granted Asian satellite status
By Ranil Prematilake
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has
confirmed the participation of Japan and Guam at the forthcoming
Singer Sri Lankan Sevens tournament. Jamie Scott whilst
communicating this, has informed the organizers that the 2005
tournament was not an Asian Games Qualifier. "There would be no
'Qualifiers' either for the World Games, the Asian Games or for the
Commonwealth Games in relation to the selection of participating
teams"- said Scott.
The 2005 Singer Sri Lankan Sevens would
be conducted as a 12 team format event, the participating Unions for
2005 being invited on current IRB/ARFU Sevens rankings based on the
RWC Sevens 2005 -Asia - qualifying process. The participating
nations that finish 11th and 12th respectively would be relegated.
Thereafter invitations for 2006 for the 2 slots would be extended in
sequence to the other IRB -ARFU unions from India, Pakistan,
Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.
The 2005 tournament is to be supported
by an IRB cash grant. This is as a result of the discussions had in
Dublin at the general meeting of unions. Sri Lankan envoys Priyantha
Ekanayake and Dilroy Fernando have successfully negotiated with Mark
Eagan. This shall, however, be subject to the terms and conditions
of the SLRFU and RWC Dublin. 'The ARFU will not be a party to this
agreement for the reason that the ARFU does not presently have the
capacity to contract or to enter into contractual relationships'
revealed the IRB.
These funds are to be utilized to help cover the costs of the
return airfares for the teams for travel from destinations not
serviced by Sri Lankan Airlines and to help cover the costs of
accommodation and meals beyond 3 or 4 nights which may be required.
The Chairman of the Organizing
Committee of Singer Sri Lankan Sevens Iswan Omar told The Sunday
Leader that upon receiving confirmations from the participating
nations the flight reservations and hotel accommodation are being
now attended to by the organizers. The organisers have also taken
steps to invite Mark Eagan, Jamie Scott, Chris Thau and Ross
Mitchell from the respective bodies.
The relevance of having satellite
events would be to establish an IRB - ARFU member union rugby sevens
ranking for each one year period following the satellite tournament
and in particular, with due regard to the ranking, to better enable
informed decisions to be made as to which IRB - ARFU member unions
would be invited to participate in various IRB Sevens tournaments
for each one year period following each satellite tournament.
Following are the teams that would be
taking field at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium. Hosts Sri Lanka,
Arabian Gulf, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Guam, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Secretary of the SLRFU Dilroy Fernando
told The Sunday Leader that at the IRB meeting in Dublin, the Sri
Lankan contingent had requested inter alia for video clippings of
the weekly rugby show titled 'Total Rugby'. The request has been
acceded to by the IRB and will be made available to the SLRFU free
of charge with a nominal charge to be paid to the television rights
owners. Requests have also been made for a coach and the response
had been positive from the authorities.
Singapore game on the 25 of June.
The tickets have been priced at Rs.100
for the pavilion and Rs.20 for the terraces. The SLRFU informs the
schools that upon submission of letters from respective principals
each school would be issued 20 complementary tickets. Tickets would
be available at all 'A' division clubs from tomorrow.
The kick off is scheduled for 4.30pm.
prestige boost for Colombo Asiad
By T.M.K. Samat
THE Colombo Rugby Asiad next year is
set to receive an unexpected prestige-boost with the ARFU poised to
designate it as the Rugby World Cup (RWC) Asian final - and so,
possibly bring the SLRFU a windfall from the sale of television
Japan and Korea have perennially fought
it out between themselves for the single slot available to Asia in
the once-in-four-years RWC finals. The battle for Asian
representation at the next RWC wouldn't be any different, and the
winner of the assured meeting between Asia's nos. 1 and 2 in the
Colombo event next year, it is proposed, should be the Asian
qualifier for the 2007 RWC finals in France.
