Senior players cause concern
Any cricket team enjoys the luxury of experienced players blending with those with lesser experience to form a balanced team. The demands and pace of one day cricket is making it more and more for the players to keep going physically. It is difficult for tennis to survive without them and to find substitutes over night is also an impossible task.

The Champions trophy tournament in progress is the fore runner to the world cup in March. All teams in the reckoning would have considered this to be a dress rehearsal. Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, together with England, India and Sri Lanka, after their showing in England and Morocco could be considered as contenders.

Pakistan have had three dismal tournaments in Morocco, Kenya and now in Sri Lanka. They have resorted to dumping their coach Mudassar Nassar! A case of finding a scape goat.

Pakistan has the most number of experienced, Senior hands in their team. Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, and Inzamam -ul-Haq all have scored tons of runs bagged heaps of wickets and won many games for their country. But now are they past the "Nee-By" date? Akram has announced his retirement after the World Cup with Wakqar and Saeed not going to hang on much longer.

It is an unenviable situation to be in. Should these four be performing then Pakistan will be as good as any in the world. At present they are collectively not contributing sufficiently. Obviously there are no replacements, although Imran Nazir and Azar Mahamood two promising youngsters, do not find regular places. Time is running out for the 1992 world cup champs.

South Africa scraped through narrowly beating the West Indies in the last delivery of the game. They got through on the back of the mistakes made by the West Indians. They fell short in all three departments of the game. In the end Pollock's men were elated, but they too have a situation of experienced players not firing.

Alan Donald is only a ghost of his old self. He should be able to shift a gear on responsive pitches, but right now he is not providing any discomfort to batsman. Jonty Rodes is still brilliant on the field but big scores are not forthcoming off his bat. Correct shot selection seems to have deserted him and he is regularly getting himself out these days.

Lance Kluesner is nowhere near the form that won him the man-of-the - series award at the last world cup. He is not able to time the big hits at all with the feet tied up and out of position. The potency in his bowling has also disappeared.

From the players on the side lines they do grave concern for the host nation who must be desperate to make a big impression come the games in March next year.

Two experienced players going along merrily enjoying resurrected form are England's Alec Stewart and Sri Lanka's Aravinda de Silva. Stewart came back a rejuvenated player during the last English summer with impressive performances in both the tests and one dayers against Sri Lanka and India. His fitness and agility is admirable and could be classed as a role mode for any aspiring young cricketer.

After scoring a century against Bangladesh at the P.Sara Stadium Aravinda de Silva has not looked back. He has put in a tremendous amount of work to loose weight, increase speed and be more agile. He will be tested against the Australian bowling attack next Friday. De Silva will not shirk the challenge. He knows he has done it before and can tame the Aussies all over again.

The Australian selectors decided at the beginning of the year to leave the Waugh twins out of the one day squad. Although there was much tune and lay about it right now the decision seems to be the correct one . Experiences vital, so too to replace top players, in order to maintain the balance of a team.

Amrit on a winning spree
By Nilika de Silva
Amrit Rupasinghe (15) won the International Tennis Federation Under 18 Championship, played at the SLTA courts from September 9 to 15. The first Sri Lankan to win this tournament after 10 years. Amrit follows in the footsteps of Umesh Walloopillai.

In the first round of the ITF Under 18, Amrit played Maldivian Ali Farees to score 6-3, 6-2, in the second round he beat Sasith Wickremesinghe 7-6, 6-2, while in the Quarter Finals he played second seed Ling Wei Ting of Taipei 7-5, 6-2.

In the semi finals Amrit played third seed Harshana Godamana, his doubles partner at the tournament, and obtained 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. In the Final he played Wu Yu Chang of Taipei and scored 7-6, 6-1.

Following his success at the recently concluded ITF championships, Amrit is presently packing his bags to leave for the Asian Games which will take place in Pusan, Korea from October 2 - 14.

After the Asian Games Amrit will be going on to Dubai for another Under 18 tournament to take place in mid-October. The year 2002 has seen young Amrit on a winning spree. In January he entered the Quarter Finals of the ITF Under 18, earning 15 ITF points. In September he won the tournament and earned 30 points.

In May this year Amrit played in the Under 16 Junior Davis Cup, held in Malaysia when SL made it to the Quarter Finals. Right after he got back he had one month's training in Spain. Amrit feels he gained a great deal from this SLTA sponsored program, at which several Sri Lankan youngsters participated.

On the local scene this year Amrit won the Nuwara Eliya Hill Club Championship Under 16, Mens Open, the Mens Doubles, in which he was partnered by Dananjaya Mayadunne, and the Under 16 Open Doubles in which he was partnered by Revantha Subramaniam. Amrit also won the Under 18 Cosmopolitan tournament,

In August he won the Junior Nationals Under 18 beating Oshada Wijemanna, but lost to Oshada in the Under 16 and was Runner Up. In the doubles he partnered Oshada and they won the Championship.

