Isipatana off the hook under new format
After all the battles off the field, the schools rugby season may get under way later this month. Following a meeting held at Nalanda College by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association, a new format has been made for this season. But certain issues remain unresolved.
“I am happy that the Association has gone ahead with my suggestion”, said the Development head of the schools section S. W. Chang. The new plan sees ten teams playing in three groups. And it is in the top group that the first bone of contention arises. Isipatana who were demoted to the then ‘C’ Division, now find themselves among the top ten teams. It has now come to light that no letter was sent by the Association to Isipatana informing the school about its demotion. The irony lies in the fact that Isipatana now appear to have got a double promotion
As a result the top division now comprises of St. Peter’s, Kingswood, S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia, Ananda, Thurstan, Trinity, Isipatana, Royal, St. Anthony’s Katugastota and Wesley – in that order.
Antonian Rugby Trust Fund member and Attorney Murshid Maharoof told The Sunday Times: “We are not worried about the rankings. However, we have requested the Association to give us a letter which up to now they have not done so. Until they do so we will proceed with our case and the next hearing is scheduled for Thursday.”
A Wesley spokesman who did not wished to be named said much the same thing, but expressed concern about the rankings. This is because according to informed sources the Schools Association had taken a decision not to penalize Isipatana, Wesley and St. Anthony’s Kandy. Meanwhile Isipatana’s Appeal Hearing is scheduled for the 30th of this month. It is not known yet whether the school concerned will proceed with the hearing.
Principal of Royal Upali Gunasekera said: “We are studying the pros and cons of the new system. We want to know the rules and regulations. We also want the interpretation and how it affects schools in general and players in particular. There are a lot of questions to which we need answers.”Gunasekera’s simple request might be harder than it seems on the surface. Secretary of the Schools Association Rohitha Indunil had left on a personal overseas trip on Thursday night. This was just two days before the first event organized by the Schools Association namely the sevens tournament that ends in Kandy today.
President of Schools Association Hemantha Premathilleke said: “I am not able to say what the final outcome of the meeting because I had to leave half way thru. Yes I have told members not to speak out of turn because the wrong information gets published. Rohitha (Indunil) mentioned something about going overseas. But I did not know he had gone. I am currently at the Ananda – Nalanda limited overs match and cannot give you any information until Monday.”
However, some sources who were more forthcoming said that even a preliminary fixture list had been done.
It now remains to be seen what happens in what could be a very eventful week.