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3rd January 1999

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Singer Cup match at SSC double fixed?

The Pakistan-Australia Singer Cup match at the SSC grounds in Colombo was double-fixed with players on both sides being paid handsomely to fix the match, a Pakistani newspaper reported quoting testimony given before a judicial commission probing match fixing and betting charges that have rocked the cricket world.

'The Dawn' newspaper quoted a commission lawyer as saying they would question Australian frontliners Mark Waugh and Shane Warne to find out whether they were paid to fix the match. He said evidence so far suggested the possibility that players of both teams might have been heavily bribed to lose the match in Colombo.

The report from Karachi said the lawyer assisting the judicial commission believes that the Australia and Pakistan one-day international in the 1994 Singer Cup at Colombo (Sri Lanka) was a fixed match.

"Evidence gathered by the inquiry suggests that Pakistan and Australia were engaged in a fixed match in 1994, Ali Sibtain Fazli, legal advisor of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), revealed on Sunday.

He said in addition to this match, Pakistan's other suspected fixed match was at Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1994, besides a couple of games in Sharjah.

In the 1994 Pakistan-Australia match, Fazli said, Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar had told Pakistan Cricket Board's probe committee in July-August about the suspicion of a fixed match.

"Saeed Anwar has been quoted by the PCB committee's report that by the trend set by Australians while bowling, it appeared that the match was fixed."

"It is the same match in which Australians Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, were paid A$8,000 and A$6,000 respectively for providing weather and pitch report," said Fazli.

In open court proceedings while cross-examining Mushtaq Ahamed, it was revealed that Salim Pervaiz, an alleged bookie, had paid US$ 100,000 to Salim Malik and Mushtaq Ahmad for the same match.

On Sept. 7, 1994 at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo, Australia, batting first in perfect conditions, scored 179 for seven in 50 overs. In reply, Pakistan finished at 151 for nine in 50 overs after being 77 for one. Saeed Anwar, who was the top scorer, had retired at 43.

Fazli stated that he would question Mark Waugh and Shane Warne about their confessions in detail.

'I haven't prepared my mind yet what I will ask, but I would definitely question them if they knew that the match was fixed or they were offered to set-up some players to settle the fate of the match off the field," Fazli said.

"In this particular (Singer Cup) match, there is a possibility that the match was fixed. What we have to see is whether both teams were involved or only one. Of course, we have to see how far the evidence is truthful," he said.

Meanwhile, Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum, who heads the judicial commission has said he would be recommending bans against certain players.

"I have prepared my mind and I know what report I have to prepare. I do know that I would be naming some players for appropriate action," Justice Qayyum to Dawn reporter Samiul Hassan.

Justice Qayyum said the judicial commission would soon be making a decision. "The report would be finalized and submitted to the President within seven days after the judicial commission representatives return from Australia after re-examining the Australians."

Ali Sibtain Fazli, legal advisor of the PCB, his assistant Ali Sajjad and Lahore High Court Registrar Salam Khawar leave for Australia on Jan. 5 where they will examine Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Alan Crompton on Jan 8. They return on Jan 11.

ICC orders Kumar to change action

By Marlon Fernandopulle

KumarSri Lanka Test and One day International off spinner Kumar Dharmasena has been reported to the International Cricket Conference (ICC) for having a suspect bowling action following Sri Lanka's highly successful tour of England last year.

Twenty seven year old Dharmasena was a member of Sri Lanka's Test team that trounced England in the one off Test at the Fosters Oval and also played in the Emirates Trophy Triangular tournament which was won by Sri Lanka. Dharmasena had a lean tour of England and went wicketlesss in the Test match in which his fellow partner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed a record 16 wickets.

The Sunday Times learns that the legality of Dharmasena's bowling action has been questioned and the bowler was reported to the ICC after the tour. David Shepherd(England) and Eddie Nicholas(West Indies) officiated the Test while only English Umpires officiated in the Triangular tournament.

