At last! ICC taking serious view of UDRS system
WELLINGTON: New Zealand and Pakistan want to use the umpiring review system in their Test and ODI series, but might not be allowed to as the International Cricket Council is having discussions with technology providers, which want UDRS to be in place for all series rather than being used on a case-by-case basis.
The ICC is having discussions with Animation Research of Dunedin, who provide Virtual Eye, and British company Hawkeye.

The ICC needs sponsorship to cover the costs and India is the only test-playing nation opposed to the UDRS, which means less interest from potential sponsors because of the financial muscle of the Indian market.
Senior Indian players, notably star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and captain MS Dhoni, are implacably opposed to it, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The system allows teams to appeal against an umpiring decision. Once they have had two appeals rejected, they lose the right to make any more in that innings.
It was initially intended to correct the howling bad decisions by umpires, but instead teams have tended to take a punt on it for 50-50 calls, which defeats the purpose for which it was introduced.
The ICC has confirmed the UDRS will be used at the February-March World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. So far, it has only been used in Test cricket but the door is slowly opening.
“We are very keen for it to be in place. And we’ve got the ability to use it in the ODI series,” NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

The first Test starts in Hamilton on January 7, but Vaughan believes NZC would need an answer some time next week.
“It would be disappointing (if the UDRS was ruled out) particularly with New Zealand technology that we couldn’t use in New Zealand,” he said. – [ANI]


59th National Snooker final today
Susantha defends title against Ryan
By M Naushad Amit
Defending champion Susantha Boteju will meet Ryan Somaratne in the final of the 59th Snooker Nationals today after they recorded comfortable wins in the semi-finals played at the Billiards and Snooker Association headquarters at Reid Avenue yesterday.
Boteju representing YMCA trashed Bharatha Siriwardena of BRC by 6 frames to 1 in the first semi-final while Somaratne of Otter Aquatic Club (OAC) enjoyed a similar result over Zaheer Gaffar of Moors SC (MSC) in the second game. The final will be played at the same venue at 2.00 pm.
In the first game of the day Boteju had the comfort of winning 5 straight sets from the commencement of his game against Siriwardena. Siriwardena however claimed his solitary frame win in the sixth round in the best of 11-frame clash. An in-form Boteju retaliated to triumph his sixth frame of the game in the next round to book the first berth in the final. Boteju earlier beat SR Gunasekara of YMBA by 5-1 while Siriwardena beat MR Ismath of MSC by 5-3 in the quarter-finals.
“I felt really fit and comfortable during my game against Bharatha (Siriwardena). I think I’m peaking up to my usual form and today’s match with Ryan is going to be an interesting clash. Ryan too is performing at his best and I know he won’t give me the opportunity to settle down that fast as I did in the semi-final. But I too have my confidence level up to defend my title,” Boteju commented after his win yesterday.
In the second semi-final Somaratne displayed his current form but had to undergo an early hiccup as Gaffar leveled the game 1-all at the end of the second frame. Somaratne thereafter created some splendid strokes to win the next five frames in fashion as he foiled Gaffar’s attempts at every possible chance. Earlier in the quarter-finals Somaratne recorded an easy 5-1 win over MSA Thasleem of MSC while Gaffar recorded a hard-fought 5-4 win against Prasanna Pushpakumara of YMBA.

Semi-final results:
Susantha Boteju (YMCA) beat Bharatha Siriwardene (BRC) 6-1 (91-20, 61-42, 62-18, 68-14, 80-5, 51-53, 70-17)
Ryan Somaratne (OSC) beat Zaheer Gaffar (MSC) 6-1 (69-27, 29-54, 69-15, 66-40, 69-48, 60-13, 54-14)


Janashakthi Athletes Sponsorship Programme 2011
Janashakthi Insurance PLC launched its annual athletes sponsorship programme for 2011, thus continuing this project for the third consecutive year.
Under this programme eight outstanding outstation student athletes will receive a monthly sponsorship, an incentive payment based on individual performances and overseas travel assistance for any international meets for which they are selected through 2011. In addition they will also be supported with training guidance, technical advice and other such support to enhance their young careers.

