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22nd November 1998

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Cricket's notorious bribery scandal takes another turn as the hunter becomes the hunted

Now, Sumathipala takes on Dharmadasa

By Callistus Davy

After almost eight months Cricket Board President Thilanga Sumathipala has decided to pick up the gauntlet and take the fight into his opponents' camp in a bid to clear his name from a bribery scandal which nearly tossed him overboard early this year.

The latest strike in his defence comes in the form of a probe committee which will take to task the conduct of none other than ex-President Upali Dharmadasa the man who connected him to a bribe-taking scandal and now considered to be his biggest threat at the next Board election.

The four-man investigating team was set up at an Executive Committee meeting last Thursday and is awaiting its terms of reference to be laid down by the Board's lawyers.

But the installation of the probe team has already run into opposition from one of the two incumbent Vice Presidents who, it is understood, has cautioned the Board to "let sleeping dogs lie". It is learnt that he had questioned Sumathipala why he had thought it necessary to "kindle the past" and that any action against Dharmadasa should have been initiated much earlier than waiting for eight months to pass.

But Sumathipala, in an interview with The Sunday Times, said that both he and the Board had waited for a conducive climate to investigate the conduct of Dharmadasa and that it had nothing to do with his quest to fight threats from potential candidates at the next election.

"It would not have been proper to intervene at a time we were in the process of getting all money due to us from the World Tel (sale of television rights for cricket coverage in Sri Lanka). It would have deprived us of the money from coverages like our Independence Cup tournament in June. I waited till we got all this money and now I am free to clear my name from these bribery allegations", said Sumathipala who was deputy to Dharmadasa and the Chairman of the Committee which signed the deal to sell television rights of cricket coverage last year.

Dharmadasa connected Sumathipala to a bribery scandal from the World Tel deal which he said ran into millions of dollars.

But Sumathipala accused Dharmadasa of "not following laid down procedure" in handling the sale of television coverage of Sri Lankan cricket.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Dharmadasa said he welcomed the probe team and that he will boldly face any investigator. "If he (Sumathipala) is ordering an investigation I am happy that someone is going in for an inquiry. As a responsible Vice President at the time he (Sumathipala) himself had to follow procedure. It is he who recommended and gave the green light for the deal", said Dharmadasa.

Sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigated the bribery issue early this year, the most notorious scandal ever to hit Sri Lankan cricket, but nothing was made public and neither have names been cleared nor culprits brought to book.

Ranaweera guides Moors to quarter-finals

By Bernie Wijesekera

Big hitting by Moors SC batsman Ashan Ranaweera 86 n.o (with eight sixes) in the crucial match against Sebastianites SC, enabled his team to enter the quarter-finals of the Colts CC 125th anniversary Double Wicket tournament played at Havelock Park yesterday.

It turned out to be a cricket fiesta with 12 teams playing in four groups where some of the games were closely contested.

In the Group 'D' decider for the second spot, provided the fireworks, between Moors SC and Sebastianite SC.

Moors made 111 for one with Ranaweera in full cry. He was the only batsman to clear the ropes ten times.

Set to make 107 to win, the Moratuwa team made 104 for 5.

The Group matches were played on a league basis.Today's matches will be played at the Colts Grounds starting at 8.30 am.

Quarter-final line-up for today: Colts CC - Moors SC; SSC-NCC; Bloomfield-BRC; CCC-Tamil Union.

Deputy Minister of Sports Jeevan Kumaratunga will be the chief guest.


Karatekas nabbed in India

Six Sri Lankan karatekas carrying Indian passports and their coach, on their way to take part in a karate tournament in New York, were nabbed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport minutes before the team could board the Air India flight.

It is reported that all the Sri Lankans are in their early 20s and the coach is in his 40s.

Bronze for S.Thomas'

Underdogs S.Thomas' College bagged a bronze medal at the 20th Hong Kong Rowing Championships Regatta defeating their arch rivals - Royal - with the crew of mainland China winning the gold and Hong Kong taking the silver.

The Thomians winning the bronze came as a a surprise as the Royalists beat them in the annual regatta held at the Beira Lake in Colombo a few weeks ago.

