Kandy in action
By Hafiz Marikar
Defending champions Kandy Sports Club, will take on CH
& FC in the second semifinal of the Clifford Cup
knockout match at the Nittawela grounds today Sunday
(30), and the game will be telecast live. Kick off will
be at 4. 30 pm
spirits at Nittawela are very high at present after the
superb performance, which gave them the League plum for
the 13th year, and also beat one time champions
Havelocks SC in the Quarter finals scoring 102 points,
SC ruggerites are well oiled and should go on a
scoring spree in this game too.
in rugby, Kandy SC is one team which takes the field
with a will to win. I feel in some clubs, players are
not giving much thought to defense which is a very
important aspect of the game. The rugby played by some
clubs is of poor quality. They fail to tackle hard and
low, they have taken kicking as the major fashion.
Rugby means winning possession of the ball by forwards and
backs make the scoring and also the skipper should lead
the side from the front. In some teams the leaders
cannot be seen.
Sports Club led by center-three-quarter Pradeep Liyanage,
has a well balanced side. They have been winning the
Clifford Cup at a stretch, and are hoping to do so this
season too. If they continue to play in the same
fashion they played in the last couple of games, then
they should have no problem in pocketing the Clifford
Cup for the 15th time in 17 years.
Nittawela forwards are big and heavy. They are also
fast on their feet. So, the eight is exciting. They
have a wealth of talent in this department.
richness is in the back division, where Fazil Marija
from the fly half’s position, plans the game and he is
well supported by skipper Pradeep Liyanage, Gayan
Weerarathne, Sanjeewa Jaysinghe, Sameera Silva and
Saliya Kumara. They always hound the ball whenever it
comes their way and are solid in their defence.
SC’s mode of forward play, will constantly take play to
the outsides and hence deprive the Maitland Crescent
Club of a forwards battle on which they thrive. As long
as the ball is kept on the ground in straight forward
rucks I believe that the
forwards can successfully initiate second phase attacks
through their play maker Fazil Marija.
FC led by Achala Perera, who had a good game against
the soldiers in the quarters will go all out to give a
good show with the players available. Their
strongpoint is their speedy three quarters, who have
done well this season. The CH & FC side will field the
same set of forwards who did duty in the quarters. A
lot will be expected from skipper Achala Perera,
Dilanlka Wijesekara, Sathya Ranathunga, Sharo Fernando
and Dinesh Sanjeewa. Much is expected from their
experienced fly half Sajith Mallikarachchi, a former
Nittawela club captain.
Sri Lankans bat well again
second test moved into a predictable position by close
of play on day three with Sri Lanka very much in the box
seat. Batting first the local lads had to depend on
Mahela, Sanga (again) and the ever predictable Thilan
Samaraweera to post a comfortable total. That Sri Lanka
had to bat again was a foregone conclusion as the first
up score was not sufficient though adequate.
couldn't turn his effort into a century by a few runs
and he would regret it. Samaraweera doesn't give his
wicket cheap. He wears down the bowling and keeps
chipping away. Although not flamboyant his contribution
is of paramount importance to the team. Youngsters
should study his temperament and application. One could
almost hear him talk to himself, "stay in the middle,
stay in the middle."
from a promising fourth wicket partnership the Kiwis
first innings failed to gather momentum. Runs are built
on partnerships and this Kiwi inning didn't have
anything of significance.
Batting a second time the confident Sri Lankans built on
the first innings advantage. Dilshan never adjusted to
the pace of the wicket and in a matter of time departed,
a second time. Dilshan likes to free his arms but should
get in line and endure for a while if he feels his
timing is awry. The arms should adjust to the speed of
the track to play with daring.
bowled well in the second innings too to keep the run
flow in check. He got a few to stop, stand up and turn.
Murali would fancy a tweak at the Kiwis on the third
session of day four.
Sri Lankans have moved up in the Test ratings to be one
but the first. They have earned this slot. With the
Aussies floundering, the numero uno position would
change hands between South Africa, Sri Lanka, India and
even a rejuvenated English side.
Lokuge now wants an elected SLRFU – Why?
many tears are likely to be shed should the two-member
Interim Committee for rugby, leave right away. Some
critics might even say, “about time, too’’ – given the
many controversies that the committee has been embroiled
in since its appointment last February.
Interim Committees, of course, will never figure high in
any popularity poll simply because, its members being
Sport Ministry appointees, its decisions and actions
will always evoke suspicions of ministerial influence.
Criticism born of that suspicion, so, is to be expected.
