10th December 2000
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Lankan clinches European Formula championship 

Sri Lankan born Michael Mason clinched the European Formula Acrabaleno title at the final round of the championships held at the Zandavoort Grand Prix Circuit in the Netherlands.

This is the first time that a Sri Lankan race car driver has won an International Formula car championships.

The European championships consisted of eight rounds which were held in Holland, France, Belgium, Germany and England.

Mason who had already won the Dutch championships would have clinched the European title earlier but for a major shunt on an earlier round which necessitated the introduction of the safety car.

The championships was contested by 24 drivers, Mason won the second place in Zandavoort on April 24, first place at the same track on May 14 and failed to finish at the same circuit on June 26.

He won the first place in Hockenhein on July 8, the second place in Donnington on August 8, the 7th place in Assen on August 20.

Mason won the third places in Zandavaoort on September 3 and October 10, respectively.

The order of finishing and their aggregate points at the conclusion of the eight rounds is;

Michael Mason (116), Matthijs Bakkum (104), Nicky Pastorelli (95), Dennis V. Putten (88), Jos Menten (87), Vincent Broertjes (72), John Wilbank (68), Bas Vernimmen (68), Milko Tas (52), Nieis Bouwhus (52)_, Machiel Leenders (45), Rogier Jongejans (40), Renier Marchal (39), Linda Teroi (18), Dennis Vd Spoel (17), Roy Vd Weyden (13), Jimmy Vd Ende (11), Robert Vd Berg (10), Ron Van Toren (9), Har Vaessen (9), Pieter Penning (7), alberto Pianta (4), Tim Thedings (2).

Eastern Province bat first against Sri Lanka

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka won the toss and asked Eastern Province to bat in their three-day match at St George's Park on Saturday.


Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (captain), Marvan Atapattu, Kumar Sangakarra, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Prasad Wickramasinghe, Nihal Zoysa, Mutiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando.

Navin and Yasmin retain squash titles at nationals 

By Bruce Maurice
Both the men and women's open national squash champions, Navin Samar-asinghe and Yasmin Zarook retained their titles with hard fought wins over Hirantha Gunasena and Kushani Daluwatte at the Senior Squash Nationals sponsored by Sea Consortium (Pvt.) Limited concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium courts last night.

In the men's final top seed Navin Samarasinghe beat bottom seed Gun-asena in a four setter 9/8, 6/9, 9/7. 9/7 while Zarook beat Daluwatte in a five setter 1/9, 9/2, 9/2, 6/9, 9/3.

Results of the other finals:

Masters' Open: Oliver Guruge bt. Sarath Jayawardena 9/5, 9/5, 9/4.

Novices: J/U.Perera bt. D.U.L. Perera 9/3, 9/7, 9/5.

Over 35 Final (men): Gihan Fernando bt R.S. Deen 9/3, 9/4, 9/6.

Plate Final: Kyle Conraad bt. Nalin Jayatilleke 5/9, 9/4, 9/0, 9/3.

Grandstand booked 

The seats in the Grandstand at the Asgiriya Stadium were booked for England supporters for the Cricket Test between Sri Lanka and England by tour organisers yesterday.

The Sunday Times learns that the hotels in Kandy too were booked yesterday for England supporters.

Rain a spoiler at Ambalangoda

Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Ambalangoda
Rain proved to be a spoiler at the second annual cricket tournament amongst eight Buddhist schools, 15-overs-per-side cricket competition for the Sir Henry Steele Olcott Challenge Trophy at the Ambalangoda UC Grounds yesterday.

The rains came down after lunch at 2 p.m. In the first game Old Dharmapalians did well to topple Old Anandians by eight wickets.

In the second match Old Nalandians, helped by a breezy 40 n.o by Hemantha Devapriya (with 5 sixes), outplayed Old Rahula by nine wickets.

Two matches between defending champions Maliya-deva and Old Sokians, and Dharmaraja-Mahinda were marred by rain.

These two matches will be played today (Sunday) commencing at 8.30 a.m.