The ICC which has a special committee to look into suspect actions has viewed television footage of Dharmasena and concluded that the bowler's action is not satisfactory and that he takes steps to rectify it. The Committee has also insisted that the bowler should not be included in any International game until he changes and corrects his bowling action.

Kumar Dharmasena has already played 19 Tests and over 88 One day Internationals for his country.

It may be recalled that the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka(BCCSL) received reports from the ICC regarding Muralitharan's bowling action prior to the bowler was called for throwing in Australia three years ago. However for reasons best known to the officials of the BCCSL at that time these reports were swept under the carpet. Infact one CB official had suggested that Muralitharan bowls with long sleeves to get over the problem. If corrective action was taken at that time Sri Lanka could have avoided the scenario that unfolded on that Boxing day Test and saved Muralitharan from the mental trauma that has haunted his career ever since.

One only hopes that the present cricket Board will take all the necessary steps to rectify the action of Kumar Dharmasena and ensure that the bowler becomes eligible for national selection once again.

Yardley to coach

Meanwhile former Sri Lanka Coach Bruce Yardley is expected to train the Sri Lanka spinners during their current tour in Australia. The former Australian Test spinner was removed from his position as Sri Lanka coach early last year but was expected to be involved in the training of the spinners.

BCCSL in a spot

India and Pakistan have jointly issued a press report denying that they are seeking a ban on Australian Test cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.A report filed from Karachi last week quoting Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Khalid Mehmood stated that India ,Pakistan and Sri Lanka will lobby hard at next week's ICC meeting in New Zealand to ban Warne and Waugh.Now that India and Pakistan have denied this one wonders what the stand of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) will be.Officials of the Cricket Board were not available for comment yesterday. (MF)

Disgruntled rugby referees to quit

By Callistus Davy

Some of the big names in rugby refereeing in Sri Lanka have indicated a desire to quit the scene following the election of a new set of office-bearers which they believe is poised to work against their interests in the new season.

Analysts believe that the exodus of the senior referees, some of whom are on the international panel, could pave the way for plunging the domestic season into chaos given the mentality of local spectators who are hostile to junior referees.

The new set of office-bearers to the Referees Society were elected two weeks ago with former Sri Lanka scrum-half Japuna Jayawardena installed as President and Sam Samarasekera re-elected as Secretary.

Jayawardena, a Brigadier in the Army, had soon after his election invited the senior referees to bring to his notice their grievances, but what worries the senior members is the role that Samarasekera will be playing in the Society.

"We have verbally brought it to the notice of the Rugby Union that we don't want Sam Samarasekera to be around", said one senior referee who did not want to be named.

But Samarasekera told The Sunday Times that he had never acted unjustly and the impending exit of the senior referees will not threaten the Society's credibility.

"Each individual has a right to quit but definitely we can carry on. We have procured the services of experts from Scotland, England and Wales to train our referees and we can go through the season" said Samarasekera.

It is also understood that one senior referee Roshan Deen has been ejected from the international panel and several more senior referees are in the process of walking way from the Society unable to come to terms with the way its affairs are handled.

Meanwhile in another shocking revelation as many as 20 junior referees took sponsors for a ride by reportedly collecting more than three lakhs of rupees to travel to Bangkok saying they were invited for a seminar.

There was no seminar, but to collect money from reputed firms, the junior referees were equipped with letters signed by the former hierarchy of the Referees Society which had stated that the referees were to attend a seminar.

The 20 junior referees had spent five nights in exciting Bangkok.

Mahela cracks 129 for SSC

A classy century by tour discard Mahela Jayawardena enabled SSC to total 304 against BRC in their Premier Championship Divison One cricket match at Maitland Crescent yesterday.

Mahela was supported by Sanjeewa Ranatunga, who made 80, including eight fours in a fourth wicket partnership of 115. Mahela scored 129 which included a six and 17 fours.

SSC - 304 in 88 overs (Mahela Jayawardena 129, Sanjeewa Ranatunga 80, Upeka Fernando 21; Deepal Maddurupperuma 4 for 69, Duminda Perera 2 for 98)

BRC - 4 for no loss.