The Thomian and Royal teams were sponsored by Union Assurance who earlier sponsored the first ever girls team, Musaeus. S.Thomas' beat Royal to take the bronze by four lengths.

Caltex Cup sailing

The Ceylon Motor Yacht Club will conduct the Caltex Cup sailing race on November 29 (Sunday) at the Bolgoda Lake.

The Caltex Cup is a single fleet race-GP14, Enterprise and Laser. About 20 boats are expected to come under the starter's orders and will either be crewed or manoeuvred single-handed on a 75 to 90 minutes course.

Anders Olmin, crewed by his wife Maria won the event last year. They will be missed this year as they are in China.

The race officer of the day will be Jeremy Bolling while the chief guest will be Zaharine R.Hameem of Lanka Lubricants Limited. The main race will start at 2 pm with ten young sailors.

Soccer final today

Zahira College Maradana will meet Joseph Vaz Wennappuwa in the third Don Henry Patrick memorial invitation schools under 19 final at Kandana today (Sunday, Nov.22) at 4 pm, Manilal Fernando, President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka will be the chief guest.

Basketball Clinic today

Cager referees, table officials and coaches will be afforded the opportunity to study the new rules of the game, free of charge, at the clinic to be held today at the Otter Aquatic Club starting at 8 am.

This was disclosed by Col. Vikum Siriwardena, Secretary of the Amateur Basketball Association.

England struggling

BRISBANE, England's campaign to win back the Ashes was in danger of being derailed almost as soon as it began when they were left battling to save the first cricket Test against Australia yesterday.

The Aussies, after struggling on the opening day of the series on Friday, began to tighten the screws on England from the outset of play on the second day at the Gabba. Ian Healy (134) and Steve Waugh (112) both blasted centuries as Australia compiled an imposing first innings total of 485 then paceman Glenn McGrath had England reeling when he dismissed Michael Atherton for a duck.

England almost lost Mark Butcher soon after when McGrath found the edge of his bat but the ball failed to carry to the Australian slips cordon. Butcher survived to fight another day as he and Nasser Hussain took England's score along to 53 for one at stumps although England still face the daunting prospect of batting through the next two days to try to salvage affairs.

It was clear shortly after the start of play yesterday that this was not going to be England's day. England's players were already rueing the fact that they dropped catches from both Healy and Waugh late on Friday and were keen to make amends. They almost had the early breakthrough they desperately needed when Healy misjudged a delivery from Yorkshire paceman Darren Gough but the gods were against them. The ball rolled onto the stumps off Healy's bat but did not dislodge the bails, giving the Australian wicketkeeper another life. Both he and Waugh made the most of their let-offs, smashing 102 runs in the opening session as England's pacemen began to wilt. Waugh, starting the day on 69, reached his 16th Test century shortly before lunch while Healy, who resumed on 46, completed his fourth just two overs later. Waugh has long tormented England's bowlers with his uncomplicated but highly effective performances with the bat and Saturday was no exception.

He had scored five centuries against England in England but, had never scored a hundred against England in Australia. Healy, who only last month broke Rod Marsh's world record for the most dismissals by a wicketkeeper, proved his versatility yet again. The pair had come together on Friday with Australia struggling at 165 for five.

Scores- Aus:485. Eng:53-1

Battle for honours

Last year's Mixed Section Netball champions Hatton National Bank gave a walk over to AirLanka in the Masons Mixture Mercantile League championships conducted by the Mercantile Amateur Athletic Association (Netball Section) played at Police Park.

AirLanka scored two other wins in the same division defeating Lyceum by 10 goals to nil and Ceylinco by 13 goals to 7, while in another match in the same division Sampath bank beat Ceylinco by 16 goals to 5.

Caravan scored two good wins in the B division over AirLanka by 31 goals to 11 and Seylan Bank by 27 goals to 6 while AirLanka beat Seylan Bank by 26 goals to 18.