And, as for the validity of those criticism is, well, a
trying exercise in separating the wheat from the chaff.
don’t live in an ideal world, and so the job of the IC
members does get pretty awkward at times. Well and good
if IC members are allowed the independence the
government proclaims they have. The reality, though, is
a lot different, thanks to the ways of our politics and
A thankless job
Suffice it is to say that a job on the IC is not for
those without thick hides – and so, in many ways it’s a
thankless job. The inherent suspicion that an IC is
under government influence is a fact its members have to
live with – unless, of course, they are the sort who’d
be willing to dump the job rather than compromise on
principles (read: bow to government influence). It’s
unlikely that men of such principles will want to be a
part of an IC anyway.
all the criticism that the two-man rugby IC has earned
for many of its controversial decisions – most glaringly
its silent support of the Sport Ministry’s choice of
national captain as opposed to the national selectors’
nominee, critics need no prompting to accuse the two IC
members, President Dr. Maiya Gunasekera and Secretary
Kiran Atapattu, as having forsaken principles. And go on
to claim that the duo have no moral right to stay in
that controversial captaincy choice of Pavithra
Fernando, son of NOC president and Minister Lokuge’s
buddy, over Dilanka Wijeskera, selectors’ nominee:
Whether the two IC members genuinely believed that the
Sport Ministry’s choice was the right one, or whether
they didn’t, but preferred to not buck the Ministry and
risk losing their jobs is something only they can
answer. That, though, is quite another story.
were on the subject of why, despite the many
controversies the IC has been embroiled in, it yet
enjoys immunity from dissolution. But dissolution is a
decision that can be taken by only the Sport Minister,
the IC’s creator. And for the Minister to disband a
committee of his choice is a terribly embarrassing thing
to do: it admits his poor sense of judgement, a lack any
minister would rather conceal or con out from. The IC,
so, was always going to ride out the many controversies
Carry the can
Controversies, after all, are inspired by individual
opinions, and the Sport Minister is never going to side
with those that oppose his IC’s views. The IC, in turn,
will carry the can for the Minister if need be – as it
did when it went along with the Minister’s candidate for
national captaincy and not the national selectors’. It’s
all a nice, cosy and close relationship between the
creator and his creation.
which make last week’s news that Sport Minister Gamini
Lokuge wants the IC to prepare the ground for an AGM to
elect the 2009 SLRFU office bearers a bolt out of the
blue. Surely, there were better reasons earlier for the
Minister to order for an AGM – like in March, when two
IRB officials flew into Colombo specially to let the
Minister know the world body doesn’t recognise any
national union other than one comprising elected
Neither is it likely that the Minister’s order for an
AGM is the outcome of the endless stream of
controversies that the IC has been plagued with, nor was
the AGM order prompted by the mockery the IC has made of
the ongoing Clifford Cup Knockout tournament, from
which, as you know, the Navy pulled out. The upshot: one
quarterfinal of the prestigious event was a non-starter.
As well, the Kandy SC v. Havelocks quarterfinal too was
as good as a non-starter – unless you consider a 102/3
routing a contest.
walkover and a one-sided match aren’t quite the best
advertisement for what is thought to be rugby’s most
prestigious event, and is indeed a sad commentary on the
controlling body is supposed to prevent its competitions
from becoming farcical. But to say that Clifford Cup
knockout’s descent to nonsense is the reason for
Minister Lokuge’s order for an AGM would be a hasty
conclusion. There have been graver acts of commission
and omission by the IC administration to deserve its
termination – like its unwillingness to conduct
disciplinary inquiries into reported cases of on-field
assaults and crowd invasions. In other words, no
dramatic confrontation had happened to threaten the
close and cosy relationship between the creator and his
Minister Lokuge should make his AGM order precisely at
the time when the IC is to expand to a four-man body is
strange – and arouses theories of conspiracy. DIG Hewage,
an old boy of the president’s old school, reportedly is
already on the job; Asanga Seneviratne is said to be
other new member; his acceptance of the appointment is
awaited until his return from the U.S. and England.
defeats common sense: here is the Minister publicly
declaring his intention to hand back the reins of rugby
administration to elected officials while at the same
time the numerical strength of the IC is being doubled.
In this rather contradictory situation it is pertinent
to ask if the original two-member hasn’t the powers to
summon the AGM – after all, it is the de facto
controlling body. As well, the summoning of an AGM is no
big deal: issue notice to all members two weeks before
the meeting, that’s all.
Presuming that it is not within the ambit of an IC to
issue notice of an AGM, then, pray tell us why the
Minister can’t do it himself– it was he who appointed
the IC and so is obliged to disband it, and then have
the AGM he seems to so dearly want in a hurry now.
Rather he’s chosen a route that is pretty much like
reaching for your nose via around the back of your head.
