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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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