Petes retains Fr. Basil Wiratunga trophy

By M Naushad Amit
St. Peter’s retained the Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga Trophy for the twelfth consecutive year when they handed St. Joseph’s a crushing 55-0 defeat in their 52nd annual encounter at Bambalapitiya yesterday.
St. Peter’s skipper and No.8 Keith Gurusinghe who played in his final encounter as a schoolboy made a perfect farewell by leading his team from the front in the annual encounter after the success of emerging as the schools rugby league champions this year.

Flanker Shenal Dias scored a hat-trick of tries, all of them in the second half of the game with centre Danushka Ranjan scoring two for St. Peter’s. Of the total number of eight tries scored by St. Peter’s winger Lakith Perera, fullback Kevin Wimaladasa and fly half Bhanuka Nanayakkara scored a try each. Scrum half Rizwan Meedin converted six of the tries and a penalty as the victors led 20-0 at half time.

The Peterites backed by vicious moves of skipper Gurusinghe, Dias and Meedin totally mesmerised the Josephians who conceded too many mistakes against a team with much experience. St. Peter’s though did not play a serious game were given a few anxious moments by the Josephians who failed to penetrate the defence line of the hosts.

However St. Peter’s drew first blood with an easy penalty in the fourth minute which was put over by Meedin. Lakith Perera then scored the first try for the home team in the ninth minute which went unconverted followed by a peach of try by Wimaladasa which was put over by Meedin in the 28th minute. Five minutes later Ranjan breached the Josephian defence to score a try from the right flank as it went unconverted.

With the kick off after the resumption Dias made a rampaging move to have the Josephians as mere spectators to score his first try. In the 55th minute Nanayakkara gave St. Peter’s another try which was followed by a Dias special in the 58th minute. Dias touched down for the third time in the 64th minute to have St. Peter’s near the half century mark at 48-0. In the 77th minute Ranjan scored his second try to take St. Peter’s past the landmark as the game ended at 55-0. Meedin put across all five tries in the second half. Nizam Jamaldeen refereed.


SLC terminates service of its CEO

Sri Lanka Cricket has terminated the services of its Chief Executive Officer Duleep Mendis with effect from the end of August.
Mendis has been serving in the capacity of CEO since 2004 and is widely experienced in virtually all fields of cricket having been player, captain, coach, and manager of the national team and also served in other administrative capacities as chairman of selectors. He is the most experienced cricket administrator in world cricket today.
Since the current interim administration was appointed under DS de Silva, Mendis’s powers as CEO were gradually reduced with the appointment of a deputy CEO.
Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said that they decided to retire Mendis based on a report submitted by SLIDA, a government administration assessment department which has stated that any permanent employee reaching the age of 55 should be sent on retirement and could be re-employed on a contractual basis if his services are further required.
Ranatunga stated that the rule applied to everyone at SLC and along with Mendis another four or five were also served termination notices.
On Thursday, SLC terminated the services of their marketing manager Charith Senanayake who was employed on a contract basis.
“We were found that his work was not to our satisfaction so we didn’t extend his contract,” said Ranatunga. “We will be advertising for a qualified marketing manager shortly.”


Asian Rugby Football Union grants permission

Lanka to host first-ever international junior Sevens

By Naushad Amit
The Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) has granted permission for Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) to host a first-ever International Junior 7s Championship, Lasitha Gunaratne revealed to The Nation yesterday. According to Gunaratne, the vice president of SLRFU the governing body for rugby in Sri Lanka, the request to host the world’s inaugural international Under-20 rugby 7s was made to the two visiting officials of International Rugby Board (IRB) in Colombo last week.

“The two IRB officials who were on an inspection visit to Sri Lanka welcomed our request. They are highly interested in this as it will be the very first time in the world that a junior international 7s championship will be hosted by any country. SLRFU has got the permission from ARFU and it will be worked off as an IRB sanctioned event,” Gunaratne said.
According to Gunaratne who initiated the request on behalf of SLRFU the inaugural international junior 7s championship is most likely to be played alongside the Carlton SriLankan 7s which is due to be held in November this year.

“The junior championship will possibly replace the local inter-school 7s tournament and, as it will be the first year, we (SLRFU) will conduct the tournament as a trial event. Initially we expect to go ahead with eight member countries of the ARFU including Sri Lanka and the number of teams may go up to 12 depending on the interest of other countries. Our aim is to convert this to a World Junior 7s Championship which we are planning to host in March 2011,” he added.