"Japan and Korea are to play in
Group A of the Asiad and their meeting is certain. So, the ARFU has
suggested that the issue of who qualifies should be decided in the
Colombo Asiad rather than have a separate playoff," said Dilroy
Fernando, Secretary SLRFU. "It would be cost-effective to both
teams and also eliminate the risk of injuries which a separate
The proposal put forward by ARFU
Secretary General, Jamie Scott, will come up at the ARFU meeting in
Guam today. Sri Lanka will be represented in the Guam meeting by
union president Priyantha Ekanayake, who last week replaced Mohan
Balasuriya as ARFU president.
SLRFU officials are confident that
Scott's proposal will be accepted as, according to Fernando,
"it's inconceivable that the Secretary General would make this
proposal without some sort of prior approval" from the
contending countries. "I think approval in Guam would be a
Should the Colombo event be tagged the
RWC Asian final, the SLRFU has plans to market the event profitably.
"What it means is that the Colombo Asiad will have a direct
link to the IRB World Cup finals in 2007 - and we see a heightening
of interest among rugby-playing countries, especially in Asia;
obviously international television broadcasters too will evince
interest in the tournament," said Fernando. "We would want
to get the best deal possible and intend to appoint a committee of
professionals to market the event."
calls for ban on minnows
Richie Benaud added his voice to call
for Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to be dropped from senior international
cricket. The Australian cricket great, currently in England where he
is commentating for Broadcaster Channel 4, made his comments after
witnessing Bangladesh's innings and 261 run defeat in the first Test
at Lord' s. The match, Bangladesh's first Test in England, finished
before lunch on the third day with Benaud labelling it an
Benaud, writing in the News of the
World, Britain's biggest selling Sunday tabloid, was adamant that
the presence of Bangladesh-whose only win in 37 Tests has come
against fellow strugglers Zimbabwe -was neither good for the game as
a whole or for the teams themselves.
"After witnessing this two-and-a
bit day farce at Lord's, I am convinced our game's governing
body-the ICC-must make a firm and swift decision," Benaud said.
"They must remove Bangladesh and
Zimbabwe from full-time international cricket until their ability
and infrastructure warrant their re-inclusion.
"Both teams need to be put on hold
for the good of cricket. They are simply not good enough to be
pitched against proper Test match countries." Benuad added.
"What should be done is to have both countries scheduled to
play a carefully programmed series of matches against "A"
teams and minor teams from the other eight (Test) countries and they
should play against one another as well.
"They can undertake short tours
where none of the opposition will be of international standard and
we can see if they are improving, standing still or going backwards.
ICC is due to hold its annual meetings at Lord's in June. However,
it is unlikely that the standing of either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe
will be on the agenda given that the governing body has repeatedly
said the duo's Test status is not up for discussion.
Benuad, 74, one of cricket's best-known
broadcasters, was the first layer to compete the all-round double of
2,000 Test runs and 200 Test wickets. The leg-spinner led Australia
in 28 of his 63 Tests and never lost a series as captain.
win or bust against S'pore
THERE'S more than one reason why
Singapore will be a proposition quite unlike Thailand. And prudence
would ask Sri Lanka to not overstate its win of a fortnight ago over
the Thais, accomplished though that performance was. Obviously, the
48/38 triumph can't be anything but a confidence-enhancing beginning
to our World Cup campaign, but any favourable assumptions based on
the excellence of two Saturdays ago would be at our peril.
Before we dwell on why the Singapore
opposition will be a different kettle of fish - on June 25 at
Longden Place -, a brief explanatory note on the competition. World
Cup Qualifier it is named. The rather grandiloquent title at once
gives the impression that Sri Lanka is in the race, alongside the
likes of England, the All Blacks, the Wallabies, et al, for a place
in the next Rugby World Cup finals- and theoretically, that is true.
Realistically though, that scenario is as far removed as planet Mars
is from Nittawela.
The competition is about deciding which
country represents Asia at the once-in-four-years World Cup finals -
and Japan it is that has been Asia's perennial flag bearer on
rugby's world stage. Sri Lanka plays for the lesser goal of
improving its place in the Asian hierarchy, which, over the past
half decade or so, has taken quite a dramatic tumble. The nadir was
at the last Asiad when we were lumped with minnow-nations India,
Pakistan and Macao.
