getting to be a rotten joke
ACCUSATION that Sri Lanka's wretched Wellington Test defeat is the
outcome of the wretched state of our cricket administration might be
difficult to prove, though, suspicion that may well be the case
isn't easy to resist. The actual reason, however, is in our
cricketers' dismaying performance - full stop.
isn't a happy experience. But the second Test debacle, and the
consequent loss of the New Zealand series, is poignantly deserved.
For, a cheerier tour record might have distorted the bigger picture
- and encouraged administrators' belief that whatever their crimes,
the cricketers' excellence on the playing fields would conceal them.
Truth be told, the Wellington shamble is emblematic of the chaos
that has long plagued the administration of our cricket.
is not to suggest Atapattu's men deliberately conspired to send out
the message that our cricket can be only as good as the way it is
administered. Such malicious schemes, of course, are beyond the
wildest imagination of the players, who, no one suspects, would
fight anyone else's battles but their own on the playing fields. So,
it has been up until now, with players admirably going about the
work and insulating themselves from the nasty factionalism that has
long dogged administration.
am afraid, however, the day doesn't seem far off when cricketers end
up pawns in the hands of competing factions. The first step towards
that direction was taken Monday. The background first: By government
decree, SLC is an illegal body in so far as matters pertaining to
cricket at the national level are concerned. Just in case, the
national squad returning from New Zealand wasn't aware of that
development, Secretary Sports Ministry, S Ranugge, had a note
delivered post-haste to manager, Brendon Kuruppu, asking him to
"abstain" from dealings with SLC prior to "consulting
the Interim Committee".
and bluntly what Ranugge told the manager and his charges is: any
direct contact with the SLC is forbidden - the message couldn't have
been any clearer. The reaction of one-time skipper Arjuna Ranatunga
to this might be to crassly disregard of ministerial caution and do
exactly the opposite. Temperamentally, incumbent leader Atapattu is
half a world away from Ranatunga. He is of milder disposition.
Though thoughtfully outspoken, Atapattu is hardly the sort who would
buck authority, let alone government. Yet, he did on this occasion.
Together with some of his team mates he defied ministerial advice
and went out and had a three-hour meeting with disgraced SLC
president, Thilanga Sumathipala.
what transpired at the meeting hasn't been officially made known.
But they wouldn't have talked about the weather for all of the three
hours. SLC sources make out that, since the team departed under its
stewardship a meeting on their return was a logical follow up.
"As a body the SLC still exists," said the source, adding
that the discussions were necessary ''in the interest of the
players' and the country's cricket future."
this might sound a tad too presumptuous for a body that is under
government suspension. But it shouldn't be forgotten that,
suspension notwithstanding, SLC remain the custodians of all the
immovable properties. This, strictly speaking, means that, should
the national players use the gymnasium and like facilities at SLC
premises they would risk prosecution for trespass. To take that
absurd scenario a step further: Atapattu and his men might well land
in jail for preparing to do duty for country in SLC premises - a
hilarious plot that Hollywood's comedians would give a limb to be a
part of. But I digress.
would have to be utterly načve to think Sumathipala's closed-door
meeting with the national players was all about assuring that SLC
has no intention of acting in a manner detrimental to players'
future - though it is within SLC's powers to do so. Sumathipala
doesn't miss an opportunity when he sees one. Here he saw a chance
to show that his heart bleeds for Sri Lanka cricket. It doesn't
matter that many are unlikely to buy that story, but then his
ambition is blind. So, his concern for the cricketers in this
crisis, as a PR exercise, is a hopeful card dealt out to a poor
why Atapattu's men accepted SLC's invitation to a meeting, defying
Sport Ministry advice, isn't clear. If rejection of the invitation
meant the denial of facilities available at the headquarters, then,
the players, perhaps, had no choice but to attend the meeting. With
the impasse's end no where in sight, the national players,
doubtless, have to be concerned about where they can train,
especially the gym. After all, the West Indies series here is in
June-July and preparations ought to have begun. Well and good if the
three-hour discussion was about the use of SLC's immovable
facilities by the national cricketers. But insiders say the issue of
renewal of players' contracts, expired last February, was also
brought up. Now that's opening an unwanted can of worms.
is said the SLC cautioned players that, should they sign long-term
contracts with the Interim Committee SLC would not be obliged to
honour IC's contracts should power be restored to it. This is purely
hypothetical, but that won't put out players' anxieties. Given the
uncertainty that has long characterized cricket administration, and
finis yet unwritten to Sumathipala's influence in cricket, a return
to pre-suspension times can't be ruled out.
