rush back Sanga
KUMAR Sangakkara's presence in the first
Test starting Thursday rides very much on the wings of a
prayer. What was thought to be a minor straining of his
left hamstring is now a confirmed tear, forcing his
withdrawal from the ongoing three-day warm up match
against Queensland, the final lead-up to the two Tests.
pulled up with the injury after just three balls
Saturday last, the first day of the three-dayer in
Adelaide, and being no part of the current game means
the formidable no.3 left-hander would likely go into the
first Test in Brisbane without any match-preparation.
The talk seems to be about resting him so that his
hamstring heals in time for the first Test. The
impatience to have him back at work is understandable,
but should he be rushed?
There is no easy answer to that.
Including a player whose preparation in the middle has
been limited to facing just three balls and a sprint
across for a single can't be considered anything but a
gamble. Popular opinion no doubt will have that
Sangakkara's exceptional talents are worth gambling on.
Wiser counsels though would prefer a rather more
cautious return to action. But, given that there is no
game between first and second Tests, Sangak- kara's
inclusion on Thursday becomes a compulsion. Preserving
him for the final Test will only deepen doubts, arising
from inactivity about his suitability. It is far better
that he goes into the second Test with the cobwebs
dusted off in the first Test than to have him do the
same in the final Test.
Admittedly, it is yet premature to be
making conclusions on Sangakkara's first Test inclusion
or otherwise. After all, he has to first be issued with
a clean bill of health before the tour management can
decide at all whether to disregard his enforced
inactivity and come what may, play him in the first
Test. His present medical condition reportedly leaves
him in doubt for the Brisbane Test which suggests his
injury is serious. That raises the question if his
injury would have healed to the point of being free of
any risk of recurrence- that is presuming he figures in
the second Test starting on November16 - three weeks
since he tore his left hamstring.
Sangakkara's own thoughts on the injury
and his state of mind are pertinent. In his column in
the website, CricInfo, he writes:
The results of my scan showed a grade
one tear, so I am just trying to do everything right
with my treatment and make sure I get ready for the
Test. You never know with injuries - it depends on the
individual. If it were a grade two tear, which is a
major tear, it would be a different story. I have got
all the care I need with the physio but over the next
few days I will know how it is heading.
Clearly, he too is unsure as to when he
might be fit to play. Should he, however, be ruled unfit
for the first Test, his inclusion for the second ought
not to be a forgone conclusion. It would be prudent to
subject his fitness to a searching examination before he
is considered for inclusion. His recovery should be
complete, total and free of the possibility of the
injury's recurrence. He is far too great an asset to be
put at risk, even temporarily. Such risks taken might
have damaging consequences on his future, as is the case
in England's star, Andrew Flintoff, who spends as much
time these days in hospitals as on the playing field -
all because he returned to action not completely cured.
This much is certain: The Australians
will target Sangakkara, subject him to a severe test,
physically and mentally. As the world knows the
Australians are ruthless and unsympathetic, which,
allied with their talents, is why they are world
champions. Our Sangakkara is not the sort who will back
out of a challenge, an attitude that cannot find
expression if troubled by fitness doubts. So, a
half-hearted expression of his boldness can mean a
greater undertaking of risk.
With a lot of optimistic talk around
about achieving our first Test win in Australia,
obviously you would wish that all our first-choice
players would be out in the middle helping the historic
cause. But Sangakkara's inclusion compels caution.
Because of the injury, the decision has to factor in not
just the current Tests but also the immediate future. A
busy programme is ahead of the team: 1. a three-Test
home series v. England in December, and 2. back again to
Australia for a tri-nation, India included, in
January-February. It will be wonderful if Sangakkara can
take in all those engagements, but if his fitness is
suspect for the two Australian Tests, then the sensible
thing to do is to make certain of his services for the
no less important December to February duties by sparing
him the strain and rigour of the present series.
His absence, of course, will be a blow,
but not as crippling as it seems, thanks, ironically, to
the eleventh-hour inclusion of Marvan Atapattu by the
Sport Minister. This is, however, not to applaud the
minister's action which by no stretch of imagination was
right, given that it was as good as an expression of
lack of faith on the very selectors of his choice. That
is another story. Atapattu was anyway on the selectors'
original list, and opted out of his own accord.
Anyway, his presence is a blessing. His
carefully grafted half-century, allied with his vast
experience, no doubt provides balm to the headaches
brought on by doubts over Sangakkara's fitness. Then
there was Jayasuriya's century and the half centuries of
Vandort and Samaraweera, all in Adelaide - and life
without Sangakkara does not appear to be nearly as bad
as is imagined.
