NO whitewash hides as much as Sri Lanka's
five-zero in Zimbabwe. A whitewash at once
suggests a consistent and complete dominance
of one team over its opponents, as was the
case when Sri Lanka cleaned-up England, 5/0,
in the summer of 2006, the islanders' last
all-to-nothing success prior to last week's.
Memories of the final ODI in England two
years ago thrill the senses yet: The task
before Jayewardene's team was 321 runs - a
job they finished-off in the 38th over, so
completing a whitewash in the true sense of
the word. That a performance of such
authoritativeness should now have to share
the same space with last week's 5/0 over
Zimbabwe somehow seems a misdirection of the
wheels of justice.
But for the fact that both tours were
whitewashes, dissimilarities abound. Of the
recent tour, it has to be said, the
universal expectation was Sri Lanka wouldn't
lose a match; Zimbabwe being minnows apart,
the country itself, economically and
politically, was in a state of depression
that apparently denied its cricketers the
mental preparedness to undertake an
international series. The empty stands
fairly reflected the interest for cricket in
a country coping with grievous times.
Clearly, had the tour not materialized, old
would not have been unduly
So, while the whitewash of the home team was
expected , the point of interest was to what
degree the Sri Lankans could establish their
obvious superiority over the Zimbabweans,
whose 2008 international exposures until
then had been restricted to just two ODI
series, in one of which they were thrashed
5/0 by Pakistan. The other was a triangular
with associate members
and Ireland; Zimbabwe was fortunate to share
the rain-abandoned final with Kenya, given
that they lost twice to the Kenyans in the
There were times over the past fortnight
when the five-match ODI series did indeed
resemble an associate-member encounter - and
Sri Lanka has a lot to blame for that
isn't a Test-playing nation, so that the
trend of the competition, in terms of
quality and class, ought to have been set by
They didn't, and the series, thus, was
consigned to wallow in the shallow end.
Statistics tell the story best. For a team
that was expected to set the pace, the best
Sri Lankans could manage was a total of
171/7 and just two half-centurions,
Sangakkara and Mubarak. Only the victory
margins of the first two encounters - by six
and nine wickets respectively - were
convincing, and gave a semblance of truth to
The other three encounters were so close
that a casual follower might have been
compelled to take a second look at the name
of the opposition to assure himself that it
was Zimbabwe, and not some other Test
country, that really caused Sri Lanka
palpitations before falling over the line -
winning by five runs, 2 wickets and 19 runs
respectively in the final three games. The
outcome of those three games could so easily
have been different, which is another way of
saying that the whitewash might well have
ended 3/2 in favour of the minnows.
Two M,s struckthe blows
That Zimbabwe didn't, Sri Lanka has its twin
spinners to thank for. It was only when the
wiles of Mendis and Muralidaran were at work
that Sri Lanka was able to establish the
dominance expected of them. All but once,
one of the two Ms struck the crucial blows
when the home team threatened to take the
game away from us; Kulasekera provided the
exception in the final match when he broke
the seventh-wicket stand that had taken
Zimbabwe from 58/6 to 130, chasing 152.
Otherwise it was the two Ms who always
trumped the opposition batsmen, claiming 26
wickets between them, with Mendis'
contribution of 15 being the best of the
As for our quicker bowlers, it is fair to
say that the Zimbabweans batsmen looked at
them as their most profitable source for
runs. Our five frontline medium pacemen
(Fernando, Kulasekera, Maharoof, Thushara
and Prasad) collectively claimed 18 wickets,
conceding 370 runs, a quantum that's nearly
60 percent of the total runs conceded. That
sort of percentage is to be expected being
the total yield of five bowlers, but what
was disappointing was that none quite
commanded the respect you'd expect
Test-class pacemen would from minnows;
Fernando being the biggest disappointment.
It was, so, excusable to wish for the
presence of Vaas in Zimbabwe, if not for his
pace, certainly to give sharpness of line
and length into an attack that markedly
lacked those virtues.
Admittedly, the Harare Sport Club pitch was
not one for blasting batsmen out with pace.
While that may provide a mitigating factor
for the quick bowlers' lack of success, it
is hardly a credible excuse for the abject
failure of our batsmen. Sure it was slow and
low and not the sort of pitch that give
license to batsmen to express their
attacking instincts. But then, these are not
alien conditions to our batsmen. The pitches
at the R Premadasa, Dambula and Galle aren't
vastly different, but these stadiums might
as well have had addresses in another land,
the way our batsmen fumbled and floundered
in getting to terms with the nature of the
pitch down in old Salisbury.
