9th December 2001

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Army sow rugby seeds

Sri Lanka Army stationed in North Central Province in 1995 sowed the seeds of rugby at junior level (Under-13) among the schools in NCP with coaching camps.

Initially rugby was mooted by Brigadier Jupana Jayawardene supported by Maj. Keerthi Ekanayake, Col. Chandrasekera and W.O. Chandra, whilst stationed in A'pura. The promotion and development of the sport was continued at a low key by others in the Army since these officers were transferred.

Maj. Dhammika Gunasekera, the former Army Rugby Secretary and Chairman CPRFU Maurice Perera revived the game at NCP and continued its good work with the support rendered by the Army, the Director of Sports (Education in NCP) and the respective school heads. After a slow start made much headway - not only among the schoolboys, but the girls, too took to the scrum.

Last weekend, the Committee headed by Maj. Gunasekera, Maj. Prasanna Jayatilleke, K. Abeysundera, Deputy Director of Education (NCP), R. M. Dharmadasa, Director Physical Studies, Health and Sport (NCP), Maurice Perera, Chairman Central Province, Rugby Development Committee, Capt. Sumedha Wijekoon and Lt. Indika Jayawardene got their act-together. For the first time they organized a schools Rugby 'sevens' in the NCP.

This tournament roused tremendous interest and excitement among the schools in the province. According to sources, 12 teams participated.

Walisinghe Harischandra MV., A'pura Central 'A' and 'B', Niwanthakachietya 'A' and 'B', St. Joseph's 'A' and 'B', Deepani MV, Kekirawa Central 'A' and 'B'. - BW

Young Bloomfield bloom in style to take U-23 title

By Bernie Wijesekera 
Bloomfield C and AC, one of the main nurseries for the upliftment of the cricket in the country has produced many a national player who have excelled at home and abroad. 

They have helped many less affluent player to go places in this willow wielding sport. Their youth team under former Nalandian Sanjay Rodrigo, did well to win the BCCSL Under-23 championship defeating CCC in the final. 

Its committee now headed by Upali Dharmadasa, who took over the reins from evergreen Shelley Wickremasinghe, who served the club well for 25 years as President. Dharmadasa is continuing his predecessor's good work for its further development on and off the field. 

The team is being coached by Oshadee Weerasinghe, an outstanding all-rounder who played first class cricket and a qualified Level II coach. He followed a coaching stint in Australia. Weerasinghe when interviewed by The Sunday Times had this to say. "The youth team's success at the Premier Under-23 tournament attributes to hard work put up by the entire team. 

They are a dedicated lot, who are prepared to learn and committed to the sport. The players are afforded with men and material. 

Whatever they do they have to do it well. There may be shortcomings, then it's my duty to tell them. They have been taught to face setbacks in life, cricket or otherwise. If you don't lose then you don't know how to win, Oshadee said. 

Some of the players are even Under-21. The entire team now play in the top division. Two fast bowlers with immense talent, D. Gamage and Prabath Nissanka. 

Both have played at national level. Josephian Ian Daniel who was adjudged the Man of the Series and Man of the Match is a young future prospect. 

Daniel, earlier played for SSC, but enjoys playing with the Reid Avenue Club. Tilan Kandambi is yet another talented player. Oozing with young talent Bloomfield with this infrastructure are a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. Dusky Weerasinghe has instilled on his charges to play hard and clean and maintain the spirit of the game at all times. I've also made special emphasis to refrain from unwarranted appealing which is the bane in some quarters. "Discipline and guidance is the key to success".

Caltex sponsors SSC cricketers

Caltex Lubricants has once again come forward to Sponsor the Sinhalese Sports Club cricket team for the current Premier League tournament.The sponsorship which began in 1997 as a five year deal is valued at 2.9 million.

To add more value to the sponsorship Caltex has decided to make special awards to the best batsmen,best bowler and the best allrounder at the end of the tournament.

