Fijian Sevens legend may coach Lanka

By Allaam Ousman in Dubai
DUBAI – Fijian Sevens legend Waisale Serevi looks forward to the opportunity and challenge of coaching ‘little teams’ like Sri Lanka, according to a report in the Khaleej Times.

He expressed interest when approached by the Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) Dilroy Fernando who was here as a referee at the Dubai Rugby Sevens held here last weekend.

When asked by the Khaleej Times, the mercurial Fijian rugby star affirmed interest. “I have got lot of opportunities. I would love to help little teams,” said Serevi after leading South Sea Drifters to the International Invitation title with a 35-10 victory against Sporting Chance.

Fernando admitted approaching Serevi for a three-year contract.
“Negotiations are in the early stages. We want to select a pool of 30 contracted players on a three-year programme.”
The diminutive Serevi showed that he has not lost his magical touch creating most of the try-scoring opportunities and displaying his football skills by converting all seven tries.

Serevi who was player cum coach in last year’s IRB World Sevens Series said that he has still not retired from the sport and has hopes of making a farewell appearance in his favourite hunting ground – the Hong Kong Sevens.
In fact his team of South Sea Drifters comprises future Fijian stars.

“They are the future of Fiji. We are building them up for the future,” he said.
Asked about the state of Fijian rugby, he said it was in safe hands and they had a good bunch of young players. However, Fiji lost in the Cup final to reigning IRB World Sevens Series champions New Zealand 31-21.
Although age will eventually catch up with him, the 39-year-old entertainer par excellence said he is fit because he does not smoke or drink.

Asked whether he misses the big stage, he said: “I don’t miss anything. I’m enjoying it.”
On the Dubai Sevens he said “it is growing and getting bigger.”


Brearley to open MCC Centre of Excellence and cricket ground

MCC’s post-Tsunami fundraising efforts will culminate on Monday 15 December with the official opening of the MCC Centre of Excellence and a new, purpose-built cricket ground and training facility in Hikkaduwa, near Galle.

MCC will celebrate the opening of these facilities by holding a special Twenty20 match and a three-day, MCC Spirit of Cricket Challenge camp for local primary school children - the first time MCC’s grassroots initiative has taken place overseas.

Over £650,000 was raised by MCC through a specially arranged cricket match at Lord’s in June 2005 that featured 22 of the world’s best players. Charities and organisations to benefit included the British Red Cross, Leonard Cheshire, Sri Lanka Cricket and The Foundation for Goodness (a charity supported by Muttiah Muralitharan).

An MCC delegation, lead by Club President, Mike Brearley and Secretary & Chief Executive, Keith Bradshaw, will fly out to Sri Lanka to oversee proceedings. Mike Brearley said:

“I am very much looking forward to seeing these post-Tsunami recovery projects. I was heartened by the response of MCC Members and public alike when the one-off fundraising match was arranged in 2005 and am pleased that, as a result, we could help to rebuild an area that was greatly affected by the events of December 2004.

“With a remit to help to develop the game worldwide, it will be fitting that surrounding all this activity will be an MCC Spirit of Cricket Challenge camp, in which - you never know - our coaches might unearth the next Murali or Malinga.” Keith Bradshaw added: “Many important and worthwhile causes have benefitted from MCC’s fund raising and vital facilities have been built, repaired or improved as a result. Equally important for MCC is to ensure a long-lasting, positive legacy is left in the region. This is why monies have been set aside for the ongoing maintenance costs of the MCC Centre of Excellence and cricket ground in Hikkaduwa - to ensure that both projects can thrive now and in the future.

“It will also be great to see Test cricket return to the wonderful Galle Stadium. I remember it, pre-Tsunami. In 2004 I was a spectator at the ground for the Sri Lanka v Australia Test. It was Ricky Ponting’s first Test Match as captain and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having that extra affinity with the ground I look forward to seeing cricket return there, knowing MCC has played its part in making it happen.”