The selected athletes are namely:
Ishara Dayananda (18 Yrs. Ferguson Girls’ High School, Ratnapura - sprinter & hurdler)
Nayomika Jayatilaka (17 Yrs. Sumana Balika Vidyalaya, Ratnapura - 400 metre hurdler and sprinter)
Medhani Wickramanayake (14 Yrs. Sri Sangamiththa Balika National Vidyalaya, Matale - junior sprinter)
S. Thanusha (18 Yrs. Arunodaya College, Jaffna - pole vault)

Nimesha Siriwardena (15 Yrs. Galenbidunuwewa Central College, Galenbidunuwewa - high jump)
Chamika Jayamini (17 Yrs. Sumana Balika Vidyalaya, Ratnapura - long distance runner)
Pabasara Senanayake (16 Yrs. St. Joseph’s Girls’ School, Kegalle - sprinter)

Thurailingam Balakumaran (19 Yrs. Hartley College, Point Pedro - pole vault)
Ishara Dayananda, Nayomika Jayatilaka, Chamika Jayamini, Nimesha Siriwardene, S Thanusha and Medhani Wickramanayake have been re-extended while Thurailingam Balakumar has been selected based on performances and economic challenges that have been overcome during 2010. All of the above have recorded outstanding and consistent performances during 2010 and have remained mostly unbeaten in their age groups. They are all award winners and seven of the nine are age-group record holders.


Asia Cup 2012 in Bangladesh
The next Asia Cup will be played in Dhaka from March 1 to 11, 2012.
At a meeting in Bangladesh on Sunday December 12 of the Asian Cricket Council Executive Board, the decision was taken to hold the 11th Asia Cup at Mirpur Stadium in Bangladesh. It will be the third time that the Asia Cup has been held in the country. India is the defending champions, having won Micromax Asia Cup 2010 and will again take on the hosts and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the 2012 event.
Asian Cricket Council President and Bangladesh Cricket Board President Mustafa Kamal MP said “I am delighted that Bangladesh will host the next Asia Cup during my term as ACC President. It is always an event which carries a great deal of prestige as we search for Asia’s champions.”
During the ACC Executive Board Meeting in Dhaka it was also decided that a series of Men’s A Team, U-19 and Academy Team tournaments will take place from 2011 which will encompass the four Test-playing nations and four qualifiers from the ACC Associate and Affiliate nations. A Women’s tournament will also be held on the same basis among the Test-playing nations and four others from the ACC region.
“These are exciting times for the cricketers of Asia, they are closer than ever to playing top-flight cricket against the very best and we look forward to the emergence of a number of countries that can compete with the Test-playing nations at youth and A Team level. We are grateful that the Test-playing countries are taking such an interest and expanding their spheres of activity. The development of the other nations will go apace with the advances in the Test-playing countries, nevertheless, if a country like Afghanistan can sustain its current success - and that is the real test of development - and if other countries can match them - within a number of years I can see the Asia Cup being credibly expanded to being more than just the top four countries,” says ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq. – [ICC]


MCA Premier starts today
The Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA) Premier League which consists of 21 enthralling matches will get underway today (December 19). Sponsors of the past 17 years Singer Sri Lanka extended their support for yet another year at a press briefing held at its auditorium last Wednesday. Incidentally this became the longest surviving sponsorship enjoyed by the MCA.
Speaking at the occasion Nasser Majeed, the Marketing Director of Singer Sri Lanka emphasised: “Singer will take much pride in sponsoring a cricket tournament that has managed to draw spectator interest for the 18th year. Even during the global economic recession Singer continued with the sponsorship as we saw the potential of the competition which includes almost all the national cricketers.”
Coincidently MCA will celebrate its centenary anniversary this year. To go along with their celebrations the organisers have named this year’s tournament as 18th Singer-MCA Centenary Year Premier League 2011.
The competition will include a galaxy of national and budding cricketing stars which makes the tournament interesting. Seven teams will vie for the title at the MCA premier league which begins today. The league tournament will run till January 9, 2011 and will be followed by the knock-out stage from January 12. The final of the knock-out will be played at P Sara Oval on January 22.
The seven teams are, defending league champs Sampath Bank, defending knock-out champs Janashakthi Group, MAS Unichela, HNB, John Keells Group, Seylan Bank, and debutants MAS Active Synergy. The teams are lead by Kaushal Silva, Muditha Maduwantha, Malin Silva, Shanuka Dissanayake, Janaka Gunaratne, Chanaka Wijesinghe and Jeewantha Kulatunge respectively.
MCA was established in 1911 by the British rulers who led the organisation until 1965. Ever since their local counterparts have worked with true spirit to help MCA become one of the strongest cricket associations of Sri Lanka.
Today’s schedule: Sampath Bank v HNB at BRC ground, Seylan Bank v Janashakthi Group at P Sara Oval, John Keells v MAS Unichela at Colts ground. [MNA]