So, the likely repercussions should SLC (read Sumathipala's
men) return is something the players can't ignore. Would holding an
IC contract be viewed as being anti-SLC?
Ministers, Jeewan Kumaratunga, Thursday, as good as told the
players: have no fears, the IC contracts come with government
guarantees. Reassurance that the IC is the legitimate authority for
Sri Lanka cricket would also have been made. All of which go to
reinforce the belief that cricket's politicization has filtered down
to the players. Atapattu himself admits that the ongoing conflict
between two sets of administrators leaves them without "status
as national players". To phrase it in political language: the
tug-of-war is on to win loyalty of Atapattu's men.
danger of players being sucked into cricket politics has burned red
for a long, long time, precisely since 1996. It isn't exactly
coincidental that the three previous interim committees were
replacements for three Sumathipala-led Boards. All of those three
ICs got down to work from day 1 of their appointments. It's nearly a
month now, and the current IC isn't even sure of their governing
powers - not even if banks would honour cheques of their signings.
Sumathipala is unwilling to let go of what he thinks is his - which
might not have been the case had the Sport Minister dissolved the
SLC than choose to suspend its registration. It is an action that
doesn't equate with all the nasty exposures by the minister on
Sumathipala's ICC gate crash - a disharmony between word and deed
that's almost theatrical.
is nice that laws are being readied to ban Sumathipala, and indeed
anyone else with direct or indirect links to the gambling industry,
from holding office in sport. But as we know laws don't see the
light of day in a hurry. Meanwhile, the present crisis deepens. And
as things worsen, what next? Almost
anything, including a likely compromise between the two competing
parties - on the lines of 1/ an interim committee with some of
Sumathipala's nominees? Or
2/ fresh SLC elections without Sumathipala as a candidate? Both of
which, of course, will mean Sumathipala remains a factor in Sri
Lanka cricket - which means cricket gets back to square one.
what is likely to happen when given options of suspension and
dissolution, you choose the wrong one.
van Dort, out of the cold
the recently concluded A series between Pakistan, England and hosts
Sri Lanka two players stood out in the batting department for Sri
Arnold, just 31 years of age and trying hard to make a come back to
the Sri Lankan team, and of course Michael van Dort, 24 years of
age, trying to establish himself as a permanent batsman in the first
Josephian -Peterite combination of van Dort and Arnold have proved
that they are capable, and a force to be reckoned with having
performed in most of the matches that they played in. Arnold was in
the original side but van Dort was not. He was drafted in after
Avishka Gunawardena was taken ill and didn't he grab the opportunity
with both hands!
century and a couple of seventies by van Dort and consistent scores
from Arnold should make the selectors sit up and take notice, in
view of the fact that Sri Lanka's middle order did not live up to
expectations in the second Test against New Zealand. In fact, some
thought that Arnold should have been given the captaincy of the
"A" side, considering the fact that skipper Mubarak was
aggregated 316 runs at an average of 63 in 5 matches with 4 half
centuries and van Dort amassed 291 runs at an astounding average of
73 in 5 matches with 1 century and two seventies. In contrast
skipper Mubarak had a disastrous time with the bat averaging just
4.40 in 5 matches
Russel Premakumaran Arnold to give him his full name, was not
deterred by the fact that he was not the skipper. Out of the cold
and in to the sunshine this calypso type batsman wielded his willow
to good effect.
two batsmen from neighbouring clubs, Arnold from Nondescripts
Cricket Club, and van Dort from Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) have a
lot in common. They are both left -handers and are of similar
height, though van Dort at six feet five inches is taller. Both are
tremendous strikers of the ball, van Dort being especially strong
off his pads on the on side.