Politically more powerful
which raises the question if he is unhappy about
including the two new IC appointees, probably because
they would be politically more powerful than his two
appointees. Or to say it another way: installing a
national captain of his choice and like matters would
become doubly difficult. Admittedly, this is only
theory, not fact.
is more than a touch odd for a minister who defied IRB
warning of the IC’s illegitimacy so that his appointed
officials may remain in power should now want elected
officials. It has to be said, though, the Minister has
spoken before of his intentions to restore
administration back in the hands of popularly elected
fact, at the time he appointed the two-man committee in
February, he declared that it was for the purpose of
laying the grounds for the 2009 AGM, which, if you
remember, the resignations of previous president, DIG
Lewke and his secretary, SSP Duke Hamid, left no one in
authority to summon the AGM.
the IC had more on its mind than just doing the required
paper work for an AGM. It took on the time-consuming job
of rewriting the constitution – the outcome of which
little is known about yet. And raising accusation that
claims for an amended constitution is ruse to buy more
time for the IC – an accusation that is answered by
claims that the amended constitution is now before the
Attorney General. And so the blundering life of the IC
approaches a year.
popular hope is that Minister Lokuge is as good as his
word at least this time – and the 2009 AGM of the SLRFU
will see the light of day. It’s time rugby came out of
the dark times.
Young Lankan excels in ICC Tournament
By Shanta Premawardhana in Switzerland
Tarusha Fernando (15) a student at Gateway College,
Colombo, gave an outstanding display of Sri Lankan style
cricket excellence for the Swiss Under 15 team at the
Sixth ICC European Under 15 Division Championship held
in Bologna, Italy, from 16 – 20 August.
Switzerland, Italy, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Israel,
Belgium and Germany participated in the tournament.
Having lived in Switzerland for the past two years and
having proven his mettle in the
turf, young Tarusha was invited to represent
Fernando got the Swiss team off to a flying start over
Israel, racking up a stunning 58 which included 13
fours. The opening partnership with James Hadden had the
two put up 48 runs in just 2.1 overs before Hadden was
bowled for 5 runs. The Swiss team scored 290 for six in
35 overs. An all-rounder, Tarusha Fernando also captured
two wickets for 27 runs in five overs in the same
match. Switzerland recorded a resounding win dismissing
for 110 runs in 25.3 overs.
Mansiha leads Sri Lanka’s first-ever Women’s Water Polo
young girl who had spent 11 years playing her favourite
sport — water polo — has been rewarded for her hard work
and commitment by being chosen to lead Sri Lanka’s first
ever women’s national water polo team in an
Manisha Rajanayake is captaining the Sri Lanka team to
the 1 lth Asia Pacific Water Polo Championships to be
held in Hong Kong from August 28 to 31.
Nineteen-year old Manisha represents Otter Aquatc Club
since leaving school. She developed an interest in water
polo while studying at Ladies College and ended
captaining the school team.
Referees Day on September 1
By Hafiz Marikar
Manilal Fernando, Senior Vice President of the Asian
Football Confederation, has instructed the referees
department of the Sri Lanka Football Federation, to
organise their Referees Day on September 1 at the
Football House and Reid Avenue Grounds.
year has been declared as the ‘referees year’ by the
Asian Football Confederation and celebrations are being
held all over Asia. Today referees are the live wire of
According to AFC and FIFA Referees Instructor Mushin
Ariff, and local Director of Referees Y.M. Yapa
Referees Day will have a full day’s programme, where
there will be a referees game of football at Reid Avenue
Grounds between Ex FIFA and Preset FIFA referees at 5
pm. There will be a Referees Quiz contest (Laws of the
Game), and many more activities, which will start from
9 a.m. onwards under the patronage of Manilal Fernando.
Sanga takes Sri Lanka to a commanding position
Lanka moved into a commanding position with an overall
lead of 339 by stumps on the third day of the second
cricket Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in
Colombo on Friday.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on 64 while Mahela
Jayawardene was not out on 23 as Sri Lanka made 157 for
2 in their second innings before rain gave a premature
end to the day's play.
Earlier Sri Lanka's spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and
Rangana Herath finished with three wickets apiece as New
Zealand were bowled out for 234 in their first innings
in response to Sri Lanka's 416.
left the home team with a massive 182-run lead and in a
strong position to secure their second series win in
succession. Dilshan then gave his side a steady if slow
start to their second innings, but fell while attempting
to hit Patel out of the attack.
had started his spell with a tight maiden, but Dilshan
slammed him for a straight boundary off the first ball
of his fourth over and attempted another off the second
delivery but instead lofted straight to Martin Guptill
Paranavitana fell just before the tea interval,
erroneously ruled caught behind by umpire Daryl Harper.