Events on Saturday 15th December will begin when Mike Brearley officially opens the MCC Centre of Excellence at 10.30am. At midday, MCC and their guests will make the short journey to the Sri Sumangala College Cricket Ground to open the new facility and oversee the first day of the MCC Spirit of Cricket Challenge Camp. The Challenge Camp - delivered by

TomTom nation, the specialist grassroots agency - will be attended by 120 children from local state schools, who will be given a fun introduction to the game and taught the basics. Members of the England and Sri Lankan Test squads will be on hand to join in and provide coaching tips to the children.

Finally, at 1.30pm, Keith Bradshaw will lead an MCC XI against a local Sri Lankan XI in a celebratory Twenty20 match. MCC’s team will include former Sri Lankan Test Cricketers Aravinda de Silva and Siddath Wettimuny.
Where the money was spent:
• £200,000 to Leonard Cheshire, who run projects throughout Sri Lanka;
• £166,000 to the building and maintenance of the MCC Centre of Excellence.
Run by The Foundation for Goodness, MCC is the primary sponsor of the Centre that contains various sports facilities, a business skills centre, a school, accommodation and a medical centre;
• £150,000 to the building and maintenance of a purpose-built cricket ground with training facilities at Sri Sumangala College, Hikkaduwa;
• £100,000 to British Red Cross, who run projects throughout Sri Lanka; and
• £41,000 to Sri Lanka Cricket towards the rebuilding of the Galle Test Match Stadium, specifically to help build the main media / grandstand.

The two venues in use on 15th December, and their address details are: MCC Centre of Excellence, Temple Rd, Seenigama, Hikkaduwa; and Sri Sumangala College Cricket Grounds, Baddegama Road, Hikkaduwa.
The third Sri Lanka v England Test Match will start in Galle on 18th December.
MCC has over 22,000 Members worldwide.


55th Badminton Nationals

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
“All National players are in good from and a high standard of badminton could be expected at the 55th Senior National Badminton Championships,” said Amanda Weerasinghe President of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association.

The Senior National Badminton Championships, which started last Friday, is the main tournament in the badminton association calendar. The finals will be held on Monday 10th at the Royal College Sports Complex, Reid Avenue from 5 p.m. onwards.

The badminton chief said: “Our world rankings have never been better than this and it is very clear our standard has improved with players getting more international experience.

“The Karunaratne brothers Diluka and Dinuka reached the 64th in the world rankings in the men’s doubles, while top national player Niluka, the eldest Karunaratne, is ranked 91st in the world in the men’s singles category.

“Top women players, Chandrika de Silva and Thilini Jayasinghe reached the world ranking of 100 at women’s doubles. This is the first time our shuttlers came up to such ratings.”

The much needed financial backing appears to be coming in now for badminton. “Sri Lanka Badminton has started to show results with the assistance from two major local Companies and one international equipment supplier - Yonex Sunrise. The local companies involved are Sri Lanka Telecom who have been sponsoring all the premier tournaments and Bank of Ceylon who have been sponsoring the development programmes of Sri Lanka badminton.

“The opportunities given to our players to compete at international level is paying off and our shuttlers have won tree gold medals in the Satellite Championships in Iran and one gold medal in Syria,” said Weerasinghe who was recently appointed Vice President of the Asian Badminton Confederation.

“This time the prize money of Rs.350, 000 on offer to the winners at the nationals will be the highest paid out which should encourage greater effort from competitors. It is good to see as many as 66 entries for the men’s singles event this year,” added president Weerasinghe.

In the men’s single event Niluka Karunaratne, six-time national champ is once again favourite to win, while Chandrika de Silva and Thilini Jayasinghe are seeded 1st and 2nd respectively in the women’s singles event.
Ajith Wijayasinghe officiates as the match referee for this Senior Nationals and B.A.C Fernando General Manager of Bank of Ceylon will be the chief guest at the finals on December 10th.


4x4 Challenge 2007 – Change of plans

It was a long wait, but finally the “4x4 Challenge ‘07” is set to drive off in mid-December; the venues and dates have changed due to the prevailing security conditions in the original location bordering Yala. The finale of the four wheel drive events for year 2007, which is undoubtedly the toughest and Four Wheel Drive Club’s (FWDC) flagship event has now been shifted to areas around the central part of Sri Lanka.

