and Dilroy - a Herculean task
Priyantha Ekanayake and Dilroy Fernando
By Ranil Prematilake
The initial reactions varied from one
to another on discovering the news of the former national skipper,
dynamic Priyantha Ekanayake's intention to take charge of the sports
governing body at the annual general meeting to be held next month.
This was followed by another news item, which brought into the
picture Dilroy Fernando. The posts to be designated are President
and Secretary respectively.
The Sunday Leader spoke to the
Isipatana stalwart to ascertain what motivated him to make this move
at this juncture "I was requested to take up this job by three
past Presidents and Priyantha also persuaded me to join
forces." Dilroy would not have been able to hide the inevitable
concern of "club loyalty" and had made only one request.
"We must forget club loyalties and should work collectively to
develop the game at a national level." Priyantha for long has
professed the same thinking and stood by such motives when he was
controlling affairs on the field, though it is going to be tough
switching of jobs.
Fernando, whose remarkable playing
career came to an abrupt end in 1985 just a couple of years after
winning national representation, continued his involvement in the
game and is today Sri Lanka's top referee. Known to be a man who
does not take 'no' for an answer, it is no secret that he has been
the guiding force of Isipatana rugby, the dominant force in schools'
rugby during the past couple of decades and had the honour of
leading his alma mater in 1982.
The time has come for the young people
to come in and the game has to be run professionally. It is a full
time job. One cannot agree more. There would be no purpose, in
getting elected to office with 'club loyalty' being at the back of
The 2006 Asiad is not far away. The
number of participating nations could number between 16 to17, with
the addition of new members. The preliminary plans are said to be in
place and would get going with the appointment of sub committees
immediately following the election of office bearers for the new
The Sunday Leader learns that three big
sponsors have indicated their willingness to associate with Sri
Lankan rugby on a long term basis and assurances have been given to
the effect of such intention provided, of course, the guarantee of
the correct persons handling the administration is granted.
The rift between the SLRFU and the
Referees Society from time and again has got aggravated for varying
reasons. The Referees Society allege that the IRB funding allocated
for referee development programs have not been channelled properly,
though there is a specific allocation for this purpose as a
condition precedent when the International Rugby Board provides
SLRFU with the million dollar funding yearly. Leave aside
development, it is reliably understood that the development officers
deployed for the purpose have not been paid for the last two to
Another growing concern will be the
remuneration of referees. Startling as it may be, but the reality is
that a top referee is paid a mere Rs. 1500/- per game at present.
This payment covers the overhead expenses as well as costs of the
training programme the referees need to undergo, to keep up with the
Although the International Rugby Board
(IRB) is involved in a big way in assisting the tsunami hit nations,
their contributions would not be direct packages. The IRB chairman
Sid Millar in a communique to the SLRFU has stated that the IRB aid
would flow through the UN food programme.
In addition the New South Wales Rugby
Union has planned to host a 7's tournament. This is the brainchild
of Even Mckenzie, the Warath's coach and has got the blessing of
Dilip Kumar, a well known rugby promoter who is at present the
President of the New South Wales Rugby Union. A product of Trinity
College Kandy, Dilip Kumar has assured further assistance in
addition to this fund raising tournament, billed to attract some
star players from the Waraths squad. The Hong Kong Rugby Football
Union too has organised a special weekend to raise funds.
Contributions for the 7's tournament would also be channelled
towards disaster relief purposes.
academy outclass Bangladesh high performance squad
By Pelham Juriansz
The Sri Lanka Cricket Academy completed
a successful tour of "Bangladesh" during December 2004.
The Sri Lankans played against the
-Bangladesh-high performance squad" which incidentally is the
squad where the replacements for the national team trains in,many
ex-test players played in this series against the Sri Lankans.
The Sri Lankans emerged victorious in
both forms of the game, initially winning the 4 day Test and then
winning back to back games to win the "One Day series(2-0).
Four Day Test
In the 4 day test played at the "Fathulla
Cricket Stadium" in Dhaka the Lankans won the game convincingly
by 8 wickets with a day and a half to spare.
Ishan Mutaliph who batted for over four
hours made a defiant century, while Chaminda Vidanapathirana with 6
wickets and Dunil Abeydeera(5 wickets) helped Sri Lanka coast to a
The first one day match
In the 1st one day played at the Dhaka
International Cricket Stadium Sri Lanka registered a comfortable
victory chasing a modest 213 runs. Batting second the Lankans romped
home to victory with 4 wickets in hand with a couple of overs to
spare as well.
In the batting department, Amila
Sandaruwan,wicket/keeper batsman Gihan de Silva and Damith Inmdika
impressed while Chanaka Welagedara and Dunil Abeydeera were the pick
of the bowlers.
The second one dayer
In the second and final one dayer
played at the Dhaka International Cricket Stadium the Sri Lankans
snatched a 3 run victory in a nail biting finish to win the one day
The Lankans batting first compiled a
formidable 246 runs. The Bangladeshi's were in trouble early on in
the innings at 9 for 3 wickets and then recovered through two good
partnerships and finally ended up with 243 runs in the allocated 50
overs just three runs short of the Lankan score.
Ishan Mutaliph, Damith Indika, Gihan de
Silva and Chanaka Wijesinghe contributed significantly with the bat
during the Lankan innings.
Chief scores: Four day game
Sri Lanka 322 all out(Ishan Mutaliph
113, Chanaka Wijesinghe 39, Gihan de Silva 43, Dunil Abeydeera 36,
Tarez Aziz 3 for 47).
