holds great promise
by Gamini Wickremasinghe
is the celebrated basket ball player in the police team, but
Kumuddaperuma ventured into the arena of sports through Ananda
College in 1983. Ever since, Kumuddaperuma has achieved
excellence in basketball both as a player and a referee. He
represented the Sri Lankan team in Singapore. Kumuddaperuma, who
has played with the police team at the interclub championship
in 1995 in Singapore and Bangkok. Buddhika also went with
the police team to Malaysia in 1999. He has also represented Sri
Lanka in Singapore in
who was vice captain at Ananda College from 1983 to 1990, was in
the Sri Lanka school's team in 1990/1991 and the captain of the
Colombo schools team in 1991.
was school coloursman in 1989/1991 and Sri Lanka police coloursman in
is a wonderful game. It calls for strength and intelligence,"
points out Buddhika who is an international basketball (FIBA 95113)
has also refereed at the Asian Club Championship for women in
1993 in Johor Baru Malaysia, at the FIBA examination in 1995 in
Bangkok, FIBA examination
refresher clinic in 1998, in Bangkok,
17th ABC championship for senior women in 1997 in Thailand, ABC
championship for junior women in 1998 in Japan, ABC championship for
junior men in 200 in Malaysia, ABC championship for young women in
China in 2002, ABC championship for junior men in Kuwait in 2002 and
in national basketball tournment in the Maldives in 2000 and national
basketball tournament in Maldives in 2001.
are two active referees in Sri Lanka; the other is Ajith Kumara,"
he points out. Having been a FIBA referee after obtaining the licence
in Bangkok in 1995. Kumuddaperuma holds great promise in the game.
Today, Buddhika is not only a player, but also a coach.
is how you play the game. The spirit is how you take the end
result," says this player who treats praise and criticism with
equal ease. "Sometimes there may be rulings of foul, this is all
part of the game," explains Buddhika. "The game must be
played according to one's conscience.
is inevitable that one is criticised time and a game. But the game
must go on. Basketball must be developed in Sri Lanka we do not have
the facilities, we do not have indoor courts.There are no sponsors for
the national team. This is very sad," explains Kumuddaperuma.
"Trul;y there seems to be no one even to provide the
nourishment," adds Buddhika. "We must concentrating on
developing the game," says this basketball player who is keen for
the game to go on.
way we can develop the game is to concentrate on talent outside
Colombo too," points out Kumuddaperuma.
and the police team hope to win the oncoming tournaments. "My
involvement in basketball is total. My future plans are to play as
strong and for as long as possible for the police team," says
Kumuddaperuma. These are
but a few of Buddhika's achievements. Being a player for the police
team requires strength. "Basketball is a game where one's
intelligence is involved," points out this young player. And
Buddhika seems to have it all - physical strength, agility, a
knowledge of the game that makes him a referee of the game too and the
ability and strength of character to go on.
and strong players of the calibre of Buddhika Kumuddaperuma ought to
be encouraged and hailed for they bring pride not only to the teams
that they are playing for, but in the long run, they turn the
international spotlight to our very motherland.
IRB status, or else...
any count the Singer-SriLankan Sevens has to be the most expensive
event Sri Lanka rugby has undertaken. Just how expensive, sponsors
aren't obliged to reveal, but a figure in the region of Rs.15 million,
in cash and kind, for the three-day event wouldn't be an exaggeration.
cost to fly out 15 teams from far-off places, ranging from the
sea-sprayed Cook Islands in the Pacific to Kenya in the wilds of
central Africa, is by far the heftiest. Accommodating 192 national
players in the mountain hideout of Le Kandyan Hotel and an equal
number of schoolboys elsewhere and then satiating their legendary
hunger and thirst, be sure, is no small tab. Petty cash would have to
be for payments like the hire of 16 buses for each of the teams or the
Bogambara Stadium fee.
and the stadium, including preparations of the grounds and stands,
cost roughly half-million,'' says organizing committee chairman, Izwan
a figure of Rs.15 m. won't be far-off the mark, give a million either
way. It's a huge amount to be forking out for just one tournament,
more so at a time when domestic tournaments are a hard sell. After
all, sponsors know investing in sport played before sparsely populated
stands is hardly fertile ground for a sales pitch.
then, Singer and the National carrier, with supplementary support from
Connaissance de Ceylan, was looking through a much broader prism than
the narrower "cost per contact'' view that sponsors are
accustomed to doing. They didn't judge Kandy SC's blueprint for an
expensive international Sevens tournament out of any conviction that
it would be an instant hit. Rather, in the apparent belief that it
would, with time, grow to be THE Sevens of this part of the world,
like what the famous Hong Kong sevens is ... well, to the entire
world. The organizers, no doubt, would've assured sponsors that their
desired profile for the event was achievable.
