Sri Lankans ride high
By Sunil Thenabadu
Sri Lanka after capturing
the last two England wickets for just six runs were in a
very strong position at close of play with 264 runs for
the loss of just two wickets and trail by only one run
with eight first innings wickets intact on day 2 in the
Mobitel Test match played at the SSC grounds at Maitland
Place on Friday.
The second day's play in
the third Test, the series decider between England and hosts Sri
Lanka got underway at the picturesque SSC grounds in Colombo in
hot humid conditions in bright sunshine. The wicket was placid
and a dry track with a little bit of help for the seamers.
Muralitharan bowled the
first over, a maiden to Read but Vaas in his very first delivery
of the day had Kirtley leg before wicket without addition to
their overnight score. The last man Anderson joined Read but
could add only six more runs to their overnight score when Vaas
had Anderson plumb in front. England were all out for 265 runs
after 103 overs of batting. Muralitharan and Vaas captured three
wickets apiece for 40 and 60 runs respectively.
In the absence of Marvan
Atapattu who was nursing a bruised finger left hander Kumar
Sangakkara opened batting with Sanath Jayasuriya. Both commenced
confidently. Sangakkara was initially the more stylish and
aggressive, played in particular some delightful strokes all
round the wicket using his feet well and penetrating the
fielders with precise timing. Sanath Jayasuriya soon followed
suit although he started playing second fiddle. He too
accelerated the scoring rate with equally delightful shots. The
first 50 was hoisted in just 9.4 overs in only 46 minutes.
Kirtley bowling from the press box end and Anderson from the
tennis courts end were treated with scant respect by the two
aggressive left handers.
When Kumar Sangakkara was
well on his way to a big score he unfortunately edged a Kirtley
swinging delivery to be caught well at slips by Trescothick low
to his right. The first wicket partnerships yielded 71 useful
runs. Sangakkara's elegant knock contained six hits to the
Thilan Samaraweera was
sent into join Sanath Jayasuriya at No. 3 and started cautiously
as Jayasuriya continued to play the English pace and spin attack
confidently. Vaughan rotated pace and spin bowlers in short
spells and at lunch Sri Lanka were 88 for the loss of only one
wicket with Jayasuriya in devastating mood, having completed his
26th Test fifty with the aid of nine fours and a huge six.
After lunch, spin and pace
bowlers were rotated in short spells. Jayasuriya continued his
flamboyant knock with hard hit strokes penetrating the fielders
easily. With Jayasuriya's individual score at 85, he edged a
Flintoff delivery into the safe hands of Tresothick at slips.
Sri Lanka were then 138 for 2. His majestic innings included 12
hits to the ropes and one six compiled in just 104 balls. He was
extremely unfortunate to miss out on another well deserved
Mahela Jayawardena joined
his club mate Thilan Samaraweera and they continued in the same
aggressive vein. Runs were accumulating at a brisk rate playing
attractive cricket. When tea was taken Sri Lankan were 161 for
the loss of 2 wickets with Thilan and Mahela unbeaten on 21 and
Sri Lanka's 200 was posted
in the 62nd over. With the score at 210 for 2 wickets Thilan
Samaraweera reached his fifth Test 50 in 200 minutes with four
fours. The unbroken century partnership between Thilan and
Mahela for the third wicket was made with the total on 241 in
120 minutes of batting compiled in 194 balls. Mahela in the
meantime reached his individual 50, his 20th in Test cricket
with the score at 249 for 2 wickets in 100 balls with five
- by Mahinda Wijesinghe
Professional cricket must
be rid of pseudo-machos
Just as much as a padre on
the pulpit holds the congregation as a captive audience, the
close-in fielders and the wicket-keeper has batsmen in a similar
predicament. Hence the so-called 'sledging', or more
specifically mouthing invective, has now assumed pestilential
proportions. What is worse is that professional cricketers from
many countries condone such practices and decry those who oppose
it as 'carrying tales out of school', thus implying those who
denigrate such abuse, bandied on the field of play, as
'sissies'. What poppycock.
Would they dare outside
The first question is,
would the same macho hurl insulting remarks of a similar nature
to the victim, outside the field of play? Obviously he dare not.
