16th December 2001

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More commitment in 7s rugby-Asanga

By Bernie Wijesekera
After Sri lanka's 'sevens' team's performance in Dubai, it has made a tremendous impact in the international scene, said coach Asanga Seneviratne in an interview with The Sunday Times. 

The tour of Dubai was followed by the Thai Int. 7s. It was no looking back since then. Though playing in a strong group the Lankans did well to beat Belgium 36-0 in round one. In the second round did well to beat China 26-12. It was quite creditable as we lost to China in the H.K. 7s 26-0. 

Sri Lanka had to confront Wales again in a Group match, after our close contest against them in Dubai. The Lankans gave nothing away, to lose 31-21, speaks well for the team's commitment. Lost to Germany by a similar margin. They had three French players. Did well to enter the Bowl semis after the win over China. 

The Lankans did well to score 126 points and conceding 101 to their opponents." 

Any reasons for the recent performances in 7s rugby? "Strength training, nutrition, fitness and commitment. They train, twice a day. Much attention is being paid to the needs of the players, plus motivation. It must be mentioned that the Rugby Union, is giving me all support and a free hand to handle the charges. Already the squad has started training after a short break for the festive season, it will commence again from the first week of Jan. 2002 Asanga added. 

Jason Withford the Aussie physical and strength trainer, with his scientific training was a tower of strength to the boys on tour. He is expected here in mid January and will continue his good work until the H.K. 7s, modern methods of training is vital for this exciting sport today. Sri Lanka is no longer a pushover side in 7s rugby. 

Any outstanding players on tour? It was a tremendous team effort no doubt. But Nalaka Weerakody was the pick of the lot. He scored four tries. 

S.Thomas', Sangamitta champs 

St. Thomas' College with an aggregate of 146 points and Sangamitta BMV with 142 points emerged boys' and girls' overall champions respectively at the District Sportsmeet organised and conducted by the Matale District Amateur Athletic Association at the Bernard Aluvihare Stadium recently. 

Christ Church College Matale finished runners-up of the overall boys' events with 36 points and overall girls' events with 48 points. 

Lanka's correct steps

By Bernie Wijesekera
After the 1999 setbacks in defence of the World Cup won in 1996, Sri Lanka Cricket Board has taken corrective steps in its infrastructure. As a result they are doing well in the international scene, said the Manager of the West Indies team, Ricky Skeritt, in an interview with The Sunday Times. West Indies need at least one and a half years to close the gap, he said.

"Junior cricket here - the nursery - especially school cricket which I've not seen much but seems to be on the correct track - harnessing talented players for the future. But in the Caribbean, it has gone down badly." 

"But we are striving to start it at the grassroots level to improve the game and bring back to its glorious past.

"Already positive steps have been taken and it has borne fruit. The West Indies won the Under-16 World Cup final, last year defeating Pakistan. Also did well to beat England in an Under-19 Test series this year. 

There are a number of future young prospects. One of them is Devon Smith, a left-handed opener. Jermaine Lawsen, a right arm fast medium bowler and Rayan Hinds, a left-handed batsman, brother of Wavell Hinds. Both came to Sri Lanka with the U-19 World Cup team. The Windies will be a force to be reckoned within the next U-19 World Cup to be staged in New Zealand."

"We are in the process of team building and planning not only for a better future, but also for its continuity," Ricky added. 

This is what the present management of the Windies Board is doing.

Cricket can't afford - Anura

The game in the Caribbean has to be revived from the present parlous state. Otherwise cricket is the loser. The crowds will lose interest. It's not quantity, but need quality players to uplift the game. I've played against them and enjoyed to the fullest on and off the field. Incidentally Anura led the first Sri Lanka team for the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and in 1979. 

Both finals were played at the Lords. The Windies playing heart-throbbing cricket defeating Australia and England. Efforts are being made by the Windies Board for its revival and for the betterment of the game in the Caribbean.

The present one day series seems to be a one-sided affair for Sri Lanka between West Indies and Zimbabwe. But anything can happen. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. Even the local fans have lost interest despite Lara's exploits.