addition to his batting, Arnold is an useful off spin bowler. Having
made his Test debut in 1996/97 after Sri Lanka won the world cup,
Arnold last played for Sri Lanka in Australia in 2004 in the Darwin
44 tests Arnold has scored 1821 runs at an average of 28.01, not
quite in keeping with his early promise. In 128 ODI matches he has
done better scoring 2911 runs at an average of 35.50.
would seem that Arnold is better in the one- day version than the
if recent "A" team performances are anything to go by,
Arnold has now got a new spring in his step. No doubt Russel would
be glad to have his form back.
tall, angular left-hander and a patient accumulator, Arnold began
his Test career as an opener, but despite solid scores then, and on
his recall for the Asian Test Championship two years later, he lost
out to Marvan Atapattu as Sanath Jayasuriya's partner. Short of runs
by late 2000, he dropped into the lower middle order. When a loss of
form and confidence from Jayasuriya gave Arnold another chance at
the top of the order in 2002, he did not disappoint, scoring 62 and
109 in a valiant rearguard at Old Trafford. Failure in the series
that followed left him on the sidelines for long periods after the
2003 World Cup, but Arnold made his way back into the team for the
home series against Australia. But, despite making 51 not out in his
last ODI against Zimbabwe, Arnold was dropped from the ODI and Test
team in July 2004. The seven-man Ashantha de Mel selection committee
wanted to blood new talent and Arnold's future looked bleak for a
while. But Arnold worked furiously hard on his game in the nets and
started to score heavily in domestic cricket. Finally, with his
replacements failing to impress, he won a recall for the New Zealand
tour in December 2004. Arnold's ability to adapt his game to the
situation makes him an ideal No.6 in limited overs cricket and an
unselfish approach explains the high-esteem in which he is held by
teammates. A cool head under pressure helps when chasing and he adds
great value in field with a safe pair of hands.
four year old Michael Graydon Vandort of Colombo Cricket Club (CCC)
made his Test debut against Bangladesh at the SSC in 2001 and played
again against the same opposition in 2002.
has played in only two Tests. Speaking to The SundayLeader, Max
Academy coach Jerome Jayaratne said that "Michael is immensely
talented but he has a weakness just outside the off stump. Anything
around the pads on the leg side he will dispatch it to the boundary.
He is very strong on the leg side," commented Jayaratne.
was shown in the two Tests where van Dort scored 237 runs at an
average of 65.83 with a top score of 140. He also underlined his
form with a century at the P.Sara Stadium against the visiting
Indians four years ago against bowlers of the likes of Srinath,
Venkatesh Prasad and Co.
emerged as a lanky 21-year-old left hander onto the national scene
in 2001 after a string of impressive performances for Colombo
Cricket Club and Sri Lanka A. Vandort only played one game for St
Joseph's First XI, but he quickly made an impression in first-class
cricket, and when picked for a Board XI side against India, he
booked himself a berth in Sri Lanka's 16-man Test squad on the back
of an impressive century. He sat on the sidelines throughout the
series, but was finally given a chance against Bangladesh in 2001.
He is now waiting for an opportunity to break back into the team.
van Dort going to end up like Manager Brendon Kuruppu, where Kuruppu
played just 4 Tests for Sri Lanka and retired with an average of
Nalandian sc's agm
40th AGM of the Old Nalandians Sports Club (ONSC) was held on March
19 and Daya Abeysekera was elected unanimously as the President for
the 3rd consecutive year.
following office bearers & council members were elected for year
Hemantha U.Premetilleke, Principal , Nalanda College
of advisors: Rupa Karunathilaka,W.Mendis, M.Siriwardena, G.Perera,
Palane Amarasinha, Upali Mahanama, Major Gen. Ananda Weerasekera,
Hemasiri Fernando, Sarath Silva, Chethiya Sri Nammuni.
Patrons: H.Wijesiri, H.Perera, D.Weerasuriya, Sarath Gunathilaka,
Hema Wijeratne, Sunil Wickramatunga, Daya Illukumbara, P.Rathnapala,
Eastman Narangoda, Bandula Warnapura.
Past President: Rear Admiral (retired) Justin Jayasuriya.
Vice President: Asoka Wijetilleke.
