11th February 2001
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When gentlemen were at the forefront of cycle racing

In 1951 as part of the heritage of the colonial airmen who started the Royal Ceylon Air Force, the sport of competitive cycling was introduced to Ceylon. Known simply as the "Flying Wheel" the cycling club of the Royal Ceylon Air Force had on its roll such illustrious names as Lennox De Kauwe, Frederick Ryde and Maurice Coomaravel, gentlemen who were at the forefront of the sport of cycling. In the 1960s the latter, Coomaravel, had the distinction of being the three-time champion of the Tour De Lanka, the premier racing cycle race of the time.

In 1970s and the 1980s, Leading Aircraftman Chandra Perera and Sergeant G.H. Henderson represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Games.

In the 1980s, under the stewardship of the then Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshall Walter Fernando, under the chairmanship of Wing Commander Joe Jayaratnam, the Sri Lanka Air Force Cycling Association received four Peugeot Racing Cycles, as an incentive to the sportsmen who had excelled in the sport. At the time, no other cycling club or association had bicycles of the calibre of the legendary Peugeot, with Mavick spares and tubeless tires black alloy rims, turbo seats etc. so that at most races fellow competitors stood by to watch the cycles forgetting in the process to ride the race. Needless to say the Sri Lanka Air Force Cycling Club rode to easy victory in more than 20 races with rarely a challenge. Squadron Leaders Satharasinghe and Manamperi served as secretaries during this period.

Air Vice Marshal Elmo Perera took over the reins of the cycling club in the latter part of the 1980s. Air Commodore (then Wing Commander) Channa Gunaratna served as the secretary, Corporal Srilal Wijethilake, Leading Aircraftsman Jayantha Fernando, Corporal K.S.K. Fernando, Flight Sergeant Anton Fernando and Sergeant Athukorala represented the Air Force Cycling Association. This team carried home the trophies for the Lakpohora Savariya, Sampatha Savariya, Gam Uda Savariya, Development Lottery Savariya and the Tour De Lanka. The likes of A.N. Sumanaweera, Boniface Perera, Leslie Rupasinghe proved worthy opponents to the Sri Lanka Air Force Riders. These prominent riders would later admit that the Sri Lanka Air Force riders were the only threat in their path to victory. Warrant Officers Kulasekera and Karunasiri, Sergeant Wanigatunge deserve a great tribute for being the real wind beneath the wings of the victorious Sri Lanka Air Force riders because of their untiring efforts in support of the riders.

In 1990, when Ranasinghe Premadasa was the Prime Minister, the Sri Lanka Air Force participated in the biggest ever race in the history of cycling in Sri Lanka, the Sixteen Day Sama Savariya organized to take the message of peace to the corners of the island. The Sri Lanka Air Force Cyclists led by Sergeant Athukorala earned a resounding victory with L.A.C. Balachandra Hendry coming in at the lead and five members of the team finishing in the first ten.

Flight Lieutenant Perusinghe, Pilot Officer Avindra Miranda and Sergeant Dudley Gunasekera individually and the Air Force Camps in Weerawila, Koggala, Amparai, Hingurakgoda and Anuradhapura provided invaluable support.

In 1995 under the auspices of the then Air Commodore D.G. Perera with the then Squadron Leader Shantha Dias serving as the Secretary Cycling, the Sri Lanka Air Force Cycling Club saw the infusion of new blood in the form of a number of new riders who had shown their mettle in various races before. Leading Aircraftsmen Dinesh Chanaka, Chandana Kandanarachchi, Gamini Indralal and Rohan Chaminda Seneviratne were three of the diamonds in the rough that were thus recruited and polished to championship calibre under the tutelage of Janaka Athukorala, who by then had taken up duties as the coach.

It was in 1998 that the club brought up the idea of organizing an islandwide racing cycle race to Chairman Cycling and then Base Commander Ratmalana Group Captain Channa Gunaratne, who got the blessings of the Commander, Air Marshal J. Weerakkody. With the sponsorship of Sirasa the first Guwan Papedi Savariya was conducted between Colombo and Galle. - D.P.S.A. Dias

(Secretary Cycling, Sri Lanka Air Force)

Facelift for DSS MV grounds

D.S. Senanayake College started in 1967 is going from strength to strength since its humble beginnings. They celebrated their 34th birthday anniversary on February 9 where the old boys, young and old and wellwishers were there in their numbers to mark the occasion.