The four losing teams will play in a six-a-side knock out, while the winners will play for the Cup Final.

Old Anandians - 105 for 4 in 15 overs (J. Hewagama 40 n.o (3x4, 2x6), Ooshadie Weerasinghe 23, Palitha Gunasekera 24 n.o) lost to Old Palians - 106 for 2 in 11 overs (N. Senasinghe 25, 

S. Gunawardena 37 n.o (5 fours)

Old Rahula Matara - 129 for 3 in 15 overs (A. Gamage 26, L. Liyanage 40 n.o (2x4, 3x6), Malaweera 20 (2x6) lost to ONSC - 132 for 1 in 11 overs (H. Devapriya 40 n.o (5x6), S. de Silva 23, J. Seneviratne 22 n.o, D. Sirisena 18 n.o).

Mr. Nelson Mendis will be the chief guest.

A rare Rose blooms in Puttalam District

Once Rose Fernando returns, she will be assigned to professionally coach talented girls in the Puttalam District and co-ordinate with Coach, Rohan Fernando of the Marawila Women's Cricket Academy. Though in her early twenties, the petite Rose Fernando has a very colouful cricketing career in a short spell. She represented Samudra CC of Katuneriya and at sixteen years, captained the team against the experienced Colts CC whose then captain was, Rasanjali Silva. 

The President, Gwen Herat of the Puttalam District Women's Cricket Development Council, successfully arranged a professional training cum coaching stint for four girls from the Puttalam District headed by Rose Fernando. 

They have already left for Lucknow in India for the four-week coaching programme. 

Once Rose Fernando returns, she will be assigned to professionally coach talented girls in the Puttalam District and co-ordinate with Coach, Rohan Fernando of the Marawila Women's Cricket Academy. 

Though in her early twenties, the petite Rose Fernando has a very colouful cricketing career in a short spell. She represented Samudra CC of Katuneriya and at sixteen years, captained the team against the experienced Colts CC whose then captain was, Rasanjali Silva. 

Later she joined SLIMLINE CC and was a valuable player at the Women's World Cup'97, as a schoolgirl from Katuneriya Madya Maha Vidyalaya. 

Rose also played against all the visiting international teams of International Women's Cricket Council as well as being a team member in overseas tours. However, she fell short of making it to the CRICINFO Women's World Cup 2000 currently in New Zealand but is in the reserve list. 

In the meantime, Gwen Herat who will be attending the International Women's Cricket Council, will make arrangements for a girl from the IWCC to play for a women's club either in England or New Zealand for an year to make Sri Lankan women's cricket more professional and reach greater heights. 

These are part of the programmes lined up for 2001 by the WCASL.

In brief

Defamatory allegation to be tabled at IWCC executive meeting 

In an interview carried in the Ravaya of 19-11-2000 with the Secretary, Rohini Fernando of the Sri Lanka Women's Cricket Association has publicly alleged that certain officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka had intervened and obtained full membership for the Women's Cricket Association of Sri Lanka. 

'This shocking and shameful statement of falsehood amounts to gross humiliation and credibility to the world's highest controlling body of women's international cricket. Their reputation has been tarnished ' said Gwen Herat, President of WCASL who vows to take it up at the highest level when she attends the International Conference for women's cricket next week at Christchurch, New Zealand. According to Herat, the ignorance on the part of the SLWCA Secretary, has prompted this allegation. 

If she was aware that full membership is granted only after careful evaluation of performance and credibility by the Executive and all member countries of the IWCC . If one country objects no membership is given. Therefore, this allegation is not only towards the IWCC and WCASL but all the constituent countries of the IWCC and the BCCSL as well. They all have the option of claiming unlimited damages from the secretary of the SLWCA for defamation, credibility and pain of mind. 

A duly certified English translation of Fernando's Sinhala statement will be made available to all those countries and Executive concerned. 

When asked Herat would initiate legal action, she said. 'Let me first brief the Executive of IWCC . I have already discussed this matter with my lawyers but will wait until the return of two officials who are currently in New Zealand with the World Cup Team.' 