Kobudo award for Dinesh

Kobudo is a type of martial art which has kept its ancient mode of training and has been preserved and handed down from generation to generation. Dinesh is also a member of Sri Lanka Karate-Do Federation (national body), Sri Lanka Schools Karate-do Association and Karate of Japan Federation-USA


Waidyatilaka elected vice president Asia Masters
PHD Waidyatilaka, Chairman Technical Committee, Asia Masters Athletics was elected vice president of the Asian body at the Asia Masters General Assembly held on December 8 at Cititel Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The next edition of the Asia Masters Athletics was awarded to Chinese Taipei. India also made a bid for the 2012 championship but withdrew in favour of Chinese Taipei. The 17th AMA Championship will be held from Novemebr 7-12, 2012 in Taipei.
The newly elected AMA council:
President: Kiyoshi Konoike (Japan). Vice presidents: PHD Waidyatilaka (Sri Lanka), Wang Dawei (China), Viwat Vigrantanoros (Thailand). General secretary: Hari Chandra (Singapore). Treasurer: Keiko Oka (Japan). Women’s representative: Glory Barnabas (Singapore). Technical committee: A. Kannan (Singapore - chairman), S. Sivapragasm (Malaysia), Prasert Srisueb (Thailand), Cho Hsin Te (Chinese Taipei), MN Narasimhan (India).


Lionel Almeida’s last journey today
Text and photos by M. Farook Lantra
Lionel Almeida the illustrious ruggerite and sports administrator passed away on Monday, December 13. He was 69 years old at the time of his death. His remains lie at AF Raymonds’s Funeral Parlour, Colombo. A service will be held today (December 19) at 2.30 p.m. followed by cremation at 4 p.m. at Borella Kanatte.

A past pupil of Royal College Colombo he was a dedicated rugby administrator who was also the past president of SLRFU during the years 1989-90. Lionel was also the former CEO of Tamil Union Cricket and Athletics Club and CEO of Sri Lanka Tennis Association.
At Royal College Lionel captained the hockey and rugby teams. However, rugby was his forte and he went on to play with distinction at club and national level. He was so skilled in the game that he had the rare capability of playing in any position on the rugby field.

He was a planter in the late ‘50s and played for Kelani Valley Club. His talents were quickly spotted by CR & FC who offered him a berth in the crack three-quarter line manned by Ago Paiva, Kavan Rambukwella, Rajah Williams, Ivan Dias, Summa Navaratnam and Trevor Anghie.
During his stint in the national side he played alongside stalwarts of the calibre of Tony Sirimanne, Allan Henricus, Nimal Maralanda, SW Pilapitiya, Larry Schokman, Eric Roles and the De Sylva brothers Raji and Sari.
Lionel was also a good rugby referee, coach, a great sportsman, administrator and, above all, a fine gentleman. He will be sadly missed by his family, friends and the sporting fraternity.
May the turf lie gently over him.


Jeremy Brohier President OWSC again
Jeremy Brohier was re-elected as the President, Old Wesleyites Sports Club (OWSC) at the annual general meeting of the OWSC held at the club premises recently.
There were no changes in the post of the secretary and treasurer with Fowzil Nawaz and Ramachandran Sivagnanam both being re-elected for the second successive year.

