29th April 2001
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Money spawns all evil

At the first media meeting of the Interim Committee BCCSL, its Chairman Vijeya Malalasekera said the Cricket Board Constitution has to be amended especially with regard to handling funds, with a separate body comprising qualified accountants and lawyers.

But he appreciated the difficulties that could be confronted in the exercise when he added, “It’s a Herculean task. My committee was appointed only on March 29 by Minister Kiriella.”

He thanked the media for attending this first confab. “Malice to none. We are not going witch hunting, but our immediate task is to put the game and its administration on course. If action is required then we will take the advice of Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella. During our tenure there will be transparency and accountability and it will be made public”

Answering a question when it would be made public, Mr. Malalasekera said: This can’t be done overnight. Allow us to walk first before we start running.

Initially a sub-committee has been appointed, headed by former legal draftsman, Nalin Abeysekera, Michael Sproule, Roshani Kobbe-kaduwe and M. Anas (from Kandy) to study and report on as to what action should be taken to amend the Constitution.

He further said procedures have not been followed properly when it came to handling finances. A Finance Committee has been appointed to look into the shortcomings that are there.

Are you aware that rumours are floating around the way the past EX-co handled its affairs especially the Dambulla Stadium. What is its future status?

The Chairman replied that the authorities can’t just go on rumours. To date the Intermediate Committee has not got the authority to handle or move in the matter. Still some payments have not been made.

Many matters remain to be cleared on how the affairs have been managed. It’s a sad reflection. How could one call this an international stadium. This is one reason why the Ministry of Sports is striving to give its maintenance to the Sugathadasa Dev. Committee.

The Chairman said, “The Board has to be totally transparent and accountable. The public has a right to know how and why money is spent. Money should be spent prudently.”

Plans are afoot to get an independent audit firm, who will be contracted to handle it.

Mr. Malalasekera also said action would be taken to appoint a sub-committee to help those past cricketers, who sweated to uplift the game to attain Test status. Today some of them are struggling for their very survival.

We must look after them in their hour of need - a token of gratitude even by way of a benefit fund (pension). In the future even some of the present players may fall into this category.

It’s far better to give a single flower than a bouquet of “Red Roses”, when they are gone!

To a query on the status of the BCCSL with the ICC and ACC the committee member Sidath Wettimuny said there was no problem. They will not affect our test status or otherwise. Answering another question he said that former President Thilanga Sumathipala was a director of the ICC. His name has been withdrawn. His replacement will be made shortly.

Mr. Malalasekera said the cricket section would be handled by Michael Tissera, Sidath Wettimuny and Asantha De Mel. Cricket development will be taken to the rural areas, that too, at grassroots level. There is talent, but it has to be channeled properly at district level. Everything will be accounted for.

The Chairman said there were 42 in the administration. Among them 22 were consultants. We have to look into this aspect and streamline it. Nobody could hold two posts.

What have you got to say about Bandula Warnapura?

Being match referee and operations manager, he has to vacate one post. One can’t light the candle from both ends, Mr. Malalasekera added.

In future there is a likelihood of two independent officials going with touring teams as observers.

They will give their own findings. Anura Tennakoon fielding a question on whether Sashi Dhanathunga, Management Co-ordinator has been demoted to Manager, Tour Oraganisation said, “It’s not correct. He has been transferred. Finally, Wettimuny said the new selection panel would be picked shortly. In future the selectors and the respective coaches and players will work in close liaison. There should be understanding at all levels.

Finally, Mr. Malalasekera said, “Let’s put the country before self.

My Committee is not going to hang on. Everything is temporary in life”, he concluded.

Others, present were Asantha de Mel (Secretary), M.T. Tissera, Sidath Wettimuny and Richard Eabel (Committee members), Kushil Gunasekera (Co-ordinating Secretary) Anura Tennakoon (CEO), and J. Kudahetty (Director - Marketing).

The National Sports Council, which inquired into the protest made for the dropping of N.S. Nishendran from the Under 14 team picked to participate in the World Junior Under 14 championships scheduled to commence on Tuesday, May 1, has forwarded their report to the Ministry of Sports. The report is expected to be released tomorrow, Monday April 30. Nishendran’s parents protested to the Minister of Sports stating their son was unfairly dropped, while the selectors stand by their selections.

World Junior Tennis Championships

Tough battle ahead

The World Tennis Championships - Asia Oceania Zone will be held in Sri Lanka from May 1 to May 6, at the SLTA premises.

A total of 28 teams of Under-14 Boys’ and Girls’ from 15 countries will battle it out on the 14 clay courts at the SLTA. The countries participating are Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Thailand, India, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria and Sri Lanka. Each country can nominate a Boys’ and Girls’ Team, each consisting of 3 players and a captain, which is quite similar to the Davis Cup.

