Device to end chucking debate

By Jennifer Foreshew
Debates over cricket’s most emotive issue, whether a bowler is a chucker, could soon be settled immediately by a strap-on device that will measure the angle of the bowler’s arm on each delivery.

Researchers at Queensland ‘s Griffith University have developed a prototype of the device, which can be worn on the field and allows umpires to determine immediately if a bowler is bowling illegally.
The device uses electronic sensors to measure the degree of elbow extension from the time the bowling arm reaches a horizontal level to the ball’s release.

International Cricket Council regulations stipulate a 15-degree maximum for elbow extension in the bowling action. This is accepted as the point at which the elbow extension begins to become noticeable to the eye.

The ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club will fund Griffith’s development of the device. ICC cricket general manager David Richardson praised the concept of a device that a bowler could wear during a match. He said the technology would be critical in efforts to enforce the regulations on illegal bowling actions.

Sri Lankan spin bowler Muthiah Muralitharan, the world record-holder for Test wickets taken, has come under constant scrutiny throughout his career because of his unorthodox bowling action. He has been tested and found to be within the 15-degree limit.

Griffith University project leader Daniel James said the device would help remove controversy “and let people get on with playing the game”. Dr James said the device could be useful in competition, as well as helping coaches to assess arm action early in a player’s development to prevent injury, improve performance and correct faults in technique.

“Once somebody has developed an arm action, it is very hard to correct on the day. But as a training tool this device could be invaluable, especially for developing athletes,” Dr James said.
“We are hoping to deliver a lot of the performance information about bowling and that would include some of the angles that are of concern. We will also gather information we are looking for to help quantify what a bowler is doing. We can then compare different bowlers.”

Until now, the angle of a bowler’s arm could only be measured in one of a handful of sports laboratories or by using a complex system of multiple video cameras. “We are using micro-electromechanical sensors, which have got steadily smaller over the years because they are used a lot in automobile technology,” Dr James said. [Bureau report]


American Na ties for lead

RIVIEIRA MAYA, Mexico, (AFP) - Kevin Na and Mark Wilson are tied atop the leaderboard at 10-under-par 130 after the second round of the PGA Mayakoba Golf Classic on Friday.

Wilson fired a 6-under 64 in the second round, while Na carded a 62 as the pair hold a two-stroke lead over Bo Van Pelt and J.J. Henry, who carded a 69 and 66, respectively, en route to a 132 entering Saturday’s play at the 3.6 million dollar event.
“I feel pretty good, playing solid, confidence is there,” Na said. “If I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully at the end of the week I’ll come out ahead.”

Wilson, of the United States, could have been in the lead had he not offset his seven birdies with a bogey on the par-5 13th.
Though his lead appeared safe earlier in the round, Wilson could not hold off his countryman, Na, who carded six birdies on his final nine holes to forge the tie.

Briny Baird and Chris Riley are three shots back at 7-under 133.
Van Pelt surged ahead Thursday with seven birdies over his final nine holes, but he had trouble with his consistency in the second round, erasing two of his three birdies with bogeys on Nos. 6 and 15.
Defending champion Brian Gay is tied for 22nd with 12 other players - eight shots off the lead - after shooting even-par Friday en route to a 2-under 138 for the tournament.


AAA elections                                                

Palitha, Prema re-elected uncontested

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
Major General Palitha Fernando and Prema Pinnawala were once again re-elected( uncontested) for the posts of president and secretary of the Amateur Athletic Association(AAA) at their Annual General Meeting held at the AAA headquarters on Friday .
Earlier there was a contest for the vice president posts as seven officials were to compete for the six vice president posts. However at the last minute one official Chandana Ekanayake withdrew and all six officials became uncontested. GLS Perera who did an excellent job as media spokesman of the AAA last year was elected as the new vice president this time replacing Sunil Jayaweera. All other five vice Presidents Brig Parry Liyanage, PHD Waidayatilleka, Colonel Sudath Madugalle, Anil Weerasinghe and TM Devendran were once again re-elected for the same posts.

Meanwhile for the first time Ekanayaka from Kandy was elected treasurer and Saman Kumara was elected official recorder for the 17th consecutive year. HU Upali and Yasarohana de Silva were re-elected assistant treasurer and assistant secretary.


President: Major General Palitha Fernando. Vice Presidents: Brig Parry Liyanage, PHD Waidyatilleka, Colonel Sudath Madugalle, Anil Weerasinghe, TM Devendran, GLS Perera. Secretary: Prema Pinnawala. Assist Secretary: Yasarohana de Silva. Treasurer: Chandana Ekanayake. Asst Treasurer: HU Upali. Recorder: Saman Kumara.


Rotary golf tournament next month

The Rotary Club of Kandy headed by Gowri Rajan, promotes golf and they have also promised football a hand.
The Rotary Club of Kandy will be having their Open Charity Golf tournament for all golfers with a valid club handicap.

The tournament will be played off at the Victoria Golf and Country Resort on March 21and 22 the format being a 36-hole Stableford competition. Attractive prizes will be awarded to both men and lady golfers.

Golf players are invited to participate in this prestigious tournament and enjoy fellowship with a dinner dance on Saturday March 22. All proceeds will go to the Rotary Foundation.

Entries close on March 13. More details and entry form can be had from the tournament co-ordinator Carl on 0773163326. (Mariks)


Kiwis step up security for India

WELLINGTON, (AFP) - New Zealand is to boost ground security for the remainder of the Indian cricket tour following a bottle-throwing incident at the second Twenty20 match, an official said Saturday.
Play was briefly halted towards the end of the New Zealand innings here Friday after a plastic bottle was thrown from the crowd and landed near an Indian fielder.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said the Indian team and match referee Ranjan Madugalle had expressed concern about the incident.