That's quite a fall from grace for a
nation boasting one of the longest rugby heritages in Asia. It will
be remembered that barely a decade ago, we would routinely defeat
Thailand and Singapore; Hong Kong and Taiwan, presently Asia's 2 and
3 respectively, were regarded as fellow-contenders for Asia's no. 3
Against the background of that steep
descent, union officials would like to see the recent triumph over
Thailand as the dawning of better days. Of course, a single swallow
does not a summer make. But after the admirable triumph of a
fortnight ago, Sri Lanka rugby hasn't felt so inspired in a long,
long while. It is nice to hear officials talk in terms of qualifying
for the next phase of competition.
Here, I must hasten to correct the
competition's format, as stated in last week's Sunday Leader. Only
the top team from the group of Sri Lanka/ Thailand/Singapore will
qualify for the next phase of competition - not two, as mentioned in
last Sunday's issue. The winner next Saturday will meet the top team
of the Kazakhstan/India/Guam/Malaysia group. The Kazaks, already
with wins over Malaysia and India, look the likely qualifier here.
The Kazaks and Sri Lanka/or Singapore
plays each other twice, home and away, with the winner moving on the
next phase: a meeting with China, winners of their group, which also
included Taiwan and Arabian Gulf.
To get as far as to a confrontation
with China is difficult but not impossible. If Singapore can be
prevailed over, psychologically, half the journey to China would've
been completed - because the Kazaks, our next opponents, isn't as
strong as Singapore. At the Asiad last November, Singapore finished
two slots ahead of the seventh-placed Kazakhstan. Sri Lanka finished
tenth in the same competition, but after their impressive display
against the Thais, the scrap against Singapore is expected to be, in
the words of an IRB report, "one that will go down the
Playing in home conditions will be a
huge, huge advantage. That, coupled with the present confidence
might just well tempt Mallikarachchi's men to presume glad tidings,
which, as a people, we're notoriously good at. It's best though, to
wipe out of the memory the success over the Thais, and see June 25
as another day, another battle.
Any psychological advantage Sri Lanka
might have presumed after Suphan Buri was valid only till the
Singaporeans themselves took on the Thais - which was last week in
the city-state, and ended in a canter for the Singaporeans, winning
47 points to 27. Their margin of victory is better than Sri Lanka's
48/38, and instantly raises different prospects. But let's put aside
for later a perspective reading of the respective margins in the
context of next Saturday's match.
First though, let's dwell on why
Singapore might well be tougher customers. Where the Thais had none,
the Singaporeans will have three-to-four expatriate players - Kiwis,
Australians and Britons, all having resided in Singapore for three
years, as required by IRB's player-eligibility rule. A majority of
the expats no doubt will be forwards, which means that the relative
freedom Sri Lanka's forwards enjoyed against the all-national Thai
"eight" is not likely to be available against Singapore.
Against the Thais, our forwards won an
abundance of ball, especially from rucks and mauls, and so,
subscribed to the backs' prosperity. They spun out quite some
wondrous moves, scoring all of the seven tries, some breathtaking.
After the sweeping advances in Suphan Buri, trench warfare seems the
likely prospect at Longden Place. In other words, defence will
As well, possession is likely to be
strictly on ration against the bigger Singapore forwards. So, the
Lankans can ill-afford to put ball to boot, a habit they can't seem
to curb even in situations that don't require it. Coach George
Simpkin might have to imprint the words 'handle-with-care' on the
Now to the respective margins of
victory over the Thais: Singapore won by 20 points and Sri Lanka,
10. So, the figures say that the Singaporeans were twice as better
against Thailand. The tally of tries too favours Singapore: nine to
Sri Lanka's seven. And to complete the statistical superiority,
Singapore fared better in defence as well, conceding 27 points to
Thais, as against 38 given by us.