The Old Boys Association in any institution play a decisive role for its further development. It was a red-letter day when the OBA of DSS MV of Group '89 inaugurated a fund to uplift their playing field at Wijerama Mawatha with a modern scoreboard and other facilities for the present boys to utilise and improve their skills to maintain its standards and even serve the country in general. This was revealed to The Sunday Times by Anuruddha Wijesekera, the President of the OBA.

Past captains and others, who excelled on and off the field were there to mark the occasion, to add muscle to the project.

On February 22, the school will commemorate the College war heroes day, where DS brethren had made a supreme sacrifice for the country and for others to live.


Discipline is a must at any level…

"The suspension of the Trinity College cricket team for the entire season for misconduct after a recent game, should be a deterrent to others," said former Trinitian, who won a 'Lion' in rugby and has enjoyed a distinguished career on and off the field.

First a gentleman then a cricketer. The players have to conduct themselves and not tarnish the gentleman's sport. The hierarchy of Trinity should be lauded for taking stern action. It may be the first in the history of Trinity but it has to be nipped in the bud. Schoolboys must be in their best behaviour whatever the final outcome. They can't hold the game to ransom.

In some quarters indiscipline has raised its ugly head, even at senior level. In a recent incident a national selector was abused by a player, but the club concerned was quick to take action. It was done in public. 

The club with a tradition has a cherished history, found the player wanting in his conduct. But the victim of this verbal assault is one of the finest sportsmen and a gentleman and accepted an apology. If this happened in another country the controlling body would have taken action, but not here.

Gone are the days when schools had masters, who commanded respect be it in the classroom or on the playing fields. But apparently not now. Very few of them are dedicated. As a result the students take the upper hand and indiscipline is the order. Times have changed. The heads of schools in some quarters show a blind eye to misconduct. It's common in school rugby games. Well, the seniors are a bad example, be it in cricket, rugby, etc., due to lust and to win at all cost. This trend will continue when the powers that be in controlling bodies, who are hell bent in holding office at all cost even by mixing politics with sport.

Even when some journalists, expose them they are abused and even threatened with nuisance calls.

Another past sportsman who played the game at the highest level commended the action of the Trinity hierarchy. He said that the entire team deserves the punishment as they have disgraced the school. 

The master-in-charge of St. Anthony's who when contacted at the Nalanda-SACK game in Colombo said "There is no Big Match this year against Trinity. It's sad, but there must be discipline all round. First comply and then complain, but not hold the game to ransom. 

Cricket instills character building and play the game in the correct spirit. We have to abide by the decision made by the hierarchy of Trinity," he added. -(BW)

Dharmaraja – Nalanda drawn

Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Kandy
The Dharmaraja-Nalanda Inter-School cricket match, which was played for the first tme for the Bandula Warnapura Trophy, produced two days of entertaining cricket yesterday.

Batsmen on either side produced a batting fiesta. In the end the match ended in a draw.

Nalanda were set 185 runs to win in 17 overs. Helped by an aggressive 55 n.o by Mevan Porage (with ten fours) and a sedate 26 n.o. by Amila Kiriella, saw them get 83 for 1 at close.

Nalanda chasing the target, lost skipper, opener Sukith Peiris, in the third ball of the first over, for a 'duck' to his vis-a-vis Jayasundare. But Kiriella and Porage, batting with authority, put on 83 runs for the undefeated second wicket.

The Rajans made a belated declaration - 187 for 5. S. Gunasinghe batted best with 55 (nine fours).

Dharmaraja - 242 (M. Wijekoon 95, Chintaka Weerasinghe 86 n.o; T. Dilshan 3 for 56) and 187 for 5 dec. (S. Gunasinghe 55, R. Weerasinghe 33, T. Wijekoon 49; M. Surappulige 2 for 59)

Nalanda - 88 for no loss overnight contd. 245 for 3 dec. (Sukith Peiris 48, Mevan Porage 42, Mevan Dunusinghe 60 n.o, G. Chandrakumara 64 n.o) and 83 for 1 (Mevan Porage 55 n.o, A. Kiriella 26 n.o)

Man of the Match: Muditha Wijekoon; Best Bowler: Ishara Dilshan (Nalanda); Best Batsman: Muditha Wijekoon (Dharmaraja).

Cambrians held

By S.M.D. Sirisena
Richmond hung on by the skin of their teeth to force a draw against Prince of Wales in their Inter-School cricket match which ended in a thrilling draw at Moratuwa yesterday.

