is the man to watch in the Peterite camp
By Shamseer Jaleel
St.Peter's are the firm favourites to win the Milo League this year.
They have already stamped their class with a win against Carey (29-7)
and then went outclass a gutty Nalanda outfit 74-5 minus four of
their top players.
In the game
against Nalanda they got their act together and collected their
points from seven goals and five tries. They initiated some threatening
moves putting the experienced Nalanda side under severe pressure.
They had a superb season last year under the Sri Lankan cap Dilanka
Wijesekera. St. Peter's have produced some outstanding players who
have gone to don the national jersey. Shane Brohier, Graham Raux,
Thusara Jayalath, Lenard de Zilva, Dilanka Wijesekera are few to
they will be having some tough assignment with teams like Royal,
Wesley, St. Anthony's, S. Thomas', Isipathana and have to play their
traditional rivals St. Joseph's. They have seven seniors in their
side this year and about 30 players turning for practices. This
year they are led by 2nd year player Rumaiz Ishak. He was was originally
a scrum-half. He has now changed his position to centre. His deputy
will be burly No. 8 Dhananjaya Nonis, a Sri Lankan youth player,
who toured with the success with the Youth team to Asiad in Hong
Kong last year.
the best winger in schools rugby this year is Mohamed Rinaz. After
learning his basics in the hill capital (St. Sylvester's), he has
been representing the Peter's from the year 2001. Not only has he
toured with the youth team for the Junior Asiad 2002 in Hong Kong
but he was also in the senior sevens pool of 23 members for the
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong 7s this year. Rinaz who scored 11 tries
in the year 2001 went on to beat Hishan Abdeen's long standing school
record by scoring 33 tries in the following year. He was voted as
the most valuable player at the singer Sri Lankan 7s organized by
the Kandy Sports Club in the year 2001 and 2002.
the season in style by planting seven tries in only two outings.
The good news for St. Peter's in that this crack winger can play
for one more year. He represented CH & FC at the Under-24 tournament
early this year with much success. He will be pairing off with hard
running winger Rizni Razak who has shown lot of promise in the first
will be rock solid Dilshan Jude and the first year player Dhanushka
Sandanuwan and Nadeeja Somaratne will be the hooker. Lanky Manik
Hewagama and Suren Rajakaruna will be their line out jumpers. The
flankers of the side will be Sajith Adikari with deputy skipper
and Sri Lankan youth player Dananjaya Nonis will be the Number 8
of the side. Mahesh Fernando operating from the base and he will
be pairing off with Dharshan Edirisinghe who will be the fly half.
Skipper Rumaiz Ishak and Shanika Seneviratne are the speedy centres
and wingers will be the best available in schools rugby this season.
Lightning paced Mohamed Rinaz and Rizni Razak are the wingers and
full back will be Mohamed Sheriff.
Sunanda Fernando who is an old boy is coaching Peter’s this
year. He started his rugby career at Isipathana in 1991 as a flanker
and ended at St. Peter's in 1995. He coached the champion side last
year under Dilanka Wijesekera. Sunanda Fernando who was alo a good
hockey player during his school days gave up and concentrated on
Sunanda Fernando the boys started practicing in December last year
and the players are having a good understanding about others in
the side. He will be assited by his deputy Kumarapperuma with Sunil
Aponso as Master-in-Charge. Under their die-hard Rugby co-ordinatior
Trinesh Fernando and ever supportive Rev. Father Ranjith Perera
the Patron of Rugby, St. Peter's is the side to watch this season.
Young cricketers in the island to
By M. Shamil Amit
The much wanted cricket academy for Sri Lanka has at last being
realised when the Max Cricket Academy was opened by the Minister
of Sports Johnston Fernando at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Thursday.
The cricket academy is expected to benefit cricketers from around
the island who are dreaming to become potential international cricketers
in the future.
was garlanded by allrounder and up and coming cricketer Sahan Wijeratne
who is one of the trainees selected to the academy. Minister Johnston
Fernando speaking at the opening ceremony said that budding cricketers
from remote areas are the hidden talents in Sri Lanka in all the
sports. We should scout for more Sanath Jayasuriya's and Murathilaran's.
