The Sunday TimesTimesports

17th November 1996




Castrol members rally

The Classic Car Club members will bring their Classic cars and motor cycles today (17th November) to the start line opposite the Colombo Art Gallery at 8.00 a.m. for the Castrol Member's Day Rally. There are over fifty entries for the rally this year. The vehicles which are all over 30 years old, will follow a rally route that will be handed over at the start.

The finish will be at Tangarine Hotel, Kalutara, where a special buffet lunch and entertainment will be available for all members, guests and spectators.

The rally route is not disclosed to the competitors until just before the start. Hence, spectators who wish to see these vehicles should come to the start at 8.00 a.m.

The Sunday Times is the official newspaper for this event.

Dharmapala draw with St. Peter's

Saman Wijeratne of Dharmapala scored his second successive century when he scored an unbeaten 101 against St. Peter's. The game ended in a draw at Bambalapitiya yesterday.

Score: Dharmapala 250 for 8 in 63 overs. (Chintaka Jayasinghe 122, Indika scored 6 for 72 and 188 for 2 in 37 overs (Chintaka Jayasinghe 67, Saman Wijeratne 101 n.o.)

St. Peter's 285 for 7 dec. in 95 overs. (Jerome Fernando 93, Nandika Herath 4, Malinda Warnapura 32. Ravindra Nonis 65, Ishara Fonseka 27

Fixtures meeting fixed for today

The fixtures meeting of the Horlicks Under-13 Division I, II and III inter schools second round will be held today at Ananda College at 11 a.m.

All masters-in-charge of the schools teams that have qualified must be present at this meeting.

The second round of matches must be completed by December 20, with the score sheets must reach the Secretary M. Rauff at D. S. Senanayake College on or before December 23.

The final round fixtures meeting will be held on December 26 at D. S. Senanayake College at 10 a.m.

Governor's Riding Club

By Sanath Weerasuriya

Originally the stables of Mount Lavinia Hotel housed the horses of Governors Maitland and Barnes when the Hotel was still a Governor's Palace.

The almost two hundred year old tradition of stabling horses for riding on the beach is being revived. The Governor's stable now hosts a number of thorough breds and half breds for the riding, pleasure of both resident and non-resident guests.

The launching of the Governor's club took place in the newly re-opend century old cellars on the beachfront of the Hotel. The cellars recently created to serve German and Mexican Food and Beverages and duly brought back memories of moonligh rides and beach barbecues initiated by the late General Sir John Kotalawela.

Among the founder members of the new Governor's Riding Club are the Ambassador for France Elisabeth Dahan and film Actress Sabitha Perera.

Executive Assistant Manager Sudantha Pitigala, Sales and Marketing Manager - Harinda Weerasinghe and the newly appointed Customer Relations Manager - Mohan Anthonypillai who initiated the club with cousins Viki and Rajan Sellamuttu will ensure that both style and entertainment will be the keynote of this new but old project of the majestic to Mount Lavinia Hotel.

98 teams in Horlicks second round

Sixteen teams from the Division I, eighteen teams from the Division II and 64 teams from the Division III, have qualified to play in the Inter Schools Under-13 Horlicks Trophy second round conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association.

Among the schools that have qualified are 80 percent from the outstations, including those making their debut. All second round matches must be completed by December 20. All score sheets of the second round matches should be forwarded to the Tournament Secretary, M. Rauff at D. S. Senanayake College on or before December 23.

The teams that have qualified are:

Division 1 - St. Thoma's Matara, Kalutara MV, St. Anthony's Kandy, Thurstan, Ananda, St. Sebastian's, St. Servatius, St. Anne's, St. Peter's, Richmond, Maris Stella, D. S. Senanayake, St. Joseph's,, Maliyadeva, Royal, De Mazenod.

Division II - Joseph Vaz, Dharmapala, St. Anthony's B Kandy, Ananda B., Sandalankawa MMV, Prince of Wales, St. Benedict's A, Lumbini MV, Sri Devananda MV A., President's College Maharagama A, Dharmapala Kottawa, Rahula Matara, D. S. Senanayake B, Vidyartha A, Mahabodhi MV, St. Joseph's B, Kegalu Vidyalaya, Ananda MMV Elpitiya.

Learning to swim or sink?

The former head of the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union (NAASU) has strongly challenged the practicality and usefulness of the learn-to-swim - campaigns being conducted by NAASU all over the courtry.

The two day campaigns have been held in Digana, Galgamuwa, Nika-weratiya, Chilaw, Dambulla, Matale, Kandalama and Ibbagamuwa.

Vijitha Fernando from president of NAASU says there is little purpose in having such rush courses for two days where it could not be possible to teach people to swim.

He points out that in contrast the Panadura Aquatic Club had recently conduted a hare-to-swim campaign for 10 days with qualified coaches and life savers.

Mr. Fernando also alleged that funds given by the sport ministry to NAASU for outstation swimming promotion were being busted up on ill planned projects. He said that NAASU: had claimed to have set up development centres but on a recent tour, he found few or any such centres existed except in name..