Chandima wins international silver medal

Chandima Sugathapala, Managing Director of Explora Group of Campanies won a silver medal (Man vs Man) at the International Indonesian Level III Match, Bali, December 8th-9th 2001. 

Further he was placed first on the stage tour 6.10 seconds with Hit Factor of 6.2295. The other countries which contested in this International shooting competition were: America, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand. 

Chandima was awarded the designation of Chief Range Officer by the International Practical Shooting Confederation Region of Indonesia along with the participants Jayantha Wijerathna and Suren Samarasinghe.

Victory for Moors over Antonians

By M.Shamil Amit
Moors SC registered an outright win over the Antonians in the Premier League cricket match played at Braybrooke Place. While in two other games of the same tournament being played at Katunayake and Kurunegala. Ragama CC and Kurunegala YCC have obtained first inning wins over Air Force and Chilaw Marians. These two games will be continued today. 

At Braybrooke Place: Antonians SC -148 and 153 (Charles Silva 62, Heshan Tilekeratne 25; Chandika Hathurasinghe 3 for 31)

Moors SC - 269 (Chandika Hathurasinghe 133, Pradeep Rambukwella 24, Rangana Herath 34; Pulasthi Guneratne 3 for 91, Amal Dalugoda 2 for 52, N.Nanayakkara 2 for 40) and 33 for 1.

At Katunayake: Ragama CC - 239 and 196 (Rasika Priyadharshana 27, Dushantha Ranatunge 23, Upul Fernando 83, Sanjeewa Arangala 18; Chamila Gamage 2 for 59, Ranga Dissanayake 3 for 39, Tilak Fernando 4 for 26). Air Force - 158 (Ajith Kumara 42, Anil Ariyadasa 23, S.Dissanayake 33; Sanjeewa Arangala 3 for 44, Ruwan Dilruk 4 for 37)

At Kurunegala: Chilaw Marians 169 and 160 for 5 at close (Arosha Perera 31, Amila Gunewardena 39, Janaka Gunaratne 20, Charith Sylvester 25, Ruchira Palliyaguru 30, Ishan Mutalip 16 n.o.; Ajith Ekanayake 3 for 34) Kurunegala YCC - 183 (Isuru Chintaka 61, Roshan Jaymon 28, Suwanga Madanayake 22; Dhammika Perera 6 for 42, Praneeth Jayasundara 2 for 20, Janaka Gunaratne 2 for 25)

Dilruwan cracks 134

The Premier League cricket match between CCC and Panadura SC being played at the CCC grounds is poised for an interesting finish. Panadura in reply to CCC's score of 340 were strongly placed on 283 for 6 at close with allrounder Dilruwan Perera cracking a solid 134 which had 17 boundaries and 2 sixes.

CCC - 340 (Prasanna Jayawardena 101, Tharindu Mendis 91, Bradman Ediriweera 37, A.Polonowita 26, N.Ranasinghe 25; Amila Perera 3 for 90, Pubudu Wickrama 3 for 90, K.Silva 2 for 32)

Panadura - 283 for 6 at close (Dilruwn Perera 134, Romesh Fernando 56 n.o., R.Wimalasena 40; C. Mudalige 2 for 88) -MSA

Three Lankans in top ten 

Mahela Jayawardene,Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas figure in the top ten of the latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers Test ratings for Batsmen and Bowlers which were released earlier this week. Brian Lara's supreme effort with the bat where he accumulated over six hundred runs has taken him back to the top slot.The left hander who has accumulated 905 points is followed by Andy Flower (898), Sachin Tendulkar(876), Mahela Jayawardene (818),Inzamam ul Haq (818), Steve Waugh (816), Adam Gilchrist (796), Jacques Kallis (776),Rahul Dravid (771) and Herchelle Gibbs(723). -MF


First match with Japan 
Sri Lanka Under-19 youth rugby team left for Japan on Friday to participate in the junior rugby Asiad. It will be held in FUKUOKA. 

