After shock loss to Royal

Ananda will resume winning ways says coach

By Samiddha Rathnayake
Lucky Rogers Fernando, Ananda 1st XI cricket coach is having one of the best possible cricket season’s as coach. He has coached the Anandians to eight outright wins this season which includes a record breaking six wins in a row until Royal put a stop to their successful run last week with a 94-run win. It was an agonising end for Ananda as the last wicket to fall was through a run out off the last ball of the match giving Royal a win over their hosts after 24 years.

The win was Royal’s sixth of the season and became something special for them as their last win against Ananda was achieved in 1985, under the leadership of Heshan de Silva.

The Anandians who are having a tally of eight wins from their past 13 encounters this season, need just two wins to surpass the overall schools record of nine victories set by Nalanda way back in 1988/89 under the captaincy of Ramesh de Silva. Having such an impressive track record, understandably, it was a bit harsh for a side to experience such a defeat.

As Ananda’s head coach Fernando said the result against Royal was not what they were expecting to witness at the end of the match. “The two tailender batsmen Sachithra Perera and Madumal Jayaratne panicked. Initially all of us were shocked at what happened as it was the last ball of the innings. And all they needed was to block it,” said Fernando, a former Moratu Vidyalaya, Moratuwa SC and Sebastianite cricketer who had earlier coached Moratu Vidyalaya and Moratuwa SC.

“I managed to talk to the team soon after the loss and after some time they seemed to have recovered from the loss. They were a bit okay. Lately members of the cricket wing also had a talk with the boys and explained to them that it was merely another game,” Fernando said

According to Fernando, the loss won’t affect the team’s winning momentum and he confidently stated that they are well focused on ending the season on a high note. “I’m absolutely sure that the lads have now got over the defeat. We’ll perform well in the coming matches,” he said with determination.

Ananda have another seven matches to achieve the record. Their remaining fixtures are: January 30-31: v St. Anthony’s College (Away), February 2-3: v St. Benedict’s College (Home), February 6-7: v Prince of Wales’ College (Away), February 13-14: v Dharmaraja College (Home), February 20-21: v St. Sebastian’s College (Home), February 27-28: v St. Joseph’s College (Home), March 7-8: v Nalanda (Big Match –SSC).


114 foreign cricketers for IPL auction

NEW DELHI: The second player’s auction of the DLF Indian Premier League will witness 114 cricketers from abroad under the hammer in Goa on February 6.

From South Africa’s new batting sensation JP Duminy to Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke and England’s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, the auction will see an array of stars up for the auction for the second edition of the tournament that will kick off on April 10.

Australian players will lead the charge with 27 in the fray that include Clarke, Bradd Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark, Bradd Hogg, Shaun Tait and Jason Krejza among others.

England follows next with 21 players including Pietersen, Flintoff, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Monty Panesar, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Shaun Udal, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swan and Owais Shah.
Fifteen players from Sri Lanka and 13 South Africans, are also in fray as are Pakistan players Asim Kamal, Yasir Hameed, Danish Kaneria, Mohd Hafeez and Yasir Arafat.

“As per guidelines set by the Governing Council for the IPL 2009, each franchisee will have a maximum purse of $2 million, less any amount spent on signing temporary replacements from last year to select the cricketers best suited for their team’s strategies,” according to a release from the organisers.

Players from Bangladesh, the West Indies, New Zealand and Zimbabwe too have enlisted themselves for the auction.
“The enthusiasm and interest displayed by players from all around the world to participate in the second season of the league has been truly overwhelming,” IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said in a statement.

“Clearly the DLF Indian Premier League has set new standards in helping uncover and hone some exciting new talent, that have gone on to gain international recognition, all of which augurs well for development of world cricket.
“We are extremely happy with the interest the league has garnered globally and look forward to the action at the second player auction in Goa,” Modi said.

List of players up for second auction:

Australia: Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark, Brad Hogg, Beau Casson, Mark Cameron, Peter Forrest, Lee Carseldine, Doug Bollinger, Michael Dighton, Jason Krejza, Nathan Reardon, Chris Hartley, Shaun Tait, Ashley Noffke, Bryce McGain, George Bailey, Michael Hill, Travis Birt, Chris Swan, Michael Klinger, Ben Edmondson, Aiden Blizzard, Mark Cosgrove, Adam Voges, Shane Harwood.

England: Ravi Bopara, Monty Panesar, Robert Key, James Foster, Tyron Henderson, Sajid Mahmood, Matt Prior, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah, Shaun Udal, Darren Gough, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swan, Luke Wright, Kevin Peterson, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Ed Joyce, Dominic Cork.

South Africa: Gulam Bodi, Rory Kleinveld, Charles Langeveldt, Ashwell Prince, JP Duminy, Martin Van Jaarsveld, Roelof Van der Merwe, Andre Nel, Neil Mckanzee, Yusuf Abdullah, Paul Harris, Johan Botha, Morne Van Wyk.

