the moment of truth
The cricket World Cup
was much looked forward to by many a fan world over hoping that
their respective team will clinch the plum. However we are now in
the process of reaching the moment of truth. Looking back at the
tournament shows that some of the top teams have already been
eliminated. Some others are in the process of been eliminated with
hosts West Indies been the biggest disappointment. And those who are
remaining are engaged in intense battles day in and day out trying
to figure out ways to out maneuver their opponents by picking on the
weak links and trying to exploit them. Actually the matches seem to
be played at team meeting rooms as much as in the middle. That is
how tough and important the whole World Cup is turning out to be.
Lots of teams naturally are playing for their pride and of course
for the ultimate supremacy in the One Day version of the game.
Looking back at some
of the games the biggest shock of the entire cricket World Cup other
than Ireland beating Pakistan and getting into the Super 8 was the
defeat of South Africa at the hands of underdogs, Bangladesh ! I am
sure the South African effort against West Indies a few days later,
was a point they wanted to prove to the rest of the cricketing
world! It was both clinical and efficient! But as far as the
Bangladesh game was concern it was the other way around. It was the
turn of the Bangladesh outfit to announce themselves and further
confirm the growing reputation it has acquired with its entry into
the super 8. I am sure the Bangladeshi lads don’t want to be
projected as the whipping boys of the World Cup along with Ireland .
They were according to Skipper Habibul Bashar, was still looking for
the right combination and wonder whether the victory over the South
Africans was a culmination of that. Coach Dav Whatmore too had
promised continuation of the improved performances against the major
teams which is a sign of the new found confidence in the side.
In the other matches
the game against England and Australia took top billing, with a very
close contest expected. However England, showed the rest of the
world their ability to grab defeat from the jaws of victory with the
most unimaginative display of batsmenship. I wonder which other
teams in the world would have crumbled from a 160/2, with two well
set batsmen at the wicket. Having said that I tend to wonder whether
it was the inability of England or the awesome strength of Australia
. I feel it is a combination of both with the end result weighted
more in the favour of the former.
Finally dwelling a
bit more on that famous victory of Sri lanka over England, who would
have thought that Dilhara Fernando after all the problems he has had
in recent months would be asked to bowl the last over where Sri
Lanka had just a few runs to defend against England. The manner he
handled the situation goes to show the enormous transformation of
the man. It was Coach Moody and Mahela who gave him the ultimatum to
change to a shorter run up. This was always felt to be the answer to
his problem of no balls which had become the bug bear of his bowling
and ruining his confidence. To have persuaded him to have done it
needed tact which I think both Tom and Mahela have and has been one
of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s success. The games against South
Africa and England were too close for comfort but goes to illustrate
the strength of the bowling. However we all know that bowlers can
not perform miracles all the time and the batting consisting of the
seven specialists, need to fire as they get ever so close to that
moment of reckoning! First the Semifinal and hopefully the Final. I
am sure we can look forward to that.
remain over coach’s future
questions Moody rumour
believes Tom Moody has still not decided where he will coach after
the World Cup, despite reports he was heading home to Perth to take
the reins of Western Australia. However, Jayawardene said cricket
was "only a game" and it was entirely up to Moody whether
continuing with Sri Lanka was the right move.
Justin Langer said
his decision to stand down as Western Australia’s captain was in
part based on a conversation with Moody that led him to believe
Moody would replace the retiring Wayne Clark as the state’s coach
next season. A Western Australia spokeswoman said no final agreement
had been reached over who would take over from Clark, but Moody was
the preferred candidate.
questioned whether Langer had interpreted Moody’s words correctly.
"What has come out in the papers is not what Tom has told him
[Langer]," Jayawardene said on AFP. Moody, who has repeatedly
said he would not consider his future until after the World Cup,
insisted again on Tuesday he had made no firm plans.
Jayawardene said he
hoped Moody, who has been coaching Sri Lanka since June 2005, would
remain in his current role. "Tom has been brilliant for
us," he said.
something different to the side and we’ve flourished. I don’t
have to tell the [Sri Lanka] Board that. They know how valuable Tom
is to us and I’m sure they’ll do everything in their power to
there would be no hard feelings from the players if Moody chose to
move on. "He has said he wants to finish the World Cup with Sri
Lanka and then decide," he said. "Cricket is only a game
and there are other factors in life. At the end of the day, it’s
World Cup shown ‘live’ at CH&FC
Call it a fever,
frenzy or craze but this once every four year event completely
changes some countries, Sri Lanka included, and its people.