A revealing example was when the giant of a man, England's Andy
Flintoff, after having bludgeoned 95 runs at the Oval in the
recently concluded fifth Test against the South Africans, and
was dismissed "when attempting to dispatch Paul Adams to
Venus for the second successive ball." Though the
pint-sized Adams barely reaches Flintoff's massive shoulders,
the left-arm spinner with an action described as a frog in a
blender, had the temerity to hurl a volley of abuse at the
departing Flintoff. Would Adams have acted similarly if he did
not have the protection of an international cricket match? In
the month of October alone three players, South African captain,
Graeme Smith, team-mate Andrew Hall and Pakistani Shoaib Akhtar
(ironically, for using abusive language at Adams!) were fined
and banned by match referee, Clive Lloyd. Former South African
captain Shaun Pollock too was fined his entire match fee, again
by Lloyd, for showing dissent while wicket-keeper Boucher was
cleared of using obscene language for lack of evidence - shades
of Nasser Hussain!
behaviour by international cricketers is on the rise. As
mentioned earlier, the tragedy is that some consider it macho
behaviour. Not only is this type of conduct unethical but
transgresses the code of conduct laid down in the Laws of
Cricket (Code 2000).
Colin Cowdrey assisted
in drafting Code 2000
In earlier days, before
money, very big money at that, came into the equation, the Laws
of Cricket decreed (in Law 42.1) that " The captains are
responsible at all times for ensuring that play is conducted
within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws."
In fact, cricket is the only sport that mentioned the word
'spirit' in its Laws. However, with the spirit of the game, at
international levels, degenerating to unprecedented low levels,
the administrators, led by Sir Colin Cowdrey, then spelt out
what 'spirit' was in Code 2000 of the Laws of Cricket. Named
'The Preamble - The Spirit of Cricket' it clearly spells out
what is NOT expected of cricketers, just as physicians respect
the Hippocratic oath and other professionals are similarly
bound. e.g. The spirit of the game involves respect for your
opponents, and it is against the Spirit of the game "(a) to
dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture (b)
direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire....."
Isn't the law clear enough?
Killing the golden
If current professional
cricketers who make a luxurious living out of the game - unlike
their predecessors who more often than not spent their own
moneys as well - openly state that they break the laws governing
their profession and consider that manly behaviour, obviously
something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Or, to put it in a
language that is more comprehensible, they are talking rubbish.
In fact, modern cricketers are obviously unaware that they are
playing a game that had a proud ancestry, so much so that if
someone played dirty in real life, he or she used to be
admonished with the words: "It is not cricket" or
"You are not playing a straight bat." Cricketers of
yore embellished the game and left it richer. It seems the
modern cricketers are enriching themselves and leaving the game
fleeced of its many-faceted beauty - and trying to justify it
How to cope with Hayden
Now a quick look at the
Third Test. At the end of Day 1, the final Test is interestingly
poised. Having won a good toss and got off to a flyer, the
tourists could not capitalize thereafter, finishing the day at a
limp 259/8. As usual it was the ubiquitous Muralitharan to the
fore. One more scalp and he achieves the unique milestone of 100
wickets in one venue - achieved in 16 Tests! Except for Vaas,
there wasn't a bowler who was able to command sustained respect
and lend support to Muralitharan. The Sri Lankans will have to
wipe the England tail soon and then score quickly to put
pressure on the tourists. What is more worrying is if Flintoff
can 'murder' some of the Lankan bowlers what would happen when
the Australians arrive in February with the likes of Hayden and
Gilchrist? Perhaps have a few ball pickers outside the grounds
and an extra stock of balls would be the answer!
|Samat on Sunday
- By T.M.K. Samat
formula for racing
"WHY IS it that many
of our motor-racing battles seem to be fought off the tracks
than on it?'' asks well-know speed aficionado Rohan De Silva.
And answers: "it's because many social climbers run the
sport - those moneyed people looking for a place in society.
What they know about motor racing is not worth knowing.''
That's a pretty caustic
statement. But de Silva wouldn't choose to say it in any other
way when venting his long endured frustration. ''I've been in
racing since 1978 and seen the officials' growing indifference
to the concerns of the genuine racers. It's about time someone
stood up and spoke up for the cause of motor racing,'' declared
De Silva, a veteran of 500 events, in 300 of which he has
finished among the front three.
Silva has all the credentials to be the voice of the racers.The
best qualification, some say, is his standing in the corporate
world: Group Managing Director, of blue chip McLarens Ltd.