President: Royle Senarathna, Pali Wijeratne, Dalton Wakwella, Saman
Karunanayake, Priyanatha Dassanayake, L.Perera, P.de Saram, Ranjith
de Mel, Jayantha Senevirathne, Sisira Mendis.
Gen. Sec. Salinda Rodrigo. Hon. Treasurer: Palitha Narangoda. Hon.
Hewagama. Hon.Social Sec. Saman de Silva. Asst Sec. Ananda de Silva.
Asst.tresurer; Sampath Perera.
Members: M.Piyasiri, A.Perera, Lakshman Perera, P.Chandrapala, Daya
de Costa, Asoka Kudahetti, Sarath Chandrakumara, Madawa Samarsinghe,
Lal Silva, Gamini Sarath Silva, Upali Gunathilaka, Nimal Rathnayake,
Gihan Weerasinghe, Nandun de Silva, Hiran Ukwatta, Gamini
Karunathilake,K.Rupasena, Jayantha Gunasekera, Ranjith Boteju,
Palitha Mathew and Saman Jayaweera.
14 under series in Colombo
Asian 14 Under Championships will be hosted by the SLTA for a second
successive year on the Green Path courts next week.
April 25-30 event, sponsored by Australian Open under the aegis of
the Asian Tennis Federation, will be of historic significance as it
will mark the beginning of an under 14 ranking system for Asian
two-year-old Colombo event is one of many regional tournaments that
make up the series - and is a contribution by organizers of the
Australian Open to the development of Asian tennis. The top eight
ranked at the end of the series qualify to play in the 14 under
world final in Melborune, as well as get to see at close range the
2006 Australian Open next February.
has fielded two players but organizers are optimistic that more
foreigners would sign in closer to the event. Seven Sri Lankans have
entered for the singles. The qualifying round will be held on April
23 and 24.
extends Whatmore deal
Dav Whatmore has signed a new two-year deal as head coach of
Bangladesh ahead of the team's tour of England, which precedes the
Ashes series.The new deal will see Whatmore remain in control of the
Bangladesh side until after the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
Bangladesh Cricket Board released a statement saying that it felt
the need to have continuity with an experienced coach."We want
to ensure that the bright young talent he has introduced continues
to have his influence through to the World Cup," the statement
read.Whatmore, the former coach of Sri Lanka, had been linked with
the India coaching job that was made vacant with the departure of
won its first Test series since gaining full Test status in 2000,
securing a victory over Zimbabwe in January.The team has recorded
nine one-day victories in 136 games, including beating Pakistan in
the 1999 World Cup and India in Chittagong last November.Whatmore is
currently in the midst of preparing his squad for the Test series
against England, with the first clash to begin at Lord's on May 26.
the month of July and the two oldest Test playing nations, England
and Australia will battle it out for the oldest trophy, "The
Ashes". The Premier team in the world, Australia will be
defending "The Ashes" which they have dominated ever since
Mike Gatting's side outdid the Aussies in 1988.
I have mentioned in an earlier article, I started watching and
getting interested in cricket around the latter part of 1965. In
those days when we did not have television in what was then Ceylon
the best we could glean about the Ashes was from the newspapers and
of course the short wave band on the radio. In 1965 England were in
Australia and Doug Walters made his debut in that Ashes series.
in his early days was hailed as another Bradman, rather too early to
compare him with the great man, and Doug never really lived up to
that kind of reputation. In fact except for some blistering knocks
in his first two Tests and later followed up with centuries and
double centuries against the "Windies" in 1968/69, he
never lived up to his true potential. I suppose nobody really does.
The same could be said about Michael Colin Cowdrey who was hailed as
a child prodigy.
get back to the Ashes 1965/66, it is a bit vague in my memory but
the 1968 encounter in England is somewhat more vivid, with Bill
Lawry leading Australia with Barry Jarman his deputy and players of
the likes of Ian Chappell, Graham Mckenzie, Alan Connolly, Paul
Sheahan, Doug Walters himself, Bob Cowper, John Gleeson, the mystery
bowler representing Australia. Being a diehard Aussie supporter at
the time, it was a thrill to see these very same players in Ceylon
in 1969 when Lawry brought his Australian team over here to face
Michael Tissera's Ceylonese X1.
