Kandy SC insists on reply from Rugby Union

Victims of violence at armed forces matches

By M. Minhaz in Kandy
Reigning Caltex League and Clifford Cup knockout rugby champions Kandy Sports Club has issued a veiled threat to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) that if the issues raised in their letter addressed to the President SLRFU are not looked into; KSC’s participation in the future tournaments organised by them will have to be re-considered.

Kandy SC have in their letter stated that in the recent past when they played teams from the armed forces, their players and spectators have been subjected to physical violence by those not engaged in the field of play. In the Clifford Cup semi-final clash against Air Force SC at Bogambara Stadium on July 24, the Air Force personnel in uniform climbed the upper levels of the spectator pavilion and assaulted several spectators. The police is said to have arrived at the scene only after the assaults had been completed.
This raises several questions. Why were the police divested of their normal authority to maintain order at this match? Why was this authority vested with airmen when it was their team playing in the match? Why was this assault not prevented or, at the very least, why were those carrying out the assault not apprehended by the Air Force Officers providing security at the event.

Again, at the Clifford Cup final, in those stands that had a preponderance of Kandy SC supporters at the Bogambara Stadium, the Navy supporters were quite conspicuous waving flags and making obscene gestures at the people there including a significant number of women and children. Trouble was avoided only after a member of the public, displaying significant persistence, spoke to several police officers and ultimately succeeded in having them intervene to stop these individuals provoking the Kandy supporters and preventing what could have turned out into a very ugly scene.
On a previous occasion last year, Kandy SC’s present captain, Fazil Marija, was assaulted by those supposed to be maintaining law and order at the Kandy vs. Navy match and had to have five stitches to one of the wounds which he sustained.

After the Kandy vs. Navy league match earlier this season, Navy personnel assaulted several of Kandy SC’s supporters in the stands and none of the miscreants were apprehended.
Both teams were informed that the Bogambara ground was ‘off limits’ to both teams prior to the Clifford Cup final which was under the authority of the SLRFU. However, this did not prevent the Navy team from practising on this ground before the game. Would the fact that the Navy coach had complete control over the Bogambara Stadium anything to do with this? And apropos the matter of Bogambara being the choice for a Clifford Cup semi-final and the final: why was this ground used when the playing conditions were infinitely inferior to those at Nittawela, due to its being under major repairs?

What Kandy SC sees is a significant pattern of intimidation and discrimination intended to place the Kandy SC team at a significant disadvantage in any competition conducted by the SLRFU. In conclusion Kandy SC’s letter states that they would appreciate being told what, if anything, the governing body for rugby intends doing about the very serious matters that have been raised in their letter.
The letter under reference has stated in no uncertain terms that the matters raised should be afforded a response and their continuing participation will depend on the nature of the response.


Air Force musclemen dominate

Kumudu Kumara was adjudged the overall winner while his team, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) swept all awards on offer at the ‘He Man Contest’. With Kumara winning the overall title, eight of his team-mates of SLAF won at different weight classes. SLAF bodybuilders participated in all ten weight categories and outclassed the other musclemen in nine classes with the Airmen wining nine gold medals apart from three silver and four bronze medals. Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan was the chief guest at the awards ceremony. Overall winner Kumara competed in the 75kg welterweight category while SL Sisira Kumara who won the 85kg middleweight category was declared the overall runner-up. The ‘He Man Contest’ was organised by the Sri Lanka Body Building Association.

Overall: ‘He Man’ - DLV Kumudu Kumara (welterweight 75kg), runner-up - SL Sisira Kumara (middleweight 85kg)
Gold Medal winners: WSSP Costa (junior), SDD Jayasinghe (light flyweight 55kg), KS Nandan (flyweight 60kg), WNS Livera (bantamweight 65Kg), RLC Fonseka (lightweight 70 Kg), WMSD Wijesundara (light middleweight 80kg), CAA Perera (light heavyweight 90kg)
Silver Medal winners: WDRS Silva (lightweight 70kg), MVNM Abeysekara (light middleweight 80kg), DCD Dissanayaka (light heavyweight 90kg)
Bronze Medal winners: FM Fazil (bantamweight 65kg), PTMGU Wijekoon (lightweight 70kg), MDRE Menikpura (welterweight 75kg), MA Silva (middleweight 85kg) [MNA]


10th Colombo Marathon on October 3, 2010

By M Naushad Amit
Nearly 130 foreign participants from Europe, Africa and other parts of the globe are expected to run in the 10th Colombo Marathon which will be held on October 3. The Colombo Marathon will begin from Torrington Square in Colombo and cover a distance of 42 kilometres before reaching its destination in Negombo.