Slow and low pitch
It is as if they went into each match not
knowing what sort of new surface awaited
them: All of the five matches were played on
the same ground, which make the batsmen's
failures all the more inexcusable. The first
ODI gave ample evidence of a slow 'n low
pitch; chasing a less than modest 127, Sri
Lanka trundled along to win in the 34th
over, scoring at 3.9 per over. Sangakkara's
undefeated 46 from 95 balls with five fours
- so un-Sangakkara like - provided the
example to follow, but except Mubarak in the
fourth ODI, no one took the cue.
Of all the failures, skipper Jayewardene's
was the most mysterious. To think that some
dark evil force in
Africa possesses the skipper is forgivable. After all, in the 2003 World Cup
Jayewardene managed a beggarly 21 in eight
matches; in Zimbabwe, the collection was no
better: 19 in four innings, including two
ducks. Witchcraft, though, is not the reason
for his failure; the more plausible cause
would be the controversy aroused over his
preference to play in the IPL than a Test
series in England, now abandoned. It is
unfortunate that the issue has been
oversimplified to be one of cash v. country,
which consequently led some critics to
question the IPL cricketers' sense of
patriotism vis-…-vis soldiers fighting in
the ongoing war. It all went way beyond the
parameters of a cricketing debate and into
the realms of politics.
At least seven, all key seniors, of the 13
IPL cricketers were on duty in Zimbabwe, and
to say that the IPL controversy might have
affected the team's overall performance
might appear to be an offer of a lame
excuse. But it is elementary psychology that
minds cluttered with extraneous problems do
not lead to a job well-done - more so if the
problems are of accusations of being
mercenary and unpatriotic.
Skipper Jayewardene, for obvious reasons, is
not going to admit the IPL v. England issue
and all the nasty criticism it threw up is
the reason for the below-par performance in
Zimbabwe. But given the minnow-opposition,
not unfamiliar pitches to cope with and no
lack of resolve- fighting back when things
got graver - it's not difficult to conclude
that the IPL controversy might've led to our
sub-standard showing. That they yet
succeeded despite burdened by the mental
baggage was because of the inadequacies of
the opposition - which might not be case
later this month in Bangladesh. IPL season 2
is confirmed and so, a closed-file - and let
it stay closed. Re-opening it will be a
traitorous thing to do.
Phenomenal increase in Municipal Lease Tax
from January 2006
Park clubs in shock
By Lal Gunasekera
A phenomenal increase in the Municipal Lease
Tax with retrospective effect from January
2006 by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)
has put two of the three clubs housed at
in to a state of shock.
Havelock Sports Club (established in 1915)
has seen their monthly rates increased from
Rs. 9000/- to Rs. 63.000/-. This means that
Havelocks, a leading rugby-playing club,
have to pay Rs. 756,000/- a year from Rs.
108,000/- which they were paying the CMC
President of Havelocks Sports Club,
Priyantha Grero, told The Sunday Leader that
it was only when they went to the CMC to
make payment, that they (The Havies) were
told about the increased rates.
"We got the letter from the Municipal
Treasurer regarding the new rates only on
Tuesday. We cannot afford to pay this
increased amount. It's just absurd. We may
even have to seriously consider about our
rugby activities. We find it difficult to
survive, and with the increased Municipal
Tax, how can any club go on," said Grero.
The Colombo Colts Cricket Club, which has
been established in 1873, was paying Rs.
12,000/- per month (Rs. 144,000 a year) as
Municipal Taxes earlier. Now, the CMC has
clamped a sum of Rs. 90,000/- a month (Rs.
1,080,000/- a year), which is another
"We have paid upto March 2008, and now, we
have to pay a further sum of Rs. 3 million,
as the increased taxes are in retrospective
effect from January 2006. We received the
letter from the Municipal authorities about
three weeks back," said the Secretary of
Colts CC, Susilough De S. Wijeratne.
He further said that the income at Colts is
"minimal," hardly anything from in house
sales and that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)
subsidises (Colts) to a great extent.
Wijeratne also said that the Supreme Court
ruling on noise pollution after 10 p.m. also
affects the club not having social
A spokesman for the BRC, told The Sunday
Leader that they have "not been told
anything about the increased Municipal Taxes
officially," but was certain that saner
counsel will prevail in the end.