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Rajin Saleh, Mehrab Hossain Jr, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mohammad Junaid Siddique, Ziaur Rahman, Mahumudullah Riyad, Nadif Chowdhury, Mohammad Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Raqibul Hasan, Tamim Iqbal Khan.
New Zealand: Mark Gillespie, Tim Southee, Jesse Ryder, Jeetan Patel, Kyle Mills, Chris Martin, Jamie How, Peter Fulton, James Franklin.

Pakistan: Asim Kamal, Yasir Hameed, Danish Kaneria, Mohd. Hafeez, Yasir Arafat.
West Indies: Sylvester Joseph, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Andre Fletcher, Kieron Powell, Fidel Edwards, Dwayne Smith, Kemar Roach - [PTI]

Sri Lanka: Thilina Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Mahela Udawatte, Dammika Prasad, Thilina Kandamby, Kaushalya Weereratne, Jehan Mubarak, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Malinga Bandara, Malinda Warnapura, Michael Vandort, Prassanna Jayawardane, Upal Tharanga, Jeevantha Kulatunga, Kaushal Lokuarachchi.


President, secretary to continue good work

By Hafiz Marikar
The newly elected president and secretary of the 132-year-old Kandy Sports Club, Malath Fernando and Mahesh Weerasinghe have promised to continue the good work done by the former president and secretary. This was told to The Nation soon after last Sunday’s AGM. Both have served in the Kandy SC committee in various positions.

The newly elected committee comprises rugby promoters of the calibre of EW Balasuriya (patron), Chandra Wijenayake, Dr. Sarath Kapuwatha, Malik Samarawickrema (all trustees), vice presidents: Iswan Omar Senior, Hematha Yatawara, H. Marikar, treasurer: Ranil de Saram, committee members - CPP Raj, Nimal Gunasekara, Rohan Daulagala, Leslie de Zoysa, Janaka Pathirana, Priyantha Ekanayake, Sanjeeva Tennakoon., Rangith Goonaratne, Malik Saheed, Sujeeva Liyanage, Mahinda Dias, Maurice Joachim, Sean Wijesinghe, Chummy Rajakaruna, Lasantha Wijesuriya and Tikiri Bandara - have promised their fullest support towards the upliftment of the club and game. The new committee under the leadership of Malath Fernando has big plans for the club.

In the past, the administrators sacrificed their time, energy and wealth in the service of rugger. There were brilliant administrators who lacked nothing, be it knowledge or expertise. Their integrity was beyond question and they were thoroughly independent in outlook, they served without fear or favour. It is fitting to record, in recent times how Dr. Sarath Kapuwatha, as president, has shown great flair and initiative in uplifting the sport.

Over the last sixteen years, Kandy SC has shown commitment and passion towards developing and playing good quality rugby in all the tournaments organised by the SLRFU.

Over here in the hills the club has reduced the gap in the basic conditions for the game’s development by providing ruggerites with huge levels of support. The constant growth of rugby at Nittawella means that compared to some years ago many people are either directly linked to the game of rugby or enthralled by it. Nevertheless, rugby’s higher status in society brings with it an increased level of social responsibility. I have been associated with this club for the last 34 years and have no doubt whatsoever that Kandy SC will continue to implement its mission successfully in the years to come, provided that everyone who loves rugby continues to work together with commitment determination and solidarity.

In the last couple of years rugby promoters like Malik Samarawickrema the man who gave Kandy the facelift, Dr. Sarath Kapuwatha and the hard working Iswan Omar in his own style have given their best to keep the club alive and kicking to win trophies.


Seethawaka Rajasinghe MV shines despite lack of facilities

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
The Seethawaka Rajasinghe MV match against the more fancied Prince of Wales College Moratuwa ended in a thrilling finish in the Rankekulu Trophy under 13 provincial cricket tournament which ended at the MCA grounds on Friday. Chasing a 117-run target the Cambrians reached it in 29.1 overs with five balls to spare losing eight wickets in the process. Gallant Rajasinghe MV had to be satisfied with the runners-up trophy in the tournament sponsored by Bank of Ceylon.

“We are very satisfied with ou performances though we couldn’t win. It was a good team effort,” Seethawaka MV coach Sanjaya Weerasinghe said.

“Nimesha Maduwantha (35) and Primal Kumarasinghe (23) were the main scorers in the final but we missed a few more good contributions to build up a good total. We are a division two team and last year we played division three in this same under 13 tournament. Apart from one senior player all other players are those who played last year in division three. They got a chance to play division two this year which is an advantage for us,” he said.

Coach Weerasinghe further said that for the last five years he had done his best to promote cricket at Rajasinghe MV, not only at under 13 level but also at under - 15, 17, and 19.

“We are playing in a low division with limited facilities but I am very happy to say we have put up a good fight against division one teams. In this tournament we beat De Mezenod, Kandana in the quarterfinals and fancied Royal, Colombo in the semi-finals both division one schools,” said Weerasinghe.