Airlines probably had no qualms. The project was smack in line with
their business and approval was not going to be difficult. It was
different for Singer. The company might have a reputation for being
Sri Lanka sport's most generous Santa Claus, but to splash something
like Rs.6 million annually (in return for what really only three days
of direct exposure) is another matter. Altruism or connections don't
decide expensive undertakings. They said 'yes' anyway. But the first
hints of griping were heard at last week's press conference. Singer
Chairman Hemaka Amarasuirya, no less, as good as told organizers,
don't take sponsorship for granted.
one reason why the 1851-established company became a title-sponsor was
the promise that the event would become a part of IRB World Series.
But five years on, the promised upgrading is no nearer than it was in
1999. Not surprisingly, the frustration born of the continuing
disappointment was vented in public. ''If the event doesn't get IRB
status we will have to rethink our future involvement with the event -
after all, we have to justify our investment,'' said chairman
Amarasuirya. The implied message is that Singer's patience is wearing
notice has been issued on the event. But there's little the organizers
can do to satisfy the sponsor's demand. The truth is that securing IRB
recognition is solely in the hands of the SLRFU. And therein lies the
rub. It is no secret that for some years the union and Kandy SC, the
organizers, haven't exactly been the best of friends. That, however,
is another story. But it's fair to say that the union would not walk
an extra mile to help a Kandyan cause.
with the election of Priyantha Ekanayake, a Kandy stalwart, as union
vice president and Kandy SC's backing of Mohan Balasuriya as
president, the Kandyans, it seemed, would've found the SLRFU more
amenable to their views. This new scenario, one thought, would bring
to end rugby's years of bickering.
is well know that Kandy SC have been strong advocates of fielding
foreign players in the domestic tournaments. There are compelling for
and against arguments on that issue. But it was doubtful whether all
clubs, Kandy SC excepted, would've supported the move - not so much
because local players would be denied opportunities as the clubs'
financial capacity, or lack of it, to hire foreigners.
matter, the union went ahead and re-opened the doors to them. The
popular interpretation was that Kandy SC had their way on this score,
though that is hardly factual. If a majority didn't support the move,
it is unlikely Kandy SC alone could've pushed the doors open for the
foreigners. Be that as it may, one thing is certain: the competition
of the domestic tournaments had been sharper than it was for years,
but alas, the on-field improvement wasn't reflected in the stands. The
upshot: most clubs are poorer. So, it would be not right to conclude
that the presence of overseas players is the final solution.
the SLRFU, apparently, has been quick to rush to that conclusion. It
issued a media release some weeks back announcing that foreign players
would be eligible to represent Sri Lanka, albeit in the guise of a
SLRFU team, in the coming Singer-SriLankan Sevens. Any foreigner
wishing to play in the event should inform the union, the release
advised. The reaction from clubs was, to put it mildly, less than
enthusiastic. The Havelocks bluntly said 'no' and mocked at the
union's audacity to ask for players that it hasn't paid a cent to
either fly out or upkeep. It wasn't surprising then to hear union
president Mohan Balasuirya tell the press conference that the
''(union) executive committee had yet to take final decision'' on
whether foreigners will be included or not. ''It was only a
suggestion.'' Why ''only a suggestion'' was made an official media
release wasn't explained. The logical deduction is that the
opposition, including the selectors, was too strong to resist. Hence,
a retreat in as dignified way as possible.
SLRFU media release has been forthcoming as yet declaring its previous
notice null and void, though a pool of 20-odd players, without
foreigners, has gone into training. So, theoretically, the inclusion
of foreigners can't be ruled out. It's all so very confusing - and all
because of a bull-headed rush to have foreigners in the national team.