He said that the BRC was not a profit-making
establishment, and that they are concerned
about the development of sporting
activities, assisting neighbouring schools
etc. BRC also have persons from all strata
of life utilizing the grounds in the morning
and evening for their daily exercises too.
He further said: It's a social service that
we are doing to the people.
The Sunday Leader failed in many attempts to
get in touch with either the Municipal
Treasurer or one of his deputies to obtain
their comments on the phenomenal increase in
the ground lease tax.
Meanwhile the Park Clubs are to meet on
Tuesday, and discuss the increase slapped on
them by the Colombo Municipal authorities in
order to make a joint petition.
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
Honda is pulling out of Formula One, blaming
the world economic crisis for plans to sell
The decision leaves Englishman Jenson Button
and 2009 team-mate Rubens Barrichello
without drives, with only a few mid-ranking
seats still available.
Honda, which spent more than ś300m a year on
F1, said it would also no longer supply the
sport with engines.
The team say they are optimistic they will
find a buyer who will enable them to
continue in the sport.
Chief executive Nick Fry said he has had
three approaches already.
But a deadline of January has been set to
find an investor and workers at Honda's
Brackley base have been told to expect
redundancy letters before Christmas.
"Honda Motor Co. has come to the conclusion
that we will withdraw from all Formula One
activities, making 2008 the last season for
participation," said Honda president Takeo
Fukui at an emotional press conference.
"This difficult decision has been made in
light of the quickly deteriorating operating
environment facing the global auto
industry... and the sudden contraction of
the world economies," he added.
"Honda must protect its core business
activities and secure the long term as
widespread uncertainties in the economics
around the globe continue to mount."
According to the Reuters news agency, team
bosses Ross Brawn and Nick Fry told a
meeting of the Formula One Teams'
Association they had a month to find a
buyer, otherwise Honda will be closing the
Cricket - Premier League - Tier 'A'
CCC in strong position
Two magnificent centuries from opener
Michael van Dort and Jehan Mubarak put CCC
in a commanding position on the second day
of their SLC Premier League Tier A
tournament match against Baduraliya CC
continued at Maitland Crescent yesterday.
Van Dort hoisted two
sixes and struck fourteen boundaries while
Mubarak stroked seven boundaries with the
pair putting on 173 runs for the second
wicket. In addition Bathiya Perera raced to
an unbeaten half century from just 30
deliveries as CCC reached an impressive 343
for 2 in their first innings.
CC: 244 CCC: 343 for 2 (M. van Dort 138, J.
Mubrak 100 n.o, D. K. Ranaweera 47, B.
Perera 51 n.o)
Chamara Silva - a timely century
Stylish middle order batsman Chamara Silva
hammered a splendid 106 with a dozen of
boundaries to give
Bloomfield a close 24 runs first innings lead over
their arch rivals and the defending
champions SSC on the second day of their SLC
Premier League Tier A tournament match
Maitland Place yesterday.
Scores: SSC: 233
and 0 for no lossBloomfield: 257 (C. Silva
106, T. Lakshitha 29, Y. de Silva 25, S.
Mohamed 21, N. Zoysa 3 for 57, S. Senanayake
5 for 84, T. Thushara 2 for 27)
Tamils scent outright win
Opener Sajith Fernando struck an elegant
century inclusive of fourteen boundaries to
give Tamil Union a crucial 46 runs first
innings lead over Sri Lanka Army SC on the
second day of their SLC Premier League Tier
A tournament match continued at Panagoda
Scores: Army SC:
179 and 166 for 6 (M. de Soysa 67, S.
Prasanna 41, A. Prasad 30, S. Lakmal 2 for
Tamil Union: 225
(S. Fernando 113, M. Pushpakumara 30, D.
Balasuriya 2 for 57, A. Mendis 2 for 20, S.
Prasanna 3 for 22)
Malintha guides Colts
Skipper Malintha Warnapura hammered an
unbeaten 133 inclusive of one six and eleven
boundaries to put Colts CC in a strong
position on the second day of their SLC
Premier League Tier A tournament match
against the table leaders Chilaw Marians SC
continued at Havelock Park yesterday.
Marians SC: 253 (G. Wijekoon 111, C. Vaas 4
for 35, D. Perera 3 for 62)
Colts CC: 273 for 5
(I. Muthalip 65, M. Warnapura 133 n.o, J.