Hockey mess in Hong Kong

The parents of hockey players from Colombo, Matale, Kandy and Badulla have in a petition pleaded to the Minister of Sports Lakshman Kiriella to hold an immediate inquiry and bring to book the culprits involved in damaging the reputation of the sport in general and players being humiliated.

This happened during the tour to Hong Kong for the International championships where despite these hazards they finished in fourth position.

The Sri Lanka team comprising 18 players and 7 officials left on November 9, but it was a pity to note that the Hockey Association remained closed on this day which resulted in the team having to change their clothing on the public road.

Wishing goodbye to the team was done in public places, while the players had to comb their hair with the assistance of vehicle mirrors.

No vehicle was arranged for the team to go to the airport, which was later on made available on a police vehicle, while no support was given by the association.

The parents of the players had to bear the cost for the tour with no assistance given by the Association nor the Schools Federation.

The tour was made possible due to efforts of the parents the petition to the Minister states, while in Hong Kong the team had to rough it out in a house and the meals had to be found by the players themselves. Cooking went on till midnight and the very next morning they had to play.

Apparently no prior arrangements were made for the tour. 

Worthy recognition for cricket authors

It is sad indeed that for a too long period of time, the vital issues that concern the Sports Literature, very specially the recognition for those who make worthy contributions to this field, has never been addressed adequately and effectively in this country. These have never been high on any agenda for action, especially at a time when here there is a dearth of good sports literature of educational value - a good source of the much needed inspirational value to the young minds.

There is neither recognition nor any encouragement given in the field of sports literature by the state or by any sports bodies here yet.

What our sports authors need is not any special rights and privileges, but equal opportunities and equal recognition that has been given to those in all other fields of literature here. They have always remained to date, neglected and discriminated. These were the very appropriate observations made and remarks expressed at the end of the closing ceremony of the 38th World Congress of the Open International University for Complementary Medicines held in Colombo at the BMICH last Sunday.

It is the sincere belief of all the sports fans here, that at least the new Minister for Sports Lakshman Kiriella, would now take the initiative from here along with respective sports bodies in the country, for the equal recognition for the contributions made to the field of Sports Literature.

The Open International University, which firmly believes of the complementary medicines and importance of sports for a healthy mind and a healthy body, have recognised periodically the yeomen services rendered by our distinguished sports personalities. They have taken the vital initiative, in giving recognition with the award of special accolades to the following three eminent personalities of our country, who have made worthy silent contributions to the field of Cricket Literature, in writing and publishing worthy material after painstaking efforts of great research.

S.S. Perera for his 636 page book filled with vital statistics and valuable information, titled "Janashakthi Book of Sri Lanka Cricket History (1832) - (1996)", the only publication here of this kind.

Channa Gunasekara for his book, "The Willow Quartette", documenting the outstanding performances of four of the past brilliant cricketers the country produced, over three decades of time.

Ajith C. S. Perera for his stupendous effort now even as a Paraplegic, in writing and publishing that internationally famed A - 4 size 242 page book, "The Golden Era of Sri Lankan Cricket", certainly a worthy collector's item for every Sri Lankan Cricket lover to treasure for a life - time.

S.S.(Chandra) Perera a planter for 32 years by profession, hony. recorder for the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for many years and the liaison officer to 26 international cricket teams to Sri Lanka, is a very well-known personality when it comes to Sri Lanka Sports Histories. He has produced large number of booklets, souvenirs and brochures for many clubs, schools and the cricket board in this country, written with an acute insight of the game. Amongst a large number, three of his other worthy contributions are the 100 years of Rugby Football in Sri Lanka, 100 years of Royal Thomian Cricket and 50 years of Bradby Shield Rugby Royal vs Trinity.