Speaking at a Press briefing at the SSC pavillion Caltex Lubricants' General Manager Shibley Latiff said, "As the undisputed leader in the lubricant market Caltex Lubricants are proud to be associated with a Premier team like the SSC which has produced several national players and also have the most number of players in the current team".

According to the Managing Director Kishu Gomez Caltex will make every effort to increase the prestige of SSC cricket and bring it back to what it was a few years ago.(MF)

The umpires dilemma....

By Bernie Wijesekera
At times the umpires do succumb to pressure. They give snap decisions which they regret later. In the process they become victims of unfair decisions. 

The players on the field, too contribute much with unwarranted appealing at every given turn - especially the close-in fielders, including the 'keeper. When the real nick comes his way - a crucial catch, at times it goes abegging. This is where the team management must advise them to refrain from unwarranted appealing. It isn't cricket!

Today these ugly scenes and remarks could be seen and heard on TV, worldwide, unlike in the past. In the process the umpires do make dubious decisions. This is no excuse. Actions take place in a flash of a second, in the twinkling of an eye. The umpire is non-plussed, if he is not quick-witted. Frantic raising of arms and full throated appeals in turn to the umpires, do make quick and wrong decisions.

They should put close-in and complicated slip catches and nicks to the third umpire. They indulge in putting straightforward run outs to the third umpire.

With action and replay devices available at present, decisions will be made more accurately. When they are in doubt they should always make use of the electronic eye. This in turn will help overcome a lot of embarrassment and ill-feeling.


Sri Lanka did pretty well to outplay and outclass the Windies in the second Test to win the three-match Test series 3-0 at Asgiriya. The Windies were making a last ditch effort to save the match with Lara at the middle. Brian drove the ball. It visibly hit the ground with dust flying when the close-in fielder, made a frantic appeal. In a split second the local umpire's finger went up. The commentators, too mentioned that it visibly hit the ground. Lara was surprised, but had to walk out, in disgust. This was seen worldwide and a sad reflection on the local umpire.

Here, he should have put it to the third umpire instead of falling to a war-dance appeal. There wasn't Jonty Rhodes on the field. It happened here in a series match against S. Africa. Sanath Jayasuriya, was ruled out caught by Rhodes in the cordon, the local umpire ruled him out.

But Rhodes revoked it as it came off the ground. A fine gesture indeed for anyone to emulate. When questioned amiable Rhodes replied, "My parents have taught me not to cheat.

I adhere to this principle on and off the field at all times."Incidentally both his parents are teachers. Like his teammate Shaun Pollock, who says that the best book he has read and loved reading is "Long Walk To Freedom", by Nelson Mandela, who fought against apartheid. Jonty, too believes and respects the great freedom fighter, who fought against racism. It did happen in the past when Mark and Steve Waugh were victims of bad decisions. In the process local umpiring image was tarnished. Steve, never made excuses for the defeat when the Lankans won the Test series 1-0 and the one-dayers too. But he commended the Lankans for their fine effort, under Jayasuriya on his debut as captain.

But apparently the local men in the White Coat lost their place in the ICC panel. Sri Lanka still could do well without the assistance of the local umpires. They performed well away from home winning against Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and England. We are fast developing to be a force to be reckoned with. Even the present manager of the Windies team Ricky Skerrit, commended the infrastructure when The Sunday Times interviewed him in their first warm-up game against Sri Lanka 'A' at the NCC grounds. Ricky has been to Sri Lanka earlier and has visited Kandy. He made a special trek to St. Anthony's and was impressed with the schoolboys indulging in the sport. Here the schools seem to be the main academy he said. The future holds good.

Rocket Vaas roars to world record

By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka's medium pacer Chaminda Vaas produced a World Record breaking feat to Capture eight wickets for 19 runs including a hat-trick as Zimbabwe were sent crashing to a nine wicket defeat in the first of the LG-Abans Triangular tournament game at the SSC grounds yesterday.