Kulatunge 33, M. Gunatilleke 2 for 37)
in sight of a resounding win
Opener Kanchana Gunawardena hammered a
splendid 137 to help NCC build up a huge
first innings lead of 251 runs and take a
firm grip over Moors SC on the second day of
their SLC Premier League Tier A tournament
match continued at Maitland Place yesterday.
Scores: Moors SC:
36 and 133 for 6 (P. Perera 32, D.
Sudarshana 28, H. Fernando 26, W. Fernando
22, T. Kottahewa 2 for 16, C. Komasaru 2 for
NCC: 287 for 9 decl
(K. Gunawardena 137, C. Wijesinghe 45, R.
Herath 4 for 51, N. Ranjith 2 for 36, C.
Welagedera 2 for 24)
Pietersen praises collective move
England captain Kevin Pietersen insists he
did not have to persuade any of his Test
squad to fly back to India following the
Mumbai terror attack.
Before boarding a flight to England's
holding camp in Abu Dhabi, he added that if
necessary there would be a collective
decision to come home.
The first of two Tests is scheduled to take
place in Chennai from December 11.
"It's fantastic the guys want to go and rub
shoulders together with India at a time of
need," said Pietersen.
"It's a huge stance by this England team to
jump on the plane and go and do the
Prima Bread to sponsor Sri Lanka Junior Open
Golf Championship 2008
Prima Bread is proud to be the sole sponsor
of the Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf
Championship scheduled to be held at the
Royal Colombo Golf Club on December 17, 18
and 19 . This prestigious tournament which
is open to both boys and girls under the age
of 18 years has been a platform where the
Sri Lanka Golf Union has identified
potential talent to play at national level.
Past champions of this tournament include
the likes of Mithun Perera, Thushashni
Selvaratnam, Binupa Wijesinghe, Lalith Kumar
and Tissa Chandradasa.
Over 50 juniors are expected to participate
in the tournament which will be conducted
along the following age groups: age group
15-17 years (Gold division), age group 11-14
years (Silver division) and age group 10
years and under (Bronze division). The
overall winner will be declared the Sri
Lanka Junior National Golf Champion for the
Golf is a unique game, which relies largely
on the integrity of the individual skill and
helps to cultivate sportsmanship. Although
predominantly started as a social game, it
is instrumental in building character, as
etiquette is an indispensable part of golf.
Prima Bread has signed up with RCGC to
sponsor the Junior Golf Tournament this
year, and plan to continue this sponsorship
in the future to motivate youth and uplift
Junior Golf in Sri Lanka. Prima has a unique
range of breads, varying from Milk Bread,
Whole Meal Bread, Enriched Premium and White
Sandwich Bread and Crust Top Bread that is
an ideal choice for all occasions as it is
packed with nutrients and minerals.
Bradby on 30th May and 13th June 2009
By Hafiz Marikar
The Trinitians' are sure to be a threat, in
the 2009 inter school rugby season. The
Lions will be fielding an experienced
outfit, which squad has in its rank two
Once again, experienced Anil Jayasinghe
will be the head coach with Pradeep
Basnayake as the Assistant Coach. Last
season these two did a fantastic job and are
hoping to continue from where they stopped.
All the good things that happened last
season, was due to the talent, experience
and the hard work put in by each an every
member of the squad. This was a heartening
feature of Trinity rugby during the last
In the coming season, they are packed with
no less than nine senior players, namely,
Wisvajith Wijesinghe, Adeeb Hameed,
Armstrong brothers Shenan and Kennon,
Lasantha Samarasekara, Idris Omar, Damith
Dissanaayke and Surendra Alwis. The two most
senior players are Wishvajith and Adeeb,
with Wishvajith tipped to lead the side.
The squad started off with weight training
last month and now are on ground training
(Unopposed) under the watchful eyes of Anil
and Pradeep. The under 18 side will be
coached by one of the most experienced
coaches in the country Alex Lazarus, who has
coached all rugby teams at Trinity with
Acting Principal Brig. Udaya Aryaratne a
hockey player during his school days at
Trinity, is sure to give his best possible
backing to keep the sporting flag flying at
The Lions will be kicking off next season
(2009) with the Schools Sevens tournament on
21st and 22nd of March and on 11th April
will play the traditional game against the
The Fixtures are as follows:
18th April vs Vidyartha
25th April vs St.Josephs
02nd May vs S. Thomas'
09th May vs St. Peters
16th May vs Mahanama
23rd May vs Isipathana
30th May vs Royal Bradby
1st leg in Kandy
06th June vs Kingswood
13th June vs Royal Bradby
2nd leg in Colombo
Presidents Trophy schedule:
21st and 22nd June Quarter finals;
28th June Semi finals;
04th July Finals
Under 14 cricket for Nelson Mendis Trophy
By Lal Gunesekera
"We are tapping the uncut diamonds in the
rural areas and encourage outstation
cricketers to join in our tournaments in
future too" said Nelson Mendis, the well
known and reputed cricket coach, who heads
the CCC School of Cricket, who are
conducting the fifth under 14 international
Invitation Limited over Tournament for the
Nelson Mendis Challenge Trophy from December
8 to 19.
