The major positive factor to emerge from the two Test matches played
against New Zealand was the emerging of Prabath Nissanka and Kushal
Lokuarachchi. In their first two outings they displayed potential
as future prospects.
Lanka be able to draw on six top class bowlers to serve in one day
and Test encounters, then together with the support bowler, the
attack is complete. Australia has just that at present. A major
reason for their dominance is that. They have Glen McGrath, Jason
Gillespie, Bret Lee, Andy Bichel, Stuart McGill and Brad Hogg, with
Shane Warne serving a year’s suspension. A healthy crop with
all the required ability and variety.
Sri Lanka have
Muttiah Muralitharan at the top as a world class spinner and the
best in his trade. He passed yet another landmark in capturing 450
Test wickets and also bagging five wickets in an innings more than
any other bowler. There is much written and spoken these days about
his future. At thirty-one years of age he is very fit and agile
and he should go on playing both forms of the game. He has to work
closely with the physio and maintain his body. The player knows
best about rest. He should be honest about it and should he feel
so then take a break to recuperate.
continues to toil in the true fashion of a workhorse. In terms of
wickets, the returns were not significant. However, on two unresponsive
surfaces he was accurate and made the batsmen work for every run
against his bowling. He and Muralitharan complete the duo of experience.
missed out earlier through injury but has surprisingly been omitted
from the one-day squad. He is the quickest bowler in the country.
He has troubled the best batsmen in the world with the extra pace
and bounce he processes. He bowls no ball and wides and his head
drops at the point of delivery. The coach should be in a position
to sought out those defects. There must be short term, medium term
and long term plans to develop technique and correct defects of
young players who come out of school and show promise of reaching
national level. Dilhara Fernando should be number three of the top
six bowlers. He must be back playing at the very next opportunity.
Add the two
new finds Prabath Nissanka and Kaushal Lokuarachchi and that makes
it five. Two right arm pacies, one left arm pacie, an off spinner
and a leg spinner is a good mix of bowlers.
The other bowlers
who should be matured are, Tharanga Lakshitha, Kaushal Weeraratne
and Chamila Gamage (pace), together with the two off spinners, Tilan
Samaraweera and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara. The talent is available
in that lot. The progress must be monitored to ensure, develop and
get better and not fall by the wayside. What must be inculcated
in them is to go for big returns. On days when they are on song,
be it club cricket, first class or international games, to get five
wickets or more should be the goal. That is the equal to a batsman
scoring a century or more.
took the batting honors for Sri Lanka. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela
Jayawardene are persisted with because of the abundance of talent
they have. It is time they converted the good-looking forties and
fifties into big hundreds regularly. They are both considered long-term
investments and will naturally obstruct the way for other potential
players like Michael Van Dort and Jehan Mubarak. That is the way
it goes. They will have to bide their time and keep scoring runs
at the level they play at.
New Zealand will have more reason to be satisfied with two draws
than Sri Lanka. They lost the last two series and this result will
be sufficient relief.
milestone in cricket
125th 'Battle of the Blues'
By Bernie Wijesekera
If cricket is discussed at school level - without doubt the Royal-Thomian
match has many firsts since its inception. It's one of the oldest
cricket matches played in its true traditions and has maintained
the spirit of the game on and off the field. The 125th encounter
is to be staged on March 12, 13 and 14, 2004 probably at the SSC
or at the Kheththarama Stadium.
The joint committee,
the Royal College Old boys’ Union and S.Thomas' Old boys’
Association, has been formed to organise and streamline this great
happening. Another milestone in their cherished history. The 25-member
committee, with Chanaka de Silva, M. Balasubramaniam, Tryphon Mirando
and Dian N. Jayasuriya (Co-chairmen), with Abhaya Amaradasa and
Dilrukshan Tillekeratne (Joint Secretaries). The steering committee
will comprise H.L.B. Gomes (Principal of Royal) and David Ponniah
(Warden S.Thomas'). This was revealed at a media briefing held on
In its wake
it's going to be a tremendous tourist attraction where the old boys
living in all parts of the globe will wend their way for this encounter
- staged amidst pomp and pageantry. Probably the main event in the
Sporting Calendar 2004, will be preceded by a Fair and Exhibition.
It will be sandwiched by a Motor Show, Aqua Fashion and a Water
Ballet. A commemorative stamp too will be issued to mark the occasion.
The first Prime
Minister of Sri Lanka, late D.S. Senanayake, his son Dudley, Francis
Molamure, J.R. Jayewardene, George Rajapakse, Sir John Kotalawala,
Tissa Kapukotuwe etc. donned the pads in this traditional match.
Unlike today, they separated politics from sport and played for
the right reasons. All forgotten after the match and bonhomie prevailed
which helped them greatly in their later life.
The first encounter
was in 1880 played at Galle Face. Royal College (then Colombo Academy)
and S. Thomas' College. Since then it went uninterrupted despite
two World Wars - itself a World Record. Not even the Eton-Harrow
apparently played in England has such a proud record. A book will
be jointly compiled for publication and sponsored by Ceylinco Group
and Seylan Bank.
all walks of life in the past took the field. They were blind to
racism, caste or creed. But has built an everlasting bridge for
peace and harmony for the future young generations to emulate.
be a joint Walk on Feb. 28, 2004. Part of the funds accrued may
be diverted to help the needy, according to an official in the committee.