Bangladesh 1st innings 167 all out (Nafeez
Ahmed 80 n.o, Dunil Abeydeera 4 for 60, Chanaka Welagedara 2 for 31,
Chaminda Vidanapathirana 2 for 31, Damith Gunatilleke 2 for 20).
Bangladesh 2nd innings 189 all out (T.Imran
63, Chaminda Vidanapathirana 4 for 27, Chanaka Wijesinghe 2 for 13,
Damith Gunatilleke 2 for 45).
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 35 for 2(Ishan
Muthaliph 23 n.o).
Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets.
First one dayer
Bangladesh 213 all out (S.Suvo 36,
S. Al Hasan 35 not out, Chanaka Welagedara 3 for 21, Chintaka Perera
2 for 46, Dunil Abeydeera 2 for 36).
Sri Lanka 216 for 6 wickets( Amila
Sanduruwan 62, Gihan de Silva 43 n.o, Damith Indika 37 n.o,)
Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets
Second one dayer
Sri Lanka 246 for 6 in 50
overs(Damith Indika 62 n.o, Ishan Mutaliph 50, Chanaka Wijesinghe
38, Gihan de Silva 35 n.o).
Bangladesh 243 for 8 wickets in 50
overs(S.Rahman 84, S.Rokon 72,Chanaka Welagedara 2 for 39, Chaminda
Vidanapathirana 2 for 38)
Sri Lanka won by 3 runs.
bats no more
Trevor Croner, that versatile sportsman
from St. Joseph's College, Maradana passed away in Brisbane,
Australia after bravely fighting a terminal illness. Trevor excelled
in cricket but did not confine his talents to cricket alone. He
represented the college in soccer, swimming and athletics as well.
In football he scored the only goal for Sri Lankan schools when they
toured Thailand. He first donned the school cap when he played under
12 cricket for his alma mater and played right throughout his school
career in all the age groups finally culminating in his skippering
the first XI team in 1977.
He completed his school career when in
1977 he was selected as the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
in his final year-1977. He first excelled at St. Joseph's as a
wicket-keeper batsman but later on he turned out to be a fantastic
leg spin bowler who could bowl the wrong 'un as well. Finally in his
last two years he bowled medium pace-which shows what a superb
all-round cricketer he was.
During his tenure as player for 3
successive years from 1974-76, St. Joseph's won the schools limited
over tournament. In the year that Trevor captained, the school
finished runner-up losing to Ashok Jayawickrema's Royalists in the
final. Incidentally the Under 16 team from Joes led by Rohan
Wijesinghe (Snr) lost to Royal led again by Ashok Jayawickrama.
Trevor's colleagues at St.Joseph's
notably Susilough de S. Wijeyeratne, Carlton Bernadus, Wayne Jansz
were all helpful in providing information about his outstanding
Susilough recalls that in the limited
over semi final in 1976 against S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia
led by Sasi Ganesan, played at the Bloomfield grounds the Joes won
by 13 runs. Openers Trevor Croner and Rohitha Wickremaratne blasted
the Thomian bowling for 166 runs for the first wicket, which could
well be a record even today. This stand paved the way for a
Josephian victory and the openers scored their runs against no mean
Thomian attack led by Saliya Ahangama, Ishak Sahabdeen, Ajit Ganesan
and the late Lalith Ratnayake.
Joes beat Ananda led by Ruwan Perera in the final also by the same
Trevor was also involved in a massive
200 run partnership with his skipper Dushan Soza for the 3rd wicket
against Ananda College in 1976, which is a ground record at Darley
Road. Incidentally he also became the first to score a century on
the new scoreboard at the time.
In 1977, playing against Trinity
College at Darley Road (an attack which included Ravi Ratnayake) the
Joes were given a target of scoring 194 runs in 80 minutes. St.
Joseph's won the match with two overs to spare.
Rohan Wijesinghe(Snr) notched up a
century and the hard hitting Trevor Croner and Lakshman Aloysius
finished the game for them.
Trevor also played soccer for the Joes
and was in the winning team that won the Brazil Cup for the first
time in 1976 under Rupert Ranaweera.
He also represented Sri Lanka schools
under 19 in 1976 when they toured Thailand and scored the only goal
for Sri Lanka.
He was an efficient centre-forward who
could kick with both legs.
He also represented his alma mater in
athletics and swimming.
He played for Freudenburg and Co: in
1978 alongside Roy Dias, Ranjan de Silva, Yohan Gunasekera and
He then migrated to Melbourne,
Australia where he played club and grade cricket. Thereafter he
crossed over to Brisbane, Queensland. There he qualified as a level
2 Australian coach and was involved with coaching in Queensland. He
was appointed as a Development Officer/Coach.
During his visits to Sri Lanka he spent
a lot of his time visiting districts and coaching and imparting his
knowledge to the kids.
While on holidays his played for the
His team- mates created a fund for him
and his teammate Sharmilal de S.Wijeyeratne provided accommodation
for him when he went to the States.
One aspect of Trevor that may not be
known by many is the fact that he had hidden talents away from the
He was a musician par excellence and
even had his own band "Twintronix" in Queensland and used
to play at all Sri Lankan functions.
Trevor married Daveena Kellar and had
two sons and two daughters. A memorial service was held for his soul
at S. Joseph's School Chapel on Friday January 7.
I'm sure that when the "One Great
Scorer comes to write against his name he will write not whether he
won or lost but how he played the game", and when the Saints
meet on high and "go marching in" Trevor as the former
Josephian skipper will be there to wield the willow.