"Any one strongly critical of the controlling body would
run the risk of suspension, but with Rohan it's different. His
standing in the business world is a reason why he'll get away
with anything he says. But the truer reason is that the racing
community knows he's got no destructive political motives. He
means well for the sport and hence trustworthy, -" said an
official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
it was all about pursing personal ambitions, then, De Silva has
the wherewithal to straight away launch a Kerry Packer-style
motor racing circuit. He has a stable of 18 racing cars,
including a dozen Ford Formula jobs, a cadre of 28 sponsored
drivers and a modern garage housed in a 3,500 square-foot plot
in Wattala where a staff of seven permanent specialist mechanics
works on his fleet. He also manages the Mobil Autocolour and
McFoil racing teams. And so as to avoid the trouble of looking
for venues on public roads and all the accompanying hassles, De
Silva is to extend his present one-year lease of the
purpose-built racing track in Pannala to three next January.
that stock-in-trade, starting a private racing circuit is only a
nod away. Of course, there will be legal tangles, but litigation
isn't something new to motor sport - one more is not likely to
make any difference. As well, there's the prospect of others
joining the new circuit and eventually, the possible recognition
of the world body. Suggest that scenario to De Silva and he'll
raise a protesting hand. "That's
not my way of doing things. Staging rival race meetings would
only deepen the divisions within the racing community. It's far
better to stay with one administration and demand a proper
working of it, even if it means publicly exposing wrongdoing or
going to courts,'' said De Silva, who himself once instituted
legal action against the authorities.
explanation of how the controlling body, the Sri Lanka
Association of Motor Sports (SLAMS), works is necessary to
appreciate better De Silva's lamentation. SLAMS itself doesn't
organize racing meets; different clubs do that. But club meets
have to adhere to competition rules set out by SLAMS. ''(But)
organizing clubs don't apply SLAMS' competition rules. The clubs
either flout them or amend them. It seems like each meet has a
different set of rules. So, it's not surprising why we have so
much protests and litigation. Unfortunately, SLAMS officials
down the years didn't have the guts to come down on the
offending clubs. Like in other sports, SLAMS officials too are
wary of penalizing clubs that voted for them,'' said De Silva.
''The association for long been a lame duck.''
The Ford Formula racer,
who holds the course record in Pannala, Mahagastota, Nuwara
Eliya, St James Hill, Radella and Wece Park, admits the present
SLAMS' competition rules need to be updated. '' (But) updating
the rules isn't the real issue - it's the supervision to ensure
those rules are enforced that's the issue,'' he says.
"But I am not certain
that those social climbers know the rules - I'll bet a Benz to a
Bajaj, they don't.''
Another bone he picks is
the absence of Novices events. "There was a time when any
motor racing meet would have events exclusively for novice and
intermediate drivers. Tragically, these events were scrapped
since, I think, about a decade ago. What these means is that no
new racing drivers have come through for nearly ten years - and
that can't be good for the future,'' said De Silva, whose young
daughter, Shehara, is in racing and regarded Queen of the Track
only because of the family's long involvement in the sport.
"The international champions, the likes of Senna, were
garage hands before they took to the tracks. I am sure we have
our own Sennas languishing in garages with dreams of racing. We
should be helping them to pursue those dreams,'' said De Silva.
surprisingly, says De Silva, that the average age of our racing
drivers is around 40 years, an age which cynics might remark is
unreliable to even cope with the chaos that is our city traffic.
It isn't funny that the country's racing drivers population is
"only about 100''. ''About 350 racing drivers would
probably reflect a healthy state. 100 is poverty level. And with
the existing wide disparity in their standards, what we're
seeing are endless predictable finishes. There are about 20
meets per year and they end up looking much like repeated
re-plays of the same video,'' says De Silva, a former
Benedictine. "The public support the sport enjoys, I fear,
is going to be lost.''
The way De Silva describes
our motor racing, clearly, the sport is on a road to nowhere, as
long as ''social climbers'' sit on the driver's seat.
English cricket fans praise
By Gamini Senadhira
A large number of English
cricket fans are in Sri Lanka to witness, the England, Sri Lanka
During the second Test at
Asgiriya over a hundred of them were housed in Hotel Thilanka in
Kandy where this writer too happened to be, covering the
proceedings of the second Test.
During our friendly
discussions in regard to the ongoing cricket series', I learnt
that the English visitors were highly impressed by the efficient
and courteous service of Hotel Thilanka.
