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10th May 1998

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Mendis on two months leave, but will he come back?

Yardley out, Dias takes over

By Marlon Fernandopulle

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka decided to re-structure the coaching of the national side and appointed former Sri Lanka vice-captain Roy Dias as Head Coach and confined Bruce Yardley to handle the Spinners Clinic only,Board President Thilanga Sumathipala announced yesterday.

Yardley's coaching contract was terminated with immediate effect but according to the Board President the former national coach will take charge of the Spinners Clinic for two years.However, whether the Australian will be willing to take up the new appoitment is another question.

After Sri Lanka's poor performances in the recent tours Yardley's head was on the chopping block and it was only a matter of time until a change was made.

Bruce Yardley ,who took over from Dav Whatmore could not maintain the same standards of his predecessor as Lankas cricket began to decline.

Forty-six-year old Roy Dias who played 20 Tests and is widely respected in cricket circles was delighted at his appointment."It was a surprise to me.I am honoured to be appointed as the coach of the World Champions",a gleaming Dias said soon after his appointment.

OUT... Mendis Yardley IN... Ranjith Roy

In another move the Cricket Board appointed former Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Ranjith Fernando as Manager of the national team. The present Manager Duleep Mendis informed the Board that he will not be available for two months.Thus Fernando will be the Manager for the home series against New Zealand and the Independence Cup Tournament.

When asked whether Mendis will be re-appointed after two months,the Board President paused and said,"We will decide on that after two months". Mendis also told The Sunday Times that he had sent a letter to the Board requesting for two months leave for personal reasons.Asked what would happen after that, Mendis said he did not wish to comment.

However The Sunday Times learns from informed sources that Manager Duleep Mendis is being removed from his post due to alleged breach of discipline on tours.

According to Board officials one reason for the debacle in South Africa was the breach of discipline and the Board felt Mendis should take full responsibility for it.

Mendis is known to be close to skipper Arjuna Ranatunge and his removal will not go down well with the skipper.

The Sunday Times learns that Ranatunge has already expressed his displeasure on the removal of Mendis.

However a Cricket Board official who welcomed the latest move said the players should learn to play under different managers.

It's Wesley's turn; beat SPC in a thriller

By Saif Izzadeen

Amidst an electrifying atmosphere, in front of a large crowd, rugby football was at its best, as Wesley scored a close 5 points (one try) to nil win over St.Peter's in the Milo Zone 2 Inter School rugby match at Longden place yesterday.

Both teams fought with tooth and nail but as the game progressed Wesley gained the upper hand with their superior play with Shehar Juhary and Joel Oorloff being in the thick of things. On the other hand St. Peter's too turned in a fighting performance, but their defence crumbled when Wesley stepped up the attack. Gavin Ludowyke stood out for St. Peter's.

The first half was scoreless as both teams fluffed three penalties. St. Peter's got the first chance to go ahead but kicker Gavin Ludowyke was off target with a 40 metre penalty in the fifth mintue. Then Wesley's kicker Zulfikar Halaldeen missed two penalties in the 25th and 35th mintue which saw both teams failing to break the deadlock in the first half.

In the second half Wesley kept play in the St. Peter's 25 most of the time and in the eighth mintue Wesley broke the deadlock.Wesley won a five metre penalty, and in a second phase move, second rower Rahim Samsudeen scored a try mid right. However the conversion was missed by Halaldeen which gave Wesley a 5-0 lead. In the last few mintues of the game the Bambalapitiya lads launched an all out assault in the Wesley goal line, but the Wesley defence proved a stonewall and deprived St.Peter's from scoring, and gave Wesley a close 5-0 win.

Refree - P.G. Gunawardena

Prassana's kicking helps Trinity

By Shane Seneviratne

The golden boot of skipper P. Jayawardena helped Trinity to score 15 points (five penalties) to 5 (one try) win over Kingswood in a Milo Inter School Zone Two rugby match at Nittawella yesterday. Trinity led 6-0 at the breather.

P. Jayawardena was the cynosure of all eyes as his wonderful kicking saw the ball sailing over the cross bar on all five occasions. Although Kingswood lost the match they had the honour of scoring and crossing the Trinity goal line through flanker S. Mulagoda who scored a try. The end result however saw Trinity win 15-5.

Refree - W. Perera

Trinity won the junior game by 12 points to 7 .

Police fail to stop rampaging Kandy

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Kandy SC registered their third win in the Carlsberg 'A' Division League tournament when they defeated Police SC by 33 points (2 goals,2 tries and 3 penalties) to 3 (1 penalty), at Police Park yesterday.

Last year's triple champions Kandy SC dominated for a major part of the game with their robust set of forwards and their fast running back division.Police gave an improved performance, but were unable to hold the rampaging Kandy SC, who crossed the line four times.

The visitors opened the score when full back Micheal Collins put over a 35-metre drop goal in the 11 th minute. Soon after, Hettiarachchi converted a 20 meter penalty to give Kandy a 6 - 0 lead. The visitors increased the lead in the 40th minute, when winger Hettiarachchi touched down by the corner flag. Hettiarachchi missed the conversion but made amends when he converted a 25-metre penalty on the stroke of half time.

After the breather, Haris Omar touched down twice within five minutes. Both tries were converted as Kandy took a commanding 28-0 lead.

Police opened their score midway in the second half, when Ajantha Rodrigo put over a penalty, after missing four penalties earlier. Kandy centre, Manjula Pathirana, who had a grand game, scored the visitor's final try to round-off a resounding victory for the defending Champions.

Refree :Dilroy Fernando.