Results of the C division matches

Dainichi A beat Lyceum 15-10, Access beat Phoenix B 16-7, Polytex lost to Dainichi B 13-25, Fentons lost to Dainichi B 4-21, Reckits beat Hemas 15-7, CTC Beat DMS 12-10, Ernest Young beat Metro 15-6, Ceylinco beat John Keells 38-17, Access beat Phoenix 16-13, Hemas beat NDB 18-16, UAL beat Polytex 15-10, Sampath beat Lyceum 22-3, Reckitts beat John Keells 23-12, DMS beat Phoenix 9-7, Lyceum beat Metro 12-3, UAL beat Fentons 9-4, CTC best Phoenix A 15-8, Sampath beat Dainichi A 16-6, DMS beat Access 19-7, Hemas beat John Keells 17-9, Sampath beat Ernest & Young 28-4.

The tournament will be continued today, Sunday (November 22nd) at Police Park.

Sri Lanka expects fair deal over Hair issue

By Marlon Fernandopulle

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) expressed confidence that the protest lodged to the International Cricket Con-ference(ICC) with regard to Darrell Hair will meet with a favourable response from the governing body for cricket.

The ICC is awaiting the reactions of the Australian Cricket Board(ACB) which is expected to take a decision on Umpire Darrell Hair soon after the current Ashes first Test match.

Hair is currently officiating in the first Test match in Brisbane and it is reliably understood that the ACB did not want to take any decision on the Umpire as it could have had an effect on the Umpire officiating in the Test.

When asked whether the ACB would take any action against their number one umpire the President of the BCCSL, Thilanga Sumathipala quickly reacted saying, "What is the purpose of having a Code of Conduct for officials if they do not adhere to it.

If players are penalised when they violate the law or the code of conduct the same should apply to officials".

In a letter to the ICC the BCCSL has stated that they have no faith in Umpire Darrell Hair after his remarks on Muralitharan and his violation of the Code of Conduct.

It was quite clear that the Cricket Board will not compromise on this issue and will only expect the Umpire to be removed from not only from Sri Lanka games but aso from the ICC Panel of Umpires - at least for a specific period.

Meanwhile the Cricket Board appointed a leading law firm in Australia, Gardens Lawyers Melbourne and a Public Relations Company, Turnbull Porter to look after the interest of the team during the World Champions' tour in January/February next year.

Asked what prompted these appointments Mr. Sumathipala said: "With impending issues already on the cards we thought it's best that we have a law representative in Australia to promptly acquire legal advice and solve issues on the spot, not having to depend on advice from home.

The public relations company is expected to help and guide the Lankan players and officials to face the media more confidently Down Under".

Victory awaits Ananda

By Saif Izzadeen

St.Anne's were facing imminent defeat due to their poor showing on the field as Ananda were on their way to score their second successive victory for the season at the end of the first day's play in their inter school cricket match at the Col. G.W. Rajapaske Grounds at Ananda Mawatha yesterday. Ananda who only three days back scored a emphatic 10 wicket win over Richmond, continued their good work in fine style. They first bowled out the Kurunegala school for 92 and in reply made a commanding 281 for 6 at the close with the help of some shoddy fielding by the Annites (who grassed six catches). Ananda with this score were enjoying a lead of 189 runs from which they should be able to go for the kill today. Taking first lease of the wicket St.Anne's were bowled out for 92 despite being given a fine start by opener Charith Tissera who made a run a ball 30. The other batsman to make a useful contribution was Chanaka Abeyratne who made 36.

St. Annes - 92 all out in 36 overs( C. Bandara 30, C.Abeyratne 36; A. Ganegama 2 for 21, M. Ramzi 4 for 21, Kasun Fernnando 2 for 0)

Ananda - 281 for 6 in 60.4 overs (T. Kandambi 55, J.Perera 63, M. Pushpakumara 39, M. Ramzi 44 n.o, E. Abeysinghe 43; S. Bandara 3 for 56)

Mahes Perera shines

By Ravi Nagahawatte

Peterite Mahesh Perera added light to the drawn cricket encounter between St .Peter's and Isipatana with a spunky century and also made the attendance of the sparse crowd at Bam-balapitiya look somewhat worthwhile yesterday.