“My players have a good morale and they never give up in the matches against Colombo schools. We have a small ground at our school with a matting wicket but no other facilities. Sometimes at practices my players have to bring balls and only four bats are available for the entire team,” Weerasinghe lamented.
“Sri Lanka Cricket donated cricket equipments for this year’s tournament which was good. We finished runners-up but we have a long journey ahead of us to reach the top,” he said.


SLC issues ultimatum to Sebastianites

By M Naushad Amit
The Premier inter-club Tier ‘B’ match between Sebastianites and Panadura SC which was abandoned two weeks ago after a large chunk of the pitch came loose at the De Zoysa Stadium in Moratuwa seems to be heading for a walk-over The Nation learns. Earlier after an inquiry the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) tournament committee gave the ultimatum to Sebastianites to host the match before February 8. However when The Nation contacted Ajith Cooray, the president of Sebastianites Cricket, he told that a request was made at the inquiry to replay the match from the point it was abandoned.

“At the inquiry we were instructed that the match should be replayed. At the same time we requested the SLC tournament committee to permit us to continue the match because at a similar incidence two other teams were given that opportunity. But the SLC officials were firm on us and wanted the match replayed. What we are asking here is to grant us the same facilities as in the Air Force vs Seeduwa/Raddoluwa match which was restarted after two weeks,” said Cooray.

However Chandima Mapatuna, the tournament secretary had contrasting comments. “After going through the reports of the match referee and the umpires we gave Sebastianites the relief of replaying the match. Of course they made a request for the match to be continued from the point play had stopped. But we have told them (Sebastianites) that it would not materialise. If they wish they can write to us officially,” Mapatuna told The Nation.

Cooray retaliated when he was asked if SLC tournament committee officials were informed officially in writing to say: “At an inquiry the statements made are taken down. Our request, which was made during an inquiry, can be treated as official. They (SLC) could have informed us to give an official letter which was not done till this point.”

Cooray also blamed the relevant authorities for treating individuals differently. “It’s true that there was a national security question involved in continuing the match between Air Force and Seeduwa/Raddoluwa. If there are strict tournament conditions and rules all teams should follow them equally and be treated the same way. Why can’t SLC allow us to continue our match,” he asked.
Further according to Cooray, Panadura SC are in a position to challenge Saracens for the No.1 slot in Tier ‘B’ points table and need 400 runs plus and an outright win to secure the top place of the segment. “Panadura were bowled out for a first innings total of 175 runs before the match was abandoned. On the other hand Sebastianites need 300 plus and a first innings victory to remain in Tier ‘B’ without getting relegated. The reason is quite clear here. We (Sebastianites) would not mind being relegated at this point. But the spirit of cricket should be maintained,” he added.

According to Mapatuna, the SLC tournament committee only gave the Sebastianites two conditions which Cooray agreed on. “SLC told us to replay the match and play the same set of players. They gave us the free hand to host the match on a day we wished but before February 8,” Cooray further said.

Mapatuna on the other hand said that SLC is firm on its decisions and Sebastianites may have to face disciplinary action if they fail to play the match on time. “If we (SLC) feel that the match is deliberately called off by the hosting team then they might have to face a suspension or could be fined up to SLR 100,000. Their chances are still open and if they wish things can be dealt officially,” Mapatuna said.

Meanwhile a Panadura SC official speaking to The Nation said the club is willing to act on SLC decisions. “The tournament committee instructed that the match should be replayed. We are waiting for Sebastianites to make the necessary arrangements,” the official said. The abandoned match between Sebastianites and Panadura SC will be a crucial decider as it will decide the Tier ‘B’ champions and the relegation of a team to the Sara Division. All other matches in this segment have been completed while the decisive match is still pending.


Western Province Rugby Union select office bearers

The new president of the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU), Wimal Senanayake told The Nation that he would continue to carry on the good work of the outgoing president Asanga Seneviratne at the Provincial Union’s Annual General Meeting held at ‘Tharu Villas’ in Colombo last Thursday. The new office bearers took over the office uncontested apart from the post of treasurer which went to a vote in the evening. Seneviratne who served two years as the WPRFU president said that he was happy to end his tenure with good development in rugby. “We conducted a considerable amount of tournaments in our province during the past couple of years. In addition the Provincial Union helped the schools in the region to develop the sport with facilities provided. We are happy with the development we see at present. This will not be the end as we are hoping to strengthen our players in numbers whilst developing the sport at the same time,” said Seneviratne.

Senanayake taking over his new position vowed to develop the sport further in the province. “No matter what is said and done the WPRFU has the most number of players in the country. Our aim from this year onwards will be to add quality to the players. We have the quantity and it’s time to further develop the skills,” Senanayake said.

Office Bearers 2009: Past Presidents: Asanga Seneviratne and Fazal Mohamed. President: Wimal Senanayake. Deputy President: Rizly Illyas. Vice Presidents: Sanjay Fernando and Shamrath Fernando. Secretary: Roshan Deen. Asst. Secretary: Abdellah Yusuf. Treasurer: MZ Rahuman. Asst. Treasurer: Jude Dimithree. (MNA)