“New Zealand Cricket is fully committed to providing a high level of security, and I have given my assurance to the Indian team that increased security will be in place for the upcoming (ODI) series,” Vaughan said,

Measures will include more security staff, higher security visibility in potential problem areas, and closer monitoring of the crowd.
Staff will also be instructed to take extra precautions to shield boundary fielders, and to take prompt action against offenders.
“This type of incident is unfortunate, especially in such an exciting and close game as we saw last night,” said Vaughan. “Fortunately it does not occur often.”

New Zealand won the match with a single off the last ball to take the Twenty20 series 2-0.
The teams now move to Napier for the first of five ODI matches on Tuesday.


Wax statue of Tendulkar at Tussauds

LONDON: The wax statue of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar will be unveiled at Madame Tussauds Museum in April, the first Indian sportsperson to be featured in one of London’s famous tourist attraction.

Tendulkar will join the likes of filmstars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan and former prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao who have been portrayed at the Madame Tussauds.

A spokeswoman of Madame Tussauds told PTI today that Tendulkar, the world’s highest run getter in Tests, will be the first Indian sportsperson to be featured at the world famous wax museum. He joins other cricket legends like Brian Lara and Shane Warne to find a place there.

“Record breaking cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will be the latest sporting great featured at the internationally renowned Madame Tussauds London when a new wax figure of the Mumbai-born batsman joins the A-list line up in April,” the spokeswoman said. [PTI]


No difference with players on contracts issue: PCB

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt on Friday dispelled rumours about differences with senior players regarding the central contracts.
“The board has prepared the contracts after careful consideration but if the players have some views we will talk to them. But none of them has so far conveyed to us they are not happy with the contracts,” he said.

Indications are that most of the players including skipper Younis Khan want a particular clause dropped from the contracts which states that if a player is away from Pakistan for more then 30 days to play in a foreign league, he will not get his monthly retainer for that month.

Most of these players are yet to sign the central contracts although fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has put pen on paper.
Butt said the board was pleased with the attitude and performance of the team in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
“They showed lot of character and Younis led from the front. We are hoping they would continue to perform this way in the second Test and in future as well,” he said.

He also praised Younis’s triple hundred saying he had played superbly under pressure.
The PCB chief, however, felt criticism of the pitch prepared for the first Test was a bit harsh.
“I had a talk with the chief curator and others as well. The track should have been more lively but it was not a bad wicket. I am satisfied with the report I have got from the chief curator there will be no further inquiry on this issue,” he said. – [PTI]


Ten Sports-Supersport signs multi-year digital content partnership

NEW DELHI: Taj Television, owners of Ten Sports, has signed a multi-year digital content syndication deal with Africa-based sports broadcaster SuperSport.
According to the agreement, Taj TV will distribute its entire portfolio of international cricket rights for the sub-Sahara African territory, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe to SuperSport.

The multi-platform deal also allows SuperSport to provide coverage via a variety of digital platforms, from next generation mobile handsets to SuperSports’ broadband streaming portal.

Taj Television CEO Chris McDonald said: “SuperSport is the network of choice for sports in South and sub-Saharan Africa. Their excellent reach, creative ad packaging, and overall broadcast professionalism make them one of our key syndication partners globally.”

In 2009 Ten Sports will deliver nearly 200 days of live and exclusive cricket like matches between South Africa, India and Sri Lanka to SuperSport.

“We are excited to continue our long standing relationship with Ten Sports in order to provide our subscribers all over Africa the highest standard of International cricket coverage either in the comfort of their homes or on the move,” says SuperSports CEO Imtiaz Patel.


Fish reaches semis at Florida

DELRAY BEACH, Florida, (AFP) – Top-seeded American Mardy Fish clinched a spot in semi-finals of the ATP Delray Beach International Tennis Championships with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4) win over Florent Serra of France.
In search of his first title since tasting victory at Houston in April 2006, the 21st-ranked Fish faced his first test at the 500,000 dollar hardcourt event. He has yet to drop a set.

The 27-year-old Fish, who is the only top-50 player left in the draw, registered nine aces and no double faults in recording the win in one hour, 28 minutes.

Serra, who turns 28 Saturday, was unable to give himself an early birthday present. He lost for the second time in two meetings with Fish, who is looking to become the first American to win on home soil since journeyman Jan-Michael Gambill in 2003 when he defeated Fish.


Adamek successfully defends cruiserweight title

NEWARK, New Jersey, (AFP) - Poland’s Tomasz Adamek retained his world title with an eighth-round knockout over previously undefeated Johnathon Banks on Friday.
Adamek not only posted his 37th win to go with one loss but he also retained his International Boxing Federation cruiserweight belt.

Adamek seized control of the fight in the sixth round before flooring Banks twice in the eighth. The referee stopped the bout at one minute, 30 seconds of the final round.

It was the first defence of the title for Adamek.
Adamek took the title here 11 weeks ago with a split-decision victory over Steve Cunningham, knocking the American to the canvas three times to claim his fifth victory in a row, improving his record to 36-1 with 24 knockouts.

Adamek won the World Boxing Council light-heavyweight title in 2005 from Australian Paul Briggs and defended the crown twice before suffering his only career defeat, a 2007 unanimous decision loss to American Chad Dawson.


Over 40 Battle of the Blues on March 1

The Traditional cricket match between Old Royalists and Old Thomians for the Chulaka de Zoysa Memorial Trophy is set to get underway, once again, on March 1, 2009 at the Singhalese Sports Club Grounds, Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7.
In its fifteenth year, the matches will be played in Twenty20 format.

As was introduced last year, the “Over 40” age group Twenty20 encounter will be played for the Chulaka de Zoysa Memorial Shield.
Associated Motorways Plc. will be the sponsor of these two clashes.