Pakistan reel in pursuit of 435

NOTTINGHAM, (AFP) – Pakistan were 11 runs for three wickets after been set a target of 435 run to win the third Test against England at
Trent Bridge here on Saturday.
They got off to bad start losing skipper Salman Butt for eight and Azhar Ali for nought both to Stuart Broad. First innings hero James Anderson then snapped up the wicket of Umar Amin for one trapping him lbw as Pakistan slid to 11-3.
England was boosted by a century from wicket-keeper Matt Prior who scored an unbeaten 102 off 136 balls to take them to 262-9 declared in the second innings.
Umar Gul starred with both bat and ball but England still built a lead of nearly 300 runs against Pakistan at tea on the third day.
Gul, who ensured Pakistan avoided the follow-on with a Test-best 65 not out, took three wickets for seven runs in 21 balls on his way to impressive tea figures of three for 20 in 10 overs.
However, England in their second innings were 120 for six, a lead of 292. Matt Prior was 13 not out and Graeme Swann 14 not out.
Given how Pakistan had been dismissed for 182 in their first innings on Saturday, it appeared England already had enough runs on the board.
Gul’s spirited innings, which saw him score 30 runs off Steven Finn’s only two overs on Saturday, ensured England would have to bat again.

England 354 and 262-9 decl (75.3) (J Trott 26, K Pietersen 22, M Prior 102 n.o., G Swann 28, S Broad 24, Umar Gul 3/41)
Pakistan 147-9 contd 182 (54) (Umar Gul 65 n.o., J Anderson 5/54, S Finn 3/50) and 11-3.


Stop talking about my age now: Tendulkar

His epic double hundred in humid conditions should silence those trying to link performance with age, Sachin Tendulkar said after the conclusion of the second Test on Friday.
Now 37, Tendulkar, who batted for a bit more than eight hours in sapping humidity, said: “I think as long as you are mentally strong and prepared to go through the grind, age does not really matter. I think everyone should just stop talking about the age factor. If I can score a double hundred at 37, I don’t think age really matters.”
Tendulkar, who has the unique record of never having asked for a runner in Tests, ran 72 singles and 13 twos besides hitting 23 fours and a six.

Meanwhile, skipper Dhoni said he had a stiff groin but was doing okay. Dhoni also said Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh too had recovered, one from a knee injury and the other from flu.
He refused to discuss the probability of Yuvraj having to sit out for debutant centurion Suresh Raina for the third and final Test, saying, “You will come to know on Tuesday. But Raina has been a real positive cricketer. He capitalized on his strengths. When you are that aggressive, your mindset is good, the only thing that’s on your mind is to make runs.”

As for Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga, who sat out at the SSC, is also expected to be fit.
Dhoni defended his seamers, commending them for keeping their spirits up in such tough conditions. “I’m happy with the effort they put in. It’s difficult for seamers to either contain or get wickets on this track. With experience they will learn that there are alternative ways to get wickets.”

India have been struggling in this series with strike bowler Harbhajan Singh not fully fit and also out of form and pacers Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth pulling out injured, but unlike coach Gary Kirsten, who had expressed reservations during the Galle Test about India handing out so many caps to inexperienced pacers, Dhoni said India needed a bank of about eight quality seamers.

“We need a larger bench strength,” he said. “If we have a bigger bench strength, which means if we can have a spectrum of around eight fast bowlers to pick from, it will be really great because we are not a side which plays three Tests a year. We play a lot of Tests, ODIs and with the IPL also coming in, we need fast bowlers who are fit, which means eight to 10 fast bowlers you can rotate around and still play with your best bowling attack.” - [TNN]


C’wealth Games building certificates faked: report

NEW DELHI, (AFP) - The New Delhi Commonwealth Games was rocked by a scandal Saturday with a report alleging that all construction quality certificates inspected so far have turned out to be fake or “suspect.”
With barely two months left to go before the opening of the Commonwealth Games in October, a flood of allegations of rampant corruption are emerging involving the 12-day sporting extravaganza. “Fake certificates were routinely issued to pass substandard work and material,” an unnamed official of the Central Vigilance Commission official, a government watchdog body, was quoted as saying by the Times of India.


Tri-series in Dambulla

India rests Tendulkar, recalls Yuvraj

NEW DELHI, (AFP) - India’s cricket selectors on Saturday rested batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar and recalled Yuvraj Singh for next month’s triangular one-day series in Sri Lanka.
New Zealand are the third team in the tournament, starting in Dambulla on August 10. Each side will play four league matches before the top two make it to the final on August 28.

Yuvraj, with 7,345 runs in 250 one-day internationals, was dropped from India’s squad for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka last month. He played his last match in a tri-series in Dhaka early this year.
India also rested off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir.
“Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh have been rested,” Indian cricket board secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement.

Tendulkar has not played for India since becoming the first batsman to hit a double-century in one-day internationals, against South Africa at Gwalior in February.
He is the world’s leading run-getter in both Tests (13,742) and one-day internationals (17,598).
India, led by wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will clash with New Zealand in the opening match.
India squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Saurabh Tiwary.

Aug 10: India v New Zealand
Aug 13: Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Aug 16: Sri Lanka v India
Aug 19: Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Aug 22: Sri Lanka v India
Aug 25: India v New Zealand
Aug 28: Final