22nd July 2001
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Rover Pinpoints.... 

Is it true? 
Hot on the heels of an inquiry being held by the probe committee concerning a popular sport, Rover learns that a complaint has been made regarding tenders called for by the Interim Committee by a furniture dealer. While another complaint has been made regarding another tender involving another member of the committee findings are to be handed over to the Minister of Sports for necessary action. 

ABC membership fees not paid? 
According to the latest statement received by Rover from the Asian Basketball Confederation it confirms that Sri Lanka Basketball Federation has not paid the Annual Membership fees from 1999 to 2001. Why? Over to you Minister of Sports?

How many foreign tours 
Since 1999 to 2001 the officials of the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation has made nearly 20 foreign trips in the name of Basketball according to reliable Exco members, but they could not pay the ABC Membership fees up to date. Where are the monies given by the Ministry of Sports and promoters of Basketball ask readers of Rover? Over to you President SLBF? 

Why no monthly statements 
Rover is reliably informed by District Basketball Associations (only 7 attend regularly out of 24 affiliated) that they don't attend the Exco meetings of the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation because the monthly accounts are not tabled - from March to June 2001 and no financial assistance is given to them for travelling for the Exco meetings. Why is the accounts not presented, ask the sponsors of the game? Where has the monies gone? 

Who are these invitees
Over twenty five occupied the Grand Stand at the R. Premadasa International Stadium for the Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand triangular match. Were these tickets issued free to a audit firm. Rover also learns that the inmates of a home for elders were rewarded with a sumptuous dinner and the remains were served for VIPs from the same match. What a generous gift it!

How come
A catering firm under probe, yet receives plenty for the benefit of services by a popular sport with no one objecting it seems. Wait until inquiry is over. 

Official badge
How is that a former cricketer from the Southern Province is given a VVIP badge giving him access to all the venues, when an inquiry is being held for a seven million fraud. What a way to please him. Could it be bouquets or brickbats? The Bad boys The Committee members sitting in probe were treated so badly being offered tickets to the 'B' block while others enjoyed themselves in the coolness with all facilities provided. Believe it, even dinner tickets were not given to them, with peons doing the distributions.

Who is laughing at whom? 
A lot was talked about the non-playing matches at the Dambulla Stadium. Now comes the news that the three matches to be played there have been cancelled due to protests to be made by the contractors. What is the truth? Could it be the former officials who are trying their best to keep the cake as well as to eat it.

Blown off
Is it not true that the aluminium windows installed in the main stadium building at Dambulla had been blown off due to heavy winds? The question posed is whether proper advice on the building was properly planned. Repairs are being done presently.

Parts of the public address system installed at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium have vanished into thin air. One wonders who was behind this issue. Your guess is good as mine. 

Refused entry
Four engineers of an engineering firm were refused permission of inspecting the Dambulla Stadium and submitting a report. WHY? Who could be behind these moves?

Youngest in netball team

By Tania Fernando
To be the youngest on a national team is something to be reckoned with, however Gishanthi is taking it all in her stride and is not ruffled by the hype of being the youngest on the nation netball team.

Gishanthi Jayakody is the youngest to represent the national netball team and is the only schoolgirl in the team that is participating at the Asian Netball Championship to be held this month at Sugathadasa Stadium.

All 16-year old Gishanthi could say about being on the national team was that she was 'so happy' to be selected. Happy probably does not even describe how ecstatic she feels about it.

Although she has been chosen to represent her country at netball, Gishanthi was adjudged the best basketball player in 1999 and 2000 at Visakha Vidyalaya. The obvious question was how the best player in basketball ended up playing for the netball national team. As strange as it may sound, Gishanthi said that she would continue playing basketball only at school level, but netball at national level.

"I started playing netball when I was attending St. Joseph's Girls School Nugegoda, I got a scholarship to Visakha Vidyalaya and that is when I started playing basketball. But I have been playing netball for the last six years", she said.

She represented Visakha Vidyalaya basketball team and they were the under 15 champs in 1999 and under 17 champs in the year 2000.