There has been so much going against including foreigners that it's
hard to imagine that the idea was even entertained in the first place,
and at union level at that. Including foreigneZrs to give more muscle
to local challenge is poor reason before the danger of a possible
undervaluing of the Singer-SriLankan tournament. If a host country
chooses not to be represented as a national team, then, the organizers
would be defenceless to stop a country, sometime in the future,
wanting to send a team of, say, Golden Oldies or schoolboys. With IRB
status a sponsor's demand, the last thing you would want to do is give
the IRB an impression that the event is....well, a good-time Charlie.
anything, the event needs to improve the quality of teams that are
being sent out. Though they come out as national teams, quite a few,
especially the Asian countries, don't even remotely resemble the
outfits they field for the sevens in, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong
Kong. It is within SLRFU's sphere of influence to try and persuade
these countries to field teams befitting national status - but
fielding ourselves a team called SLRFU Tuskers is not going to help.
counter argument: a stronger Sri Lankan challenge. For this particular
event, yes, but not in IRB international competitions. The inclusion
of non-nationals for international competitions can't be done
willy-nilly. There are IRB rules: 1/ the non-national would
have completed an unbroken period of three years residency in the
country before he represents it or 2/ one of his parents should be a
national of his playing-country.
this means is all but one of the present foreign players, if included,
won't be eligible to play in any IRB international competition - not
the best of contributions to Sri Lanka's preparations for the Dubai
Sevens, in December, Hong Kong Sevens and what ever international
engagement there is. The exception, of course, is Laga Tavita, and
that he belongs to Kandy SC would likely raise conspiracy theories
is a silver lining, however, to these clouds of confusion and doubt.
Achieving IRB status is going to take a lot of work. Singer is not
willing to wait indefinitely for it. The job ahead is clear. And,
unless there's a coordinated effort by the union and the organizers,
the future of what can be the showcase for Sri Lanka rugby would be in
jeopardy. The loss would be incalculable in many respects.
week: How far or near is IRB status
Francis, the captain of the Sri Lanka swimming team has brought glory
and honour to his nation by winning two gold medals for the 100m,
butterfly and the 50m butterfly events at the third AASF - Asian age
group swimming and diving championships in Macau, conclued recently.
clocked 00.56.35 in the 100 metres and 00.26.03 in the 50 meters.
Conrad Francis thus becomes the first ever Lankan swimmer to clinch
gold in an international swim meet outside the SAF games where many a
Lankan swimmer performed well to pocket gold medals.
title defence faces tough challenge
300 entries have staked claims for a dozen titles and Rs.200, 000
prize monies at the 88th National Tennis Championships, the oldest
tennis event in Sri Lanka.
action begins tomorrow and will continue till September 7 on the SLTA
courts, Green Path.A relatively new sponsor to Sri Lanka sport,
F&G Property Developers and Fingara Club under the flag of
Ceylinco Group, will support the event. Maxwell de Silva, secretary of
the SLTA, welcomed the new sponsor'sinvolvement.
is good news for sport when new sponsors get involved. I can say with
certainty that F&G and Fingara have done wisely to link up with
Sri Lanka's oldest tennis tournament. Also their involvement comes at
a time when all the development work put in by the SLTA is beginning
to bear fruit. Last year's National was historic in that a14-year-old
schoolboy won the Men's Singles title, the youngest ever in the
88-year history of the Nationals,'' de Silva told a press conference
lastweek."We hope this will be a long term association.''
Jayasinghe, deputy chairman F&G Property Developers and Fingara
Club, said that though the company has sponsored sport events before,
thiswas their first undertaking of a major sport event. ''Our plan is
to be involved in big events, especially in the sports that Fingara
have the facilities for. We have a tennis court which is why we
decided to sponsor the Nationals, and we hope to do the same for the
other sports played in Fingara (in Delkanda),'' said Jayasinghe.
Club also has two squash courts, swimming pool, badminton courts,
three-lane bowling alley, tabletennis and billiards, all of which can
expect support of the new sponsors,according to Jayasinghe.
main point of interest at the Nationals will be the Men's Singleswhere
defending champion Franklin Emmanuel of Royal College will face stern
challenge. Renouk Wijemanne, on a tennis scholarship in the US, is in
Colombo to try and reclaim the Singles title he lost to Emmanuel in
Rajapakse, the no.1 player in Sri Lanka's Davis Cup squad, will also
be staking a strong claim, together with fellow-senior,Rohan de Silva,
also a Davis Cup representative. 15-year Emmanuel, ofcourse, will head
the teenage brigade, which also includes talented schoolboys, Oshada
Wijemanne, Harsha Godamanne, an ITF under-19 title winner, and S
Nishendran.Amrit Rupasinghe, just back from a playing and training
tour of Europe, unfortunately, will be missing from the singles.