Last year it was staged here. South Korea beat Japan in the final. Sri Lanka will play in Group 'B', along with Japan and S'pore. In Group 'A' - Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and S. Korea. 

According to the team manager Arjun Dharmadasa, the Lankan team is billed to play Japan on Dec. 18. The 23 member squad will be led by Isipatana hooker, Anurudha Walpola, Dharmadasa said its an Under-19, contest. The boys have been told to play clean and hard rugby irrespective of the opponents. 

If Lankans could come third in the table, then they are eligible to play in the Junior U-19 World Cup next year. 

The squad has been in training for a long time and they have much understanding and togetherness. Its being coached by Asanga Seneviratne. He has done a good job with the 7s national squad said Dharmadasa. 

Samrath Fernando will also accompany the team. He has been nominated by the Ref. Society to officiate at the matches. (B.W.)

Junior rugby coaching camp/tournament
A junior rugby coaching camp for children between 9 and 15 will be held on December 18 and 19 at Wesley College Grounds, Borella. The main organisers of this programme are N.J.Mudannayake Co-ordinater of Western Province and Basil Rodrigo Cheif Technical officer Western Province RFU.

More than 500 children from Gampaha and Colombo district will be participating in this programme. The organisers will also conduct a tournament in collabration with the SLRFU.

The Cheif Guest on December 18 will be Y.C.Chang, Past Chairman Development Committee SLRFU and former Sri Lanka skipper and President of theSLRFU. 

The Cheif Guest on December 19 will be Capt. Harsha Mayadunne, President SLRFU. 

The championship cup will be presented on the final day along with the Plate and Bowl for the second and third places. 

Abdeen School of Rugby has been invited to participate in an exhibition match with the Western Province Under 15 Development Squad.-MSA

Browns to uplift football in Sri Lanka
Brown & Company Ltd., sole agents for Sharp products in Sri Lanka, recently reiterated its commitment to the upliftment of soccer in Sri Lanka. With a Rs.3 million sponsorship package for the recently concluded Sharp FA Football Tournament, Brown & Company has infused a much-needed investment to the Sri Lankan soccer arena. 

The Sharp FA Cup Football Tournament showcased some of Sri Lanka's best football talent. The finals of this tournament, better known as the "Blue Ribbon of Soccer" was held at the Sugathadasa Stadium where over 10,000 spectators gathered to cheer their favourite teams. The tournament was won by Saunders Sports Club, after defeating Negombo Youth by 4 goals to nil. 

Football is widely recognized as one of the world's most popular sports; on the international football arena, Sharp is closely associated with Manchester United, one of the best football teams in the world and in Asia, Sharp is the official sponsor of the Malaysian Football Association. With the Sharp FA Cup tournament now regarded as a major event in the Sri Lankan Football calendar, Brown and Company is confident of new standards being set in Sri Lanka football, through the event. 

The World Cup Tournament to be played in Japan next year would see Sharp as a key sponsor; in Sri Lanka, the Sharp FA Cup has highlighted the commitment of Brown & Company towards the development of the game.

Brian Lara out for six months

West Indies batting star Brian Lara who was forced out of the match and the rest of the tournament when he collided with fielder Marvan Atapattu at the non-striker's end was transferred by helicopter to Colombo. Indications were that Lara will be out of cricket for at least six months. Lara set off for a quick single and Atapattu, fielding the ball at covers, ran in to throw the wicket down. The players ran into each other and Lara was left clutching his left arm in agony. Lara was carried off on a stretcher and taken to the Kandy General Hospital for X-rays from where he was transferred by helicopter to Colombo. 

Lara hurt, Windies hammered

By Aubrey Kuruppu
The Sri Lankans extracted due revenge from the West Indians for their defeat a few days back by using their batting might to force their opponents into meek surrender at the Asgiriya Stadium yesterday.

After Jayasuriya had blasted off with 34 in 34 deliveries, the elegant Atapattu and the uncontrollable Jayawardena took over. The Sri Lankan batting machine thereafter operated at full throttle and were simply unstoppable.

Sent into bat by Jayasuriya, the West Indians overcame fearful odds to total a challenging 235. Things would have been rosier for them, had Lara been allowed to play a stellar role. 