Behind those statistics, however, home
team Singapore was blessed with heaven-sent conditions at Yio Chu
Kang Stadium. With Singapore's forte being their forwards, the heavy
deluge prior to the match meant the heavy going was to their
advantage. And so it proved with the slighter Thai pack helpless to
cope with their bigger opponents. In fact, all of Singapore's nine
tries reportedly were scored by their forwards.
It is pretty clear what Sri Lanka can
expect next Saturday: an opposition, heavier and bigger, intent on
grinding down their opposite numbers of slighter physique. The
answer would be to minimize the mauling and bring the three quarters
into play at every opportunity.
As well, every scoring chance must be
converted to points, something that didn't always happen against the
Thais. Five conversions went pointless, as well, two penalties, all
which, if translated to points, might have put the issue beyond
doubt long before the end. Instead the Thais were allowed to get
back into the game on three occasions, from down 3/18 to 17/18, from
17/23 to 24/23 and then from 24/38 to 38/38. On each of those
occasions, Sri Lanka overcame the threats because the opposition was
inferior, which Singapore won't be.
Singapore's rugby has come a long way
from the days when they were regarded as merely making up the
numbers in the Asiad. Those were the times when rugby in Singapore
was largely played by the more exclusive schools, willing to dip
into their funds to have the sport on the list of extracurricular
Consequently, the numbers coming
through to the club and national level were sparse. In 1995
Singapore decided to do something about the starvation of talent and
established a full-time union office with a paid CEO. A series of
development programs followed, aimed at schools all the way up to
the national level. The number of
rugby-playing schools have now catapulted to 100, from the
pre-1995 ten. It has now 7,200 registered players of all ages. And
the city-state of a few millions is now ranked fifth best in Asia.
As well, the government marked rugby as
a high priority investment. It took a leaf off Hong Kong, whose
International Sevens inspired a huge interest in the game among the
local population. The government provides the annual US$100, 000
hosting fee required by IRB to bring World Series International
Sevens to their backyard. Singapore has staged the event since 2002.
No doubt there have also been government investments made at the
grass root level. And, I am told, their more talented younger
players are sent on all-expenses-paid training programs to New
Zealand and Australia.
If our World Cup qualifying round
campaign is brought to grief by Singapore, then, their government's
investments, and the lack of it by our government, would've to be a
mega bucks for rugby
SINGER (Sri Lanka) played Santa Claus
to local rugby, Wednesday, handing the sport a bundle of cheques in
the gleaming, chandeliered Cat's Eye Ballroom of Ceylon Continental
The company disbursed over Rs.7 million
to just about every component of local rugby, from the high-profile
National team down to the impoverished, frequently-maligned
referees, encapsulating the depth and breadth of the corporate
giant's commitment to local rugby.
As well, a pledge of assistance was
made by Mr. Singer himself, Chairman Hemaka Amarasuirya, to
construct a new rugby stadium in Kogalla, Galle; to enlarge the
Royal College stadium in Colombo and to hasten the completion of
Trinity College stadium in Pallekelle, in time for the Kandy leg of
this year's Bradby Shield - all of which adds up to another Rs.7
"The sponsorship we lent to
cricket in the early 90s, directly or indirectly, climaxed with the
'96 World Cup triumph, after which cricket was able to look after
itself," said Amarasuriya. "Now the company has committed
itself to support rugby, and we like to think that our involvement
would provide the happy results of cricket, at least in Asia. The
win over Thailand recently suggests the game is heading that
Development being the theme of Singer's
sponsorship, the greatest beneficiaries, not surprisingly, was the
schools. The company's investment in schools rugby is not new,
dating back to the 80s. But then it was individual sponsorship of
those schools involved in traditional fixtures. In 2002 however, it
decided to launch a help-the-schools scheme with the idea of
broadening and enriching the nurseries. Initially, the scheme
enlisted 11 schools. This year the list of beneficiaries has doubled
to 22, seven more than last year.
"We are happy with the progress
made by the schools program. The money has been put to good use; the
standard of rugby is better and the schools games draw a better
crowd," said Asita Abayasekera, Marketing Director, Singer.
