former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu giving
Canada a helping hand to qualify for the 2011 ICC
World Cup at the Sara Stadium nets
(Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)
Integrity of cricket
officials should not be in question - Atapattu
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Former Sri Lanka captain and opening batsman Marvan Atapattu
said that there shouldn’t be any room left for cricketers to
question the integrity of Sri Lanka Cricket officials, but sadly
it is the case today.
“Cricketers should not be too worried about the administration
if it is being run correctly. But when it comes to cricketing
matters cricketers with experience should be involved.
Cricketers don’t have to be good administrators and at the same
time administrators will never be good at taking decisions
related to cricket matters. We have missed these two points
badly in the last two years,” said Atapattu.
“There shouldn’t be any room left for players to question the
integrity of officials. Today you can turn around and question
almost everybody’s integrity at Sri Lanka Cricket. It should not
happen,” he said.
Atapattu said that all the politics that was going on at Sri
Lanka Cricket was a waste of time and it is pushing the
country’s cricket backwards.
“We have such a lot of talented people in Sri Lanka it is very
sad that they cannot work together due to personal differences.
If we work towards one goal why can’t we do the right thing and
let the system take over without meddling around with it?”
Sri Lanka Cricket is today run by just three individuals –
Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge, his personal secretary S
Liyanagama whom he has appointed as the competent authority and
SLC CEO Duleep Mendis.
Atapattu shunned by his country for his participation in the
rebel ICL tournament is assisting the Canadian national cricket
team qualify for the 2011 World Cup tournament.
Atapattu has been hired by Cricket Canada as their batting coach
till the end of the World Cup qualifying ICC trophy tournament
in April 19. The Canadian team is presently preparing themselves
for the event making use of the facilities and specialised
coaches in Sri Lanka.
“Cricket coaching is much easier than practising. I’ve always
loved to coach if I had a chance. Coaching is something I want
to do and looking to do in the future when this offer came
along,” said Atapattu. “I have two more years with ICL but since
ICL is not happening till about July I thought this is a great
opportunity to keep myself occupied.”
This is the first time Atapattu, 38, veteran of 90 Tests and 268
ODIs has undertaken the task of coaching a national side. His
previous experience has been coaching with the Fingara Cricket
Academy for a couple of months.
“Pubudu Dassanayake who is Canada’s head coach called me and
asked whether I could help him out with their batting. It was
something which I loved doing and as I was free I obliged him,”
Asked to what extent Atapattu’s presence has improved his team’s
batting techniques Dassanayake replied: “Marvan has been working
with the team for three weeks and the results are already there
for everyone to see. The little issues we had on the technical
side Marvan has gone through and corrected. The first friendly
game we played on Sunday against Nugegoda S&WC showed how much
the batsmen have improved in the three weeks.”
Questioned on the prospect of one day becoming Sri Lanka’s
batting coach Atapattu responded: “I don’t want to project my
thinking so far and so soon, but maybe not at the highest level
to be honest. With the top level guys you cannot do a lot with
their techniques and adjustments, but if you take on probably
the second string or the academy levels I can do the
adjustments. It is important from my point of view I would love
to get involved in doing adjustments.”
Since the tour to Australia in November 2007 after which
Atapattu retired from international cricket, he has not played a
single first-class match due to the ban imposed by Sri Lanka
Cricket on ICL contracted players. He has played one season of
ICL and apart from that, a few Mercantile ‘A’ division matches
“My priorities are with the ICL for the next two years. If they
go on playing the tournaments they had originally planned to
hold I probably will spend about 110 days a year playing
cricket. That’s enough for me at my age. But if that is not
happening then I have my matches with Lashings in England and I
will go where my service are needed,” stated Atapattu.
Lashings are a private charity organisation playing 35-over
games involving several international cricketers. They play
around 30 matches during the season mostly against club sides.
Atapattu accused the ICC of double standards in imposing a ban
on ICL cricketers but allowing a similar tournament the IPL to
run freely. “Both the ICL and IPL are helping cricketers raise
their standards of living so why are they supporting only the
IPL and depriving cricketers from playing domestic and
international cricket. Going by media reports it is a grudge
battle between two individuals and the whole cricket world is
made to suffer. It is very unfortunate,” said Atapattu.
He was critical of Sri Lanka playing too many matches against
weak oppositions. “We have lots of good players who are just
being exposed to playing against weaker teams. We should be able
to demand good teams to come here and provide us good opposition
so that the real talent of our cricketers is exposed.”
