Franklin Emmanuel, Nishendran excel
A beaming and confident Lalith Withana, President, SLTA announced that
Sri Lanka has now reached international standard in the boys Under-14 age
The achievement by these two youngsters Franklin Emmanuel and N. S.
Nishendran at the recently concluded South Asian Tennis Championships speaks
volumes for the Junior development that has taken place in Sri Lanka within
the last two years, said Withana.
The best Under-14 players from around 15 countries in South and Central
Asia participated and Franklin and Nishendran took first place in the doubles
while in the singles Franklin was placed third and Nishendran fifth. The
five best Central Asian players are invited for this Championships.
Withana's two year term as President of the SLTA expires next month.
I am confident that my successor will continue the Junior development
programme that was initiated by me and we will be able to achieve greater
heights, he said.
At the first ITF South Asian tournament Sri Lanka's Franklin Emmanuel
was seeded No. I while N.S. Nishendran was seeded as No 2. Emmanuel reached
the semi-finals beating Ivan Lidzar (Kazakastan) 6/1, 6/0, Nyi Nyi Tun
(Myanmar) 6/3, 6/0, Sanam Singh (India) 7/5, 6/2. Emmanuel lost in the
semi-finals to Umarov Jamol (Uzbeckistan) 6/3, 6/0. In the decider for
the 3rd/4th place Emmanuel lost to Jeevan Nedunchezian (India) 7/5, 2/6,
6/2 and was therefore placed 4th in the singles event. N. S. Nishendran
reached the quarter finals when he beat G. Maharjan (Nepal) 6/0, 6/0 Yousuf
Aman (Bangladesh) 6/0, 6/3.
Nishendran lost to Jeevan Nedunchezian (India) 7/5, 6/1 who was ultimately
placed 3rd. In the 5th to 8th play off Nishendran beat Acmal Sulaimanov
(Tajikistan) 7/5, 6/2 but lost to Alexander Lidzar (Kazakastan) 6/1,6/4
to be placed 6th in the singles event.
Traditions must take their turn
It has been a tradition in the past if a player plays in a Big Match, especially
in the Royal-Thomian he is awarded with cricket colours. This has been
a tradition and it's being continued in the Battle of the Blues; todate.
The criterion should be his consistency - be it batting or bowling.
Otherwise the value of the colours on offer is lost for mere participation
in the Big Match. In the process it's not going to do any justice to the
game or to a player who has been a consistent performer throughout the
Suppose the lad who has given a major share for the team's cause, falls
sick on the eve of a big 'un his replacement gets colours. It isn't cricket.
The present Royal team, which is not enjoying a healthy season has coloursmen
aplenty, who have taken part in last year's 'blues'. The Principal of Royal
and the President of the Schools C.A., Mr. Lakshman Gomes is a keen follower
of the game.
We had this to say, "I agree with you over the awarding of colours for
the mere participating in the Big Match. I am helpless as it has been a
tradition and had to be adhered to."
Despite not being consistent, when fortune smiles, take it, but it's
not going to help the individual's future. There should be a change.
The past is forgotten, the present is known, but the future is unknown.
The Sports Board must take a serious view.
Another ardent cricket fan and an outstanding cricketer of yester-year,
who played in the "Battle of the Blues" from S.Thomas' said in the past
there was tremendous competition even to play in a school game, let alone
the Big Match. School cricket standards have dropped allround.
There is quantity, but no quality. Still colours should not be given
on a platter, for playing in the Big 'un. Overnight he becomes a senior.
It's not fair by the lad, who has been a consistent performer to be called
upon to take orders from the coloursman, who can't hold his place in the
Apparently in some schools parents and old boys have a say in the selection.
Even the claims of the poor talented players are overlooked. Kissing goes
Aparently this is happening at junior level, where some parents curry
favour with those, who control the game. – BW
Thurstanites hard nuts to crack but Isipatana has
By Shamil Amit
The month of February is the traditional time for the beginning of the
big matches and as usual the honour of staging the first of the big matches
falls on Isipathana and Thurstan to be played on February 22 and 23 at
the SSC grounds.
This is the second time the game will be played at this grounds the
earlier occasion being in the year 1968. This will be the 39th in the series
with Thurstan in the lead with five wins as against four to Isipathana
and twenty eight drawn.Isipathana's last win was in 1999 under the captaincy
of Krishantha Jayawardena while Thurstan last won in 1992 under Mackenzie
On paper Isipathana seems to be the better side with a better record
this season having played 14 matches losing one to DSS and the rest drawn
while Thurstan have played twelve matches with outright losses against
Lumbini MV and Maris Stella.