Prince of Wales - 129 and 278 for 5 dec. (S. Galappathi 18, R. Peiris 24, M. Bandara 18, A. Athukorale 74, M. Wijeratne 78 n.o, M. Dananjaya 35; O. Wijesundare 2 for 47)

Richmond - 201 and 98 for 8 (M. Fazeer 25 n.o, C. Aravinda 20; B. Dananjaya 5 for 41)

Anjula Perera 95

By M.Shamil Amit
Panadura SC helped by a fluent 95 by Anjula Perera who was involved in a partnership of 163 runs for the fourth wicket with in form batsman Sunendra Kumara also chipping in with a quickfire 69, was the highlight of the Premier League match between Panadura and Sebastianites being played at the Panadura Esplanade. 

Panadura continuing from their overnight score of 73 for 3 went on to score 307. Sebastianites batting the second time were 67 for 4 wickets at close.

Sebastianites - 236 and 67 for 4 at close (Nilanka Peiris 26; Chaminda Weerasinghe 2 for 2)

Panadura SC - (73 for 3 overnight)307 all out (Anjula Perera 95, Sunendra Kumara 69, Charitha Buddika 37, Amila Perera 37; Dinusha Fernando 4 for 67, Nimesh Perera 3 for 114)

Ananda Sastralaya win

Ananda Sastralaya Kotte defeated Siri Piyaratne Padukka by two wickets in a inter-school cricket match at Padukka yesterday. Dinesh Nilanga scored a fine 90 and Sandakelum Perera captured 6 for 47 were responsible in giving the Sastralians their second win for the season.

Siri Piyaratne - 179(R.Samantha 47, N.Tharanga 41, M.Soysa 34; Sandakelum Perera 6 for 47, R.Ashok 4 for 56) and 131(M.Chandralal 33, M.Tharanga 28, R.Gimmana 25; Jayan Kalupahana 4 for 24, Imran Samsudeen 3 for 8, R. Ashok 3 for 56)

Ananda Sastralaya - 127 (N.Buddika 48 n.o, Dinesh Nilanga 32, R.Ashok 21; K.Lakshita 4 for 40, H.Baddege 3 for 47 and 177 for 8 (Dinesh Nilanga 90, T.Ranga 37, Imran Samsudeen 11; H.Baddege 3 for 56, K.Lakshita 2 for 55)MSA 

DSS-Thurstan drawn

The inter-school cricket match between DSS and Thurstan which concluded yesterday at Wijerama Mawatha ended in a tame draw. DSS continuing from their overnight score of 52 for 2 ended the innings at 251 with Kanchana Gunewardene top scoring with a fine 71 and well supported by Udara Varuna also scoring a half century. Thurstan batting the second time scored 155 for the loss of 3 wickets when stumps were drawn.

Thurstan - 214 and 155 for 3 wickets at close (C.Arvinda 62, D.Indika 28, D.Premadasa 36)

DSS - 52 for two overnight 251 all out (Kanchana Gunewardene 71, Udara Varuna 52, Amila Dharmapriya 25, Indunil Abeywickrema 24; A. Nishantha 4 for 38, N. Randika 3 for 60)MSA

Match drawn at K'tota.

A fine partnership of 140 runs for the fourth wicket between Samson Burke (79) and N.Nizam (66) for St. Anthony's Katugastota was the highlight of the drawn inter-school match against Ananda played at Katugastota.

Ananda continuing from their overnight score of 90 for 3 went on to score 223 for 7 before declaring. St. Anthony's in their second innings were 211 for 6 wickets at close.

St. Anthony's - 160 and 211 for 6(Samson Burke 79, N.Nizam 66, S.Muthukuda 17, N.Ratnayake 13, P.D.Ranawaka 15 not out; L.Fernando 2 for 36)

Ananda - 90 for 3 wkts o'night 223 for 7 dec. (M. Pushpakumara 67, Thilina Kandambi 43, N.Jayakody 54 not out; Lahiru Fonseka 2 for 54, N.Nizam 2 for 43, P.D.Ranawaka 2 for 62) -MSA

Lokuarachichi 74

By Bruce Maurice 
A fine 74 runs by Kaushal Lokuarachichi for St. Peter's was the highlight of the drawn Benedictine-Peterite encounter at Kotahena yesterday. 

Continuing from their overnight score of 93 for 5 wickets, St. Peter's recovered to score 219. Batting a second time, St. Benedict's were saved by a defiant knock of 58 by S. Perera.