he has entered for the doubles, according to Tournament Director,
Bernard Perera. ''I've fallen back on my studies while touring Europe
and there's a lot of catching upto do before my O levels this year. I
haven't been putting in the hours of training required for the
Nationals,'' said Rupasinghe, a St. Thomas, Kollupitiya, student.
de Silva, also US-based, has returned to defend her women's singles
title. She beat 14-year-old Jancy Paramanathan in the final last year,
but with the Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya student opting out this
year,17-year Mahesh Seneviratne of Bishops and 15-year Visakhian,
Thiyumi Abeysinghe could pose the sternest test to the defending
was in cracking from at the recent Colombo Championship winning three
singles titles, defeating Seneviratne twice, in under 18 and women's
finals.The prize cheque for men's and women's singles champions will
be Rs.25, 000 each while each of the singles' runners-up gets Rs.15,
renewed call for a Sri Lankan Spin Foundation
1946, a resourceful and an adventurous young man from Madras (now
Chennai), India, K.M.Mamman Mappillai, opened a small manufacturing
unit to make toy balloons in a humble shed by the roadside in an area
close to his home known as Tiruvottiyur. It seemed, at that time, just
like many other wayside boutiques destined to be here today and gone
tomorrow. But, Mappillai was made of sterner stuff and Destiny had
marked him as her own.
little was Mappillai to know that 21 years later he would be actually
exporting automobile tyres to the home of rubber tyres, the United
States of America, four years after India's first Prime Minister,
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, laid the foundation stone for his new
enterprise, the Madras Rubber Foundation. Today, their annual turnover
exceeds a staggering Indian Rs.2,400 crores, and in 1999 was declared
the most ethical company by the prestigious Business World magazine.
Surely, the stellar saga of how a toy balloon soared into the
stratosphere of success.
the MRF Pace Foundation began
MRF did not circumscribe themselves only to their day-to-day business.
They had their sights on the bigger picture and focused attention on
cricket. How can, the MRF pondered, they serve the game of cricket
that was and remains a burning passion bordering on religious fervour
of an average Indian? The answer was not far to seek. Realizing that
although there has been no shortage of spinners in a country that had
spawned the likes of Nayudu (C.S.), Mankad, Gupte, Bedi, Prasanna,
Chandrasekhar and Venkat on those spin-friendly tracks in the history
of Indian cricket, except for a handful of pacemen such as Amar Singh,
Mohammad Nisar, Dattu Phadkar, and later Kapil Dev, there was an
imminent need to assist Indian cricket in its quest for genuine
pacemen at Test levels. Thus in 1988 the MRF Pace Foundation was
inaugurated with Australian paceman Dennis Lillee as Director to
discover and aid potential fastmen, first locally and then extended
internationally. The success of MRF Pace Foundation is now history and
is a jewel in the crown of the MRF - and Indian cricket - and has
'star' Sachin Tendulkar as their flag-carrier.
to start a Spin Foundation in Sri Lanka
on the heels of the birth of the MRF Pace Foundation in 1988, I
suggested, in my newspaper column, that Sri Lanka should establish a
Spin Foundation on the same lines. After all, an institution of this
nature does not need sophisticated equipment, medical back-up, a high
financial outlay and other attendant prerequisites that are conditions
sine qua non to train fastmen. Further, the average Sri Lankan is
better suited, taking into account the physical attributes, for the
slower version of the bowling trade. However, no one took notice of
the suggestion of a Spin Foundation and except for a few sporadic and
desultory efforts over the years of a "Spinner's Clinic" to
locate spinners, nothing of note took place. I can also assure you
Muralitharan was not discovered as a result of those ventures!
Muralitharan is what Jack Iverson was to Australia, Ramadhin to the
West Indies, Chandrasekhar to India and Paul Adams is to South Africa.
