. P.D. Kodippiliarachchi (Gampaha MMV).

Weight Class 85 kg

1. S.M. Chandana (Armstrong WC), 2. B. Rohan (Amstrong WC), 3. K.P.D.P. Wijesekare (Sri Lanka Air Force), 4. A.U. Niroshan (Sri Lanka Army).

Weight Class 97 kg

1. L.A.D. Perera. (St. Michael WC), 2. V.P. Fernando (Sri Lanka Air Force), 3. W.L.S.K. Walisundara (Sri Lanka Air Force), 4. M.H.E. De Silva (Gampaha MMV).

Rover pinpoints…

Talking big

Who is this women's cricket official talking big, stating that she is more qualified than others to control the sport in Sri Lanka? This official does not know the ethics of addressing persons of repute. She has also gone on record that this will be the last World Cup represented by the other camp and dictating terms to the International Women's Cricket Federation.

Not promoting, but discouraging

The AAA President has gone on record stating that it is high time that women's hurdler Sriyani Kulawansa and men's quarter miler Sugath Tillekaratne call it a day. Why is he worried about this duo, is it because he is worried that his pupils - Pradeepa Herath and Rohan Pradeep Kumara do not have a chance to topple them. Form has proven this. Shame on you the AAA President, have you gone crazy?

Minister's permission

A leading swimming club in Colombo has proposed the name of a person to serve in the Committee of the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union of Sri Lanka (NAASU) and a leading club from the outstations has seconded his name. For the second time, Rover learns his nomination has been turned down by NAASU, who had insisted that this person gets permission from the Minister of Sports to contest the post of serving in the committee. Rover also learns that the NAASU is scared of this person getting elected to the committee, fearing exposure. Over to you Mr. Minister.

Head of coaching threatened

A foreigner who is trying to help in improving the standards of coaching in swimming in Sri Lanka, has been threatened by a supposed-to-be coach from a leading girl's school in Colombo and a top swimmer who wanted this foreigner to stop a promised series in The Sunday Times on the promotion of swimming in Sri Lanka. In short this duo was scared of the exposure on the weaknesses. What a shame indeed, cannot they stomach these in good spirits?


The Big Mouth, using his influence has ordered all the rubbish from the AAA headquarters be dumped in front of the Sri Lanka Foundtion Institute which is proving a health hazard at Torrington Square. This dirt has been dumped and there are no signs of the garbage removal for the last two months, despite objections being made.

Colts through to Premier League Final

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Colts SC led by Chaminda Vaas coasted to a Comfortable 44 run victory over Tamil Union in a Premier League Semi final played under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

In a low scoring game Colts batting first were bowled out for 174 ,but hit back by playing good ,attacking cricket to bundle out Tamil Union for 130 and book a place in Thursdays Final.

Batting first on a brown lifeless track Colts lost the wicket of Kaluwitharana (05)with the total on 19,but recovered well through a solid 67 run stand for the second wicket between Chaminda Mendis(35) and Jeevantha Kulatunge(35).

However with the introduction of Spinners Muttaih Muralitharan and Niroshan Bandaratilake Tamil Union not only put the brakes to the Colts innings,but had them in a spot of trouble.Muralitharan sent back both batsmen and Sujith Janaka(05) while Bandaratilake removed Sajith Fernando(02) as Colts slumped to 97 for 5 in the 25 th over. At this stage Muralitharan and Bandaratilake were surprisingly removed from the attack much to the liking of the Colts batsmen who milked the other Tamil Union spinners to reach a modest 174.

Chasing an asking rate of about 3.5 runs an over Tamils reached 45 for 2 in the first 15 overs.However their batsmen were slightly overcautious and careless in their shot selection as they succumbed to some good and accurate Colts bowling attack.

First it was the Colts medium pacers paces Liyanage,Weeraratne and Upashantha who accounted a wicket each.Later spinner Dinuk Hettiaracchchi ripped the Tamil Union middle order to grab four wickets and guide Colts to a comfortable victory. Skipper Vaas also did a commendable job by attacking the Tamil Union batsmen throughout the innings.

Tamil Union

G Wijeyakoon lbw b E Upashantha 05

R Dias c Samaraweera b Liyanage 09

R Pieris c Kaluwitharana b Fernando 34

M Gajanayake c Vaas b Weeraratne 02

A Ridigammanagedara run out 01

U Chandana b Hettiarachchi 19

N Bandaratilake c Vaas b Hettiarachchi 08

I Galagoda c Kauwitharana b Hettiarachchi 06

B Jeganathan c Vaas b Hettiarachchi 05

S Jayaratne c Kauwitharana b Weeraratne 13

M Muralitharan not out 06

Extras 22

Total (all out in 46.3 overs0 130

Fall of wickets 1-15,2-34,3-47,4-60,5-89,6-89,7-102,8-110,9-110


C Vaas 7-1-15-0 E Upashantha 3.3-0-17-1 D Liyanage 7-0-19-1 K Weeraratne


D Hettiarachchi 10-2-29-4 S Fernando 10--24-1

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