At the end of the day one will have to leave his family, fame and
wealth. Everything is temporary. Balanced thinking what matters
for the greater good and help the less priviledged.
have covered the Centenary (1979), when the Thomian grit prevailed
to thwart a right Royal victory thanks to barnacle Bailey effort
coming from Mahinda Halangoda and C.P.P. Richard. The chief guest
was late President J.R. Jayewardene. The vicory celebrations were
on the offing, with a huge cake - with the Thomians sitting on a
bed of nails with imminent defeat staring.
In the end
the Royalists were made to eat a humble pie thanks to the heroics
of Mahinda and Richard. Prasanna Lenaduwa and Sudarshan Ahangama
are the Co-treasurers. Oldboys and well-wishers living at home and
abroad could contact on a Web Site www.125royalthomian.com.
They are planning
ahead looking to all aspects including the weather. This is something
the controlling bodies should take note of rather than dabbling
sports with politics. The joint committee comprising professionals
with administrative background not mere figure heads.
finalists emerge in WP rugby
After the completion of the preliminary round matches of the Under
17 Western Province rugby tournament conducted by the Western Province
Rugby Football Union. Mahanama, Asoka, Wesley, Isipathana, Ananda,
Zahira, St Joseph's and Lumbini MV have qualified to play in the
quarter finals which is scheduled to be played on May 12 at the
Zahira College grounds in Maradana. The line up of the quarter final
matches are Mahanama vs Asoka, Wesley vs Isipathana, Ananda vs Zahirs
and St Joseph's vs Lumbini MV.-MSA
CH crush Kurunegala RFC
As expected in a one sided game CH and FC overcame Kurunegala RFC
by 93 points (nine goals, six tries) to 3 (one penalty) in the Caltex
'A' Division Inter Club rugby encounter played at Maitland Place
yesterday. At lemons the winners led 45 nil. The lads from Kurunegala
are improving with every game that they are playing after the 172-0
drubbing they got from the the league champs Kandy SC a few days
It is unfortunate
to see them being included in the big league as they are playing
big time rugby after a lapse of nearly six years. Nevertheless they
should be commended for patrticipating in the 'A' Division which
probably maybe against their will. Steps are being taken to include
two foreign players to the side but will it prove worthwhile with
no big names in the side to support the foreign players. The match
was controlled by Rohan Nishantha.-MSA
old order must some day give into the young: Rashid
By Bernie Wijesekera
The present Pakistan team under Rashid Latiff, is being groomed
for the 2007 World Cup, said Manager Haroon Rashid, in an interview
with The Sunday Times. It's a talented side picked on form with
total commitment. Pakistan has close relationships with Sri Lanka
on and off the field.
aspire to win the triangular (one day series) among Sri Lanka and
New Zealand. Without some of the seniors the youngsters have proved
their mettle during their short span. They proved it after the setbacks
in the last World Cup, held in S. Africa, by winning the Sharjah
triangular series joined by Sri Lanka and Zimbabawe.
campaigners Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul Haq called
it a day? No. They could stage a comeback. Inzamam has injury problems.
He has to overcome this and be fit. He could still contribute much
for the game.
What 's wrong
with that talented opener Imran Nazir who is a brilliant world class
fielder? He did well against Australia in the neutral Test staged
at the P. 'Sara' Stadium. His batting form has deserted him in recent
times. One can't live on past performances alone. He has to fight
back to regain his place not on mere fielding.
your pace attack without Wasim and Waqar? There is M. Sami, Umar
Gul (right-arm fast), lanky Shabbir Ahamad, who will be joined by
Shoaib Akthar - the 'Rawalpindi Express'. He is now bowling a better
line and length than solely depending on pace. Incidentally Shoaib,
blew apart the Aussies (in the neutral Test) at the P. 'Sara' -
5 wickets in 15 balls - a spell that Steve Waugh described as a
There are quite
a number of bowling allrounders in the side which is vital for an
overs game led by Abdur Razzak. He is a hard-hitting batsman, who
could be a nightmare to the bowlers when in the mood. His bowling
is not that all fast, but possesses a skidding bouncer. Another
bowling allrounder Shoaib Malik, has been a consistent run-getter
and an off-spinner. M. Azeez a batting allrounder, Taufeeq Umar,
a compact lefthanded opener, who scored a defiant 84 against the
Aussies in the neutral test, is also an 'offie'.
He is groomed
to take the place of Saeed Anwer. Karachi -born Hindu Danish Kaneira,
has impressed as wily leg-spinner. Joined by two seasoned middle-order
batsmen Youhana and Younis Khan, who made a debut Test 100 against
Sri Lanka at Karachi.
player Faisal Iqbal, is showing up well. Under pressure Iqbal scored
a stroke-filled 83, against the Aussies at P. 'Sara' in the neutral
test. The fielding is exceptionally good, even without Nazir. In
the warm-up match the boys batted reasonably well against Sri Lanka
'A'. Pity the bowlers could have got a good workout when the rains
came down at the P. 'Sara'. The pitch was quite good and lively,
leads the young side with much understanding. The team is being
coached by Javed Miandad - a cricketing legend in Pakistan. He scored
281 against Sri Lanka in the Faisalabad Test where Lord 'Sid' Wettimuny
too proved his class with 157. Incidentally Manager Haroon Rashid
scored a debut Test 100 against Sri Lanka. He runs a Cricket Academy