But when it comes to the traditional big matches no quarters are asked
or given the players play with more cohesion and are determined not to
Isipathana is led by that stylish left handed bat Rohan de Silva who
has been in fine fettle this year having scored over 600 runs and will
be looking forward for support from his deputy Oshadee Nawaragodagedera,
a good allrounder and has a century to his credit this season against Dharmapala
Apart from these two Isipathana will be also be hoping that their openers
Chanuka Perera and Saman Nishantha to give them a good start Saman has
not been that consistent this season there may be last minute changes if
the need arises. Others to bolster the score will be Amal Peiris and allrounder
Saranga Perera. The bowling attack will be spearheaded by Saranga Perera
and Damith Dushantha with the skipper Rohan and Oshadee to support them.
Thurstan on the other hand though having a lean season will be hard
nuts to crack. Led by that versatile allrounder and fifth year Gihan de
Silva his bowling has been the forte this season, a leg spinner and an
able supporter to his opening bowlers Asela Umayangana and Osuka Mahaarachchi.
His deputy Damith Indika an Under 19 national player will be expected to
give off his best. Damith has not been able to perform to the full season
this year as he had been in the Under 19 pool. The openers Sandaruwan Wijesundara
and Dinesh Perera should give them a good start if they are to make a match
of it with Sanjeewa Nishantha who has been in the runs this season scoring
nearly 800 runs to support the batting line up. It will be a keen tussle
for supremacy which is played for the Blackham Wijewardena Memorial Trophy.
Focus on the probables
The national players have just completed a well earned rest and have taken
a back seat in local cricket in the recent weeks. The Kenyans in the island,
the three domestic tournaments, the concluded Under-l9 world Cup and school
cricket have dominated coverage of sports news.
Kenya was very disappointing in the opening two unofficial Test against
Sri Lanka "A". Only on day one of the first Test did they impress by notching
up 282 for 8. A good number of runs in a day's cricket. From then on it
has been all downhill for the African nation. It is only by performing
exceptionally well on tours such as this that the Kenyans can stake any
claims to play Test cricket. With it being evident that Bangladesh were
admitted far too early into the fold, the Kenyans who are next on the list
seem to have a long wait.
Local "A" team players, on the other hand, have regular opportunities
to keep their senior counterparts on their toes with outstanding performances
in these games. The distinctive highlight of the two games was the triple
century partnership between Upul Chandana and Tillekaratne Dilshan.
Captain Chandana followed up with two good bowling performances too.
He had match figures of 32-6-73-6. That, following the blistering knock
of 192 runs. A superb all-round performance on any count.
The leg spinner/batsman/crack fielder, has been hitherto used mainly
in the one day games. Perhaps it is time the roles are reversed. Forget
Chandana as a one day player, use him only for the long game from now on!
Muttiah Muralitharan will need a genuine spin bowling sooner than later.
Sri Lanka has succeeded with half spinner (a whole breed of them), but
that cannot be relied on in the long term.
The art of spin bowling to pick up wickets is so different to containing
batsman with defensive field placings. Flight, line, length, variations
have all got to be precise, to bowl to attackingly set fields, on good
pitches, against good batsman. Some spinners who play in both forms of
the game from a young age can counter the required changes sufficiently
quickly. Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Saqlain Mustaq, Anil Kumble
are the lot. That is a very small percentage. Upul Chandana who can become
a genuine all-rounder should be given the opportunity.
Young Dilshan who should start to reach the peak of his batting ability
in a couple of years must be pleased and relieved at getting a big score
in Matara. On his entry to big cricket he displayed a sound technique and
a balanced temperament.
However, like many other succumb under pressure and demand. It's a tough
call for any youngster when failure follows and the runs dry up. Success
breed success and Dilshan must make the most of the new1y found lease of
Avishka Gunawardena, Chamara Silva, Micheal Van Dort, Upeka Fernando,
Ian Daniel are the fringe batsmen who have to make good the opportunity.
They have to realise that half centuries are inadequate. When they get
to fifty the target must be to get to a century and then upto one hundred
and fifty and beyond. It is only regular performances of that magnitude
that pinches the selectors to open the doors, often forcibly.
Lack of penetrative bowlers has been the weakness in Sri Lanka's cricketing
armoury that has stunted success, particularly away from home. That is
being rectified slowly, but acceleration is required. The Kenyans have
hitherto not been able to handle spin and Chandana, Herath, Puspakumara
have been rewarded with Ruchira Perera being the best of the quicker bowler.
Still its not encouraging with no one being dangerous enough to even
pick up a five wicket haul. This is even greater reason for Upul Chandana
to be given all the encouragement, assistance, training and opportunities
to be coached and watched by top class spin bowling coaches.
Batsmen can score runs, but should your bowler not get the opposition
out twice, matches cannot be won?
Amerasinghe in stylish win takes Exel Trophy
golfer Rathven de Livera heads the exel Group of companies and they specialize
in flooring material and sanitaryware with success. Staunch supporters
of golf they lavishly sponsored the February 2002 Medal round at the Ridgeways
of the Royal Colombo Golf Club at which there was a tremendous tussle for
supremacy in the "A" Division Classic between Chula Amerasinghe and Alain
Chula hits a great tee shot and on Saturday he was probably at his very
best. He plundered a few birdies, captured a few pars and messed around
a couple of times. His nett 70, one under par equalled Alain Gyi's score
but having struck a better nine he pipped Gyi to collect the "A" Classic.
