||Marvan, Arnold in rescue
fought themselves out of three potentially dangerous situations to post a healthy 256 for
5 in 50 overs against Zimbabwe in the opening Sharjah tri-nation tournament on Friday.
After losing Gunawardene in only the second over, skipper Sanath Jayauriya in the 10th
and then the classy Mahela Jayewardene at a crucial stage, it was left to Marvan Atapattu,
assisted by Russel Arnold, to pose the Zimbabweans with an exceedingly challenging task
victory. He was distinctly unfortunate to miss out on a
century when, in the slog overs, was caught at long on by Wishart off Ervine. The elegant
right hander made 92 from 109 balls and had struck only five boundaries, reflecting his
commitment to protect his team from the dangers that threatened.
Atapattu's contribution was of incalculable significance.
Had he gone earlier, there was no saying what would have followed. There were question
marks against the confidence of Arnold and Kaluvitharne _ one because of the run of low
scores and the other, by rejection from the national team in the Indian series. After them
Sri Lanka would have to turn to part-timers Kumar Dharmasena and Chaminda Vaas. But
Atapattu was no wilting flower in the desert heat. He battled on bravely, and no one gave
him greater encouragement than Arnold, a cool and calculated figure on this day. Together,
they contributed a priceless 115runs in a fourth-wicket partnership. Arnold eventually
ended on an un defeated 76 off 94 balls.
There was nothing in the pitch to suggest that Jayasuriya's decision to bat first was
the wrong one. Yet, hopes of a prosperous opening stand went unfulfilled. Avishka
Gunawardena, preferred to 12th man Sangakkara, had barely felt the pinch of the desert
heat, departing needlessly in only the second over. He hared down for a second run but
could only finish second to Streak's throw from deep square leg to wicketkeeper, Andy
But the early damage was countered quietly by skipper Jayasuriya, much less exuberant
now, and the ever-reliable Atapattu. Jayasuriya was clearly intent on playing himself
through a long innings, preferring to accumulate rather than plunder the runs. He had made
21 from 28 balls with three boundaries when he was surprised by one from medium Zimbabwean
paceman, T Friend, which stood up. Jayasuriya had committed himself to a flick shot to
fine leg, but was forced to desperately fend the ball off his chest sending the ball
looping into the lunging right hand of the bowler.
At 41 for 2 in 9.3 overs the future of Sri Lanka's innings was in uncertainty. But the
combination of the solid Atapattu and enterprising Jayewardene took the innings to calmer
waters. Both fine technicians, they were in complete command over the opposition bowlers
that, clearly, Zimbabwe was content on restricting the run flow and trusting on luck for a
breakthrough. That piece of luck came in the 23rd over with Sri Lanka on 101 for 2.
Jayewardene pushed one to short midwicket and darted down the wicket only to see Atapattu
caught in a tangle with the bowler and unable to respond. There were yards of daylight
between his stretching bat and the crease when keeper broke the stumps.
Again a blossoming Jayawardene innings was cruelly cut-short. He fell while with the
best of him was imminently close to being unleashed. He had stayed 51 minutes, faced 44
deliveries and was poised to add to this three boundaries when tragedy struck.
Atapattu, meanwhile, held the innings together as he flicked, chipped and drove his way
to his 39th half century in one-day internationals and also hoisted the team's 150 for
three in the 33rd. over. He took on the enormous responsibility of guiding the team out of
the danger zone after three of the seven specialist batsmen had been claimed by an
exceedingly enthusiastic opposition. His half-century took 69 deliveries and contained
just two boundaries.
Atapattu found a trustworthy partner in Arnold, and the duo rode out the patch of
Dilmah, Sri Lankan cricketers' cup of tea
Sri Lanka may have had tea to boast about themselves internationally long before
cricket got into the boots of the heroic lions who won the World Championship in 1996, but
from that point the nation took to cricket as ardent followers to boost themselves
internationally. But imagine if the two products partner themselves to promote the other.
Thus the tagline; A partnership of Sri Lanka s Finest Exports may well suit to the
occasion when Dilmah, Ceylon's freshest and finest tea, announced that it is honoured to
be the official sponsor of the Sri Lankan cricket team. The partnership between Dilmah and
the Sri Lankan cricket team, which runs for a period of three years, is set to go a long
way, since the two can take pride for the truly Sri Lankan flavour.
Sri Lankan cricket has come a long way since the British, our colonial masters taught
us the game and so has the Ceylon tea industry, as Malik Fernando, Director MJF Group of
Companies. Dilmah, stated that both tea and cricket were a legacy of the British. Although
it was the British who implanted the seeds in us, in both areas, it was the Ceylonese who
started with humble beginnings; and sheer perseverance and grit to help the nation grow to
be the lions in the global arena in these spheres.
MJF hopes that its partnership will help it enhance and leverage the Sri Lankan
identity of the Dilmah brand in the countries where the team will play. Dilmah's Malik
Fernando is hopeful that they would enjoy an increasingly strong presence in many of the
cricketing countries, where Dilmah tea and cricket are Sri Lanka's finest exports. These
synergies make winning the sponsorship deal a true victory for Dilmah. The sponsorship,
which amounts to 3.3 million US dollars for three years, will include using the Dilmah
logo on all official team clothing and the team's participation in selected promotional
The sponsorship cheque was handed over at a special launch on Friday at Taj Samudra
Hotel by Dilmah's director Malik Fernando to the deputy chairman Michael Tissera of the
Interim Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka. However, due to the
ongoing legal dispute with the WSG Nimbus, who were sacked by the BCCSL, there were doubts
over the signing of the sponsorship deal since it was WSG who had canvassed the sponsors.
