By Bernie Wijesekara
Cricket was a legacy built to last since its inception in the meadows
of England to bring about understanding and togetherness after the
game over a pint of beer.
But at present times it's no longer a gentleman's game due to lust
and greed and to win at all cost. It may attribute to, too much
of professionalism and money which is the root cause for most of
its evils in its wake even deteriorating levels of sportsmanship.
Those who handle the game at embryo stage should not only teach
them the skills, but also to maintain sportsmanship on and off the
field. First a "gentleman, then a cricketer". This should
be the first lesson to their charges. It's not
some quarters. The players go to the extent of intimidating the
umpires with constant appealing not only the bowler or the 'keeper,
by those behind the cordon. This is a regular trend which has gone
unheard, unsung by the (coaches and managers) who run its affairs.
It's not confining
only to schoolboys, but even among some national players, too. It
attributes to weak management, who fail to give a dressing down.
It did happen at the New Zealand-Cricket Board Academy XI first
match at the NCC ground. The young academy bowlers, who failed to
get an early breakthro' kept on appealing at every given turn even
running upto the head umpire.
it was blatant intimidation. Even amiable Kaluwitharane, who was
leading the team failed to take notice of this display by the youngsters
in the team.
Even Jeff Crowe, the former Kiwi captain, who made a test 100 against
Sri Lanka at the adjoining ground (CCC) agreed. Once the umpire
says 'no', he is not going to reverse the decision. Play it in the
correct spirit. At times the umpires, too are found wanting in their
decision making. Hemantha Devapriya and Owen Mottau, who is handling
the Academy squad, though belated should take remedial measures
on their charges to refrain from unwarranted appealing. On a docile
pitch the Academy attack was made to look cart horse. Here the bowlers
have to earn the wickets with skilful bowling, but not by intimidating
the umpires with constant appeals.
who served as understudy to Stanley Jaysinghe whilst on tour could
have learnt much from him how to maintain discipline on and off
the field. Constant appealing and apparently trying to 'bully' the
umpire was one of them, he resented. Stan brought those players
to task. The game cannot be played on mere Faith for its success.
One has to work hard to reap the harvest.
Get foreigners to play for the national
Sri Lanka rugby team's performance against Arabian Gulf, a team
packed with expatriates proved woefully inadequate. The Arabian
Gulf forwards though small in stature but had the strength, stamina,
skills, plus fitness to outplay Sri Lanka. It exposed our limitations
when the local players had to confront against Asian teams, sandwiched
with foreign players.
The year 2006
Rugby Asiad will be held in Sri Lanka. The Rugby Union should think
positively to include foreign players and draft them in advance
to be on par with the IRB requirements (18-month qualifying period).
Otherwise we are doomed. This was opined by former Sri Lanka No.
8 granite-hard Ajit Abeyratne. He later went on to coach the national
team. He has followed coaching stints abroad and has the knowledge
to impart the forwards skills to the players in the present squad.
a past stalwart, who served well from the base and later became
the chairman of the selection panel endorsed the above view. Tikiri,
after watching the Arabian Gulf game said without foreigners Sri
Lanka can't make much headway even in the Asian region. When other
nations in the region are utilising foreigners why not Sri Lanka,
By the time
the Asiad is here, Priyantha Ekanayake probably, will be the president
of the SLRFU. At present he's the vice-president. He should get
the act-together, Tikiri said. Young and talented foreign players
should be harnessed, with an eye for the 2006 Asiad. If we start
immediately the qualifying period could be overcome. The controlling
body should assist the clubs toward this end. Of course, with the
support of the Ministry of Sports. Jamie Scott, the IRB Rep. in
Asia for development said, 'every town in Sri Lanka should have
a mini-rugby club. Families should be involved. Then sponsors will
be too happy to sponsor.
All clubs should
field mini-rugby (women's) rugby Under-21 over 35 teams. Then this
beautiful sport will become a family sport. The recent S. Thomas'
Mt. Lavinia mini-rugby carnival proved an instant success. There
were more parents - especially mothers getting involved with their
kids to promote the game at grassroots level. The sponsors Union
Assurance has been the carnival for the last six years with men
The Old Thomian
RFU headed by Arjun Dharmadasa should be commended for its continuity
. Another school which is promoting mini-rugby is Isipatana MV.
Mohan Balasuriya, the president of the SLRFU should start an academy
with full-time coaches (not figure heads), who could impart the
skills on and off the field.Each province should have a league competition.
Make rugby a
mass sport. Then confine it to a selected few (clubs) to indulge
in social rugby. If this is the trend then confine only to schools
and clubs and forget international rugby. The State should get involved
and give all support to the controlling bodies as done in other
countries. This in turn, will help to promote the country's image
via sport. In 1984, Sri Lanka rugby hit a purple patch winning the
Bowl under Hisham Abdeen. Sevens rugby has taken a firm root worldwide
since Webb Ellis, in 1823 with total disregards to the rules. Ellis
tucked the ball in his arms and ran with it. In its wake originated
the 7s game. Sevens rugby, too has a great following and its very
popular in Sri Lanka. - BW
The All Island Age Group Chess Championship final event, conducted
by the Anatoly Karpov Chess Club and sponsored by LOLC is scheduled
to be held on May 2, 3and 4. All the provincial champions and some
Indian players are billed to participate at this final tournament.
The award ceremony
of the above chess tournament will be held at the main hall of Isipathana
College on May 4 at 3.30 p.m. His excellency Mikhail G. Karpov,
the Russian Ambassador will grace the occasion as the chief guest
while the Indian High Commissioner and the Ministers of Education
and Sports will also be distinguished guests.
programme- May 2 - First Round 8.30 a.m to 12.30 p.m. Second Round
2.00 p.m to 6.00 p.m. May 3 - Third Round 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Fourth Round 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. May 4 - 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.