Anel de Silva and Chellapah Thurairaja played well with 80 and 84 respectively.
Tenacious C. Twenbold struck the limelight after a long lapse. Playing
off 13 he compiled a well measured gross 81 nett 68 to win the "B" Division
category beating David Gyi by a slender margin of one stroke. Coming close
behind with one under par nett rounds were Rohan Perera, Chutti's son Omar
Munsoor and my 4 ball partner of the old days Ray Lapsley. Other creditable
rounds came off the club heads of Premier Pacific Nimal Perera and Uncle
Willie Barsenbach who settled for 71 each. The disaster zone was occupied
by Harin Udeshi, Elmo de Silva, Jit Wanigasekera, Surath Wickremasinghe,
Avanka Herath and Rohan Fernando.
Caeser Fernando was inviting the attention of the Handicap Committee when
he cracked a smartly compiled nett 68. Extremely keen and enthusiastic
about the game he was moving about with a semi-permanent smile pleased
with the success of his effort. Gerard Fernando also had a very praiseworthy
round with a 2 under par nett 69. After incessant hours at the nets Lester
Weinman came exceptionally good with a one under par nett 70. His body
movement is less boisterous which gives him greater balance resulting in
more accuracy off the tees. He was long, sure of himself and quite proud
with his success.
Thegan de Silva, H.A.S. Madanayake and H. Samaranayake collected excellent
nett par rounds. There were loads of cracking centuries with the disaster
zone packed to capacity. The outer bounds locality was riddled with straying
shots and the pond boys made a harvest. Those who were identified as substantial
contributors were Stanley Almeida, Nick Cherrill, Joseph Kenny, M.I.F.
Macpherson, Dian Jayasuriya, Baboo Wickremaratne, Travis Fernandopulle,
Tissa Wickremasinghe to name a few.
M. Jameel was back again battling his way to success. He shot 2 under par
nett 69 in style beating the popular veteran Willie Barsenbach to take
the trophy for the Seniors.
C. Twenbold had a massive battle with David Gyi which appeared to be going
Gyi's way when a spell of untidiness set into Gyi's game. He lost a few
strokes, lost his way and Twenbold carried the plum award with nett 68
against Gyi's nett 69.
It was a well organised competition ably handled by Steward Ariyadasa
under the guidance of Lalith Ramanayake the Vice- Captain. The sponsors
dovetailed the arrangements to complete a good event. Thanks to Exel Trading
and Rathven de Livera.
Right of reply
The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, as part of its continuous
efforts to improve the infrastructure of cricket in this country, have
planned a major modernization project for the Galle International Cricket
Stadium, in which this venue will undergo considerable uplifting of its
This project includes the construction of a modern Grandstand at the
stadium, which will add a large section for the use of media personnel.
The plan includes a spacious Press Box for the print and electronic media,
several roomy cubicles for radio and television commentators, modern communication
facilities, large toilets, hospitality boxes, etc.
This project was scheduled to begin in the latter part of 2002 after
the current international matches are over, and is targeted for completion
by the time the next international match is played at Galle in 2003. Preliminary
designs which were forwarded by contractors are already being examined
by the BCCSL.
Rover pin points
Look out for new NSC Chairman
The new Minister of Sports is looking out for a person of repute and honesty
to be the Chairman of the National Sports Council.
What a mockery?
At the Uyanwatte Stadium Matara, the Press Box, where the second 'Unofficial'
cricket Test between Sri Lanka 'A' and Kenya was played a few raised eyebrows,
when a journalist was seeing enjoying his yogurt with a lid of an aerated
water bottle as spoons were not provided.
What a shame!
Who is this Sri Lankan cricketer who abused a Sri Lanka journalist in his
own vehicle in filth forgetting the support given to make him what he is
This bowler has gone to say that once he gets 600 wickets he will never
talk to the local journalists but only to the foreign journalist. Has he
forgotten his past. Rover asks is this the gratitude for the support given
Talk of the town
A senior rugby player who captained his team to win a triple has failed
to get elected to the General Committee while a complete outsider has been
elected to serve on the General Committee without any rugby playing background.
Can you believe this
Cheating was the order of the day at the International Schools athletic
meet specially in the 100 metres (relay boys where runners from a certain
school were allowed to change their lanes without the track judges noticing
Why two associations ?
One wonders as to which women's cricket association the new Minister of
Sports will recognise.
Could it be the one headed by Mrs. Gwen Herat or the one headed by Mrs.
Kumaratunga. Rover understands the more active association is the one headed
by Mrs. Herat.
It's high time the Minister steps in where Sri Lanka would be able to
field the best team for the Women's World Cup in New Zealand, next year.