Cricket has evolved
into more than just a game, and with Sri Lanka’s outstanding
performance so far, there’s no telling what could happen.
This time around, TNL
Radio Network together with Caltex Delo 500 brings you ‘World Cup
Mania’ like never before at CH and FC, which is centrally located
at 31, Maitland Crescent Colombo 07, also known as the Gymkhana Club
right up until the Finals which takes place on April 28.
All key matches will
be telecast live on two giant screens amidst a carnival atmosphere
with plenty of food and beverage stalls and even a traditional
musical band. What better way to end your day than to grab some
great food and beverages and catch the World Cup action live?
What’s more is that
the TNL RN outdoor broadcasting vehicle will be there giving live
updates on 101.7 TNL, Lite 89.2 and Asura FM 100.7.
You also might be
able to catch up with all your favourite radio personalities from
If you can’t make
it down to CH and FC, you can tune into 101.7 TNL, Lite 89.2 or
Asura FM 100.7 for live match updates, star player and team profiles
and information on the cricket World Cup on all morning and evening
drive time shows.
As for Sri Lanka’s
chances in the World Cup, media hype has never reached this height
since Sri Lanka’s victory back in 1996.
The team’s never
looked better, with all their star players in top form and Lasith
Malinga’s development, which has been incredible and impressive to
say the least. But he’s not the only star in Sri Lanka’s line
up; Sangakara, Jayasuriya, Jayawardena, Vaas and Murali will have a
huge impact in this World Cup. The team seems focused, and their
techniques are better than ever.
This World Cup seems
uncertain as ever. But one thing remains is that it will be packed
with action every step of the way up to the Finals stage.
has his say
I, as the President
of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU), wish to draw your
attention to the article in the sports column under the caption, ‘Beginning
of the end or of a fresh era’ - Samat on Sunday," written by
the experienced and respected sports columnist, T.M.K Samat,
published in your popular newspaper, The Sunday Leader, in
its issue of 1 April 2007.
As I gleefully
prepared to read this article on the "April Fools’ day"
noted with the ritual April fools’ pranks, at the conclusion of
this article, I noted sadly that it was not so.
While this note is to
sincerely appreciate the consideration, thoughts and the initiative
in devoting valuable space in your popular newspaper on the SLRFU
under my Presidency, I would like to enlighten you with more
information to clear any frail notion that would evolve in the minds
of the readers, who are not customarily associated with the past and
ongoing developments of the popular rugby football sport in Sri
I deeply appreciate
the accolades showered on the incumbent SLRFU Executive Committee by
T.M.K. Samat with his generous comments in the noted article viz. "even
its harshest critics would have to admit that the new
administration, not withstanding its dubious induct, is steering the
game to better times."
Nevertheless to the
misleading comment of the "dubious induct," it is noted
that the incumbent SLRFU Ex-Committee is under the strong the
irrevocable concept that democracy is the foremost pillar to achieve
prosperity and advancement in any sphere in a democratic society. It
is pointless harping on traditions in a democratic society if these
traditions are not benefiting the prosperity and advancement of the
ideals, vision and mission of any honorary organisation especially
in the sports arena. I as the President of the SLRFU and the
incumbent SLRFU Ex-Co have pledged to synergise all resources for
the advancement of rugby football in Sri Lanka by harnessing talents
in urban and rural areas. Thus, laying the past behind especially
concerning the induction of a new Ex-Co of the SLRFU. The incumbent
SLRFU always encourage constructive criticism; solicit support of
all rugby - loving personalities to meet our new mission and vision
for the advancement of rugby football in Sri Lanka.
In the article in
question, the sports columnist has erred by reflecting that "a
serious difference of opinion exists between the Union President
and his deputy", I along with my deputy, Asanga Seneviratne,
Vice President - SLRFU, vehemently deny that we are having serious
differences, and take this opportunity to pronounce that we are
totally committed to a common agenda, valued principles and
priorities for the advancement of rugby football in Sri Lanka.