He thanked the outgoing interim committee chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya
for having started this cricket academy.
said that whoever who takes over the BCCSL should continue the good
work done by the interim committe. The academy should be brought
up to world standards like in Australia and South Africa who have
immensely benefited. The interim committee chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya
said the idea of establishing a cricket academy for Sri Lanka was
mooted 20 years ago but it never materialised and he is proud to
have made a start and thanked the sponsors Sony Max for coming forward.
a person with many years of experience was of the view that school
cricket in our country is so competitively played and given pride
of place in the schools that each school run a mini cricket academy.
The seven month training program would include training and development
of scientific batting, bowling, fielding, mental skills, match preparation
planning, coping with pressure, making and reading wickets, captaincy
and game strategy.
will in charge by six former cricketers who have been entrusted
with the different fields Owen Mottau is the head coach with Champaka
Ramanayake in charge of the bowling, Oshadee Weerasinghe spin bowling,
Hemantha Devapriya will be the batting and wicket keeping coach
while Ruwan Kalpage will be the assistance of the head coach and
he will n charge of the fielding.
The first 19
players to be selected to undergo training at academy are Gamini
Chandrakumar, Samidha Gallage, Janaka Gunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekera,
Dilhara Lokuhettige, Lasitha Malinga, Jeewan Mendis, Tharanga Paranavithana,
Dilruwan Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Dushantha Ranatunge, Ishan Ratnayake,
Charith Sylvester, Amila Wettasinghe, Sahan Wijeratne, Omesh Wijesiriwardena,
S. T. de Silva, M.S. Jayaprakash and R. Peiris.
Samoan Ox to prop up Army
By Bernie Wijesekera
The Sri Lanka Army Rugby team, who were front-runners in the Caltex
Premier league 'A' tournament last year are making a determined
effort to make an impact in the on-going rugby season. Already two
Kenyans have joined the scrum to add "black magic' to the team.
Both players are hard runners and has drawn much spectator interest
with their elusive running.
To add more
spice and flavour, the soldiers have got the services of a W. Samoan
Bokesene Ox-Skuli (No. 8), who has played for the W. Samoan Dev.
squad team with much success. Ox, who is hard as Oak is sure to
add much strength to the granite hard Army pack. He was interviewd
whilst practising at Galle Face. In 1996 he was playing for the
W.S. Dev. squad team. Later, signed up with the Victorian Rugby
Club as a professional. He has gained New Zealand citizenship. Married
man with children, Ox lives in Melbourne, Australia.
What are your
impressions about rugby in the Army?. They are good and very keen
to learn. Their unyielding approach and possess a strong set of
forwards. Though not big made, but faster, fitter, stronger and
has rugby skills. They are prepared to run the ball. They have much
understanding and I am happy to be with them. Some of the forwards
are penetrative runners and play like backs. With a team, who are
totally committed I like to enjoy a successful season.
This year the
team will be led by Colin Rodrigo from Bopitiya Central, who learnt
the skills after joining the Army. The present squad is being coached
by 'Keep Fit' P.G. Gunawardena who has given his precious time for
the game, be it as player, instructor or coach. He has served the
Maj. Gen. H.M.N. Krishnaratne, last year's Army coach Asanga Seneviratne,
was istrumental in getting the services of the three foreign players
to boost the image of Army rugby. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Balagalle,
Chief of Staff and President Army Sports Board, Maj. Gen. Lohan
Goonewardena and other officers are giving all encouragement to
further uplift the image of Army rugby.
Army have completed
their five matches and heads the table. The morale of the team is
very high. During the last couple of years they have indulged in
a hard and open game. They are more disciplined and have learnt
the latent rugby skills. The soldiers have shown much mobility in
handling the ball.
halves combination Ajith Peiris, the fly half, the most experienced
will pair off with Naufer Rahim. The back line Kapila Knowlton,
Kenyan Edwin Sheminga, Vajira Jayatilleke, Parakrama Fernando. The
forwards, Kotalawela, Rajapakse, Jayatilleke, Dharmapala, Madurusinghe
are all seasoned campaigners. T.A. Silva will man the last line.
is injured but he will be back for the crucial games said Maj. Dhammika
Gunaratne Secretaryy rugby Last year the soldiers did well to beat
Kandy SC at Galle Face. There is a big difference between the team
that played in the late '90s. They have been tracking well with
the support given by Brig. Jupana Jayawardena, who did much for
the progress of Army rugby. Though in retirement, but still has
the time to help them in their hour of need.