"We've enlisted seven more schools this year, primarily to
broad base the grass root level.
A good case in point is Moratu
Vidyalaya: They have yet to graduate to first XV level, but we had
reports of their
promising under 14 rugby and so decided to assist their future
development." Among the other new beneficiaries are Piliyandala
Central, Prince of Wales, Maliyadeva and Richmond, all comparatively
recent recruits to rugby.
The sponsorship to each school varies
between Rs.100, 000 to Rs.350, 000, with the total handout nearly
Rs.4 million - an investment made not only for the cause of rugby
development. Let Abayasekera explain the nobler cause: "The
company would also like to make its contribution towards making a
better society by helping make better citizens of the school leavers
- and there's no better way of doing that than by encouraging the
young to engage in sport ''- and so imbibe the virtues of fair play,
team work and leadership.
And to give back sportsmanship its
deserved place in schools rugby, Singer has thought out an
extraordinarily creative idea to help achieve that goal. At the end
of the season it is to award Singer Lions to 10 players who've
demonstrated exceptional qualities of sportsmanship on the field.
Called the Singer Lions "Caught in the Act" program, the
selections will be made by a panel of judges appointed by the
Schools Association. As well, the season's Most Valuable Player
award will be on offer for the first time- and as emcee Chandrishan
Perera said, "It's all going to climax with an Oscars-like
2005 could be quite a season.
for Delhi training
IN a far-sighted move to inspire
provincial development, the SLTA last week dispatched a team of a
dozen under 12s and two coaches from the outstations for a
three-week coaching program in New Delhi.
The program is a consequence of
discussions SLTA president, Suresh Subramaniam, had with Anil Kannah,
secretary of both the Asian Tennis Federation and the All-India
Tennis Association. "We are indeed indebted to the ATF and AITA
for stepping in to help develop our juniors. India's juniors have
improved to a level where they can hold their own on the world stage
- and obviously the 12 attending the Delhi coaching camp will
benefit hugely from it," said president Subramaniam. "It
also gives us an opportunity to encourage and foster outstation
talent, and hopefully, fast-track their entry to national
A significant feature of the program is
that all attendees are products of the SLTA highly-popular mini
tennis program. "With the mini-tennis program drawing more than
40, 000 newcomers in the 5-10 years group, it is only fair that we
initiate programs that will benefit those kids who want to pursue
tennis at the senior level," said Subramaniam.
It costs each of three girls and nine
boys only half the airfare; accommodation, meals, internal travel
and coaching fees will be borne jointly by the SLTA and ATF.
Two of the best players from each of
the six regions - Kandy, Ratnapura, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Kurunegala
and Negombo - make up the Delhi-bound dozen.
The girls' squad has two from Ratnapura
- Madhavi Suraweera and Deshani Liyanage, both of Sumana BV - and
Tania Krishnamenon, a student of an international school in Kandy.
The boys' squad: S Mohankumar and S
Susanth (St, Michael's Batticaloa); S Sailan and T Thusainthan (St.
Patrick's Jaffna); Pramoda Udugampola (Trinity); Pulasthi Ratnayake
(Maliyadeva, K'gala) and Harsha de Silva (Sir John Kotelawela MV,
K'gala); Haritha Pieris and Prashan Fernando (St. Peter's, Negombo).
Coaches Franklin Jacob of Kandy and J
Vasanthan of Batticaloa will make a study of the Delhi program, to
be held in R K Kannah Stadium, and make suggestions to upgrade
SLTA's provincial coaching schemes. Barathiraj Pillai, SLTA junior
tennis coordinator, will also attend the Delhi program.
flock for Tsunami match
Hishan Welmilla At Lords
Just six days after the MCC tsunami
appeal cricket match played between
MCC team and International XI on 14th June at Lords, the new
forrm of the game -twenty 20 will be held tommrrow (20th June) .