She also said that she actually finds playing basketball harder than netball. "I like playing netball very much".

With a height of 6' 2" it is not difficult to understand why this young lady chose these sports. "My father played volleyball for the Sri Lanka national team. He wanted me to play some sport and I also wanted to play something, so I picked netball", Gishanthi said.

Gishanthi said that although she has been selected to represent the netball national team, she has not won any trophies for netball. "I have won many for basketball, but none for netball".

She said she never thought that she would be playing netball at this level. It all started when Ms. Nalini Charles, the Western Province Netball Team Coach introduced her to the former president of the netball federation.

They had requested her to come for practices for about three months and after that they selected 21 for the national team after which the Netball Federation picked 18 and subsequently 12 members to represent the team.

With her Ordinary Level Examination drawing closer, she said that she is planning on taking a break after the Asian Championship to concentrate on her studies. "I will be doing my exam this year so I need to study", she said adding that her school principal and class teacher have been very supportive. "They help me with the lessons I have missed. I will get back to netball after the examination", she said.

While her career playing basketball and netball seems to have started off at a young age, she said that she is not sure as to how seriously she is going to continue playing. "Although I enjoy it very much I have not decided what I am going to do" Gishanthi said.

While the thought of representing our country might be frightening though, Gishanthi was confident that although this was her first time to be playing on a national team and for an international tournament, that she will not be very nervous. "I have played many tournaments, so I am not very nervous about it", a confident Gishanthi said.

Anusha betters her own record

By M.Shamil Amit
Anusha Eknaligoda (Kariyawasam) representing Lanka Lions SC bettered her own record of 12.86 she set in 2000 by jumping 12.94 in the Triple Jump event on the second day of the 79th National Championships Meet being held at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Anusha is presently under training in Italy, she has come down to Sri Lanka to participate in the Nationals and will be going back to Italy next week to resume her training. Other than Anusha's record no other upsets took place where the fancied athletes won their respective events. Sriyani Kulawansa won her pet event the 100M hurdles with ease. W.V.S.Ravindra Kumara of the SL Army won the Men's 200M while Jani Chaturangi won the Women's 200M and A.A.Indika Kumara of the SL Army won the 110M hurdles.

The spectators would have been disapointed when they got the news that ace runners Damayanthi Darsha and Sugath Tilekeratne wont be participating. When inquiries were made by the Sunday Times, President of the AAA Sunil Gunewardena said that Damayanthi had injured her left leg after she ran in the heats on Friday and Sugath is suffering from a cramp both are being rested and we dont want to take any risk with them as they have to take part in the forthcoming World Championship .

Rizvi Farook wins SLARDAR 2000 Rally

It was team work that enabled Rizvi Farook to win the SLARDAR 2000 Rally of Team Caltex supported by Aqtther Cuttilan who incidentally was his schoolmate from Grade I at D.S. Senanayake. 

Supported by his team back up, Rizvi won the first stage from Colombo to Gampola covering a distance of 225 Kilometres in this 925 Kilometre course which looked tougher and well planned by 'Big Bird' Rodney Mason with 68 debit points. 

The second stage was cancelled from Gampola to Nuwara-Eliya, a distance of 225 kilometres due to a competitors' vehicle blocking the course but came back to win the fourth stage and the rally. 

Rizvi, the 32-year-old, whose intention is to win the rally twice finished in 7th place in the rally in 1993 and emerged the sixth winner of the rally, showing his maturity of breaking all Yoga Perera's records except the Mahagastota one. 

He holds the records at the Gajaba, Foxhill in the 1600CC Class Modified also with wins at Radella, Karanapona, St. James and Eliyakanda, under his belt. 

He was helped to take up to rally by Cassim Wahab, no stranger to him, another rally specialist, who happens to be his uncle. 

In stage three Rizvi faced technical problems and finished fourth with 34 debit points covering 225 kilometres. 

The last stage covering 250 kilometres saw Rizvi proving his capabilities combining with excellent driving skills finishing the stage with 12 debit points. 