St. Benedict's - 183 and 148 for 9 wickets. (S. Perera 58, J. Priyantha 29; I. Ratnayaka 2 for 45).

St. Peter's - 219. (K. Lokuarachi 74, M. Silva 32; S. Perera 4 for 45, J. Priyantha 2 for 20).

In Brief

Nalanda win 'Battle of the Maroons 

Nalanda beat their rivals Ananda by three goals to one in their hockey 'Big Match' to win the M.W. Karunananda Challenge Trophy at the Astro Turf yesterday. 

This was the 11th encounter in the series.

There was no scoring in the first half and in the 42nd minute Nalanda's left extreme opened the scoring off a penalty corner. A few minutes later, left inside C. Ratnayaka equalled for Ananda and at the long whistle the scores were deadlocked at one all.

In the extra five minures, Dassanayaka and R. Athukorala sealed victory for Nalanda with two goals.

The game was controlled by Messrs. Ravi Irugalbandara and D. Leuke. Third umpire: M.B. Herath - B.M 

Junior Peterites leave for India 

By M.Shamil Amit
The Under 13 Division One All Island Horlicks Trophy champions St. Peter's will be leaving on a tour of India today. 

They will play three matches, one against Chandrasekera Cricket Academy the other against Roger Binny Cricket Academy and the third match is to be confirmed. 

The team is captained by Prabuddha Perera with Lahiru Peiris as his deputy, other members of the team are: Randika Fernando, Krishal Magage, Lakshan Rodrigo, Chamira de Kulasekera, Mevan Samarasekera, Umhar Samsudeen, Anuk Silva, Chevan Edirisinghe, Rameesha Ranasinghe, Jayan Rajakaruna, Malin Wickremasinghe, Jerald Fernando, Richinda Fernando, Shanaka Wickremasekera, Buddika Kulatunge and Heshan Nanayakkara. The officials accompaning the team are: Rev Fr. S.Ranjith (Sports Co-ordinator), L.H.Sunil (Coach), and Janak de Silva (M.I.C.). The team is due back on the February 19.

Asian Junior Squash in Chennai

Nine countries will participate in the Asian Junior Squash Championships for boys and girls from February 17 to 24 in Chennai, India, with the Sri Lanka teams led by Navin Samarasinghe and Rasansi Lankage respectively.

Four boys and four girls will battle it out with participants from India, Pakistan, Maldives, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jordan, Korea and Japan.

The boys' team will comprise Navin Samarasinghe, Jayanath Marambe, Eranga Amunugama, Eranjan Kempitiya while the girls' team will comprise Rasansi Lankage, Thehani Guruge, Menusha Hettiarachchi and Madara Dayasiri. The officials accompanying the team will be Oliver Guruge, Manager, Rehaman Gull, Coach and Padmini Samarasinghe Lady Chaperone.

Archers off to Bangkok

Sri Lanka will be represented by four men and two women at the first round of the Asian Archery Circuit to be held in Bangkok from Februray 8 to 13.

The Lankan team will be represented by Prasad Fernando, Kesara Serasinghe, Bhagya Silva, Nisanka Chandrasiri (men) and Subhashini Silva, Kumari Dissanayake.

Ananda, Royal top at swimming

Ananda College and Royal College emerged overall champions in the boys' category while Ladies' College clinched the girls' championships in the Age Group Relay Championships held at the Sugathadasa Stadium swimming pool yesterday.

Six new records were also established for the day by school teams erasing previous marks records set by the school teams at the meet which kicked off the aquatic sports calendar for the year 2001. 

Popularly known as the 'relay carnival' the meet went late into the evening attracting a large number of entries mostly from schools. Conducted as timed finals, 4x50m medley and 4x50m free style relay events were worked off in the age groups of under 10, 12, 14, 16 & 19 for boys and girls respectively.

Indian tennis star named U.N. messenger of peace

UNITED NATIONS. (Reuters) - Veteran Indian tennis star and sports announcer Vijay Amritraj was named a U.N. "messenger of peace" on Thursday, charged with helping focus world attention on the world body's work.

Amritraj's appointment was announced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.N. officials said. He will be the eighth person so honoured, joining an elite group that already includes three-time world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, freelance journalist and human rights campaigner Anna Cataldi, actor Michael Douglas, French-Algerian singer Enrico Macias, opera star Luciano Pavarotti, author Elie Wiesel and basketball legend Magic Johnson.