This is sponsored by Sierra Global Network(P)
Limited who have thrown in Rs. 1 million for
the event. The co- sponsors include Ceylon
Cold Stores, Singer (Sri Lanka) Limited,
Premier One Water Systems (Pvt) Limited,
Sunathi Sports, Bandara and Sons Sports
Company, Causeway Paints Lanka Limited,
Pacific Container Liones (Pvt) Limited and
Gamik Sports to name a few.
"Outstation teams from Anuradhapura,
Kurunegala, Panadura, Chilaw, Wattala,
Ambalangoda, Matale and Kantale will be
vying for honours this year too, while there
ar four teams from India (Hyderabad,
Bangalore, Kolkata and New Delhi) and also a
side each from the Maldives and Malaysia
too. Last year's champions, Customs Cricket
Academy from Paksitan, withdrew" said Mendis.
Highlights of the week gone by...
All Blacks complete grand slam
A 33 - 06 crushing of England at Twickenham
enabled the New Zealand All Blacks to
complete a rare grand slam. Led by the
inspirational Richie McCaw, the worlds top
ranked team achieved this feat despite an
exodus of a host of star players earlier on
in the season to lucrative domestic
competitions outside the country.
Tide turns - Cricket heads to meet in
Following the deadly terrorist attacks in
Mumbai, the sub continent cricket bosses
have agreed to travel to Sri Lanka for an
emergency meeting. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC),
which took the Indian superpower head on in
dealing with the IPL Twenty20 issue
surprisingly has become a neutral venue in
the light of the developments in India and
The Ex - Co of SLRFU unconstitutional
The latest controversy to hit the
beleaguered Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU)
is on the unconstitutionality in the
composition of the Executive Council of the
Union. A belated letter fired by former
national stalwart Lasitha Gunaratne alleges
that three sitting members of the Ex - Co
cannot hold office due to a technicality.
The Minister has referred the matter to a
Basnahira and Kandurata in final
Western Province 'Titans' and Kandurata 'Balakaya'
qualified to meet in the final of the
inaugural U -20 Sirasa Twenty20 inter
district cricket tournament.
5 - 0 whitewash for Sri Lanka
Three close finishes followed two convincing
wins. Nevertheless as expected Sri Lanka
maintained a clean sheet to pocket the
Dialog ODI series against the lowly ranked
Zimbabwe. Ajantha Mendis, who now has 48
wickets from 17 ODI's was named Man of the
Kiwis trounced by the Kangaroos
Ricky Ponting's Australians bounced back
strongly from their test series defeat at
the hands of India, to outplay New Zealand
in a two test series at home. The defeat
placed the Black caps just above Bangladesh
and Zimbabwe in the latest test rankings.
Armstrong on comeback trail
Seven time Tour de France winner Lance
Armstrong is making a comeback to
competitive racing at the age of 37.
Renowned for his successful battle against
cancer the champion cyclist is expected to
feature at Tour de France 2009.
A series of seasonal events at OTSC
By Hafiz Marikar
The Old Trinitians' Sports Club, will kick
off its seasonal projects with a Xmas day
outing for the inmates at 'Daya Nivasa' a
home for the destitute, physically
challenged and orphaned kids at Peradeniya.
This charitable cause will take place on
Sunday 14th December 2008 at 10 am at the
OTSC, Premises, Asgiriya.
The event will go on till about 2:30 in the
afternoon where the membership is due to
bring the kids in the Trinity bus and give
them a day outing of games, pony rides,
magic show etc. Also distributed will be
gifts, with a Santa Clause in house.
There will be participation of four
religious leaders, VIPs, Trinity Staff,
Dignitaries, Old Boys, and members, family,
children & friends of OTSC members.
The Club Night with a musical extravaganza
will be held on the 13th Saturday from
7pm-11pm at the OTSC Club Premises. A
'Odyssey' will be entertaining the