The Sri Lankan batsman had attempted to sweep but
replays showed no contact was made with the bat.
Muralitharan and Herath had made short work of New
Zealand's lower order in the morning session, bowling
them out just inside the first session.
Muralitharan claimed the wickets of Brendon McCullum
(18) and Iain O'Brien (four), while Herath snapped up
Ross Taylor (81) and Jacob Oram (24) as the Black Caps -
159 for five overnight - folded up cheaply.
Sangakkara had pressed his spinners into immediate
action on a dry pitch and had the Black Caps in trouble
right from the start.
McCullum, who was dropped twice in an over from left-arm
spinner Herath while on 13, had struggled to put bat to
ball and eventually succumbed, presenting Mahela
Jayawardene with his 150th Test catch.
struck again almost immediately, snaring Taylor for the
addition of only 11 runs to his overnight score.
feathered an edge to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene
to depart for a battling innings with New Zealand still
needing another 33 runs to avoid the follow-on at that
stage. Oram and captain Vettori helped the Black Caps
move past that immediate target with a 43-run stand for
the eighth wicket, Oram hitting Muralitharan for two
boundaries in one over to get his team over the line.
Sri Lanka 1st innings 416
Zealand 1st innings: T.G. McIntosh lbw b Prasad 5, M.J.
Guptill c Muralitharan b Thushara 35, D.R. Flynn c
Jayawardene b Thushara 13, L.R.P.L. Taylor c
Jayawardene b Herath 81, J.D Ryder c Paranavitana b
Herath 23, J.S. Patel c M. Jayawardene b Muralitharan
1, B.B. McCullum c M. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 18,
J.D.P. Oram c Kapugedera b Herath 24, D.L Vettori c
Kapugedera b Dilshan 23, I.E O'Brien lbw b Muralitharan
4, C.S. Martin not out 0.
Extras (lb 3, w 2, nb 2) 7
Total (all out; 77.4 overs; 363 mins) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-49, 3-63, 4-148, 5-149, 6-183,
7-183, 8-226, 9-234
Bowling: TM Dilshan 3-0-12-1, T Thushara 9-2-37-2, KTGD
Prasad 6-0-41-1, HMRKB, Herath 34-11-70-3, M
Sri Lanka 2nd innings: T.M. Dilshan c Guptill b Patel
33, N.T. Paranavitana c McCullum b Vettori 34, K.C.
Sangakkara not out 64, M. Jayawardene not out 23. Extras
(w 1, nb 2) 3.
Total (2 wickets; 45.2 overs) 157
Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-89, Bowling: D.L. Vettori
14-2-36-1, I.E. O'Brien 8-1-41-0, C.S. Martin 5-0-13-0,
J.S. Patel 18.2-2-67-1
Goonewardena Brothers take sailing honours
brothers Devin and Dimitri Goonewardena dominated the
podium following the sailing of the Royal Colombo Yacht
Club’s 2009 Club Oceanic Regatta in the seas off
Trincomalee last weekend.
fleet of 26 competing sail boats ranged from the
diminutive single-sailed Optimist-class dinghies through
the Laser class to the much larger triple-sailed GP-14s.
Amidst winds gusting to more than 20 knots on Saturday
morning, the event saw many boats capsizing and some
suffering gear failure, keeping the Sri Lanka Navy
divers who were on hand to provide rescue services,
overall winners of the prestigious hand-crafted 1944
sterling silver trophy, after finishing first in all
four races, were Devin Goonewardena (helm) and Sarith
Pethiyagoda (crew) sailing a GP-14. Akshan Jirasinha and
Sacha Gunaratne were runners up, while the Navy Sailing
Club’s W.M.C. Marambe and A.S.P.K. Soyza finished third.
Meleena Awn, a student of Ladies’ College, won the Laser
class, with the Navy’s T.T.B. Kodituwakku coming in
second and Ishan Abeysekara finishing in third place.
Dimitri Goonewardena (Stafford International School)
went on to win in the Optimist class, with Kimberly
Karpinski (Lyceum International) and Dinouk Goonewardena
(Stafford) coming in second and third. The award for
Best Novice went to Armand Flamer Caldera (Colombo
Speaking after the event, the Royal Colombo Yacht Club’s
Commodore, Lalin Jirasinghe, said that although the
regatta was being sailed in Trincomalee after a lapse of
five years, the advent of peace meant it could be sailed
annually in future. Sponsorship and active involvement
in the event by Club Oceanic played an immense role in
the event’s success, highlighting Trincomalee as a much
sought after water-sports venue.