The sports columnist
has also raised the issue of the change of the SLRFU selection
committee thereby creating a dubious intent in the minds of the
rugby spectators. There is no doubt about the proven track record of
the incumbent Vice - President of the SLRFU, Asanga Seneviratne, as
the chairman of the SLRFU selection committee. Nevertheless, when
Asanga Seneviratne expressed his intentions to serve as the Vice
President to the incumbent President - SLRFU, it was mutually agreed
prior to the election that he would step down from the SLRFU
selection committee. This was in accordance with the existing Sports
Ministry regulation where it is categorically reflected that in any
sports body, an office bearer is ineligible to hold the post of
chairman of the selection committee of the respective sports body.
Accordingly, Asanga Seneviratne stepped from the post when the new
chairman of the selection committee, headed by Sri Lankan rugby
stalwart, Anton Benedict, assumed post. The delay in these
appointments were owing to unavoidable reasons as the SLRFU was
determined to harness the best constituted selection committee in
the larger interests of rugby football in Sri Lanka.
misquoted fact of two players sent to New Zealand for specialised
affiliated rugby training with the Taranaki Rugby Academy, I would
like to place on record that these two players, Sean Wijesinghe and
Dushanth Lewke, were sponsored by their parent rugby club, Kandy
Sports Club, long before the induction of the incumbent SLRFU Ex-Co.
These two players secured approval from the SLRFU prior to their
rugby affiliation with Taranaki rugby academy, and had also informed
the SLRFU that these two players will be available for national
selection. It was in the greater interests of rugby that the SLRFU
recognised the international training exposure of these two players.
It was also the obligation of the national rugby selection committee
to inform such players in advance to be present for national
selection since any failure would infringe on their fundamental
rights as a player devoted to contribute in the best interests of
rugby football in Sri Lanka.
On the selection
process for the recently concluded ‘Hong Kong International Rugby
Sevens’, it is highlighted that the SLRFU had categorically
informed the national selectors and the rugby clubs / players that
the final selection of the Sri Lanka National Team for the ‘Hong
Kong International Rugby Sevens’ will not be exclusively based on
the ‘rugby sevens tournaments’ held in Radella and Colombo. To
avoid any critical situation, the SLRFU informed the national
selection committee that all players were in a national rugby pool
had to be subjected to a rugby trial prior to the final selection.
It is noted that, of the two players, who were on rugby affiliation
with the Taranaki rugby academy, one was already in the rugby sevens
On the matter of the
two rugby coaches sent for international ruby coaching exposure,
after the incumbent SLRFU Committee assumed office, following the
SLRFU Council decision, two rugby coaches, Messers. Sudath Sampath
and Chanaka Nishantha, took wing to New Zealand for SLRFU sponsored
rugby coaching training programme.
Another issue raised
in this disputed article is the timing of the change of the national
selection committee giving the factually inaccurate notion that this
was executed intently to influence the final selection process. It
is placed on record that the national selectors finalised 12 players
and four reserves on March 22 2007 as the final squad for the ‘Hong
Kong International Rugby Sevens,’ and submitted to the SLRFU. It
is the onerous task of the SLRFU to ensure that the national rugby
team is selected by an authorised and legitimate national selection
committee, and to submit it to the Sports Ministry with observations
of the SLRFU accompanying the national selection committee report
SLRFU was encountered with a technical and legal snarl as the
chairman of the national rugby selection committee was also the Vice
President of the SLRFU. Owing to time constraints, a nominated list
of national selectors was compiled in consultation with the vice
president - SLRFU and a few SLRFU ex-co member spending SLRFU
council meeting, and submitted to the sports ministry for approval
as the Sri Lanka Sevens team had to leave on May 27.
The SLRFU Council
with Mr. Seneviratne, vice president SLRFU and Chairman of the
former Selection Committee met prior to the departure of the SL
National team to Hong Kong where the Council approved nomination
list as it comprised balanced and competent selectors.
I trust that this
note clarifies any mis-notions concerning the nominations of the
national selection committee by the SLRFU and provide a deep insight
to show the determination of the incumbent SLRFU council for the
advancement of rugby football in Sri Lanka .
As the incumbent
President of the SLRFU I take this opportunity to assure to the
Sunday Leader and all its adored readers, including the rugby fans,
that all the activities of the incumbent SLRFU Council have been
duly executed with transparency in accordance with the best
Despline key to
By Hafiz Marikar
Discipline – key to
Kandy Women’s success in Hockey, says the President of the Kandy
District Hockey Association R. Maheswaran., after his women’s side
won the National Championship.