Channa Gunasekara, professionally a tea buyer and blender, is the son of famous Dr. C. H. Gunasekara - the first Ceylonese to play English Country Cricket, was the automatic choice for opening the batting, for All Ceylon team in the 50 decade. They are the only instance in Sri Lanka, of both father and son being admitted as members of the prestigious club, the MCC. Channa has also been a radio and TV cricket commentator as well as a national selector, and even qualified as a level - 1 coach both in cricket and tennis. Apart from his frequent articles in the local newspapers written with deep knowledge, he has helped in the compilation of sports literature, particularly the 100 years of cricket, Royal vs St. Thomas and then again Royal vs Wesley.

Ajith C. S. Perera, a Chartered Analytical Chemist by profession, has simultaneously qualified both academically and professionally, in a strange mix of Chemistry and Cricket. This former senior manager and the university cricketer is a fellow of many a reputed international professional body. Ajith is not only a test-match panel experienced senior cricket umpire, but also a professionally qualified training instructor, a scorer and an experienced examiner from the prestigious ACU & S England, a very rare honour to gain, by a Sri Lankan.

He was also amongst the eight cricket people of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac - 2000, for his achievements and worthy simultaneous contributions to the game in many of its avenues.

By reason of personal adversity, he has also become an accomplished author and a writer, contributing many a worthy article to numerous cricket publications.

His determination and courage to still contribute to the game he loves so much, even though physically impaired to an extent, with his wealth of practical experience and competence, very special his determined efforts to resurrect his shattered innings in life, as remarked at this occasion, is certainly a great inspiration and a lesson to us all. It could not have come on any other better day than the International Day for the Disabled that appropriately coincided with this same day of 03rd December.

Karawagoda, the born athlete

By Bruce Maurice
Studying Mathematics in the Advance Level class at De Mazenod College, Kandana is Ivantha Pradeep Niroshan Karawagoda. His ambition in life is to enter the University and qualify as an engineer. But one look at this strapping six-foot youngster is enough to convince anybody that he is a born athlete. A devout Christian not only by name but also in his deeds to his family and friends. At home he is a shining example and inspiration to his brother and sister, while at school he is ever willing to pass on whatever knowledge he has gathered in his short but brilliant sporting career to any one who seeks it.

Being still only a schoolboy he has already coached two youngsters also from De Mazenod College who are champions. Denver Pereira, the under 15 javelin champion at the All Island meet in 1998 and Arjuna Madus-hanka, the present Public school's javelin record holder. If not for Karawa-goda's heart of gold, Madushanka would never have been where he is today. When a former coach tried his utmost to sabotage Madushanka's career it was Karawagoda who came to his rescue and guided him on the correct path. And for that Madushanka will follow him even to the ends of the earth.

His father, who undertakes building contracts to keep the home fires burning, was his first coach and inspiration. His father has supplied him with all the equipment he needs for his athletics, weights, javelin etc, while his mother also gives him all the encouragement. To his parents and also to a former athletic captain of De Mazenod, Prasantha Wijesinghe, Mr. Milroy Jayasinghe, Mr. I.D. Premasiri of the Sports Ministry, who is his present coach, Brother Granville Perera and the members of the staff of De Mazenod College, the debt that he owes them is one that money will never repay.

The first school that Karawagoda attended after discarding diapers was the Dharmapala Kanishta Vidyalaya in Gampaha. It was at Dharmapala that he first showed signs of his sporting talent, when he won the under 9, high jump, 50 metres and 75 metres at the age of seven, at the schools Sports Meet. Leaving Dharmapala, he joined Vidyakara Kanishta Vidyalaya, Gampaha and then De Mazenod College, where he has more facilities to reach the top of the athletic ladder. At Vidyakara Kanishta he became the under 11 age group champion when he won the 50 metres, 75 metres, long jump and high jump events. Taking part in his second Circuit meet, he put his school on the athletic map, when he won the under 11, 50 metres, 75 metres and high jump to be declared the under 11 champion at the meet. The same year, participating at his first District meet, he won the under 11 high jump event.