The “4x4 Challenge ‘07” is re-scheduled to December14 – 16 keeping to the original event concept of 3 challenging competitions namely Prolog Stage, Special Stages (Skills) and Camping Skills.

The vehicle scrutinizing and Prolog Stage is in Colombo today at Waters Edge. This will allow the off road sport enthusiasts to check out the specially designed vehicles prior to the competition. All competitors are required to take part on the prolog session and earn points to be ranked with competition numbers for the Special Stages that will be held on the 14th & 15th of December.
The trails for the Special Stages have been selected to give the competitors the ultimate in off-roading adventure. Since this year’s Special Stages will be on trails that will run through extreme jungle conditions, spectators will only be able to witness the final stage of the event at Waters Edge.

As usual each 4x4 will comprise of a driver and a co-driver who would have to complete all tasks consecutively. The challenge will be worked off on an expedition style route which would not be announced prior to the event where competitors will have to battle the terrain through Special Stages to reach campsites whilst carrying their own camping gear.

The grand finale will be back in Colombo on a man-made track on the 16th of December commencing at 9 am at Waters Edge, Battaramulla. FWDC will make arrangements to have a fun day for all those who are interested in joining and experiencing the thrills of off-roading. A specially designed track will be prepared for the novices and an event for the ladies who would like to have a go with the tough boy’s toys at Waters Edge. These novice events will be held in the morning session. After two days of tough off-roading in the extreme jungles, all 4x4 Challenge competitors will start to arrive from 9.00 am onwards to line up for the final stage of the event in front of a record crowd expected.

The novices’ event scheduled for the 16th of December is open for everyone owning a SUV with working 4x4 systems liking to test their skills and vehicle capabilities.

The hardcore “4x4 Challenge 2007” competitors will take on a more demanding obstacle course designed at the same venue as their final stage of the event straight after the novices’ show. The awards ceremony will also be held on the same day at Waters Edge which will culminate with an evening full of entertainment and telecasting of the challenge video captured in the jungle trails for everyone’s enjoyment.

Entries received as at now include veteran 4x4 drivers Indika Sanjaya and Osanda Maligaspe who have done exceptionally well in previous 4x4 Challenges at Nuwara Eliya Lake Cross events not forgetting the performances at Rain Forest Challenge, Suresh Chathuranga all driving Land Rovers, Amal Wickramarachi (Winner 4x4 Challenge ‘06) and Roshan Rathnayake driving Nissan Patrols, Amal Wijerathne (Winner 4x4 Derby ’07, 1st runner-up 4x4 Challenge ’06), Deepthi Perera (1st runner- up SLARDAR 1000 4X4 Rally ’07, 2nd runner-up 4x4 Derby ’07), Ajith Fernando, Sam Chandrasoma all driving petrol driven Jeep Wranglers representing “Team Jeep” backed by the local agents Dimo’s, motor racing specialists Rohan Dhammapala and Nishan Wasalathanthri, Pubudu Wickrama (2nd runner up 4x4 Challenge ’06), Warner Orloff, Saranga Gunawardena driving Toyota 4x4’s, Shenal Fernando, Buddhi Goonesekera, Viraj Rathnathilake driving Mitsubishi 4x4’s, Fawmi Razak andRangana Fernando.

Main sponsor for this year’s event is Central Investments and Finance Ltd (CIFL) co-sponsored by The Tough American 4x4’s ….. “Jeep” Distributed in Sri Lanka by Dimo’s, Toyota Lanka Pvt Ltd, Outdoorsman – Agents for Mickey Thompson & T-Max off road gear and Daily Mirror as the print media sponsor.
For further information regarding the event/ entry forms etc. please call 0777-518220.