R, Maheswaran a live
wire for the sport over here in the central hills, said that it was
good discipline and keen performance that helped us to win the Women’s
National Hockey title for the four time in the history. Thrice
outright and once had to share the Roy de Silva Challenge Cup.
The Cup was presented
by one time President of the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation Roy de Siva
for the Women’s National Hockey Championship.
The Kandy Women’s
carried away the Roy de Silva cup and Cash of Rs.50,000.00. A big
hand to you R. Maheswaran for doing a good job as the President of
the Kandy District Hockey Association
This time was the
17th Women’s National Championship, and was played at the
Nadnimithra Ekanyake Astor Turf in Matale.
Kandy Women’s tem
packed with some top class players netted three superb goals to win
the title, after being 2-0 at lemons.
FIDE Master Harinal
Aturupane was elected as the new President of the Chess Federation
of Sri Lanka (CFSL) at its AGM that was held at the YMBA Borella
recently (March 29).
Assistant General Manager of Lanka Orix Securities, a stockbroking
firm, has as his team in the CFSL: Dr. RD Gunaratne (Vice
President), S Dharmarathne (Secretary), Malinda Seneviratne (Asst.
Secretary), Max Gunasekera (Treasurer) and Gihan Dinesh (Librarian).
Committee members: G.L. Wijesuriya, D. Kuruppu, S. De Moraes, C.K.D.
Fonseka, I. Patabendige, R. Thilakaratne and V. Perera.
Aturupane along with
his brother Dr. Harsha Aturupane are by far the two best chess
players Sri Lanka has ever produced. However having won multiple
national championships and achieving the highest rank a Sri Lankan
chess player has obtained to date (that of a Master of the
International Chess Federation (FIDE)-titles which both brothers
hold) and which is yet to be surpassed, the brothers gave up active
playing in the late 1980s to further their careers.
chaotic inter school rugby season !
Sri Lanka Schools
Rugby Association (SLSRA) continues its hap hazard modes operandi.
The SLSRA which falls under the direct purview of the Ministry of
Education is in a total mess to state the least. The main objective
of the officials of SLSRA seems to be to please the sponsors at any
cost and has paid scant respect to the schools that have played by
the rules in the season gone by.
President and the Secretary contradict each other on the same issue
or plead ignorance when posed with pertinent questions by the media.
This is quite evident by the versions given by the two officials to
the media in the recent past on issues varying from breach of rules
by member schools to eligibility criteria of players concerned. To
add to the woes, one of the premier rugby playing schools in the
island, in Trinity College Kandy are being given a raw deal in
deciding the venues for their fixtures. According to the tentative
fixture list Trinity are billed to play Thurstan, St. Peters, Wesley
in Colombo and ironically the Isipatana game which should have been
played in Colombo has been shifted to Kandy for another year.
Further the Kingswood and St. Anthony’s matches which were hosted
by Trinity last season are being given the same honour this year as
The simple criteria
was that if a school hosts a game in a particular year then
invariably the following year the game would be hosted by the other
school and if the two schools have not played each other for a
period of time then one would revert to the last game played between
the two sides in deciding the venue. Why complicate an issue which
in fact does not exist? Only the wise officials of the Sri Lanka
Schools Rugby Association can answer this question. The reference
made was only with regards one participating school for the reason
that this article would go into pages if comparisons are drawn of
the grievances of other schools as well.
aspect which the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association fails to
understand is that a team cannot be prepared fully if the
prospective fixtures are not indicated on time. In the present day
context all schools take their rugby seriously and invest heavily on
coaches and related know how to keep up with the pace of the game.
Nevertheless a squad has to be trained over a definite period of
time to ensure that they peak at the correct time. We are coming
towards the end of April 2007. Yet no final word has been given by
the SLSRA authorities as to the commencement of the season.
The dissolution of an
unincorporated sports body does not necessarily emanate from
corruption or mismanagement. The worst instance being incompetence.
The present set of officials of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby
Association will no doubt fall into the latter consideration. For
the sake of the game at least for the year 2007, the most sensible
solution would be to handover the affairs of conducting schools
rugby to the Sports Governing Body, the Sri Lanka Rugby Football
Over to you, Minister