After the sacking, it was the BCCSL sponsorship committee who had liased directly with
Dilmah and ensured that they would not lose the sponsorship. Michael Tissera's negation of
knowledge over the other bidders cast doubts as to whether the BCCSL has followed proper
tender procedure in signing the agreement or had rushed into the deal, which WSG has been
Nevertheless, with an increased amount in the sponsorship, Sri Lankan cricket seems to
have well set for the future.
Leonard Ratnayake thewicket.com.
Ethics of Journalism!
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union in its reply to the article published in the Sunday
Leader of 14 October 2001 under the headline "No Supporting documents for Rs. 4.8
million" by Ranil Prematilake has at length drawn many assumptions and the unions'
observations as to the ethics of journalism. The writer of this particular article affirms
in regards to its contents which to any person of average intelligence it is clear that
the audit report so quoted is nothing more than what it is borne out as an audit report.
Those facts so produced are not the writer's personal opinion.
There are no receipts produced in this connection. An annexure of the hotel package
agreement to the payment voucher of the union is no proof that the money had been
It's a straightforward case - A qualified report of the auditors shows a discrepancy
and its up to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union to inquire into the matter as the
authorised authority of the game in this country and clarify the position. An inquiry
would provide a detailed report in regard to this issue. Finally it must be said that
there is no need to change the auditors as suggested in the reply of Harsha Mayadunne, the
President of the S.L.R.F.U., but if there is a discrepancy in this transaction perhaps the
member unions - the backbone of Sri Lankan Rugby may want a change of the office bearers.
The Sunday Leader had always been accurate in their investigative journalism. We are
extremely careful in gathering facts and figures before a story is published. In this case
too we have all the relevant documents to prove our story correct. We stand by our
Waidyatileka re-elected President CT & FC
P.H.D. Waidyatilaka was unanimously re elected President of the Ceylonese Track &
Field Club for another term at the annual general meeting held at the AAA head quarters
recently. Capt. Jayanath Colombage was elected as general secretary.
The newly elected office bearers are as follows: President - Mr. P.H.D. Waidyatilaka,
General Secretary - Capt. J.S.K. Colombage, Vice Presidents - Mrs. Shanthi Podimahatmaya,
Miss. Muditha Rodrigo, Mr. Sumith Dalpathado, Mr. Anil Weerasinghe, Mr. Dougles
Dhanawardena, Asst. Secretary - Mr. K.P.A.N. Serasinghe, Athletic Secretary - Mr.
Yasorohan de Silva, Treasurere - Mr. Bandula Athukorala, Committee - Capt. Shemal
Fernando, Mr. Asoka Amarasena, Mr. R.W.H.T. Waidyasekera, Mr. Suresh Dematapitiya, Mr.
H.G. Ananda, Mr. Asoka Mendis, Mr. Prasanna Perera, Mr. Lal Wijewickrama, Mrs. Susila
Palihawadena, Mr. Neville Rodrigo, Mr. P.D.R. Samantha, Mrs. Dulari Rajapaksha, Mr. Gamini
Costa, Mr. S.A.D.B. Subasinghe.
Dignifying the image of aging
The Sri Lanka Association of Senior Citizens with its aim of dignifying the image of
aging, has organised a scrabble tournament for the senior citizens. The tournament which
will be held on November 11 at the Hilton, Colombo will be open for any over 50 citizens
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, officials from the association explained that programmes
conducted by the association mainly concentrate on loneliness alleviation. They said that
senior citizens are many a time a forgotten segement in society, and as a result they
suffer from depression and loneliness. Through the association these people get the chance
to meet up with ones from their age group for companionship.
The association meets every Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 noon at the St. Paul's Milagiriya
parish hall. At these meetings, the elders get together and take time out to relax, talk
to each other and unwind. They also take part in various activities - indoor games
(carrom, bridge, 304 and scrabble), music for singing, skits, charades, etc. Every last
Friday of the month the association organises a lunch for the members to enjoy.
All island scrabble and bridge tournaments are organised each year by the association
in order to interest elders in mind stimulating activities. It also enables them to keep
in regular touch with friends sharing similar interests. The officials of the association
further explained that as people grow older, they have know one to listen to them and
notice them, and as a result they become depressed and begin to look at themselves with
pity. But when there are tournaments such as these, they do not have the time to get
depressed and begin to think of othersas well as their minds are not at ease.
Other activiteies of the association include at least two picnics per year, guest
speakers who attend the get togethers to entertain the members, a sales table to encourage
elders to make plants, clothes, etc.
The association has branches in Nawala and Kandy and has plans to broadbase their
network into other areas as well.
The scarbble tournament will award a losers plate and the grand championship trophy.
Registration for the scrabble tournament will be from 7.30 a.m. - 8 a.m. on November 11 at
the Hilton, Colombo. Entries will close on November 5 and late entrants will have to pay
an extra charge. Entry forms priced at Rs. 225 could be obtained from I. Atukorale, 102/1,
Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7. Tel: 696993; Nimal Gunasekara, 12/1, Palm Grove Avenue,
Colombo 3. Tel: 573311.