This is the first time that the World Tennis Junior Championships is being held in South Asia, and the International Tennis Federation has selected Sri Lanka. This demonstrates the level of confidence the ITF places in Sri Lanka, said Tryphon Mirando, Tournament Director. Mirando further stated that Thailand and India are the top and bottom seeds in the Boys’, while China and Chinese Taipei go in as favourites in the Girls’ event.

The first four nations in each category will play in the World Junior Tennis Finals in Czech Republic later in the year. Last year Thailand, India, Japan and Australia in the Boys’ and China, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Japan qualified to play in the Final round. The foreign participants and the Sri Lankan Teams will stay at the Trans Asia Hotel during the tournament, he said.

The Sri Lanka Boys’ Team comprises Sudantha Soysa (Captain), Franklin Emmanuel, Amrith Rupasinghe and Oshada Wijemanne, while N.S. Nishendiran is the reserve.

The Girls’ Team comprises Roshan Razik (Captain), Jancy Paramanathan, Sanki Dandeniya and Teyumi Abeysinghe. The players have been undergoing strenuous training for the last 3 months and we expect to do much better than last year, particularly in the Boys’ category, said Roshan Razik. Last year Sri Lanka was placed 11th in the Boys’ event, while in the Girls’ event Sri Lanka fared badly and was placed last.

Sri Lanka fared well in the South Asian Championships which was held just two months ago. In the Boys’ event, Franklin Emmanuel and Amrith Rupasinghe were placed 5th in the Singles tournaments and also entered the Doubles Finals.

Emmanuel and Oshada Wijemanne are both World Ranked players being ranked No. 566 in the Under-18 category. We are eager to play against these highly ranked countries in the world, specially after our impressive performance at the South Asian Championships, said Sudantha Soysa, Captain of the Boys’ Team.

According to an analyst Sri Lanka is capable of toppling a seeded country and entering the last eight. Unlike certain other sports tennis is played by almost every country, and therefore the standard and competition is relatively higher. We will face a very tough time from powerful countries as China, India, Australia and Japan.

Since a tie consists of two singles and one doubles, a close contest will result in the Doubles match being crucial, and this is where Sri Lanka’s top junior player Franklin Emmanuel and his partner Oshada Wijemanne will have to combine well. These two players performed very well to enter the final of the South Asian Championships. The two singles matches will likely be played by Franklin Emmanuel and Amrith Rupasinghe.

There will be a live telecast of the championships on May 1 and 6 from 10 a.m. on channel 1 of Rupavahini.

Prizes will be given to the ticket holders of the Championships which will include bicyles.

In Brief

CH win by a penalty, CR given scare

By Bruce Maurice

In the curtain raiser of the Singer Inter-Club Hockey Championship match played at the Astro Turf yesterday, CH & FC overcame a spirited Wennappuwa side to win 1-0 during a penalty shoot out. In the 25th minute, right inside M. Peirs opened the day’s scoring when he netted the first goal for the Colombo Club and at half time it was 1-0 in favour of CH & FC. Malays go down fighting In the second match of the day, CR & FC beat Malays 5-3, but escaped defeat by the skin of their teeth. The scoring was opened by left inside Godwin Solomons when he banged in the first goal in the 3rd minute. Seven minutes later he made it a double and in the 27th minute centre forward E. Weerakoon banged in the 3rd goal for the Longden Place Club. At this stage it was all over bar the shouting.
Even exchanges at SSC-Colts

By M.Shamil Amit

On the second day’s play of the Premier League final round encounter between SSC and at Maitland Place exchanges were even. Batting first SSC were able to put up a score of only 175 in 67.4 overs. Colts in their turn fared no better and were badly placed on 148 for 7 wickets at close of play. SSC -175 in 67.4 overs (Hemantha Wickramaratne 32, Upeka Fernando 38, Tilan Samaraweera 32, M.Perera 26; Eric Upashantha 3 for 30, Dulip Liyanage 3 for 38) Colts -148 for 7 wickets in 63 overs (Shantha Kalavitagoda 29, Jeevantha Kulatunge 13, Chaminda Mendis 27, Mahesh Perera 35 not out; Suranjith Silva 2 for 29, Tilan Samaraweera 3 for 25)
A double for Kavin

Kavin Jayawardena bagged a double at the 20th Anniversary Squash Federation Championships winning the boy’s under 19 and 17 titles yesterday at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Kavin beat E. Kempitiya 1/9, 9/5, 9/6, 9/3 and in the Under 17 final, he beat Harin Perera 9/2, 9/3, 9/6. Kushani Daluwatte received a walk-over from Shivanthi Kottage in the women’s final while Janaka Suwaris beat Hirantha Gunasena in a five setter in the men’s final. Tehani Guruge beat Madara Dayasuri in the girl’s under 19 final.

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