price De Mel's remarks?
the Chairman of Cricket Selectors' joy will be tempered with a tinge
of regret. No one could've been anything less than thrilled at the
way Marvan Atapattu's brave men, Saturday last, turned the tables on
Pakistan. And as the man, who helped choose the victorious men, the
joy of Asantha de Mel, the CCS, ought to have had a special quality
- except that he shot his big mouth a little too soon.
the eve of the Saturday final, de Mel had derided the team
management over its unwillingness to include the younger squad
members into the playing-eleven. He called it a ''selfish''
attitude, a pretty strong statement that. Though de Mel's broadside
is on the team management, it doesn't require exceptional
intelligence to identify the person who his barb is specifically
directed at. It's common knowledge that the skipper has the final
say on the chosen eleven, from a tour squad of 15. But when the CCS,
arguing for blooding younger talent, reminds the present skipper of
his past - the infamous sequence of ducks at the start of his career
- well, he makes no bones on who he thinks is the culprit
responsible for keeping the door closed on fresh talent. And then
when he goes on to recall the infamous team revolt of a few years
ago over the selectors' decision to bench Atapattu so that a
youngster could be experimented with in a Test against Zimbabwe,
well, that was crossing the line - being almost personal.
such unkind remarks about the skipper, de Mel surely must've messed
up his happiness: all he said has, after all, been rendered
disagreeable after the final triumph. This is not to infer he
might've hoped the fate of Atapattu's men in the final were no
different to what it had been in the previous two meetings, so that
his criticism would be on firmer ground. But to even hint that de
Mel is unpatriotic is to be ignorant of man's character. He is the
sort who can't help but be outspoken, even if he gives the
impression of being rude and crude. He is not the one to suffer in
silence. Rather, he'll spit out his feelings, and not exactly in the
language of a diplomat. And if he's cautioned that he will be taken
for a character difficult to work with, a retort on the lines:
"to hell with it, I am not in the job to win popularity''
wouldn't be unusual of the man.
hothead he might be, but his remarks are not without reasons. The
senior players have been around for a long time, and since they are
of the same age group, it is a reasonable assumption that suitable
replacements would be a serious problem once the elders retire, all
not many months of each other. de Mel, not inappropriately, cites
what befell the once powerful West Indies for their neglect of fresh
blood infusion and reliance for too long on their stars.
It's also true that, with long time spent together, the
seniors tend to be cliquey and get to become an influential inner
group. The instigator of the team's revolt over Atapattu's omission
two years ago, for a fresher, was that invisible power centre. The
then selectors relented to demands for the opener's re-inclusion, an
act that acknowledged player power - not quite the best thing for
meaningful administration. So, de Mel's concerns were legitimate.
I might digress and continue with the history of that episode: the
Guy de Alwis-led selectors that succeeded the ones that bowed to
player power were intent on showing that they, and not the senior
players, called the shots. The relationship between chairman of
selectors and the skipper, so, turned out to be anything but
cordial. And it's no secret that Jayasuriya's resignation from
captaincy had a lot to do with his unhappy relationship with the
has to be remembered, though, that the path to the Sport Minister's
door was a convenient one to take when senior players' interest was
threatened. de Mel no doubt is unwilling to have the minister tell
him what he should or shouldn't do - and wants to deal directly with
the captain, as it should be. While that approach is to be
applauded, the brusque manner of his handling of matters is
his decision to go public with his views on Atapattu's selection
policy is a flagrant violation of protocol and has triggered a
controversy that could well snowball to a serious crisis. It wasn't
going to go unanswered by the skipper - and when the final was won
Saturday, not surprisingly Atapattu spoke back. ''It (de Mel's
criticism) was a big motivation factor to show everyone what we are
capable of,'' he said, adding that he would dwell more on de Mel's
criticism ''at a later time''; a High Noon's a-looming.