Atapattu said that Sri Lanka’s international cricket programme
was like a football scenario. “It’s more like a penalty
situation. If you score off a penalty people will say you scored
because you were awarded a penalty. But on the other hand if you
fail to score the people will say that you cannot even score off
Only 8 wins in 58 encounters of
‘Battle of the Golds’
Time for a winning result
St. Sebastian’s :
Standing (from left): Deshan Dias, Oshada Fernando,
Ramesh Fernando, Marlon Fernando, Sanitha de Mel,
Brian Paul, Konney Rodrigo, Kasun Fernando, Jayaran
Fernando, Anoj Gayashan, Amila Aponso, Shawan
Seated (from left): Charith Fernando, Frank Cooray
(MIC) Prageeth Perera (captain) Rev. Fr. Bonnie
Fernando (Rector) Ishara Fernando (vice-captain),
Sanjeewa Silva (coach), Anuk de Alwis
By Samiddha Rathnayake
Both Prince of Wales and St. Sebastian’s will have to come up
with something quite sensational to shatter the 31-year-old
stream of draws that prevails in the 59th ‘Battle of the Golds’
cricket encounter that will be played at the De Soysa Stadium on
March 13 and 14. The event will be followed by the one-day
encounter that will take place on March 15 at the same venue.
This series is a much anticipated event in Moratuwa and it is
quite significant that from the past 58 encounters only eight
have produced a winning result. Out of these, six have ended in
favour of the Cambrians while Sebastianites have won only two.
The last winning result was in 1977 in favour of the Cambrians.
Though the event was initiated in 1933, there had been few
instances when it was not held.
Comparing the season’s results of both teams, it is quite
evident that the Cambrians are equipped with a stronger side
than their rivals. After 14 matches they have only one defeat
whereas Sebastianites have lost four out of the fourteen matches
they have played.
Prince of Wales :
Standing (from left): Saviya Fernando, Ashan
Fernando, Isuru Thilina, Dulan Chathuka, Shehan
Jayasooriya, Thushara de Alwis, Nipun Chamara,
Malshan Mendis, Sampath Mahesh, Nuwantha Peiris,
Shehan Dammalage, Sithum Fernando.
Seated (from left): Mohamed Hazim, Susantha Mendis
(MIC), Dilan Chandima (vice-captain) Sampath
Weragoda (POG), Rohana Karunaratne (Principal),
Buddhika Alwis (captain), Lanthra Fernando (coach),
Thisaru de Mel
Lantra Fernando, the coach of Prince of Wales is quite
confident of breaking the deadlock this year as “we have got a
bunch of players who cooperate with each other well. Apart from
that, considering how the Sebastianites have fared this season,
I’m quite sure that we are the strong favourites this time.”
Captain Buddhika Alwis and vice captain Dilan Chandima hold the
key for the Cambrians. Chandima, being the best batsman of the
outfit has passed the 800-run mark for the season which includes
two centuries and three half-centuries. On the other hand Alwis
has scored almost 400 runs and taken over 40 wickets with his
leg-spin. Commenting on his team’s capabilities Alwis said that
they are well prepared to create history by winning this year’s
‘Big Match’. “We are quite keen on winning this year. It has
been a long wait for both teams. But as we have performed better
than them during the season I feel we have a good chance of
winning,” he said.
For Sebastianites, their captain Prageeth Perera and Deshan Dias
have been the most prolific run-getters. After 16 matches Dias
has 836 runs against his name while Perera has scored 589 runs
in 13 matches. Left-arm leg-spinner Amila Aponso has been the
most successful bowler for Sebastianites with 44 wickets from 12
matches. Despite underperforming during the season,
Sebastianites captain Perera is hopeful of bouncing back in the
‘Big Match’. “It is true that we couldn’t perform up to
expectations during the season, but I’m sure that the guys can
come up with something exceptional during this year’s ‘Big
Match’. We will play positively” he said.
Sebastianites coach Sanjeewa Silva is also quite confident of
making a strong comeback. “It won’t be easy for both the teams.
Despite the few drawbacks, we will do our best to make a strong
comeback. If one considers the season’s results, both teams have
failed to register a single win and they will be craving for
one. Overall, it’ll be a great contest this year” he said.
Referral system gets Hot Spot aid
DUBAI: Hot Spot
technology, which judges whether or not a batsman has edged the
ball, will be trialled in the second and third Tests between
South Africa and Australia, the International Cricket Council (ICC)
said on Thursday.
Hot Spot images will be available to the third umpire in the
event of a player requesting a decision to be reviewed during
the matches in Durban and Cape Town which starting on March 19.
“It means the third umpire will have more information at his
disposal and that has to be a good thing,” said ICC general
manager David Richardson.
Hot Spot uses two infra-red cameras positioned at either end of
the ground. The cameras sense and measure heat from friction
generated by a collision, such as ball on pad, ball on bat, ball
on ground or ball on glove. A black and white negative image of
the incident is generated into a computer which shows the ball’s
precise point of contact.
The technology was originally set for use during the trial in
the Pakistan-India series that was due to take place at the
start of the year but when that series was called off, that
equipment was ear-marked by broadcasters for the New
Zealand-India series instead.
The umpire decision review system has already been used in the
Sri Lanka-India and New Zealand-West Indies series last year and
is also being trialled in the ongoing West Indies-England
series. - [Bureau report]