The prompt 24 hour room
service, the sumptuous Western, oriental, Indian, Italian,
Chinese buffet for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the mouth
watering special barbecue dinner at the pool side on Saturdays,
the ayuvedic herbal treatment, the sparkling clean swimming
pool, the much talked about food and beverage outlets that
include the Senkadagala coffee shop, the main restaurant,
Woodpecker bar and the pool bar give its customers every comfort
one anticipates in a 5 star hotel though Thilanka, is yet
This hotel which came into
existence in 1973 with only six rooms has now been converted
into 92 rooms of which 41 are deluxe.
The deluxe A/C rooms are
quite large and tastefully decorated with reproductions of
ancient paintings on the walls to enhance the interior d‚cor.
The elegant wooden furniture, T.V. telephone and mini bar
further add to one's comfort.
The standard rooms are non
A/C, with wide red floored front verandahs, retaining the
old-world charm. Nearby all the rooms face the lake with
wandering verandahs and corridors, grass terraces and corners
with antique seats. Hotel Thilanka, set amidst three acres of
tropical gardens, at the foot hills of Udawattakelle, a tropical
rainforest, overlooking the lake and the ancient city of Kandy
offer the 92 guest rooms a panoramic view of the lake, forest,
mountain range, gardens and the City of Kandy.
Handled by Gamini and
Tharu Goonewardena, backed by its dynamic manager, Emil Perera,
an 'old Ben' and an efficient, courteous staff, Hotel Thilanka
is the ideal place for anyone who aims to enjoy a mix of typical
Sri Lankan comfort and Kandian tradition holiday that also will
be easy on the purse.
Chivas Regal monthly medal
Precisely (Pvt) Ltd, the
Sri Lankan joint venture between the Distilleries Company of Sri
Lanka and Group Pernod-Ricard of France, the owners of the
prestigious brand Chivas Regal, teams up with the Victoria Golf
& Country Resort in Kandy for the Chivas Regal December
monthly medal on Saturday, December 27 at Victoria.
With the successful
completion of the Chivas Regal October monthly medal that was
worked off at the Royal Colombo Golf Club, Chivas Regal has
moved to the renowned Victoria Golf Course in the Kandyan hills
for its next sponsored event.
The competition will be in
two divisions, over 18 holes. It is open to all players with a
valid handicap. With the recent Northeast rains Victoria is lush
and green and the rough has to be avoided if a good score is to
The division categories
1. Gentlemen's Division 2.
The competition commences
at 07.30 a.m. Entries will close on Wednesday 24 December at
7:00 p.m. All players who wish to enter the monthly medal may
call 0712743003 (Caddy Master) and register their entry.
Mithun Perera, the young
son of the former national golf champion, Nandasena Perera,
emulating his father's talent, emerged the champion at the 16th
Junior Open Golf Championship conducted by the Royal Colombo
Golf Club and sponsored for the second consecutive year by Milo,
last Friday at the RCGC Links. The runner-up was Binupa
Wijesinghe. Over 50 young golfers participated in this year's
competitions with six from the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, two from
Victoria, Kandy, and the rest from RCGC.
The junior champion
golfer, Mithun Perera along with the runnerup, Binupa Perera,
took wing to India yesterday to participate in the Junior Golf
Championship to be held in India.
Carried below are the
1st day Gross C. Perera,
2nd day Gross R. Mayura, Copper Trophy, Winner Sachin Unammowe,
Runner Up R. Mayura.
1st Day Net R. Wimalaratne,
2nd Day Nett S. Ukwatte, 3rd Day Nett A. Mahendran, 1st day
Gross D. McJacobs, 2nd Day Gross C. Wickramasinghe, 3rd Day
Gross D. McJacobs, Bronze Overall Nett Runnerup, Z. Dharmaratne,
Bronze Overall Nett Winner C. Wickremasinghe, Bronze Trophy
Runner UP D. Mc Jacobs, Bronze Trophy Winner A. Niroshan.
1st Day Nett D. Kumar, 2nd
Day Nett R. Gunawardene, 3rd Day Nett V. Bandara, 1st Day Gross
M. Perera, 2nd Day Gross B. Wijesinghe, 3rd Day Gross M. Perera,
Overall Nett Runner up M. Perera, Overall Nett Winner B.
Wijesinghe, Championship runner Up Binupa Wijesinghe,
Championship Winner Mithun Perera.