Overcoming a slightly shaky start, Brian Lara was just about to blossom forth when he suffered a dislocation of both shoulder and elbow in a collision with Marvan Atapattu. 

Skipper Hooper rose to the challenge and batted at his elegant stylish best to lead the way with 72.

Lara was forced out of the match and the rest of the tournament when he collided with fielder Marvan Atapattu at the non-striker's end.

Lara set off for a quick single and Atapattu, fielding the ball at covers, ran in to throw the wicket down. The players ran into each other and Lara was left clutching his left arm in agony.


West Indies

C.H. Gayle lbw b Fernando 8
(No shot offered to ball that dipped back)
D. Ganga c Sangakkara b Arnold 52
(Tried to run it down - edged to keeper)
B.C. Lara retired hurt 24
(Collided with fielder: stretchered off)
R.R. Sarwan c Sangakkara b Fernando 5
(Touched perfect outswinger to WK)
C.L. Hooper c Chandana b Jayasuriya 72
(Lofted to long off)
M.N. Samuels c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 10
(Swept high to deep mid wicket - good running catch)
R.L. Powell c Jayasuriya b Muralitharan 8
(Top edged a sweep)
R.D. Jacobs not out 25
N.C. McGarrell b Jayasuriya 0
(Late on faster ball)
C.D. Collymore b Arnold 5
(Missed straight, faster ball)
J.J.C. Lawson run out (/Arnold) 3
(Caught out of his ground second run)

Extras (b 4, lb 4, w 11, nb 4) 23

Total (all out, 49.5 overs, 204 mins) 235

Fall: 1-16 (Gayle, 1.4 ov), 2-77 (Sarwan, 13.1 ov), 3-146 (Ganga, 29.6 ov), 4-170 (Samuels, 36.4 ov), 5-193 (Powell, 40.6 ov), 6-205 (Hooper, 43.2 ov), 7-205 (McGarrell, 43.4 ov), 8-229 (Collymore, 49.2 ov), 9-235 (Lawson, 49.5 ov).

Bowling: Zoysa 7 1 37 0 (7w), Fernando 7 0 25 2 (2nb, 1w), Nissanka 2 0 22 0 (2nb), Muralitharan 10 0 33 2 (2w), Chandana 8 0 41 0, Jayasuriya 10 0 36 2, Arnold 5.5 0 33 2 (1w).

Sri Lanka innings 

(target: 236 runs from 50 overs)

S.T. Jayasuriya c Sarwan b Lawson 34
(Hit across straight ball and skied to mid on)
D.A. Gunawardene c sub (D Brown) b Lawson 10
(Stopped shot,scooped to mid off)
M.S. Atapattu not out 82
D.P.M.D. Jayawardene not out 106

Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 7
Total (2 wickets, 43.1 overs) 239
FoW: 1-36 (Gunawardene, 5.6 ov), 2-52 (Jayasuriya, 11.4 ov).
Bowling: Collymore 10 1 46 0 (1nb), Lawson 10 1 47 2, McGarrell 8 0 57 0 (1w), Hooper 8.1 1 38 0 (1w), Gayle 3 0 18 0, Samuels 4 0 31 0 (2w)

Peter Manuel selected to ICC Umpires Panel

Peter Manuel has once again been selected as Sri Lanka's nominee to the ICC Umpires Panel. Manuel will join Asoka de Silva who was nominated to the ICC Umpires Panel earlier this year.

Although Sri Lanka was expected to nominate two umpires to the Panel, this year only Asoka de Silva was nominated as there was a keen contest for the second nomination between three leading local umpires. However following the recent home Test series against India and the West Indies the Umpires Committee headed by former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper batsmen Amal Silva selectecd Peter Manuel as the second nomineee to the ICC Umpires Panel. 

His nomination was approved by the Cricket Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka. This would be Manuel's third stint with the ICC. Earlier he was in the ICC Umpires Panel along with K. T. Francis(1999/2000) and B.C. Cooray (2000/2001).- MF

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