The Exco members of OWSC 2010:
Patron - Lasantha Fernando. Vice Patrons - Prof. Maharoof Ismail, Lucky Goonetilleke, P.B. Herath, Capt. Navin de Silva, Parakrama Wijemanne, L.C.R. Wijesinghe, Rohan Perera.

Advisory Council - B.N. Jurangpathy (Advisor on Administration), Raja Sinnadurai (Advisor Discipline), Richard Dwight (Advisor on Media). Immediate Past President - Ivor Mahroof. President - Jeremy Brohier. Vice Presidents - Wilhelm Vandort (Sports), S. Renganathan (Finance), Richie Sappideen (Entertainment & Fellowship), Senaka Amaratunge (Administration), P. Gajendran (Club House Development). Secretary - Fowzil Nawaz. Asst. Secretary - Dharshana Liyanage.Treasurer - Ramachandran Sivagnanam. Asst .Treasurer - Chitral De Silva. Sectional Heads - Farman Cassim (Legal affairs). Maithri Vithanage (Club House Development). Rohan Amarasinghe (Administration). Asif Johar (Sports). Teranka Careem (Entertainment & Fellowship).

General Committee - Laksanda Gunawardena, Mohammed Nizam, Dilshan Hossen, Babu Balan, Kadir Ishak, Dilip Bandaratilleke, Shamil Amit, Gavin Weerapermal, Thariq Thulba, Ranjeeva Senanayake, Shifaz Najeemudeen, Dinesh Nalliah, R. Thirukumar, Firodouse Ghouse, Hisham Ziard, Shihan Wahid, Rangana Colombage, Air Vice Marshall Kingsley Samarathunge, Shiraz Lye, Peter Wijesekera, Nalin Thabeeth, Shaheem Mahir, S. Kandeepan, Senthil Rajendran, Derrick Goonathillake, Chandima J. De Silva.


School cricket
Mahinda in command

Mahinda dominated the proceedings in their Under-19 inter-school cricket match against Prince of Wales’ which concluded at the Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Udara Ranasinghe top scored with 63 to help Mahinda declare at 247-9 in their first innings after resuming from their overnight score of 75-1 in reply to the Cambrians’ 199. Prince of Wales’ who trailed by 48 runs were badly placed at 76-4 at close of play.
Prince of Wales’ 199 (63.2) and 76-4 (24) at close (Shehan Jayasuriya 21, Thilina Rajiv 25, Kaushalya Gajasinghe 2/16)
Mahinda 75-1 contd 247-9 dec (99) (Chalana de Silva 27, Hashan Kumuditha 32, Udara Ranasinghe 63, Kaushalya Gajasinghe 44, Sohan Kariyawasam 22, Namindu Maduranga 4/68, Shehan Jayasuriya 2/32) -[MNA]


Saracens SC Kandy wins twice
Saracens CC Kandy scored two good wins over Southerland SC and Black Eagles SC in two Kandy District cricket tournament matches played at the Police ground and at Peradeniya.
Skipper and left-arm spinner Kithsiri Subasinghe (5/17) and seamer Chamal Jayasuriya (4/29) were architects of the victories. Left hander Chathuranga Dikkumbura, 71 not out (one six, eight fours) showed the way with the bat.
  • Saracens CC beat Southerland SC by 7 wickets
    Southerland SC 111 (20.2) (M Ishan 54, D Wijekoon 2/29, C Jayasuriya 4/27, M Damakage 2/9)
    Saracens CC 114-3 (17.4) (C Dikkumbura 71 n.o., D Gunathilleke 12, M Damakage 14 n.o.)
  • Saracens CC beat Black Eagles on faster run rate
    Black Eagles 121 (38.3) (J Wijedasa 45, W Wijenayake 15, A Kumara 15, K Subasinghe 5/17, M Damakage 2/12)
    Saracens CC 108-4 (22.3) (D Gunathilleke 28, C Kumara 14, M Damakage 29 n.o., W Wijenayake 2/23)