The game will see an Asian team take on
an International XI. After securing some of the top names in the
world of cricket, Surrey County Cricket Club has done a wonderful
job of work towardsr the Oval Cricket Relief Trust Game in aid of
Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka and other areas hit by natural
disasters. The game starts at 5:30pm local time (11.30 pm sri Lankan
The Surrey County Cricket Club hopes to
raise in excess of 1million for the Oval Cricket Relief Trust.
"Having been to Sri Lanka I am
acutely aware of not only the need to help those affected by the
Tsunami, but also to ensure that the money given is spent for the
benefit of those who need it most. At this end we will donate the
money to a Cricket Aid village named after Surrey in Sri Lanka.
"The game itself will be a
festival of cricket, where the best players from all over the world
will be seen in action at the Oval.
The MCC beat an International XI bythe
comfortable margin of 112 runs at Lord's in the tsunami fund-raiser
The Sri Lankans who took part in the
game did well but unfortunately Muttiah Muralitharan had to pull out
from the game due to an injury. Kumara Sangakkara made 46 for MCC
and Sanath Jayasuriya made 21for the International XI while Chaminda
Vass took 2 wickets for the International side.
The organisers intend raising 500,000 pounds from the event
and Sarvodaya. Cricket Aid and Foundation for Goodness of Sri Lanka
will benefit from the funds.
A fund-raising event involving Shane
Warne and Sachin Tendulkar during the tsunamiappeal match has been
cancelled because of internet hoaxers.
Warne was to have joined up with
Tendulkar in offering a fan an unforgettableexperience in the
mid-innings interval at Lord's.
The highest bidder in an auction would
receive coaching from Tendulkar beforefacing Warne on the pitch.
However, the highest bids came from
people who had no intention of paying.
Organisers had hoped the auction would
raise a five-figure sum.
The MCC said in a statement: "As
the auction ended on Saturday afternoon,there has been insufficient
time to arrange for the highest legitimate bidder to come to
Assaf Admoni, director of fund-raising
for the Leonard Cheshire Foundationwhich arranged the auction, said:
I'm appalled that people could do this.
members night with a difference
Austasia Sports & Leisure Club
which has had a successful line up of special nights on a monthly
basis will have an exciting Fashion show featured in this month's
event scheduled for June 25.
The fashion show organised by Dilrukshi
from Rukshi Arts & Crafts will commence approximately at 8 p.m.
and is open to the public. Tickets are priced at Rs 250.
This is the right opportunity for young
and not so-young fashion lovers to get in to the spotlight for the
evening and walk the ramp in an identified competition where
Austasia would gift a membership/grand prize to the fashion icon of
A double century in school cricket at
the age of 14 and a partnership of 351 for the first wicket with
Makin Salih for Moors was the highlight of his career.
He played for 3 clubs BRC, Moors and
Saracens the longest being for 11 years. But he is best remembered
as being an umpire of repute and one of the longstanding and
outstanding umpires of yore.
An umpire, especially today, comes
under a lot of fire. More so because of the television replays and
the use of technology! The armchair critic is ever ready to
criticise the umpire and even the commentators take the "man in
white" to task. He has to count the balls and have literally
about ten eyes to watch what is going on. Sometimes he may fall
asleep and wake up o the sound of a ferocious "Howzat"
blasting his ear drums. He then considers the volume of the sound.
Better to give the batsman out as then he leaves the crease than to
face the wrath of eleven men crying for his blood. And especially if
one has a bowler of the ferocity of Dennis Lillee appealing one is
tempted to raise the finger.
Well, enough of meandering.
We are talking of Herbert (Herbie)
Clemen Felsinger. He scored a rare double century (202 not out) in
January 1948 when playing for Carey College against St.John's
Nugegoda at the Wesley College grounds.
In 1952/53 he was selected to play for
Ceylon vs India under the late F.C. de Saram. In 1979 he umpired the
100th Royal-Thomian match at the SSC and in 1982 he stood once again
with K.T Francis for the first Test match against England at the
Having umpired in England in 1985 he
expanded his horizons.