English were represented in 1968 by Colin Cowdrey, Tom Graveney,
John Edrich, Geoff Boycott, John Snow, Ken Higgs, Alan Knott, Bob
Barber, Pat Pocock, Dennis Amis, Ken Barrington and Basil D'Oliviera.
Amiss made a miserable start to his rather illustrious career by
collecting a pair and Bob Barber signed off in his last Test.
the 1970/71 Ashes series three outstanding players made their debut
for Australia. To my mind one of the most attractive batsmen seen on
the cricket field, Gregory Stephen Chappell made his memorable debut
in 1970 in the Perth Test and made an astonishing century on debut.
Wicket keeper Rodney Marsh took over the gloves from Barry Jarman
and Brian Taber and initially did not do that well as he was called
"Iron Gloves" because he did not catch all that came his
way. The third was of course legendary bowler, Dennis Lillee.
Illingworth was the English skipper and Bill Lawry was his
Australian counterpart. But Lawry was unceremoniously axed for the
last Test and Ian Chappell took over the reins.
one eye behind his shoulder looking at the selectors, because of
what happened to Lawry, Ian Chappell marshaled his forces and made
the Aussie outfit into a fighting unit.
ray of hope for England-1970.
series Down Under saw the first scheduled six-Test series become the
only seven-Test series in history when the third Test at Melbourne
was washed out and an extra game added at the end of the series. Ray
Illingworth's side was opposed to Bill Lawry's Australians for who
Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh all made illustrious
debuts in this series. The first two Tests were drawn and the third
abandoned, England won the fourth Test in Sydney by 299 runs with
some fierce bowling by John Snow who took 7 for 40 in the second
innings. This test saw Ian Chappell in the unaccustomed role of
opener while Ian Redpath was relegated to the role of one -drop
series saw the introduction to Test cricket of the legendary Gregory
Stephen Chappell, who in his first Test (the second of the series at
Perth) scored a century on debut. He went on to play 87 Tests for
Australia and scored 7110 runs at an average of over 50. Truly a
great batsman indeed!
other greats, namely Rod Marsh (wicket keeper) and Dennis Lillee
(fast bowler) made their debuts. Ironically, 14 years later, all
three retired from Test cricket in the same Test in 1984 and Greg
Chappell made it even more memorable when he scored a century in his
swansong as well.
in the fifth and sixth Tests ensured England retained the Ashes, and
for the final match Lawry was controversially and unceremoniously
sacked, axed and dropped, despite being in good form, and replaced
by Ian Chappell. This made Ian Chappell comment "They (the
selectors) will never get me like they got Phanto(Lawry's nickname).
Chappell lost the Test by 62 runs, but later commented "There
is no prize for running second".
later years in assessing the captaincy skills of Australian captains
Richie Benaud was to make the comment in his book, "On
reflection", that "Ian Chappell was the best captain that
Australia had ever had." But of course Benaud would not have
assessed the skills of Don Bradman(who came before him ),and Alan
Border and Steve Waugh (both of whom played later). Chappell's
ability was in winning matches with a limited total and using the
talents of Lillee and Thomson and "Tangles", big burly Max
Walker. What would Lawry have done with the likes of those three!
came up against Ray Illingworth, Mike Denness and Tony Greig in the
"Ashes" but did not come up against, in Richie Benaud's
words the "best to captain England"-Mike Brearley. Back to
the 1970 series where another England victory secured the series,
but it was a bad-tempered match in which Snow and Illingworth
clashed with the umpires, and Snow with a spectator. At one stage
Illingworth took his team off the field, an episode, which almost
resulted in England forfeiting the match.
was a series in which Boycott and Edrich with the bat, and John Snow
with the ball dominated.