The past is
forgotten - the new look team is playing with much composure. They
will play to the whistle and adhere to the rules. Though most of
the players are from the rural districts and has not played school
rugby, but the future of sports at national level, be it rugby or
otherwise is with them. Evergreen Brig. P.D. Ramanayake, one of
the pioneers of Army sports will be there to watch them in the final
are being sponsored by Dialog GSM for the second successive year.
The encouragement afforded by them has helped Army rugby to reach
Sarah Fitzgerald guides Tehani
The five times World Champion and reigning Commonwealth Champion
Sarah Fitzgerald who is also the Chairperson of the Women's International
Squash Players Association [WISPA] has joined the Head Coach of
the Victoria Institute of Sports Roger Flynn to guide Sri Lanka's
brightest Squash prospect Tehani Guruge in Melbourne, Australia.
successfully completed six weeks elite, high performance at the
prestigious VIS recently. The mental strengthening and psychology
areas of the sport for Tehani has been handled by the Tennis phenomenon
Layton Hewitt's psychologist Dr. Noel Blundell while Tehani has
also benefited from the VIS' Strength and Conditioning coach Chris
Nick. Roger Flynn has been particularly impressed with Tehani's
explosive power play at a young age.
Big boost for MCA
For the tenth successive year Singer will be sponsoring the Mercantile
Cricket Association's A Division league cricket tournament which
starts on June 8. The cream of Sri Lanka's cricketers will be taking
part in this competition.
is the showpiece in the MCA calendar giving exposure to the talented
players to indulge in competitive cricket at the highest level,
said, Tyronne de Silva the President of the MCA at a media briefing,
held at their Club house. De Silva who chaired the briefing was
associated by Asitha Abeysekera - (Marketing Director), Ranjan Karunaratne
(Singer) Ishak Shabdeen and Mahes Wijewardena (MCA).
the programme for the forthcoming 50-over league and the K.O. for
year 2003. Five teams - namely, Hatton National Bank 'A' (the defending
league and K.O. champions 2002), John Keells 'A' (K.O. R/up-2002)
Seylan Bank, with some outstanding national players in their fold,
Keells (league runners-up last year), Sampath Bank 'A' and Janasakthi
Group 'A'. Ten matches will be worked off on a round robin basis,
upto June 28.
will be on July 5 and the finals will be on July 12. All matches
will be played at the NCC and Moors S.C grounds. Hatton National
Bank has been dominating the 'A' league with several outstanding
players in their fold. Postponements will not be permitted. The
competition will be worked off on schedule, said de Silva. The participants
will have to strictly abide by the rules.
of MCA cricket is to give exposure to young emerging cricketers
to match their skills against seasoned counterparts. The MCA has
appointed Match Refs. for every game. The players have to conduct
themselves in an exemplary manner on and off the field and maintain
the spirit of the game, De Silva added.
said that they were happy to continue with the package with the
MCA for the10th successive year. His firm will give whatever possible
assistance to sports to uplift the image of the country at international
level. Singer, is totally committed for sport - especially cricket.
Indian coach completes programme
Sayandev Chakravarty the Indian tennis coach who has been hired
by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) on a one year contract
concluded his first assignment in Negombo, Coach Sayandev has been
given the task of developing junior tennis in the outstations.
The young trainees
consisting of about twenty 10-12 year olds were put through a tough
and comprehensive course practicing six hours a day. All were participants
of the SLTA's mini tennis programme who underwent amonth long course.
holds a ITF level 2 certicficate graduating from the reputed Enrico
Poperno Academy in New Delhi was impressed with the trainees of
Negombo. He identified five players Mishal Sinnene, Taraka Sandaruwan,
Damindu Dilum, Anu Donukshi and Sachini Iddamalgoda as players of
immense talent and mentioned that quite a few players given the
right training, nutrition and encouragement will turn out to be
good players in the future.
next assignment will be in Bandarawela which is scheduled to begin
on June 3. He will coach all eight mini tennis centres in the outstations
namely Negombo, Bandarawela, Ratnapura, Kandy, Batticaloa, Kurunegala,
Panadura and Jaffna.-MSA