Mel's view won't be without backers, especially those impatient for
blooding the youngsters, which admittedly hasn't got the priority it
deserves. That lapse, however, is not a creation of the present
skipper, but one he inherited from past's neglect. So, to publicly
point the finger of blame at Atapattu is grossly unfair. de Mel, in
his impetuosity, has forgotten the positive side of Atapattu's
leadership qualities, mirrored in the many successes. Of the last 21
ODIs under his captaincy, Sri Lanka has won all, including the Asia
Cup, bar three matches, as well as both of the Test series, over
Zimbabwe and South Africa - achievements that merit respect than
ridicule. To jump on the skipper because of the loss to Pakistan in
the first game is inviting accusations of behind-the-scenes
differences of a personal kind. As well, the public airing of de
Mel's criticism could not have been at a more inappropriate time - a
day before the final.
all this might stimulate suspicions of a deliberate attempt to
undermine Atapattu's leadership, nothing can be further from the
truth. de Mel, as said before, is a diplomat's opposite. It is more
likely his ill-timed outburst was an expression of his impatience to
usher new blood into the team, which really is a matter of policy.
And policy is something that calls for a combined effort by both
captain and chairman selectors - a matter to be talked about in the
privacy of a board room over a cup of tea. This might have happened
between the two, but if implementation hasn't yet been effected,
then there are more cups of tea to drink and more to talk before
either party goes public on the issue. After all, the skipper's
concern is about choosing his men for that day, to win. You can't
expect him to do things designed to win matches in 2006/7. The chief
of selectors' horizon is wider. Any effort by one party to thrust
his views on the other is a recipe for disaster.
is sad that the player who paid most dearly for this apparent lack
of understanding between CCS and skipper is poor Dilshan
Tillekeratne. Though of late he hasn't delivered on his immense
promise, it is injustice that his centuries against England and
Australia this season weren't enough reasons for his retention in
the squad for the two-Test series in Pakistan. His performances in
the concluded one-day triangular can hardly be described as
disappointing. de Mel, in fact, admits that Dilshan's exclusion is
not so much due to any loss of faith in his ability as for creating
an opening for the either Ian Daniel or Jehan Mubarak.
has endured the frustration of expulsion before, and came back so
much a better cricketer. This time he will want to show he's been a
victim of injustice and would resolve to return as a player of
indispensable quality. Should Daniel and Mubarak get their breaks
and hopefully, contribute enough to keep their names on the
selectors' list for the next series. With greater numbers to choose
from, the competition obviously would get sharper, and that in turn
would put selectors in the envious situation of working on the
theory that players are good as only their last innings. Then, de
Mel's might not have shot his mouth too soon.
though, the CCS might have to ride out the skipper's rejoinders,
hurting though some may be. The price of indiscretion is heavy.
and Lanka IOC - the winning combination
IOC Ltd, (LIOC) a subsidiary of the giant IndianOil, a Fortune 500
company, has continuously contributed to the upliftment of the
sports industry. From today, Lanka IOC is signing up with Muttiah
Muralidaran to be their brand ambassador in Sri Lanka.
entry of Lanka IOC in the petroleum sector of Sri Lanka was a
landmark for the petroleum sector of Sri Lanka. LIOC's entry changed
the face of petroleum retailing and the people of Sri Lanka are now
having a different fuelling experience. LIOC is making phased
investments to the tune of US$ 100 million to provide world-class
quality petroleum products and services at the most competitive
prices to Sri Lankan consumers. Lanka IOC has brought to Sri Lanka,
IndianOil's over four decades of expertise and experience that it
has gained in the competitive petroleum sector in India.