“We could not conduct this event last year due to the security situation in the country during that period. The Colombo Marathon is held in August every year yet we did not want to take a risk and postponed it for this year. On the other hand we had a wish to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Colombo Marathon in 2010, with the digits indicating the anniversary coinciding with the last digits of the year, and continue it from there on without disruption. Probably this was destined to be. We are celebrating the tenth edition in 2010 with great pride,” revealed Thilak Weerasinghe, the Chairman of Lanka Sportsreizen (LSR).

Over the years, marathons in many countries such as New York, London, Hawaii, Honolulu, Singapore and Bangkok have progressed in unimaginable volumes attracting large numbers of enthusiasts. In 1998 in order to fill a vacuum in the absence of such an event in Sri Lanka, LSR pioneered organising an international long distance sports event in the island by launching the LSR International Marathon in Galle. After the successes of the event for five years, the organisers decided to change the name to Colombo Marathon in 2006 in a bid to promote tourism in the country.

Since 1998, this internationally acclaimed marathon has been conducted except in 2000, 2005 and 2009 due to the unavoidable circumstances which prevailed in the country during that period. This marathon has been conducted for the last several years despite obstacles, which were the reasons for the participation not being what we expected. This year the organisers anticipate an overall participation of approximately 2,500 athletes from all around the world.

The winners of the men’s and women’s categories will receive a cash prize of Rs. 250,000 and an air ticket each from the sponsors SriLankan Airlines. “We have allocated a sum of Rs. 1.3 million to be given away as prize money,” Weerasinghe added.
The event is held in association with the Sports Ministry, Western Province Tourist Board, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Negombo Hoteliers.

Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) will provide the technical guidance while SriLankan Airlines is the official carrier to the event. The Colombo Marathon also has been recognised by the Association of Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and will encourage more foreign participation in the future. The main race will cover a full distance of 42.196 kilometres while its half version is 21.097 kilometres long. Both these events will be held in different categories for men and women. In addition, Open Fun Runs with distances of 10 and 5 kilometres and Veterans full and half marathons also will be held concurrently on the same day. [MNA]


Defence Services Basketball Championship 2010

Plain sailing for Navy

The Sri Lanka Navy cagers scored a comfortable 78 points to 66 victory to emerge champions of the Defence Services Basketball Championship 2010, an historic win after 23 years, in the final played against the Sri Lanka Army at Police Park on August 21.
Lieutenant AV Soundararajah of the Navy won the award for the Best Offensive Player. The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, who graced the occasion, congratulated both teams for the high quality basketball displayed at the finals.



Sportsman M Nadarajah passes away

The death occurred of sports promoter and administrator M. Nadarajah in Kandy recently and his cremation took place before a large crowd of friends and relations at the Mahaiyawa General Cemetery in Kandy.
Late Nadarajah was a brilliant soccerite for Young Olympians, then a leading football team in the hill capital. He also played hockey and took part in athletics.

But he is best remembered for his off-the-field efforts to promote the two games he liked – hockey and football. He was the secretary of the Kandy District Hockey Association for over six years and later was its Treasurer for over 15 years. He organised a number of hockey tournaments for clubs and schools and also coaching clinics.
In soccer, he was the secretary of the Kandy Association Football League for many years and was also a long-standing member of the Executive Committee. He also organised a number of football tournament along with the President DIG (retired) Bodhi Liyanage.

He was also a Vice President of the Kandy District Sports Development Foundation and was instrumental in organising soccer tournaments.
His passing away leaves a big void in the sporting field which is hard to fill. (MM)


S. Thomas’ Mt. in U-17 Div. 1 semis

S. Thomas’, Mt. Lavinia entered the pre-quarter final of the Under-17 Division I Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament having registered victories over Nalanda, Dharmasoka Ambalangoda and Sri Rahula Katugastota. However they lost to Sri Sumangala Panadura.