As well, skipper Jayewardene came out of
his bad match with a second innings half-century. So,
the likely batting line-up sans Sangakkara is a hopeful
one: Jayasuriya, Atapattu, Vandort,Jayewardene,
Samaraweera, Chamara Silva andwicket-keeper/bat Prasanna
Jayewardene. Not such a bad price to pay for the
guaranteed services of Sangakkara December through to
Sixth Hyundai Golf Classic
IT is time again for the Hyundai Golf
Classic Ladies Golf Tournament, an event much looked
forward to by lady golfers. The tournament, this year
will be worked out on November 7, in the morning at the
RCGC. The tournament is open to all lady members,
non-members, handicappers and non-handicappers of RCGC,
NEGC, VGC and Waters Edge.
The local agents for Hyundai motor cars
in Sri Lanka will sponsor the Hyundai Golf Classic 2007
Ladies Golf Tournament for the sixth successive year.
This year Hyundai Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. will offer two return
air tickets to Korea to the winner of the Hole-in-One
to visit the Hyundai Motor Plant and includes two days
of golf in Seoul.
The format of the tournament is
stableford in three categories. The winner of each
category will receive a trophy and a return air ticket.
The first runner-up will receive a trophy and a prize.
The Hyundai Golf Classic 2007 Trophy will
go to the overall best nett winner. Ladies without
handicap can also participate and they will be playing
only nine holes. Non-members are also welcome to
participate. All well known lady golfers will be keenly
participating in this year's tournament and the ladies
section also confirms that many new members and
beginners will also join the competition on November
Hyundai Lanka will also offer many other
prizes and surprises in addition to the challenge
trophies. They also invite the players and their spouses
for the Award Ceremony followed by cocktails and dinner
the same evening.
Union Assurance PLC was recognised at the
recently held "Cricket Legends" felicitation ceremony
organised to recognise cricketing legends and leading
mercantile firms that have supported the sport in many
ways by providing sponsorships to the cricket board and
by employing cricketers. Union Assurance was recognised
at this event for the contribution made in the 90's era.
Many of the Sri Lankan World Cup winning cricketers were
employed with UA including Arjuna Ranatunga, Muttiah
Murali- tharan, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Upul Chandana.
Many other past cricketers were also employed with Union
Assurance - Saliya Ahangama, Uvais Karnain, Adel Hassim,
Nishantha Ranatunga, Graeme Labrooy, Roshan Mahanama
Sanath Jayasuriya, Sanjeeva Ranatunga,Roger Wejesu- riya,
Duleep Samaraweera, Dinuk Hettiarachchi and Jeewaka
Werasinghe to name some of them.
Roshan Perera wins Millennium Golf Trophy
Picture shows R. Theagarajah, Managing
Director/CEO of HNB presenting the HNB Millennium Trophy
to the winner Roshan Perera at the Millennium Golf
Tournament organised by the Royal Colombo Golf Club and
sponsored by Hatton National Bank.
Through the Week
Sports happenings at a glance
Sri Lanka topples All-Stars
An All-Stars team comprising of some of
the greatest names in world cricket was beaten in the
final of the Hong Kong sixes by a team of talented Sri
Lankan cricketers not hitherto recognised by our cricket
selectors. by 16 runs. In addition to the glittering
trophy Indika De Saram's teams was awarded prize money
cheque for US$ 100.000.
Scores: Sri Lanka 127 for 3 wickets in 5,
eight ball overs All-Stars 111 for 2 wickets in 5, eight
Dravid dropped from ODIs
Chief selector Dilip Vensarkar said
Dravid had been dropped and left out of the Indian team
for the first two ODIs at home against Pakistan next
month. Dinesh Kartik has also been left out recalling
Virendra Sehwag and all rounder Proveen Kumar.
South Africa wins ODI series 3-2
An inspired comeback by South Africa
overshadowed Shoaib Akhtar's return to the Pakistan side
as the tourists clinched the one-day series winning the
final game by 14 runs.
Scores: South Africa 233 for 9 wickets in
50 overs. Pakistan 219 all out in 50 overs
Murali will not surpass Warne -Ponting
Muttiah Muralidharan may be just nine
wickets short of overtaking Shane Warne as the Test
cricket's highest wicket taker, but Ricky Ponting the
Australian skipper says he is confident his team will
stop the Sri Lankan off spinner from capturing the
record on their backyard.
Sri Lanka drew their first three-day
practice game against the Australian Chairman's X1 at
the Adelaide oval.
Scores: Sri Lanka 1st Innings 368 for 5
wickets dec. and 2nd Innings 125 for 3 wickets at close.
Australian Chairman's X1 1st Innings 409 all out.
Qatar thrashes Sri Lanka 5-0
Qatar outplayed and thrashed Sri Lanka
by 5 goals to nil in their return leg of the qualifier
for the 2010 World Cup played at Jassem bin Hamad
Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Mayumi in historic victory
Mayumi Rahim created history as the first
Sri Lankan to win a medal at a World Level Swim meet at
the Fina/Arena short course Swimming Championships that
ended at Singapore.