Muralidarn, one of Sri Lanka's greatest cricketers, and the second
highest wicket taker in world, is no stranger to anyone. Having
taken more than 500 test wickets in his career he is in the elite
500 club, and could be looked upon as one of Sri Lanka's best known
and loved personalities. Not only is he loved and admired in his
country of origin, but is also a much-respected figure the world
over. Having faced and successfully overcome many obstacles in his
rise to the top position in the cricketing world, Muttiah
Muralidaran is an example of how strength and determination can
conquer any obstacles placed in its way.
ensuring international standards of service and meeting stringent
quality and eco-friendly standards, Lanka IOC's operations in Sri
Lanka will also uphold those virtues of strength and determination.
LIOC aims to become a good strategic partner for Sri Lanka, taking a
long-term investment view, while being sensitive to the socio
economic needs of Sri Lanka and its citizens.
tie-up between Lanka IOC Ltd. And Muttiah Muralidaran, effectively
brings together two major players in their respective fields, with
the hope of working together as a team, to further promote and
develop not only the petroleum industry in the country, but also Sri
Lanka as a whole.
SriLankan Golf Classic at Victoria
Lankan Airlines presents the SriLankan Airlines Golf Classic for the
9th consecutive year amid the breathtaking surrounds of the Victoria
Golf & Country Resort in Kandy, Sri Lanka, rated among the 100
most beautiful golf courses in the world by Golf Digest the event
got underway on October 27.
prestigious tournament, new well-known among the international
golfing community, is expected to draw some 300 participants this
year, about 200 of them from overseas. Last year's tournament drew
235 golfers from 14 nations - 135 from the United Kingdom, France
Switzerland, Australia Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Dubai, Oman,
Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and 100 from Sri Lanka.
is the enthusiasm for the event that golfers from the United
Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia,
Canada and USA confirmed their participation two months in advance.
Sri Lankan Airlines Golf Classic is one of the major sporting events
organized by Sri Lankan Airlines convincing travellers of the
endless possibilities for sports and adventure tourism on this
enchanting Indian Ocean Island. SriLankan Airlines promotes
international surfing, horseracing, and rugby in Sri Lanka, and has
its own adventure tourism arm "SriLankan Adventures."
Victoria Golf & Country Resort is located at Digane near Kandy,
amid the forests and mountains of central Sri Lanka. The area is an
environmentalist's dream, and participants can check out the many
nature trails and bird watching locations around nearby Lake
Victoria, to see the more than 70 species of birds and the many
types of deer, as well as the fishing cat, the mongoose and other
SriLankan Airlines Golf Classic offers winners more than 20 air
tickets, many holiday packages. and glittering trophies. The airline
is also offering all international. golfers attractive packages,
which include hotel accommodation at the official hotels with bed
and breakfast, airport and Golf Club transfers, tournament green
fees, cocktails, dinner and entertainment.
principal sponsor of the tournament will be Chivas Regal.
Co-sponsors include Carlsberg, Premadasa Gems & Jewellery. And
Kalaignanasundaram has been awarded a doctorate from the
International University for Martial Arts (J.S.K. & U.T.K.F) of
Japan with effect from 27.09.2004. The doctorate was awarded for his
meritorious service, excellence and contributions to peace,
universal goodwill and in appreciation of the integrity and
leadership, cooperation and solidarity to benefit all humanity.
Kalaignanasundaram hails from Jaffna district and is presently
engaged as a Human Resource consultant to the Middle East and other
is the Managing Director of Trust Recruitment Services (Pvt) Ltd, a
leading manpower recruiting agency and Trust Shipping Service (Pvt)
Ltd, situated at 581 3/1, Galle Road, Wellawatte, Colombo 06.