2 Australia 0
Massie and the Chappell boys -1972.
was a series that I followed with much interest. Greg Chappell, my
favourite batsman of all time was in the squad and performed very
well. The year was 1972, and a highly entertaining series under the
captaincy of Ray Illingworth and Ian Chappell saw four of the five
Tests finish in results. John Snow, Dennis Lillee and Derek
Underwood all gave match-winning bowling performances, but no one
had a more spectacular game than Australian swing bowler Bob Massie
on his debut in the second Test at Lord's - 8 for 84 runs in the
first innings, and 8 for 53 in the second. The Ashes were retained
by England in the fourth Test at Headingley, where Underwood spun
the home team to victory on a controversial grassless pitch inside
three days. Australia won the final Test at The Oval in six days as
the Chappells Ian and Greg became the first brothers to score Test
centuries together, sharing a 201 partnership.
2 Australia 2
de Zoysa spells out plans
newly elected President of Sri Lanka Automobile Sports, Richard de
Zoysa, has set forth his proposed plans for the development of motor
sports in Sri Lanka.
to The Sunday Leader de Zoysa lamented "The infrastructure
available for the advancement of motor sports is to say the least,
inadequate. Other than the Pannala track, which is technically not
an international standard track and Katukurunda which is not a
purpose built track, we regretfully, lack the most important
ingredient to nurture the sport," emphasised de Zoysa.
the last five years de Zoysa has been lobbying to build a racing
track in Miridjiwalla, Hambantota and has received about 30
proposals for incorporating a six star hotel as well as a golf
course. "This is the only way that we could get international
drivers here. There is just an iota of a chance that rally drivers
may come here. For the purpose of getting these top drivers down
here we need a purpose built racing track. The proposals for this
were presented to the Government five years ago, to Minister S.B.
Dissanayake, but then when the Government changed Minister L.
Kiriella was not interested. At the moment we can only get rally
drivers here. Recently I met up with some top class racing drivers
like Andy Pardoe, former Director of the Jim Russell Driver training
school. He is keen on coming here in June, with a qualified
instructor for 6 days to train 3 batches of racing drivers. The
training that racing driver Andy Pardoe is giving costs about 1,000
-1,500 Pounds. This will be held at the Pannala racing track with
theory classes as well. One of the grey areas in motor sports is
that many officials are unqualified. The corner marshals need a
proper training course. I have also decided to be very transparent
and do away with the restriction of the membership of the sport to a
few restricted clubs. I hope to set up a National plan for the sport
like they do in Britain," explained de Zoysa.
order to take the sport to the next level Sri Lanka Automobile
sports needs a headquarters and an administrative office. In
addition I believe that pro-karting and go-karting should go
together. Further we must give priority to collect funds from
sponsors and other fund raising projects. I also intend to establish
closer ties with FIA (the international body). Further, we must
conduct a national championship with significant prize money for the
winners. The plethora of motor racing events are also a hindrance.
The competitors are complaining that there are too many events.
These all have to be steam-lined," ended de Zoysa. -PJ
powers club Rugby sans foreigners
will not be featured in the present Rugby Calendar, which began last
Friday. The next 9 weeks will see the Caltex sponsored Inter Club
Rugby League tournament powered for the 5th successive year by
Caltex Lubricants Lanka Limited. The first round will end on July 17
after which the second round consisting of another 5 weeks will
begin. Apart from the league tournament Caltex will continue their
association with the Caltex Interclub Knockout tournament as well.
of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU), Priyantha Ekanayake,
mentioned that it was the decision of the clubs that foreigners do
not play in this year's ruby tournament. Some clubs like Army and
Navy etc cannot field foreigners so it was decided that foreigners
do not be part of the
scene this year. However, Ekanayake went on to mention the fact that
he was of the opinion that the presence of foreigners helped Sri
Lankan's improve their game and keep them on their toes.
SLRFU was of the opinion that the game would be very closely
contested due to the absence of foreign players this year. However
it is also an opportunity to see the locals play some good rugby.