Much could be heard of Rizvi in the near future since he intends bringing down a Havoline Peugeot 206 for the next rallies. 

Army in easy win

In a match that reached heights of achivement and excitment late in the second half, the Army ran out comfortable winners over Kandy Youth by 41 points (5 goals, 2 penalities) to 14 (1 try , 3 penalties) at Nittawela last evening.

Kandy Youth almost gave as good as they got in the first half which ended with the Army in front (20-14). But in the second half, it was all Army Full Back Silva was in impecable form, accepting every offering. Hooker Rajapakse, Lock Pradeep, Flanaker Winger Fernando scored tries for the winners. Winger Nalin Wijesinghe scored the solitary try for Kandy Youth, while Kodagoda and Buksh converted the penalties. Referee - Shamrath Fernando. A.K.

Danuskha's personal best in 200 metres

Champika Fernando reporting from Brunei
Even though he failed to win a medal, Dhanuskha Perera achieved his personal best by clocking 21.90 seconds in the men's 200 metres at the Asian Junior Athletic Championships yesterday.

Dhanuskha did so in the second semi-finals.

Earlier Dhanuskha finished in first place in the first heat in a time of 22.09 seconds, thus earning him a berth into the semi-finals. 

Dhanuskha is a product of De Mazenod College, Kandana.

Granville Novices rugby 

Over 2000 Juvenile and Junior players will be seen in action at the Granville Rodrigo Memorial Novices rugby championships conducted under the Development Programme of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union and the Western Province Rugby Football Union to be played on Sunday July 22 at the Thurstan College grounds from 8.30 a.m. 

Teams from the North Western Province, Sabaragamuwa and Central Province will scrum down in the age groups of 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Support in making this championships a success has been given by Arjun Dharmadasa, the Chairman Development Committee, Shane Dullewam, Secretary SIRFU Iqbal Hassan, Lion Tony Jayasekera, Ray Offence, David Perera, Terrance Perera, Ashley Mendis, Viraj Gunasekera, Nihal Perera, Ravi Irugalbandara for donating the trophies and Nestles Lanka Limited for the donation of certificates. 

Captain Harsha Mayadunne, the President of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union will be the chief guest. 

Lankans aim for the knock-out blow 

By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka will be looking to an improved batting performance from their batsmen when they take on India in a Coca Cola Cup Triangular game under floodlights at the R Premadasa Stadium today.

After drawing first blood in the lung opener against the Kiwis,Sri Lanka will go out as favourites against the Indians.However the Lankans will need to improve their batting performance if they are to get the better of Saurav Ganguly's team.

Lately the Lankan batting has failed to live upto expectations.In the last triangular tournament in Sharjah the Lankan top order failed in most games but rose to the occasion in the finals.On Wednesday it was a similar story with only the captain playing a responsible innings.However a fine effort from their bowlers helped them to record a close victory .Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya reiterated before the start of the CocaCola Triangular that his top six batsmen should be among the runs more frequently if his team is to progress.

The lack of consistency of Marvan Atapattu,Mahela Jayawardena,Russell Arnold,and Romesh Kaluwitharana have been questionable.Although they get off to a reasonable start they have thrown their wickets at crucial times.Today the Lankan batsmen will have to display more discipline,character and application and bat with more responsibility and put up a challenging total,if they are to turn tables on the Indians.

One redeeming factor in the Lankan camp has been the improvement in the bowling department.Both the medium pacers and the spinners were able to bowl to their field,restrict the scoring to a minimum and pick up crucial wickets.Young Dilhara Fernando was impressive in the opening game and if he continues in the same vein the Indians will be on the back foot.Supported by the slow bowlers Muralitharan,Dharmasena, Jayasuriya and Arnold the Lankans have the variety in their bowling to restrict the free flowing Indian batsmen.

Sri Lanka are unlikely to make any changes for today's game.Opener Avishka Gunawardene will get another opportunity to make his mark and so will allrounder Suresh Perera.Perera is certain to be useful batting down the order, however the allrounder will have to bowl a better line length more consistently if he is to hold his place in the team.