Cheif scores -

St.Peter's - 180 all out in 54.3 overs (J.Fernando 27,K.Loluarachchi 24,S.Fernando 23,J.Jayasuriya 40, M.Wicremasinghe 2 for 15, N.Atapattu 2 for 49 ,K.Cooray 4 for 31 ) and 218 for 9 at close in 75 overs (M.Perera 107, S.Fernando 31, N.De Silva 16 no: ,K.Rodrigo 4 for 58, N.Atapattu 2 for 37 )

Isipatana - first innings 208 all out in 67.5 (M.Fernando 22, Muditha Fernando 32, N.Sampath 46 ,N.Atapattu 32 n.o, N.Peiris 21; S.Wijewickrema 3 for 28, D.Rupasinghe 2 for 44, N.Desilva 2 for 35)

Royal held

Thurstan after being badly placed at 76 for 5 at tea, staged a fine rearguard action through their last five batsmen enabling them to hold Royal to a draw in their inter school cricket match at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Thurstan - 170 and 182 all out in 71.4 overs( C.Aravinda 40, S. Soysa 12, T.Perera 54, N. Deen 15; J. Mubarak 3 for 20, D. Perera 2 for 17)

Royal - (150 for 4 overnight) 209 for 9 dec ( M. Thotuwilage 61, R. Jayasuriya 40 and A. Perera 23; G. De Silva 3 for 55, C. Aravinda 2 for 45) - SI

Fei Quan Do Self Defence and Fitness Demonstration

Fei Quan Do International will be holding their National Championships, Grading Test and Annual get-together very shortly at the M.I.C.H. and C.I.S International School at Wellawatte on two consecutive days under the stewardship of Grandmaster M. Hassen Khalid the Founder - Chief Instructor of the F.Q.I.

In this event the National Fei Quan Do Champion will be chosen. The Panel of Judges will be headed by M.C.M. Zarook attorney-at-law (honourary Black belt). Followed by the grading test for all ranks an annual get-together of members, parents, spouses, well wishers to foster goodwill, friendship and co-operation among them will be held.

There will also be a self-defence demonstration and fitness programmes for ladies said Grandmaster M. Hassen Khalid.

Picture shows senior members of F.Q.I rehearsing their phases for the Demonstration and Lady Fei Quan Do KAS practicing for their fitness display.

An enrolling campaign is on at the Fei Quan Do Centre at the M.I.C.H. to recruit new members.

Cavaliers to tour Dubai

The Sri Lanka Cavaliers cricket team led by the first Sri Lanka Test Captain Bandula Warnapura will leave for the U.A.E. on Wednesday November 25 to play six limited over games and also be involved in two coaching camps its President Lakith Peiris said.

The other members of the team will comprise, Jayantha Seneviratne (Vice Captain), Jerry Wourtesz, Kerthi Gunaratne, S. Illangaratnam, Bandula de Silva, K.H. Nandasena, Mervyn Fernando, Daya Sirisena, Basil Perera, Dushan Soza, C.P.P.Raj, Damin Fernando, Zareen Hameed, Chitral Mendis, Mahes Jayasekera, Ranjith Rajapaksa, Premalal Fernando, Dr. Ananda Gunasekera.

The tour itinerary is,

November 26th -vs British Club.

November 27th -vs Lanka Colts.

November 28th -vs Dubai Cricket Council Starlets.

November 29th -Coaching camp.

November 30th - Coaching Camp.

December 2nd -vs UAE Veterans.

December 3rd-vs Lanka Lions Veterans.

December 4th -vs Combined Invitation XI.Crossovers

A leading cricket club in Colombo is faced with the threat of three leading cricketers, two batsman and the other an all-rounder, trying to cross over to an adjoining club.

This has been brought to the notice of the club's higher ups as being the result of the club not fighting for their places in the Sri Lanka team. What rubbish.

Crocodile tears

Two staffers from a Sports division of a leading radio station in Sri Lanka running at a loss have been interdicted after an audit inquiry.

Now crocodile tears are being shed, with certain VIPs, supported by a higher up at this station insisting that one of them be taken back.


A big mouthed commentator in Sinhala looks a novice, pronouncing the names of three popular cricketers as Oshan, Omesh and Ashan.

Rover wonders as how one commentator has got himself to the No1 spot.

What need for fitness?

A request by a leading rugby official made in Singapore, to lower the level of a fitness test for the referees, got a loud NO from the officials of the Asian body. What need for fitness was the Sri Lanka theme.

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