Amrit is a product of St Thomas' Prep Kollupitiya. The Head Master and my teachers at STC Prep Kollupitiya are very encouraging and grant me permission to go for these tournaments, said Amrit who has been School Tennis Captain in his age group.

The eldest in a family of three Amrit has been playing tennis since the age of eight when his first coach Sriyani Gunaratne taught him to hold a racket. Sudantha Soyza his coach since the age of nine gave him a firm grounding in the sport.

"He helped me a lot," said Amrit explaining, "from beginner to playing tournaments he's the one who brought me upto this standard". At the age of 12, Amrit participated in a coaching camp in India, held over a month at the Krishnan Tennis Center, in Madras. "That was the first time I went for tennis abroad and I travelled alone," he said.

Amrit is presently being coached by the SLTA, Head Coach Arul Amalnathan , Roshan Razik, Sanjaya Mayadunne, and Ganindran Subramaniam. Amrit also made special mention of Mr. George Paldano and D.D.N. Selvadurai who unhesitatingly gave him advice whenever he sought it.

Amrit who was first exposed to the game when as a baby he tagged along to the courts behind his mother picking up balls, recalls that his grand uncle Douglas Jayawickrema who excelled in tennis in his day, had a room full of trophies.

Amrit's brother Janith (11) specialises in soccer and swimming while his sister Meneka (10) is in to swimming and chess. He's being sponsored for rackets and bags by Ganindran Subramaniam, agent for Bobolat. I'm aiming to get into the top 50 world ranking, said Amrit whose got another three years to make it.

Indians take away golf trophies
The 111th Golf Championships for the National Titles were once again won by the formidable Indian teams. With no one to match their absolute skills both title events were "home & home" affairs.

The bearded turbaned Simarjeet Singh was unmatchable. He walked all over his opponents in the early rounds and in the finals against Vikrant Chopra his performance was even more over-powering. Chopra quite a classy player was not given the slightest chance to ease from the Simarjeet Singh grip and at the end of the 1st 18 holes forenoon round Simarjeet was in a strong 3 up lead.

A sandwich for lunch followed by a massive fresh orange and a cat nap Simarjeet Singh was ready for the onslaught in the early afternoon. Placing pressure on pressure he careered skilfully until young Chopra wilted to give Simarjeet a convincing victory 6 & 4 and registering his 3rd successive win in our Championships. Quiet, unassuming and maintaining a deafening silence Simarjeet was an extremely popular winner judging from the manner in which the Indian girls poured over the bashful young man.

At the award ceremony he had this to say, "You know something I have never won a title or major event in India and I come to Sri Lanka and I trounce the same opponents. It's the charming Sri Lankan people that encouraged me to win. I am coming again next year to polish those Trophies and keep them for me." The young man received a thunderous applause appreciating very much his rich sense of humour.

Parnita Grewal endowed with pretty limbs and a gorgeous structure caused the magical upset. Wit Irina Brar, the hot favourite knocked out in the quarter-finals Parnita immediately readied herself to 'breast the tape.' Playing impeccable golf she slammed her way to a commanding lead after the 1st 18 holes and after lunch and through the 2nd round Shruti Khanna, a tough opponent held on firmly to pass a few holes and then the Grewal pressure took over to bring the result closer and earlier 7 & 6. Grewal received tight embraces, massive hugs and a stunning round of applause. Shruti Khanna was a complete lady in defeat and she got her deserving share of accolades.

The visiting teams plus the Sri Lankan team made the crowd at the award ceremony. Club officials were noted by their absence. Sriyan de Soysa, the President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union spoke impressively dishing out thanks and strong appreciation of the signal contributions made by our friendly visitors. He also thanked Mr. Paddy Withana, the Chairman of the Ceylon Tourist Board for extending his valuable patronage. Mr. Withana, a distinguished Lion was eloquent. He admitted having been fully aware of the importance of Golf in the developing Tourist Industry.

He encouraged more and more development of the game and assured the authorities that he would most certainly help within reason to progress the game and plan out a promotion to capture the massive groups of golfers who keep jetting from country to country in our part of the world chasing new and attractive destinations. The affable Chairman was warmly greeted in the usual manner. The High Commissioner for Pakistan and the First Secretary of the Indian High Commission added extra colour to the occasion. Massive Mark Silva did a hefty job extremely well.

The 2 Indian teams collected 26 Trophies. The alarm bell went out that there maybe a problem taking out so much Silver. "These are commercial quantities", I said and promptly wheels moved to get an Export permit.

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