Fresh from a 26 wicket haul in the three test series against the West Indies Chaminda Vaas combined pace,spin and bounce to single handedly skittle out the Zimababweans for just 38 runs in only 15.4 overs which incidentally is the lowest total in the history of one day cricket after Pakistans 43 all out against West Indies in Capetown in 1992/93.

The visitors who lost 16 one day games in a row before beating Bangladesh 3-0 last month were clueless against the hostile bowling of Vaas.The left armer struck with the first ball when he trapped Dion Abraham lbw and never looked back from there.Maintaining an impeccable line and length consistently ,Vaas picked up Grant Flower and Andy Flower in his 3 rd over and then completed a hat -trick(the first by a Sri Lankan) in his sixth over picking up skipper Stuart Carlisle,Craig Wishart and Tatenda Saibu in the 3 rd,4 th and 5 th balls respectively.

After Vaas captured the first eight wickets in his eight overs and Zimbabwe were reeling at 32 for 8 wickets skipper Sanath Jayasuriya introduced his champion off spinner Muttaih Muralitharan who needed just four balls to capture the remaining two wickets and bowl out the Zimbabweans for 38 runs in the 16 th over.

Vaas finished with the amazing figures of 8 overs 3 maidens 19 runs and 8 wickets creating a new World record,breaking his team mate Muralitharans 7 for 30 against India in Sharjah in April 2000/01.

Sri Lanka lost the wicket of Avishka Gunawardene (02) but reached the target in only 4.2 overs with Sanath Jayasuriya palying a trade mark shot of his square cutting Heath Streak to the boundary.It was all over in just 108 minutes which again is a world record for the shortest duration in a one day game. 


Dion Abraham lbw b Vaas 00
(Playing forard wrapped on the front foot)
Grant Flowe b Vaas 01
(played forward,bowled through bat/pad)
Stuart Carlisle c S Perera b Vaas 16
(attempted drive,thick otside edge to third man)
Andrew Flower c Sangakkara b Vaas 00
(outside edge to wicket keeper)
Craig Wishart lbw b Vaas 06
(playing forward wrapped on the pads)
Tatenda Saibu lbw b Vaas 00
(on the front foot,no stroke offered)
Douglas Marrilier not out 04
Heath Streak lbw b Vaas 00
(on the front foot ,no stroke offered)
M Nkala c Sangakkara b Vaas 01
(attempted drive,outside edge to wicket keeper)
Travis Friend b Muralitharan 04
(playing forward to a ball that spun sharply)
Henry Olanga c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 00
(outside edge to first slip)
Extras (lb-1,nb-5) 06
Total (all out in 15.4 overs,87 mts) 38

Fall of wickets:1-00,2-11,3-11,4-27,5-27 ,6-27,7-29,8-32,9-38

Bowling Vaas: 8-3-19-8 Zoysa: 7-2-17-0 Muralitharan: 0.4-0-1-2

Sri Lanka

Sanath Jayasuriya not out 13
Avishka Gunawardene lbw b Streak 02
(playing forward across the line,wrapped on the pads) 
Marvan Attapattu not out 23 
Extras (w-2) 02
Total (for 1 wkt in 4.2 overs) 40

Fall of wickets:1- 4

Bowling: Streak: 2.2-0-26-1 Friend: 2-0-14-0

The Best Thing that happened to me-Vaas

Opening bowler Chaminda Vaas rated his world record breaking feat as the best thing that happened to him in cricket."I am delighted and happy that I picked up eight wickets and a hat -trick.It is the best thing that has happened to me",said Vaas soon after his brillint bowling feat.

"My confidence is very high.I did not do anything extraordinary,but simply kept the seam up and put the ball in the right place" said Vaas who earned the Man of the Match award for his 8 for 19.

The left armer admitted that he has been doing a lot of weight training and Physical training lately with the blessings of Physio Alex Kontouri who according to Vaas has been very helpful. 

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