"We hope that the players will put in their best or 100%
because of the opportunity that will be created in players being
selected for the National Team that would play in the 2007 Rugby
World Cup qualifying matches". The Union has also made
arrangements to have the "B" Division matches played prior
to the commencement of the "A" division matches. This way
rugby lover's will be treated to a good season of Rugby from the
beginning of the season. All efforts are also being taken to ensure
there are no clashes with the good club matches against any other
has also assured that the school games will not clash with the club
games and have agreed with the schools association to commence the
school season in July. A laudable act responding to the media and
the rugby fans in Sri Lanka.
more Caltex will continue with the Rugby Awards selecting The Best
Ruggerite, The Best Captain, The Best Forward, The Best Three
Quarter and the Best Team apart from the reader votes of Most
Popular Ruggerrite and Most Popular Rugby Club.
in all this season will see some good rugby & it is definitely a
step in the right direction of bringing back the spectators to the
SAARC golf championships at Victoria
seventh SAARC Golf Championships, 2005, with the participation of
seven countries will be held from May 5-8 at the Victoria Golf and
Country Resort at Rujawela, Kandy.
will be followed by the Open National Amateur Golf Tournament
beginning on May 14 in which India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and
Hong Kong too will vie for honours. In June the Swedish Cup will be
worked off with Sri Lankan Air Lines Championship lined up for
October this year.
Golf and Country Resort is now rated as the best Golf Course in the
sub continent. This picturesque course measuring 6945 yards at its
full championship length, its par 73 layout has four par 5 holes of
which three are over 500 yards long. There are four excellent par 3
holes ranging from the very short, but the tricky 5th of 124 yards
to the testing 210 yards 13th hole, a great par by any standard.
"Some golf curses have a splendid undulating terrain over which
the holes are routed. Some Golf courses have a scenic back drop of
hills and lakes which excite the senses. But the Victoria Golf
Course is blessed with both attributes," said the renowned golf
architect, Donald Steel who designed the Victoria Golf Links.
of the most exhilarating and difficult holes at Victoria is the 473
yards par 4, seventh. The drive from an elevated tee calls for
distance, accuracy and nerves of steel, if the player is to have a
chance of reaching the green in two. Stately trees and avenues of
coconuts lend the course an immediate air of maturity. Impressive
natural outcrops of rock area distinctive feature and indeed a
hazard of the course.The greens built to USGA specifications are of
the highest quality. Beautifully shaped bunkers add to the challenge
recently opened sports Complex with a beautiful swimming pool,
tennis court a range of excellent villa sites with a superb view of
the Victoria Reservoir, the Knuckles range of mountains, luxury
chalets adds more glamour to Victoria. The champagne cricketers of
the caliber of Ian Botham, Shane Warne, Michael Vaughan, Marcus
Trescothick, Darren Lehman and the other members of the England and
Australian teams who experienced the thrill and the excitement of
playing a round of golf at Victoria described it as the best golf
course that they are yet to play on.
West in Singer MCA final today
National Bank, strengthened by the return of their National players,
who did not play for most of the season due to commitments both to
the A team and the National team in New Zealand, will clash with
East West Marketing in the Singer MCA Premier league Knock out final
today at the picturesque SSC grounds starting at 10.00.am.
cream of Sri Lanka's cricketers will be on show today with all eyes
being focused on "pocket rocket" Lasith Malinga on whom
much of HNB's bowling strengths will lie.
fresh from his exploits in New Zealand will be keen to perform at
home in front of his home crowd, since hitherto his wicket taking
has mostly been on foreign soil.
addition to Malinga, dusky Avishka Gunawardena, T.M. Dilshan, lanky
in form batsman Russel Arnold, wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardena,
up and coming All rounder Farveez Maharoof, and Shanuka Dissanayake
will be on show.
are the only team to have won the league as well as the knockout
Tournament in 2002.
West, coached by Manoj Abeywickrema, is unbeaten so far having won
the league title for the second straight year.
will be three special awards for the league stage, namely best
batsman, best bowler and man of the series.
West Marketing (Pvt) Ltd (from)
Malinda Warnapura, N.Abeyratne, Sajith Fernando, Lanka Silva,
J.Kulatunga, R.Pieris, P.Liyanage, I.Gallage, I.Amerasinghe,
(from) Saman Jayantha (Captain), A.Gunawardena, D.Hunukumbura,
Russel Arnold, T.M. Dilshan, C.Jayasinghe, N.Perera, F.Maharoof,
Lasith Malinga, S.Dissanayake, S.Weerakoon, P.Jayawardena.(P.J.)