One of his unforgettable experiences is
having umpired with the legendary Dickie Bird in Sharjah. He even
has a stump autographed by the great man.
He was selected to umpire the first
World Cup to be held in Australia.
He was one of the 16 local umpires
felicitated by the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers at the
P.Sara Stadium in January 2003. He was awarded a medal of excellence
and a certificate of merit by Chandra Schaffter, MD of Janashakthi
Some of the outstanding players whom he
watched as an umpire were Sunil Wettimuny, Roy Dias, Ranjan
Describing the First Test match vs
England Felsinger said that Sri Lanka had a good side, with the
Wettimuny's , Madugalle, Dias, Arjuna Ranatunga and bowlers like
John and Ashantha de Mel.
Sri Lanka was in a winning way at one stage. I thought that
Sri Lanka could save the match but they failed," said a
For 20 years as an umpire from
1971-1991, till a stroke overtook him, he was yet
another umpire struck down by tragedy, the other being Ajith
As for the pre Test era, he mentioned
that Sri Lanka had a good side. "Umpiring today is easy. All
you do is that you watch the ball when it is in the air and see
whether it is going to strike the stumps or not. If in doubt you can
refer to the third umpire."
Celebrating his 75th birthday on June 4
and also coincidentally his 50th Wedding Anniversary on the smae
date, Felsinger said that the umpires of his era were better.
Talking of good bowlers during his
umpiring era he mentioned Ajith de Silva and Ravi Ratnayake, not
Rumesh. "He could swing the ball a lot." He added. He also
described Sunil Wettimuny as a class bat. "There is too much of
money in the game now" he lamented.
As for recent umpires he singled out S.
Venkataragan and Asoka de Silva. Venkat played against me when I
represented Ceylon. Steve Bucknor takes too much time to give a
decision" he said.
"The standards of umpiring have
deteriorated. The standards were of a high calibre at one time.
He particularly referred to the late M.A.Jayasinghe as being
an outstanding umpire. Others he mentioned were K.T. Francis and
As for cricketing standards he said
that that too had deteriorated because of the lure of money.
Wicket keepers of note were Ben
Navaratne and the two Fernando's Ranjit and H.I.K. Fernando. Special
mention was made of Mahes Goonetilleke and Russell Hamer.
In later years "Little Kalu"
was good but the selectors have opted for Kumar Sangakkara, whom he
doesn't consider the best.
Recently Stanley Jayasinghe in an
article that Felsinger was omitted from a list of umpires given
recognition by Thilanga Sumithapala. Umpires are remembered after
they are dead and not always thanked for the thankless job they do
meets Aslam in the final
The U.W.Sumathipala memorial trophy
snooker Nationals final between Susantha Botejue of YMCA and S.Aslam
of MSC will be held at the Snooker Assocaition at Reid Avenue on
Saturday June 18.
In the semi final Aslam met Nazeer and
beat him six frames to one while Boteju overcame Naresh
Samarawickrema of YMBA, Galle by a similar margin.
The winner will receive Rs 25,000.00
while the runner up will receive Rs 15,000.00 and the highest break
Rs 2,500 and for each break of 75 or more there will be a prize of
Conceived 68 years ago by the
unemployed American architect, Alfred Butts, scrabble still
fascinates and delights people worldwide. This is mainly because
scrabble is a board game that can be played by anyone of any age or
physical ability-an ideal family game for holidays and rainy days.
In Sri Lanka scrabble enthusiasts meet
every Sunday from 1.00 p.m. to 6.p.m. at the Sumithrayo Training
Centre, 60, Horton Place, Colombo 7.
The Sri Lanka Scrabble League (SLSL) is
a anon profit organisation
whose aim is to popularise
scrabble in Sri Lanka, and provide opportunities for people
of all ages, from all walks of life, to play socially and
competitively at national and international levels. Anyone is
welcome to join the league.
The SLSL organises the all island
scrabble competition annually. The event is held in 3 categories.
Open-Open to anyone. Juniors -For those
below 15 years of age. Sub-juniors-For those below 12 years of age.