Mahaweli Reach Hotel felicitates Murali

It was time for celebrations as Muttiah Muralitharan made history at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy on December 3rd 2007 by being crowned ‘Spin King’ of the world. The hometown hero was welcomed back by staff, friends and guests at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel where both the England and Sri Lankan teams have been staying during the first Test played at Asgiriya. It was indeed a historic day which was shared by all with pride.


Central Province Umpires Association Office Bearers

By Mariks from Kandy
National cricketer Chamara Kapugedera’s father, a well known umpire, Lalith Kapugedera has created history by becoming the secretary of the Central Province Cricket Umpires Association for the fourteenth successive year.
Lalith has given his best to the association together with his close associate B.J. de Selfa and much more can be expected this time. Selfa who was attached to the Kandy Municipal Council Play Grounds Department was also a top umpire at one time.
The office bearers: Patrons – Jayantha Dharmadasa, K. Ekanayake, S. Kasthuriratne, Chapa Weeraratne.
President: N.B. Eriyagama. Vice Presidents: B.J. de Selfa and D.D.T Alwis. Secretary: Lalith Kapugedera. Assistant Secretary: Tissa Guantilake. Treasurer: H. Jayasekara. Committee: U.I. Hettiarchchi, S.M.Hettiarachchi, M. Gamage. Board of Examiners: C. Bandara, S. Gamage. U.I. Hettiarachchi. Auditor: Upali Wijesinghe.

Thanks from Thilina
The president of the Kandy District Cricket Association, Thilina Tennakoon, expressed his thanks to all those who worked hard to make the first Test in Kandy between Sri Lanka and England a success.
He said that he was very disturbed over the issue of the sale of cricket balls at Asgiriya which carried a forged signature of Muralitharan.

During this test there were some great moments when two Kandy products, Murali and Sanga, went on to break world records and also it was the first time that Sri Lanka beat England in Kandy. It was a great Test with both English and Sri Lankan fans getting their monies worth.

State Services hockey team on tour
The State Services Hockey Association will participate in the Festa Hoki tournament, which will be held in Penang, Malaysia from 14th December.
They hope to field two teams and will be playing a few exhibition matches in Bangkok and Singapore on their way back.

Football final
The Kandy Association Football League inter-club “A” division tournament has come to an end, with Kandy York SC and Golden Stars SC qualifying for the final. The winners will receive Rs.50, 000 and the Telecom trophy and the runners-up will receive Rs.25, 000.
The Sri Lanka Telecom sponsored football tournament saw some good football in Kandy after a long spell.

Sean to lead Kandy
Sean Wijesinghe the former Trinity College flanker is expected to lead the Kandy Sports Club rugger team in the next season. Sean, a fine third row forward played for Trinity and later for Kandy Sports Club and Sri Lanka. He is an excellent Player both in attack and defence with a lot of experience in the game.

He will be backed by a fine set of top class players most of whom have donned the Sri Lankan jersey.
Former Kandy SC –three-quarter Radika Hettiarchchi is back in the hills, after a years stint each with CH & FC and CR & FC.
Sri Lanka Football congratulates our cricketers

On behalf of the Sri Lanka Football Federation the President of the Federation Hurley Silvera and Secretary Hafiz Marikar congratulate the Sri Lanka Cricketers for wining the first Test against England in Kandy.
They also extend their congratulations to the two heroes, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Sangakkara for their excellent work with bat and ball.


Ratmalana CC win

Ratmalana CC beat Lankan CC in a Colombo District Division 111 cricket match played at Lyceum International College, Wattala Ground., on 24th November.
Excellent batting by openers Indika Lakmal (85) and Mihiranga Wickremasinghe (56) enabled Ratmalana to reach the total of 156 without loss in 23 overs.
Lankan CC 152 (42.2) (Shenal Amerasinghe 30, Duminda Pannila 31, Bandula Dissanayake 23, Treshaman Frink 23, Kasela Chamara 3/36, Ranga Ratnayake 2/14)
Ratmalana CC 156 for no los (23) (Indika Lakmal 85 not out, Mihiranga Wickramasinghe 56 not out)










- web designed by shermil fernando