India on the other hand who lost to the Kiwis on Friday will fire from all cylinders to chalk up their first win and keep their chances alive.With a host of youngsters in their ranks,and the absence of Sachin Tendulkar the onus has fallen on skipper Sauray Gangulv and Rahul Dravid.Unfortunately the duo has not been batting at their best.They failed in the game against the Kiwis and were beaten comprehensively.

Although the Indian bowling attack looks threatening with left arm bowlers Zaheer Khan and A Nehra spearheading the attack followed by the spin of Harbajahan Singh and Yuvendra Singh the same cannot be said about their batting.Their batting has been brittle and very often led to their downfall.The lack of experience may be one reason but surely the youngsters will have to rise to the occasion today and let their bat do the talking if they are to stop the host nation from pulling off their second straight victory.

Cricket Board awaits ICC report

By Bernie Wijesekera
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has written to leading civil lawyer Desmond Fernando P.C. asking him for a copy of his findings in favour of former Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga and Vice-captain Aravinda de Silva. 

Mr. Fernando a member of the ICC's code of conduct committee has however replied ICC saying that protocol demanded that the copies be sent to Condon by the local Cricket Board (BCCSL) to whom he has sent three copies - one to the Board , one to the ICC and one to the Sports Minister. Meanwhile BCCSL Interim Committee chairman Vijaya Malalasekera confirmed he has received the Desmond Fernando report (which was exclusively published in The Sunday Times last week) and that it would be submitted to the ICC Anti Corruption Committee headed by Lord Paul Condon. 

The report found Ranatunga and De Silva not guilty of match fixing and M.K. Gupta the Indian bookie who alleged that the two Test cricketers accepted monies to lose a Test match with India at Lucknow in 1994, has been an untrustworthy complainant.

Mr. Malalasekera said that it was 'unnecessary 'to send the Desmond Fernando report to the Attorney General.

The Cricket Board will await the views of the ICC anti-corruption committee before taking a final decision. It was agreed upon at the last ICC meeting that the respective controlling bodies will co-ordinate with the ICC. The local board has to adhere to this on principle. This report of the anti corruption committee will be then released to the media, he said. 

CH thrash hapless CR - 26-6...

By Bernie Wijesekera 
After being held to 7-6, the defending champions CH and FC playing cohesive rugby outplayed CR and FC by 26 points (two goals, a penalty goal and a try) to 6 (two penalty goals) in the 'A' div. league first-leg match at Maitland Cresent, yesterday. 

The red shirts took the lead with the kick off with two spot kicks arrowed by Roshan Peiris to lead 6-0 that was the only points the visitors scored in the entire game . 

Plagued with injuries CR looked an unfit side and in the second half was made to look a spent force, despite their reputation as a front-line club in the local scene. 

They constantly kept on replacing players, but still couldn't answer their woes. 

In the 20th minute in the second half evergreen Lasitha Gunaratne took the field, converted by Dissanayke but failed to inspire them. 

In the last line fullback Chriantha de Zoysa was found wanting. The CH with a high bell exploited it to the maximum. Before the short whistle Uganthara Karunaratne scored the dandy try, which made it 7-6. 

After the turn around Nalin Dissanayake who enjoyed a field day sent a long pass to winger Ajith Upawansa, who put the icing on the cake. Nalin added the extra points... 12/6 CR had two penalty kicks but Roshan Peiris's kicks over the cross-bar lacked direction. 

CH defence stood firm with former Josephian Dinuk de S. Wijeratne a safe and sure in defence with his booming kicks to touch. In the 20th minute CH winger Ashan Cooray kicked and charged, but was obstructed by fly-half Roshan Peiris. Penalty try was awarded. Dissanayake goaled it to make it 19-6.

During the dying stages of the game Uganthara Karunaratne found the gap and zig-zagged his way and slipped the ball to winger Ajith Upawansa for a corner-flag try. Nalin fired over the cross bar from an oblique angle to make it 26-6, when Ref. Anil Jayasinghe blew no-side. CH are placed second in the table. 

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