Anuradha and Vineetha clinch titles
G.C.Anuradha and Vineetha Wijesuriya
clinched titles at the Chess Nationals conducted by the
Chess Federation of Sri Lanka.
Banned rugby players recalled
The four rugby players who were dumped at
last week's selection for the up coming Asian
Championships to be held in Colombo have been brought
into the side on the orders of the Sports Minister
Dialog to sponsor 37th Mercantile Rugby
Dialog television has come forward to
sponsor one of the biggest corporate sports events in
the country by announcing the exclusive sponsorship of
the 37th Mercantile Rugby Sevens. The tournament will
be held on November 16, 17 an 18 at the CR&FC grounds.
Sangakkara out of first Test.
Sri Lanka's key batsman Kumar Sangakkara
has been ruled out of the first Test against Australia
starting at Gabba on November 8. Sangakkara suffered a
hamstring injury during the practice match at the
Adelaide oval. Chanaka Welagedera too suffered damage to
his foot and would be out and sent home calling another
left- armer Sujeewa de Silva as his replacement.
Unbeaten half centuries by Dilshan and
An unbeaten 78 and 56 respectively by
Dilshan and Warnapura helped Sri Lanka 'A' to defeat
Zimbabwe Select XI by eight wickets in their 2nd ODI
played at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Scores: Zimbabwe Select XI 146 all out in
48.3 overs Sri Lanka'A' 150 for 2 wickets in 29.2 overs
Ponting likely to join IPL Twenty/20
Australian Captain Ricky Ponting said
that he and up to seven other players from Down Under
was likely to sign up for the Indian Premier League
Twenty/20 competition to be held next year.
Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah
Muralidharan has called up racist and unruly fans to be
ejected from Australian grounds to protect the dignity
of the game.
Three Rugby selectors resign
The Chairman of Rugby selectors Anton
Benedict, Lasantha Gunaratna and Ravi Wijenathan, three
of the five selectors resigned from their posts in
protest of Sports Ministers interference in allowing the
players to be selected despite their failure to attend
Murali to skip, Queensland warm up game.
Sri Lankan cricketers were greeted with
warm sunshine on arrival at Brisbane to play the final
three-day warm up match before the first Test at the
Allan Border Field. Muralidharan will be rested as he
had a good work out at Adelaide with figures of 4 for
Get nasty and intimidate Lankan batsmen -
The main topic of conversation among
cricket lovers at Super Markets, trains, buses and parks
is about the million-dollar question whether
Muralidharan will bury Warne's record and whether Sri
Lanka will record their first win on Australian soil.
However Warne's remarks are to get nasty and intimidate
Test series to be named after Murali-Warne
The forthcoming Test Series between
Australia and Sri Lanka is expected to be fought out for
a trophy named after spin rivals Shane Warne and Muttiah
Muralidharan. This will also mark the 25th anniversary
of tests between the two countries.
Amarasekera wins Silver at Macau
Prasanna Amarasekera collected the first
medal for Sri Lanka in the 400m with a time of 47.09
seconds in the Second Indoor games in Macau.
Niloo Jayatilleke Golf champion
Niloo Jayatilleke of Sri Lanka excelled
herself to emerge winner of the three day Pakistan
National Golf Championship which was held recently at
the Lahore Gymkhana.The participants were from Pakistan,
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The runner up was also a Sri
Lankan, Danushi Senadhira.
Ratnayake Qualifies for Beijing Olympics
Anuruddha Ratnayake of Slim line Sports
Club broke a 40 year 'hoodoo' in boxing history when he
qualified for Beijing Olympics to be held in China next
year when he won the third round fight of AIBA World
Boxing Championship 2007 now in progress in Chicago,
USA. He edged out Juan Vega of Ecuador by 26 points to
Ishanka 141, shine for St.Aloysius
Two good knocks by Chamidu Ishanka and
Chaturanga de Silva helped St.Aloysius College to amass
312 for 4 wickets in their U 20 inter school encounter
against D.S. Senanayake Vidyalaya played at the
Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara.
Scores:St Aloysius College 312 for 4
wickets declared. D.S Senanayake Vidyalaya 29 for no
loss at close.
Singer, Rugby Asiad 2007-team in top
All previous issues will not hinder our
national team to do well in the Singer Rugby Asiad 2007
which commences on November 3, said the SLRFU President
Sri Lankan sprinters win second medal
Sri Lanka's 4x400 m men's relay team came
out with another sterling performance at the second
Indoor Games at the Dome Stadium in Macau winning the
second silver medal for the country.
Compiled by Sunil Thenabadu