Championship and demonstration
Japan Shito - Ryu international karate - do Seiko Kai Sri Lanka
branch will hold for the 2nd successive year the annual karate
championship and demonstration organized try the president and the
executive committee on 31st October 2004 at 4.15 pay at the
Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Colombo 14. the Chief guest will be Mrs
Kumari Hapugalle Perera LEO Managing Director Alethea International
Lanka, China in Bowl showdown
T.M.K. Samat in Hong Kong
Lanka, as expected, handed debutantes Pakistan a hiding, by 75
points to 3, as did China to India, 50 points to 15, Wednesday, on
the opening night of the 19th Asian Rugby Championship in Hong Kong.
two countries now meet in the final of the Bowl, scheduled for late
Saturday night. A final between Sri Lanka and China always looked
inevitable, as the pair clearly were the strongest in the group of
Asia's weakest countries, including newcomers Pakistan and Macao.
continent's top four ranked countries, defending champions Korea,
Japan, Hong Kong and Chinese-Taipei, figure in the premier event for
the Cup while second-tier nations - Thailand, Arabian Gulf,
Kazakhstan and Singapore - play for the Plate.
Sri Lanka returned a massive haul of 11 tries against the
debutantes, three more than what China managed against India,
doesn't necessarily mean the islanders' performance was superior to
the Chinese. The quality of the opposition each encountered had a
lot to do with each team's tally.
playing in their third Asiad, had included seven players from
England and Ireland, all with Indian parentage or born in India.
These overseas players, with club experience, had a telling
influence on their play, restricting the Chinese to 19/15 lead in
the first half. But China clearly looked the better-prepared outfit,
and India's game defence eventually came apart in the face of
China's relentless attack.
Lanka looked rusty, the effects of a lack of competitive rugby. In
the opening thirty minutes they could manage only two tries against
an opposition that made up for their lack of technical
sophistication with tremendous enthusiasm. But as the Sri Lankans
found their feet and grew accustomed to the chill winds that swept
through this hill-top grounds in Kowloon, they spun out moves of
exciting patterns, with centre Pradeep Liyanage running in three
impressive tries. But fullback T A Silva's 16 points, from five
conversions and two penalties, was the highest contribution.
competition at Victoria's monthly medal
Fernando, the son of Sri Lanka's King and Queen of golf, Pin and Pam
Fernando, playing with a handicap of 8 registered a gross score of
86 to win the mens gross division at the Lectra October monthly
medal sponsored by Tea Tang and conducted by the picturesque
Victoria Golf and Country Resort in Rajawella. Though Sam Gunaratne
and Rohan de Silva equalled Priath's score, the golf rules saw
Priath emerging the winner on a count back and Rohan de Silva the
runner-up in the nett division, Roshan Dias (68 nett) was the winner
ladies divisions saw Indira Tibblings (70 nett) pushing Nilloo
Jayatillaka (71 nett) to the runner-up position. The Hemachandra
twins Sidath and Sampath dominated the junior competition by
emerging the winner and runner-up respectively.
Mini Junior 9 hole contest saw Akhil Rao clinching first place with
Kelly Rao, the runner-up
Gross Division: Winner: Priath Fernando 86 gross. Runner-up: Rohan
de Silva 86 gross (on a count back).
Nett Division: Winner: Roshan Dias 68 nett. Runner-up: Sidath
Hemachandra 70 nett.
Division: Winner: Indira Tibblings 70 nett. Runner-up: Niloo
Jayatillake 71 nett.
Division: Winner: Sidath Hemachandra 70 nett. Runner-up: Sampath
Hemachandra 75 nett.
Junior - 9 hole contest: Winner: Akhil Rao. Runner-up Kelly Rao.
Selvaratnam 84 gross and 76 nett, Usha de Silva 90 and 80, Derna de
Silva 126 and 90, Sue Rao 126 and 90, Anusha Senadeera 98 and 79,
Niloo Jayatillake 82 and 71, Yvonne Abhayaratne 87 and 76, Dhanushi
Senadeera 98 and 74, Manouri Jayakoddy 109 and 87, Chathuri Engman
113 and 80, Chris North 118 and 92, Indira Tibblins 94 and 70, Paddy
Arnolda 118 and 92.
de Silva 132 nett, Akhil Rao 100 nett, Sachin de Silva 120 nett,
Kelly Rao 117 nett.