Tamil Union in a bad way

Tamil Union were struggling at 113 for 7 in their match against CCC at the P.Sara Stadium yesterday.

Play began at 1.15 pm due to the soggy ground conditions and play was halted at 4.30 pm due to bad light.

Tamil Union - 113 for 7 in 45.1 overs (Sagara Kumara 21,Viraj Wijegunewardena 23, Nuwan Shiroman 24, I.Gallagoda 28 n.o; Indika Gallage 2 for 18, N.Rupasinghe 3 for 33, T.Sanjaya 2 for 19)

Rain curtails play

Bloomfield scored 31 for the loss of two wickets against NCC at Maitland Place yesterday due to wet conditions underfoot.

Bloomfield - 31 for 2 in 22 overs (Sanjaya Rodrigo 11, Buddhika Mendis 10; Ruwan Kalpage 1 for 11, Anil Redeemanagedera 1 for 0) - (B.W)

Colts: 94 for 1 vs Moors

Only 22 overs play were possible in the rain marred Premier Inter-Club cricket match between Colts and Moors where Colts ended the day on 94 for1 at Braybrooke Place yesterday.

Play commenced at 3.00 pm and the Havelock Town club, after taking first lease of the wicket, made 94 for 1, thanks to three well complied knocks from Chaminda Mendis (23), Sajith Fernando (28 n.o) and Sujith Janaka (35 n.o).

Colts - 94 for 1 in 22 overs (C. Mendis 23, S. Fernando 28n.o, S. Janaka 35 n.o.)- (S.I)

Inter School cricket

Hasantha lights up gloomy evening

By Saif izzadeen

Prince of Wales Captain Hasantha Fernando lighted up a gloomy evening at Campbell Park yesterday as he made his first century for the season against Wesley in the rain interrupted Inter-School cricket match which ended in a draw yesterday.

Prince of Wales replying for to Wesley's 152 for 8 dec. made 189 for 6 wkts in 49 overs before play was called off at 5.10 pm and in a short while the skies opened out.

However, the Prince of Wales skipper managed to beat the rain to make a dazzling 117 not out which helped the Moratuwa school in a big way to achieve their final score. Shammika Fernando (28) and Pubudu Ranaweera (18) gave good support to their skipper. For Wesley, S. Colobage bowled well to capture 2 for 36.

Wesley - (89 for 5 overnight) 152 for 8 dec in 51.4 overs (S. Faiz 38, D. Medagedera 28, K. Rodrigo 26, N. Balasuriya 13; M. Bandara 5 for 44)

Prince of Wales - 189 for 6 in 49 overs in 49 overs ( H. Fernando117 n.o, S. Fernando 28, P. Ranaweera 18; S.Colobage 2 for 36)

Mahinda forces draw

By Ravi Nagahawatte

Mahinda College beat all odds to force a honourable draw in their Inter-School cricket fixture against Thurstan at Thurstan Grounds yesterday.

The spirit of comradeship among both schools was strikingly evident when the match commenced without much fuss at the host's grounds, which was inevitable as the original venue, Police Park, was unavailable.

The visitors made amends for their initial poor batting display and were 105 for 3 at close after following- on with a paltry first innings total of 89 all out in reply to Thurstan's healthy 225 for 6 declared.Skipper T.Rupasinghe led the field with a run-a-ball 55 surported by C.Wickremasinghe (19) .The pair added 66 for the second wicket .

Thurstan - first innings 225 for 6 declared in 56 overs (C.Aravinda 87 no, Silva 45, T.Wickremasinghe 25, N.Randika 20; S.Isuru 2 for 26)

St. Anthony's held

By Shane Seneviratne Our Kandy Corr.

Kingswood held out stubbornly to force a draw against St. Anthony's Katugastota in their Inter-School cricket encounter at Katugastota yesterday.

Batting first St. Anthony's totalled 234 for 7 with P,Wickremapala scoring 78 with a six and nine fours, supported by a quickfire 42 by P.Ranawaka with two sixes and 4 fours. A.Pinnaduwa too chipped in with a fine 49.