Finally at the age of twelve years in 1993 not only for athletics, but also for his education, he enrolled as a pupil at De Mazenod College. And not only in the class room, but also in the field of athletics he has done De Mazenod proud. In 1994, at his first sports meet at his new school, representing Romould House, he was placed third in the high jump and the following year (1995) second in the javelin Putt Shot. That same year, in his 3rd Circuit Meet and the first for De Mazenod, he came 3rd in the Javelin event and for the third time was chosen as the Boy's Overall Champion.

Facelift for Bloomfield

By Bernie Wijesekera
"The newly elected president of the Bloomfield C and AC, Upali Dharmadasa, has the vision to achieve his mission," said the immediate past president of the club Shelley Wickremasinghe in an interview with The Sunday Times.

Shelley, who served the club for 25 years as its president handed over the reins to Dharmadasa at its general meeting held recently.

Wickremasinghe stated that after a long wait at its helm of affairs he was happy to hand over the reins to Upali Dharmadasa, who will continue his good work for further development of the century-old club.

Dharmadasa has started with a bang. He is going to spend his personal funds which will go into millions and with the support of well-wishers for this re-development project. The clubhouse will be afforded with a new lighting system. The players facilities including lockers, improved bathrooms and personal lockers. Dharmadasa, will not stop there. Increased spectator facilities with more chairs. He has used his good offices and has received a big donation from Phoenix Industries to make this a reality. There will be an air-conditioned bar. With this re-development programme the club is assured of having all the facilities to be tagged as first class, Shelley added.

The long over-due billiard room will become a reality thanks to Dharmadasa's personal interest. This will be a bonanza to the club which will be completed before the year 2001, Sinhala Hindu New Year.

He is also looking into the player requirements. Apart the club payment to the players, Upali has decided to increase it substantially. Now it's upto the players to commit themselves to do proud to the club and for themselves.

A permanent physiotherapist, is in attendance, which was a long-felt need. Physio Thamal, is being employed. The club possesses a small gym, but it will be further improved with better accommodation.

Veteran Yoga is National Kart champion again

By Channaka de Silva
Veteran Motor Racing ace Yoga Perera has once again returned to his element as he emerged Sri Lanka's karting champion with a magnificent victory in the final round of the Karting championships held last Sunday.

Coming into the final round tied on 34 points with Dejan de Zoysa for the lead, Perera mustered all his experience blended with his unerring skills on the track to good measure to clinch the decider in exciting style for a brilliant win that turned back the clock, bringing back memories of the heyday of the champion.

Zoysa who had won the two previous rounds to close in on Perera produced a stiff challenge but the champion was in a different class as he raced to claim both the final round and the championships.

In this final race, Zoysa finished third behind Romani de Silva who picked up six valuable points to claim the overall third position.

After the final round, Yoga had 44 points in six outings while Zoysa had totalled 38. de Silva finished with 28 points.

Perera won the Sri Lanka Karting championships after a lapse of nine years since 1991 when he was tied for the top spot with another great champion Suranjith Premadasa.

Inoka Priyadarshani Wickremage of Jainaraja Balika Vidyalaya, Gampola in Judo and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara of Ananda in Cricket were chosen as the best sportswoman and best sportsman at the 10th Milo Schools Colours awards ceremony held at the BMICH.

Pushpakumara is away in South Africa with the Sri Lanka cricket team and his father collected the award. D.N.D.P. Caldera of President's College, Kotte was chosen as the up-and-coming sportsman in athletics while J.N.K.J. Gonawela of Mahamaya Kandy won the up-and-coming best sportswoman's award. (The full list of the colours awards winners will be published next week).

Sports scribe puts out song cassette

Veteran sports scribe Vernon Gunasekera will be putting out a Sinhala song cassette titled Mang Atharamang Wela, (I am at Crossroads) on December 14, which he says will be a big hit amongst music lovers.

Vernon, an Old Boy of Kingswood College, Kandy played rugby for the school in the 1970s and was also a keen karate student before he took up sports writing.

Vernon says that sports writing and music go together and that he will continue to work as a sports writer.

He is the eldest son of the late Proctor Vernon H. Gunasekera of "Below the Bench" fame and Mrs. Zuleika Gunesekera.


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