Karting a necessity in Sri Lanka
common knowledge that practically every international
racing driver worth his or her salt got their career
started in Go-Karts. These low-cost, 4-wheeled vehicles
are in effect scaled-down versions of larger race cars
and are generally accepted as being the stepping stone
to almost any form of circuit racing.
of contemporary motorsport will be familiar with World
Champion Lewis Hamilton’s story – even after McLaren
signed him to their driver development programme they
funded his progress through the various ranks of
European karting. Seven-time F1 World Champion Michael
Schumacher was such an aficionado that after winning his
fourth F1 drivers title in 2001, he returned to his
karting roots in the off-season to take part in that
year’s Karting World Championship, finishing in a very
competitive third place behind winner and future F1
driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.
addition to the relatively inexpensive nature of Go-Kart
racing, this form of motorsport is also important in
developing a racing driver’s skills. For younger drivers
especially, karting offers valuable lessons that are
essential for a career in top-flight motorsport –
comfort at high speed, car control, carrying high speed
through corners, fighting for track position with other
drivers and not least of all, gives them valuable
understanding of technical and engineering matters.
Despite the low-cost nature of this discipline and the
relative ease with which karting facilities can be
obtained or setup, Go-Karting in Sri Lanka is
practically non-existent. In the past, competitive
karting championships were held at venues ranging from
the Taj Samudra Car Park, the BMICH Car Park, the
Alcatraz Car Park in Battaramulla and other such
events were generally well received, saw healthy
participation and launched many domestic racing careers.
Yet, for various reasons, competitive karting all but
died out in Sri Lanka. For a while one or two indoor
venues in Colombo provided viable options for
recreational and competitive go-karting but once those
establishments closed down, karting enthusiasts were
left with no options.
this backdrop there is an urgent need for the
motorsports community in Sri Lanka to once again start
promoting an entry-level karting championship or series.
As in previous years, large car parks are more than
sufficient to hold competitive events and there is no
doubt that there will be enough participants if
facilities and the appropriate equipment are made
is a sure-fire way of promoting motorsports at the
grassroots level and healthy participation at
entry-level motorsports events can only lead to a strong
domestic racing scene as participants graduate to higher
levels of motor racing.
Achieving that impossible dream
say that certain dreams are impossible. But she was
taught that ‘impossible’ is just a word in your head;
she was taught to dream beyond her limitations of short
Randika Cooray, 23 is the first athlete to represent Sri
Lanka at the Fifth World Dwarf Games, held in Belfast
Ireland, which concluded this month. Randika won the
Bronze medal in the women’s 100m event bringing glory
and honour to Sri Lanka. She also participated in the
60m event in which she was placed in the fourth place,
alongside 200 participants from 15 countries.
though her main event was badminton she has been
practising under a coach for several months preceding
the event, she was beaten by UK rival before competing
against US and Australia.
Randika represented the United Kingdom in the team
events as she was the only Sri Lankan at the Games. She
has also won several awards at the Four Nations Disabled
Badminton Championships held in Liverpool in February
2009, and the National Dwarf Games held in Birmingham in
Randika says that life has been a challenge from day
one, but says that her family kept digging into her head
that there was a special purpose for her limitation and
that she needs to find it out herself.
Randika has a condition called Acondroplasia which
causes abnormalities in cartilage formation hence
hindering the normal growth of bone. This results in
short stature. ‘I had never been able to complete in
any form of sports in school because of my height. But
when one day I happened to watch a programme on TV in
the UK, on Dwarf Athletic Association, I thought to
myself that I have to give it my best shot.’
‘Ruwanthi my second older sister, has always been my
best pal. She was the one who’d cry with me, hold my
hand and say, ‘I don’t understand your pain, but I will
try to’. Rozaine, my older sister took a firmer stand
with me when she said that I can live greater than my
being if I believe and dream with all my heart. I was
lucky to have got a balance of strengths from my family;
an undying force of equality, understanding and love
from my parents, one to hug and cry with and one to say,
get up and get going’.
Randika is a past-pupil of Holy Family Convent Colombo
4. She says that her clique of friends and certain
teachers made a great impact in her life. She says that
the support of her close friends both in school and in
the UK, was instrumental for her to feel accepted in
society. Her friends say that having Randika as a friend
made them realise that there is no difference between
being tall or short; that what matters is the heart of
the person within.
Randika has a BA(Hons) in Special Educational Needs with
Psychology at the University of East London and is
currently working in a school as a Special Educational
Randika said she is delighted to have represented Sri
Lanka and to have won a medal at the Dwarf Games, a
dream she thought would never come true.