Mr. Fernando has also petitioned President Kumaratunga saying that lakes of rupees he had spent out of his pocket for swimming promotion had not yet been refunded to him by the sports ministry and another state institution.

He has also queried as what had happened to the sponsorship monies amounting to Rs 4.8 million.

Lipton Cup today

The Lipton Cup sailing contests will be held once again today at the Bolgoda Lake organised by the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club at 11 a.m. with two races down for decision.

The first race which is the fleet race will get underway at 11 a.m. followed by the Boat handicap race at 2 p.m.

The Lipton Cup race is an annual event and was first sailed in 1973. Recent winners being the Olympic sailer, Lalin Jirasinghe, who won the cup in '94 and '95 while Joseph Kenny crewed by Prasanga Kariyawasam won the cup for '96.

The winner of these two races will be the cup holder for the season 1996/97. For the first time Lipton will sponsor an Optimist Race for children between 8-14.

The chief guest at the races will be the Chairman, Unilever Ceylon Ltd., M. C. Thompson.

Nilantha shines for Prince of Wales

Nilantha Cooray of Prince of Wales had a match bag of 10 for 74 to set up an innings and 63 runs victory for his school over Sri Jayawardanapura M.V. at Athurugiriya yesterday.

Sri Jayawardanapura followed on and were all out for 124. N. Cooray took 5 wickets for 39.

Scores: Sri Jayawardanapura M.V.155 (N. Gunawardana 61, J. Beruwala 19, W. Silva 28, N. Cooray 5/28, J. Galkatiya 2/28, S. Pieris 2/30, and 124 (J. Beruwala 25, W. Silva 27 n.o., N. Cooray 5/39, Galkatiya 3/17, I. Hesan 2/3).

Prince of Wales: 331 for 9 dec. (N. Cooray 24, K. Fernando 60, Nuwan Ratnayaka 94, Sanjeewa Pieris 72, U. Desapriya 23 n.o., L. Pieris 3/52)

Nimesh sends Royal reeling

In another major upset Youth poolist Nimesh Perera spun a web around the Royal batsmen by claiming 7 for 30 and taking St. Sebastian's to a smashing 9 wicket win at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Royal who totalled 143 in their first assay were bundled out for 89 in their second innings.

Royal 143 all out and 89 all out. (R. Jayasuriya 24, U. Gunawardena 23, Nimesh Perera 7/30)

St. Sebastian's 190 all out (Suranga Silva 45, Nimesh Perera 53, Ranga Balasuriya 22, Anuka Samrakody 4/58, Asanga Sanjeewa 4/39) and 43 for 1 in 23 overs. (Suranga Silva 23 not out).

Careless batting cost Lanka series

By Marlon Fernandopulle

West Indies 'A' spun out Sri Lanka 'A' for a paltry 95 runs to romp home to a crushing 70 run victory in the 2nd unofficial Test at the SSC grounds yesterday. By virtue of this victory West Indies 'A' win the 3 Test match series.

It was a pathetic batting performance by the Sri Lanka team yesterday, after they dominated the first 3 days in the unofficial Test. None of the batsmen came to terms with the spin of Roger Harper and Roll Lewis, who bowled a tantalizing length and shared sixteen wickets in the match to make matters worse. Most of the Lankan batsmen played very irresponsibly and gave up their wickets and with it the match and the three test series. Skipper Roger Harper finished with a match bag of 9/87 while Roll Lewis claimed a match haul of 7/110.

Needing only 131 runs for victory Sri Lanka lost their overnight pair in the first two overs of the day. Cameroon Cuffy triggered the collapse when be had Chaminda Mendis caught at square leg in his first over. Roger Harper then claimed the scalp of Nawaz with his first ball as Sri Lanka slumped to 35/3.

Saman Jayantha and Mahela Jayawardene stemmed the slide with a brief 36 run stand for the 4th wicket before both batsmen were out to irresponsible strokes. Jayantha attempted to square cut Lewis but it ended up straight in Harper's hand at cover point. Jayawardene lost his cool for a moment when he came down the track and drove a Harper delivery straight to David Joseph at mid-wicket.

West Indies consolidated their position further when Lewis struck a double blow in his 6th over to grab the wickets of skipper Sanjeewa Ranatunge and Chamara Dunusinghe in 4 balls. Ruwan Kalpage was next to go caught at deep square leg by Williams off Harper as Sri Lanka went into lunch at 93/8 still needing a further 72 runs for victory.

World champs in crisis

By Our Sports Desk

In the aftermath of the Sharjah debacle, Sri Lanka's cricket team have been plunged into controversy and crisis with allegations of indiscipline and domineering attitudes swirling all over a cricket loving country yesterday.

With no official statements being issued by the Cricket Board and players under orders not to talk to the media, the situation was as chaotic as a match without a scorer. Charges and rumours were flying around like Sanath Jayasuriya's sixers in those golden days.

This was confirmed last night by Cricket Board President Upali Dharmadasa. He said the Cricket Board had obtained approval through the Sports Ministry as usual and the cricketers were received at the VIP lounge by Deputy Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga among others. The confusion was caused by a duty manager at the airport and the wife of one of the cricketers who told The Sunday Times that the team was not accommodated in the VIP lounge.