  • Petersons win 35-20

In the other Carlsberg inter club rugby match played yesterday for the Clifford Cup, Petersons scored a hard fought 35 to 20 win over Air Force at Havelock Park yesterday.

Rain ruins Seylan - HNB match

By Bernie Wijesekera

The Mercantile 'A' Division cricket match between defending champions Seylan Bank and Hatton National Bank was poised for an exciting finish but bad weather conditions proved a spoiler at the Sara Stadium yesterday.

Play failed to start on schedule due to a wet run-up. The game eventually commenced at 11:15 a.m and was reduced to 44 overs a side.

Seylan Bank won the toss and elected to bat, and found run-getting hard, on a slow outfield. However the Bloomfield pair Naveed Nawaz, 43 runs (3 fours in 78 balls) , and Sampath Perera, 23 runs (2 fours in 43 balls) batted sensibly to put 43 runs in a gritty third-wicket stand.

Seylan Bank - 172/4 in 44 overs (N. Nawaz 43, Sampath Perera 23, P. Dassanayake 27, T. Samaeaweera 11; S.Weerakoon 2 for 19, M.Perera 2 for 37)

Hatton National Bank - 45 for 4 in 12 overs ( N. Perera 24 n.o, V.Waragoda 5 n.o; J. Bandara 2 for 16, S.Abeynayake 2 for 26)

Barsenbach wins Monthly Medal

W.Barsenbach with nett 76 won the Seniors Event at the Monthly Medal Golf Round sponsored by Connaissance de Ceylon, conducted for the third successive year at the Royal Colombo Golf, Borella.

Joseph Kenny, better known in yachting circles with a nett 69 won the Group C title while Laninda Dharmaratne with a nett 69 won the Group B title and G.Allen won the Group A title with a nett 68.

Laksiri de Mel with a nett 67 emerged overall winner with A.O. Gunawardena winning the closest to the pin at the 9th hole with Akbar Khan winning the longest drive at the 8th fairway. W. Seneviratne was chosen as the most senior player.

Susanthika loses out on gold in Taipei

By. M.H.M. Manasique

Sri Lanka's sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe will miss a golden opportunity of winning more medals for her country later this month because of the drugs controversy swirling around her.

The world games silver medal winner Susanthika, who has been suspended pending further investigations on evidence that she took banned "performance enhancing" drugs, has been left out of the Lanka team for an international athletic meet in Taipei on May 22 and 23.The Sri Lanka team comprising Sriyani Kulawansa (Captain), Damayanthi Darsha, Sugath Thillekeratne, Chintaka Soysa and Mahes Perera will leave on May 19 accompanied by manager Sunil Jayaweera for the international meet, local AAA secretary Rohan Amarasinghe said.

Last month Susanthika was put on a temporary suspension by the AAA after urine samples indicated she had taken the banned drug Nandralone.

The samples taken were sent to a Sydney laboratory for testing under supervision by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) but Susanthika has challenged the finding on the basis that the urine sample had been not properly sealed when sent from here.

Two weeks ago the AAA called in Susanthika to testify before a committee.

Susanthika is likely to testify again this month and the AAA will take a decision on the recommendation of the committee. Mr. Amarasinghe said even if the decision went against her the AAA would try to keep any ban down to a minimum.

After she emerged as a world star, Susanthika said she would go all out to win the first Olympic gold medal for Sri Lanka at the Sydney Games in the year 2000. She returned from Athens as a national heroine, but Susanthika soon ran into trouble and a sensational national controversy when she alleged that a VIP in sports was sexually harassing her. Since then "the wonder girl" from Warakapola has complained of death threats and attempts to stall or ruin her career.

When contacted by "The Sunday Times" Susanthika said the matter is at a delicate stage and she did not wish to say anything until the issues are sorted out. Though she has stopped training, she is still hopeful that her name would be cleared.Mr. Amarasinghe told "The Sunday Times" despite the absence of Susanthika Sri Lanka hopes to win a few medals at Taipei meet.

National Sports Festival starts on June 12

By Annesley Ferreira

The 24th National Sports Festival conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will commence on June 12 with the Men's and Women's marathon at Kalutara.

The second event will be held on June 14 with the Men's and Women's walking race the Men's and Women's cycle race, also at Kalutara.

The other days and venues of the other sports are:

June 20/21 - Elle: Men and Women at Torrington Complex;

June 20 - Basketball: Men and Women at NYSC Maharagama;

June 21 - Basketball: Men and Women at the Sugathadasa Stadium;

June 27/28 - Hockey: Men and Women at the Astro Turf Reid Avenue;

July 4/5 - Judo: Men and Women at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Cricket at Torringtom Complex.

July 11/12 - Badminton: Men and Women at SLBA Indoor Stadium, Maitland Place. Table Tennis: Men and Women at S. Thomas' Indoor Stadium Mount Lavinia.

July 18/18 - Volleyball: Men and Women at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Swimming - Men and Women at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium Pool.

July 25/26 - Netball: at Torrington. Football: at Sports Complex Race Course. Boxing: Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Wrestling at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

August 1/2 - Weightlifting at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. Kabadi - Men and Women at Torrington Complex.

August 27, 28, 29 - Athletics: Men and Women at Sugathadasa Stadium Mondo track.

More Sports *  Gwen Herat will go on . . .  *  Past cricketers rewarded  *  Who gets CEAT prize, Sanath or Sachin?  *  Jayasiri hits double ton  *  Debut win for NE Grand Hotel  *  Smart rally by Air Force  *  Liyanage : 50 years in Physical Culture

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