  • Beat Sri Rahula Katugastota by 206 runs
    S. Thomas’ 290-7 (50) (Vinura de Silva 20, Javed Bongso 50, Sachin Peiris 76, Rishen Mathangaweera 30, Ramith Gunaratne 40, Roshan Subasinghe 3/60)
    Sri Rahula 84 (28.3) (Mokshana Bandara 23, Rajitha Ranatunge 23, Shiven Perera 3/9, Bhashitha Jayasooriya 3/15, Mudushan Ravikumar 3/20)
  • Beat Dharmasoka Ambalangoda by 6 wickets
    Dharmasoka 116 (34.3) (Buddhi Tharaka 30, Thanura Helambage 16, Nimesh Soyza 13, Sudara Deshantha 17, Lakshan Weerakoon 5/24, Shiven Perera 2/7, Pasan Nandiweera 2/39)
    S. Thomas’ 119-4 (32) (Sachin Peiris 24, Javed Bongso 21, Ramith Gunaratne 21, Gihan Mihiranga 2/44)
  • Beat Nalanda by 9 runs
    S. Thomas’ 184 (46) (Ramith Gunaratne 50, Adeesha Henakankanage 40, Javed Bongso 17, Madushan Ravikumar 17, Shehan Karunarante 2/32, Koshan Dhanushka 2/28, Dulanga Mahanama 2/28)
    Nalanda 175 (49.4) (Ushantha Abeyratne 59, Ishan Rangana 46, Shehan Avishka 25, Bhashitha Jayasooriya 4/37, Madushan Ravikumar 3/33, Rishen Mathangaweera 2/32)
  • Lost to Sri Sumangala Panadura by 1 wicket
    S. Thomas’ 188-9 (50) (Navod Henakankanage 50, Sachin Peiris 42, Vinura de Silva 19, Shiven Perera 14, B Chamara 3/41)
    Sri Sumangala 192-9 (49.4) (HMK Gunaratne 59, NK Dharmasena 28, RAS Gunawardena 18, MJ Fernando 15, Shiven Perera 3/25, Madushan Ravikumar 2/41, Rishen Mathangaweera 2/17)


Umpires should implement fair and unfair play rule

Where there’s a will there’s a way

By Dyan Pathiravithana
The recent uproar on the prevention of Shewag’s 100 blaming it on Randiv’s no–ball deserves looking into from another point of view.
Did he do such a wrong by bowling that no-ball to deserve a greater punishment than rewarding the opponents with a free hit as stipulated by the laws of the game? If some say yes, that’s purely in the eyes of the beholder. But what he did certainly couldn’t be considered contrary to the spirit of the present day game and the way it is played (or even that of the past) when you consider some acts, that have gone unpunished even though it borders on unfair play.

First and foremost we must consider the fact that batsmen are most vulnerable when closing in on milestone targets such as half-centuries and centuries. To prevent them at that point is a strategy adopted by most teams; Shewag himself would have been guilty of it many a time. Whether there is an appropriate time or way to do it does not come into the equation. For instance is bowling a bouncer at 150mph at a No. 11 batsman, which may even cause him grievous injury, justified to prevent him getting a century? Who can judge the bowler’s intention?

If you go down memory lane many occasions of unfair play could be recalled. Two infamous and unforgettable incidents for Sri Lankans, which prevented their team’s chances of winning, are: The stumping of Marvan Atapattu by the South African wicket keeper Boucher when he stepped out of the crease at the completion of the over. Boucher waited for some time with ball in hand intending to get him, if he walked out. Unknowingly Marvan stepped out after creasing his bat to chat to the batsman at the other end at that moment Boucher got him. How’s that for sportsmanship? The other was when Murali stepped out to congratulate Sanga’s ton and was stumped out. How was that? At that moment sportsmanship was not the choice but nobody said anything because that’s part and parcel of the game.

Then think of the way the Australian crowds, including their Prime Minister, hounded Murali as a chucker and the personal attacks on him by writers such as Bishen Bedi who called Murali a javelin thrower, they did not apologise to Murali when he was exonerated by the ICC . That’s not cricket - the gentleman’s game.
All that Randiv did was trying to salvage some pride by preventing the hundred being scored against his country; I don’t see anything wrong with that. Shewag had all the chances to score that missing single earlier on, if he did not it was his fault.

There is nothing in the law to prevent bowlers intentionally no-balling. An umpire can warn and stop a bowler continuing to go against the grain. In this instance the umpire should have nullified the no-ball and given the six to the batting side under the ‘fair and unfair’ rule and reasoned out that the bowler did it willfully - even the fielding side would not have objected. In reality such decisions should be allowed as in soccer where foul play gets a yellow card and rough play the red.
When there is the will to prevent low tactics and maintain high standards of the game blaming players should not be the way out.