They are all one of a kind. Even cloning would not help find a 'copy'
of their type!
of all Test wickets
is indeed a crying shame that Sri Lanka has not been able to identify
potential Test-class spinners during the two decades the country has
been in the big league. Muralitharan is simply a phenomenon and not
the result of the system, a comet that is flashing across the sky. If
not for him where would we be? Just look at this. In the 133 Test Sri
Lanka has played since obtaining Test status in 1981, 70 bowlers have
captured a total of 1789 wickets against all opposition. Muralitharan
has played in 82 Tests so far and has captured an astonishing 459
wickets, or a stunning 25.6% of all wickets fallen in the history of
Sri Lanka Test cricket! As stunning is the fact that when Muralitharan
plays in a Test match Sri Lanka has enjoyed a success rate of over 36%
which plummets to an alarming mite over 7% when the off-spinner is not
in the side. Sadly, with such stark figures staring at them our
administrators simply soldiered on without looking for support and/or
supplement. The nearest competitor for the title of the most
successful Sri Lankan bowler is Chaminda Vaas with 216 victims in 68
games, and no other bowler has even reached the milestone of 100
wickets. If two bowlers have captured 675 wickets or 37.7% of all the
Test wickets that has fallen in the history of Sri Lanka, it does not
reflect the talent or the lack of our bowling resources - there is a
surplus of it really - but the inability of our administrators to tap
it at the source. At least now can the eyes that should be opened,
oblige? It is better late than never.
to start Cricket Academy in 1994
1994 my written proposal - with copies to the Minister of Sports,
President of the Cricket Board and a few entrepreneurs - to establish
a Cricket Academy gathered dust for nearly two decades. Recently,
steps have been taken to start one. Let us all hope that a spin-off
from this establishment could be the emergence of a few quality
spinners. If Big Brother India can churn out fast bowlers there is no
reason why a concerted effort should not be made, with possible aid
from Sri Lankan, Indian and Pakistani coaches, to discover
Test-quality spinners in our own land. And please, all the coaches
need not be former Test players.
The best bowler ever?
the inaugural issue of Man's Mission - a quarterly publication of
Media Services, the publisher of LMD - the case is made for Muttiah
Muralitharan being the best bowler ever. Despite Wisden - the bible of
cricket - nominating Shane Warne as one of its five cricketers of the
century, statistically speaking, Murali's figures are superior in
virtually every sense. In fact, Murali has done practically everything
that Warne has (on the cricket field!) - but quicker, and at a younger
known cricket writer, Mahinda Wijesinghe, presents a watertight case.
And support for this thesis comes from an unexpected quarter - Wisden!
Following the naming of the five cricketers of the century - conducted
by a poll of 100 representing all nine test playing nations (pre
Bangladesh), wherein Murali received not a single vote - in a more
"scientific" study, Wisden nominated Murali as perhaps the
best bowler of all time!
Mission also features articles on life in Colombo, new car launches,
health & fitness, corporate d‚cor, fashion and style, and other
sports besides cricket, amongst information on a variety of events -
done and to be done.
magazine's 6,000 print run is being distributed by Hameedia to its
clientele, in addition to now being available in retail outlets. Media
Services says it intends maintaining the quality standards of its
flagship publication, Sri Lanka's pioneering magazine, LMD. And in
keeping with the content and style of Man's Mission, the high quality
of paper and print will be similar to that of comparable international
Confifi Group Hotels together with the event coordinator Sri Lanka
Volleyball Federation supported by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board will be
conducting and Amateur International Beach Volleyball Tournament on 13
and 14 of September along the beaches of Club Palm Garden and Riverina
the premier International Beach Volleyball event in Sri Lanka
it will definitely mark a watershed in the events calendar of Sri
prizes will range for males and females separately. Winner Total Value
US$ 2000-, 1st Runners - up Total Value US$ 1500/- and 2nd Runners up
encouraging and supportive sponsorship of Sri Lanka Airlines, Pepsi,
Dialog GSM and Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and
Nowgem Jewellers makes it a reality to organize and conduct an
international promotional event of
Games 2003 organised by the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan will
be held at Race Course Grounds, Reid Avenue, Colombo 7 today. It is
the largest annual sports meet in Sri Lanka for children with special
needs. Children with various forms of disabilities such as those who
are short of a limb or wheelchair bound, visually impaired, hearing
and speech impaired and mentally challenged children take part in it.˙
objectives of this event are to provide an opportunity for them to
show their talents, courage and determination thereby enhancing their
self-confidence and to give them an enjoyable day's outing.˙
Breakfast, lunch, T-shirts and shorts and cost of transport are
provided by the organisers. The main sponsors are Citibank and
Columbia Sportswear Company.