Mr. Dharmadasa also flatly denied rumours that there had been a physical confrontation between two top Sri Lankan players at the Sharjah Airport before the team's departure.

As cricket analysts and millions of fans yesterday discussed the reasons for Sri Lanka's sudden decline - we have lost three of the four tournaments since the World Cup in March - the possibility of some dissension causing a drop in team spirit began to emerge. Many analysts also pointed out that the fitness of most of Sri Lanka's players in the Sharjah tournament was far below what was seen earlier and there was speculation as to whether indiscipline has crept in, especially after Coach Dave Whatmore had decided to resign.

The biggest point of dispute appeared to be the dropping of senior batsman, Roshan Mahanama in the very first game against New Zealand and his relegation to a bowler's number 8 slot in the second game where he remained unbeaten on 31.

Mahanama, widely regarded as one of Sri Lanka's most accomplished batsmen is reported to have telephoned a Cricket Board official in Colombo and said he wanted to come back after the first game if the team did not need him.

The official, alarmed that the development might set off a crisis reportedly telephoned a team official in Sharjah and the latter persuaded Mahanama to stay on, promising necessary action. That was done in the second match. But it was a surprise to see Mahanama coming in at number 8.

Many cricket analysts believe Roshan Mahanama is the best bet to take over the captaincy when Arjuna Ranatunga retires, but it is known that politically powerful elements are also promoting players such as Hashan Tillekaratne for the top job.

The big question now asked is whether discipline has collapsed and players are being included on personal favouritism or on ability.

We are not supporting any revolt by Roshan Mahanama or any other cricketer.

At the same time we must ask who is running the show or whether it is a one man show.

Captain Arjuna Ranatunga's open criticism of outgoing coach Dave Whatmore on the eve of the Sharjah tour obviously could not have helped in team building.

Are people now jockeying for places in future : for a life after playing cricket. There is much speculation that Ranatunga, who has obtained an ICC coaching certificate might take-over from Whatmore as national coach soon.

We are not assuming the role of the selectors or the Board in picking the national side or the coach, but only commenting on the general malaise that has hit a world champion side.

The dropping of number 3 batsman Asanka Gurusinha has also caused controversy with questions being raised whether he was dropped only because of poor performance or whether other factors were involved. It is known that the outspoken and sometimes hot tempered Gurusinha does not easily submit to anyone's dictates.

Many cricket analysts point out that especially in the World Cup series, Asanka Gurusinha has several times proved to be a sheet anchor for Sri Lanka, guiding the team from a disastrous start to a winning position.

Connected to the dropping of Gurusinha is the unprecedented manner in which Sri Lanka's 'A' team captain Marvan Atapattu was virtually pulled out of the batting crease in an international match against the West Indies and sent to Sharjah as a replacement for the injured Kumar Dharmasena. But Atapattu really replaced Gurusinha. Many analysts believe that allrounder Ruwan Kalpage would have been the best replacement for Dharmasena. But Kalpage is known to be not on the best of terms with a powerful personality in the team.

Pulling out Atapattu, midway through his innings in the unofficial Test at Kurunegala also cost Sri Lanka the match. Some analysts wonder whether Atapattu was pulled out in a strange manner just to make room for another player to lead the 'A' team.

The recent decision of the Government to award the highest national honours equivalent to the English knighthood to the entire Sri Lankan team including the reserves, was out of proportion if not absurd.

Cricket observers point out that there are only a precious few cricketing knights all over the world, like the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Frank Worrell, and the most recent one, Sir Richard Hadlee. All were knighted just before or after their retirement.

What are the other causes of our sudden drop in form? Some say it is too much cricket including some fancy or friendly tours and too many dinners. The World cup victory was blown out of proportion by government politicians and business magnates who kept entertaining the cricketers and basked in the reflected glory.


West Indies 'A' 1st innings - 220 all out 
Sri Lanka 'A' 1st Innings - 287 all out
West Indies 'A' 2nd Innings - 231 all out
Sri Lanka 'A' 2nd innings 34/1 overnight
D.P. Samaraweera c. Powell b. Cuffy		15
M.C. Mendis c. Wallace b. Cuffy			11
M.N. Nawaz c. Powell b. Harper			07
S. Jayantha c. Harper b. Lewis			24
D.P.M. Jayawardene 
c. Joseph b. Harper				13
S. Ranatunge c. & b. Lewis			04
R.S. Kalpage c. Williams b. Harper		07
C.I. Dunusinghe b. Lewis			04
W.C. Labrooy b. Lewis				06
G.P. Wickremasinghe not out			02
K.J. Silva c. Williams b. Harper 		00
Extras	02
Total (for 10 wkts) 42.4 overs			95
Fall of Wickets: 1-25, 2-34, 3-35, 4-71, 5-75, 6-78, 7-82, 8-90, 9-94, 10-95.
Bowling: Cuffy 11-1-37-2, Gibson 5-2-9-0, Harper 15.4-3-26-4, Lewis 11-1-23-4.

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