Amritraj competed in top national and international tennis events for 17 straight years and in the Davis Cup competition for 20 consecutive years.

Since 1992 he has been the anchor and host of Wimbledon and other grand slam broadcasts for STAR TV, now known as ESPN STAR Sports, reaching audiences in more than 60 countries in Asia and the Middle East.

He also has devoted time to the campaign against AIDS and other charitable causes and is currently helping to raise money to assist victims of the recent earthquake in northern India.

Vijay Amritraj is the son-in-law of Mr. M.G. Wenceslaus, Managing Director of Express Newspapers (Cey) Ltd.

Suresh Perera shows his skills 

By Leonard Ratnayake
Paceman Suresh Perera showed his skills with the bat as Singhalese Sports Club crushed Moors SC by nine wickets at Braybrooke Place within two days to consolidate their top position in the Group B Points Table of the Premier League cricket tournament.

Moors SC - 133 all out in 42.3 overs (M.S. Sampan 40, Nilantha Cooray 26; Pramodya Wickramasinghe 2 for 13, S. Silva 4 for 30, R. Dhammika 2 for 30) & 159 all out in 55 overs (M.S. Sampan 34, G.D. Sanjeewa 27, B. Perera 51 n.o; P. Wickramasinghe 2 for 40, R. Dhammika 4 for 43, S. Silva 4 for 63)

SSC - 252 all out in 64.3 overs (Malintha Perera 23, S. Ranatunge 66, Upeka Fernando 34, S Perera 78; C. Fernando 5 for 86; R. Herath 4 for 70) and 41 for one in 7.1 overs (Ian Daniel 4, M. Perera 10, S. Perera 19; M.I. Abdeen one for 10)

Police 490 for 6 

Police piled up a massive score of 490 for 6 declared against Galle CC and then had them tottering at 68 for the loss of five wickets at the end of the second day's play in their Premier League division one match at Police Park yesterday.

Police - 490 for 6 dec. (C. Liyanage 108, N, Zoysa 155, P. Udawatte 38, R. Fernando 46, Chamara Silva 62, S. Wijeratne 28; P. Wanasinghe 2 for 115, H. Wijesinghe 4 for 72).

Galle CC - 68 for 5. (S, Fonseka 26, C. Perera 17 n.o; D. Gunawardena 2 for 19, N. Tennekoon 2 for 14). B.M.

Abeynayaka 146 

Sanjeewa Abeynayaka blasted 21 fours on his way to an unbeaten 146 for Bloomfield in their Premier League division one match against Kurunegala Y.C.C. which was continued at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Kurunegala Y.C.C - 297. (S.Jayawardena 58, P. Rajapakse 44, M.Maduwantha 56, I. Thahir 71, C. Boteju 13, W. Kumara 12 n.o; H. Alles 2 for 68, D. Gamage 3 for 80, Shanka Dissanayaka 2 for 48, Sanjay Dissanayaka 2 for 34).

Bloomfield - 248 for 3. (Sanjeewa Abeynayaka 146 n.o. D. Perera 64; C. Boteju 2 for 51) B.M.

Kulatunge 152 

A whirwind knock by Colts batsman Jeewantha Kulatunge who blasted 152 runs with 18 fours and five sixes enabled them to end the second day's play in their Premier League Division One match against Matara in a commanding position at Havelock Park at close on the second day.

Colts - 474 for 8. (J. Kulatumge 152, S. Kalawitagoda 89, S. Fernando 56, D. Samaraweera 34, N. Abeyratne 26, S. Janaka 58 n.o. D. Liyanage 15; R. Priyadarshana 2 for 79, S.M. Ramshan 2 for 93, P. Jayasekera 2 for 104, S. Wasantha 2 for 38) B.M. 

Anjula 95

By M.Shamil Amit
Panadura SC helped by a fluent 95 by Anjula Perera who was involved in a partnership of 163 runs for the fourth wicket with in form batsman Sunendra Kumara also chipping in with a quickfire 69, was the highlight of the Premier League match between Panadura and Sebastianites being played at the Panadura Esplanade. 

Sebastianites - 236 and 67 for 4 at close (Nilanka Peiris 26; Chaminda Weerasinghe 2 for 2)

Panadura SC - (73 for 3 overnight)307 all out (Anjula Perera 95, Sunendra Kumara 69, Charitha Buddika 37, Amila Perera 37; Dinusha Fernando 4 for 67, Nimesh Perera 3 for 114)

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