In reply Kingswood were shot out for a paltry 60 and after being forced to follow-on, lost eight wickets for 194 in 88 overs.

St. Anthony's - 234 fot 7 dec. (P.Wickremapala 78, A.Pinnaduwa 49, P.Ranawaka 42, N.Nizam 14, P.Fauz 28; T.Maddanayake 2 for 54, M.Mallawarachchi 2 for28).

Kingswood - 60 (I.Ekanayake 27, M.Mallawarachchi 13; A.Pinnaduwa 4 for 10, C.Jyawardena 2 for 0) and 194 for 8 in 88 overs (C.Seneviratne 48, R.Mahsoon 11, N.Pushpakumara 14, T.Maddanayake 45, Mallawarachchi 23)

Lanka Lions to break new ground this year

Lanka Lions Club formed only last June by a handful of diehard athletes will break new ground with the conducting of the 'Nidhahas Run' involving foreigners on February 4 in Colombo.

The Lions Club have also as a forerunner for this event decided to conduct the Historic City run in Polonnaruwa on January 10 followed by the Sabaragamuwa run in Kegalle on January 17.

Hemasiri Fernando, the President of the National Olympic Committee launched the Lanka Lions logo for the marathon which will be on the international calendar and also handed over the cheques to the Polonnaruwa and Kegalle district organisers at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium School.

The Ruhunu run will be held on January 24 in Hambantota, followed by the Wayamba run in Kurunegala on February 21, and the Hill City run in Kandy on February 28.

All runs will be held in eight categories, men's open, juniors men and women, women's and men's veteran's and school- girls with all winners from first to fifth receiving cash prizes.

The Lanka Lions will also conduct the junior championships for boys and girls under 12, 14 and 16 on June 19/20 at the Sugathadasa Stadium, and senior championships for those under 18, 20 and open on July 10/11 also at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

The technical officials seminar on October 17 followed by the Medical seminar concerning the nourishment and injuries to athletes on November 7.

Brig. R.P. Liyanage, a leading army athlete coach stressed the importance of G.L.S. Perera's capabilities which is not been made use of.

The chief guest Hemasiri Fernando requested that more athletic clubs should be set up and applauded the stand taken by the Lanka Lions and wanted the media to support them.

Rover pinpoints.....

A pleasure trip

Rover learns that 20 rugby referees (not the big names) have obtained a letter to the effect that they have been invited for a seminar in Bangkok during the Asian Games. This move has been supported by a leading official as a vote catching issue.

A letter is supposed to have been given by this official to these referees in order to collect money to make this trip a success to those who sponsor this sport.

Among the referees, Rover learns, about ten were from the Hill Country and about five from the Rock Capital. Others had been from Colombo.

No seminar, however was held. Over to your Rugby Boss. (More details elsewhere).

Over 20 on tour

Rover also learns that over 20 officials attached to the Sports Ministry were seen at Bangkok.

The money issued for these officials is said to be over hundred dollars a day, an official himself admitted.

We are not going to conduct an Asian Games in Sri Lanka to send so many officials who were not even directly involved in any event.

Double standards

The Amateur Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AAA) are planning to hold an inquiry over the sudden pullout of Susanthika Jayasinghe from the Asian Games.

OK, it's in order, Rover admits, but why no inquiry was held when a top athlete also pulled out in Athens due to injury but won the disco dance competition that very evening.

Enough is enough

Susanthika has been quoted, "enough is enough." What Rover cannot understand is why these officials who went to the Asian Games where it was heard, time and gain even before Susanthika could run: "She will never win a medal, leave alone a gold."

Were they trying to break Susanthika's morale?

Families on tour

It was an embarassing sight to see wives and children of certain higherups who accompanied the Sri Lanka contingent to the Asian Games were making use of all the facilities provided at the Athletes village!

Searching for accommodation

Praises are showered not only to the cricketers on the tour of Australia but also for torch bearers! Could this move be to see that a certain individual gets a comfortable nights sleep?.

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