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5th September 1999

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Cricket in the right hands

By the Third Umpire

The infamous or disgraceful Cricket Board elections held earlier this year appears to be turning out to be a blessing in disguise. To some extent it is apparently opening the door for gentlemen who could call a spade a spade and with no personal interest to govern and take control of a game at least for a brief period and put it back on rails.

In retrospect it's disheartening to note the manner in which past Cricket Board officials, selectors and senior players acted. They cannot plead ignorance that there was no talented players beside their favourites. They were aware of the talent but preferred to turn a blind eye thus putting personal interest before national interest and allegedly filling pockets in the process. But whenever they opened their mouths in public it was always Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka cricket and nothing personal. But today the whole country is aware how some so called gentlemen acted selfishly only for their benefit. They should hang their heads in shame.

On the contrary, big bouquet to the Interim Committee. First for identifying the need for a knowledgeable coach and bringing back Dav Whatmore. Then they appointed a selection committee which is not biased and not swayed by the whims and fancies of anybody. They sat and made bold decisions that stunned everyone. Removing the captain and vice captain, sacking a couple of seniors and including talented and deserving youngsters who earlier were confined only to club cricket.

Today the decisions have all paid off. However it's not something to get carried away. But at least it's heartening to note that we are on the right path and more importantly the game is in the correct hands. Let's only hope that past Cricket Board officials who bungled things, selectors who were either biased or had no backbone, and senior players who used their influence to have their own way, will have little or nothing to do with cricket in Sri Lanka.

'Steve Waugh Poor Children's Foundation'

A group of stage actors have formed an organisation called the "Steve Waugh Poor Children's Foundation" to foster some of their charity programmes.

The foundation is headed by veteran actor Pujitha Mendis and comprises members Gamini Nanayakkara, Sudath Kumara Dodangoda, Kelum Sumeda, Tissa Kumara Jayaratne, Arthur Weerakoon and Lal Dahanayake.

A foundation spokesman told The Sunday Times that their members would be meeting Waugh in the upcoming week to brief him on their plans for helping poor children.

"Steve Waugh we know is very religious and keen to help poor children as we saw him do in India recently. By associating his name with our foundation we are sure of enhancing our charity work", he said.

He said it was not possible to specify the part the Foundation wants Waugh to play but said they would know everything after meeting the star player.

According to the spokesman the actors making up the Foundation have helped many underprivileged children in the provinces.

Rover pinpoints


How come an umpire not in the original panel of 11 was brought in to stand at the recently concluded tri-nation competition? A lot of eyebrows were raised when this happened, we like to know as to who was instrumental in bringing about this move?

Name change

Watching Rupavahini after the Australians were all out for 202, Jayantha Weerasinghe was heard discussing some factors which helped to beat the world champs. The interviewer said that he was discussing this with the former cricketer Jayantha Silva when in fact it was Jayantha Seneviratne?

Pleasure ride

A bus was used to go to the hill country to attend a house warming ceremony. What a free ride it turned out to be. Was it a way of paying back for certain good deeds ?

Dashed hopes?

The hopes of the individual who assumes to be like Sharu Sharma and Harsha Bogle (two versatile Indian commentators) were dashed to the ground, when he couldn't stomach to see the Aussies being bundled out for 202.

He had planned and done some interviews with Tony Greig, Ravi Shasthri and some local bigwigs about the dropping of the old brigade in case Sri Lanka lost.

With Sonna riding high, he scooted off from the Premadasa Stadium with his TV crew. No interview for this week by the bootlicker. Rover feels the two foreigners have also joined the bootlickers' bandwagon.

Who is this Cricket Board administrator who was booed at the Premadasa International Stadium, when his name was mentioned on the public address system at the Tri-Nation awards ceremony?

Bad organizing

The recently conducted hill climb, Rover learns, was not properly organized with untrained marshals on duty. Wrong flags were shown. How is that the steward of the race was from the organizing Club! What has the interim body got to say about this? Many competitors argued with officials, a thing which has never happened before.

Young guns blaze

Back to cricket again. There is speculation in certain sections that a former cricket captain will be re-instated after September 10. A certain journalist is responsible for spreading this rumour and is now the talk amongst sporting circles.

An approach has also been made made to a cricketer, who has quit the scene, to make a come-back, so that he will be able to back the former skipper's re-instatement.

But surely the cricket officials and the public in general know better. The way the young team won against Australia in the Aiwa Cup final is surely proof enough.

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