learn the hard way despite Lankan support
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Having two coaches familiar with Sri Lankan
conditions and its players is one thing, but to
convert that knowledge into a winning result is not
as easy task as one would believe it to be.
Minnows Canada found that out the hard way when they
confronted Sri Lanka in their open fixture at the
newly built Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium
in Hambantota on Sunday and were soundly beaten by
210 runs, the seventh largest defeat in a World Cup
This was despite having two former Sri Lanka
cricketers as coaches in their ranks – Pubudu
Dassanayake (head coach) and Chandika Hathurusingha
(assistant coach) to guide them. Hathurusingha
discarded by Sri Lanka Cricket not so long ago
joined Canada for the World Cup.
“We knew the weak and strong points and the in and
out of all the Sri Lankan players, but the problem
was that we didn’t have the weapons to make it
happen on the ground,” said Dassanayake.
“The plans were there. Some of our guys struggled
with the heat and especially players like Mahela
(Jayawardene) and (Kumar) Sangakkara once they
settled down, you needed really experienced
bowlers,” he said.
“They actually changed the game. Until the middle of
the game we had the plan, but Mahela and Sanga took
the game away from us.”
Dassanayake said that it was a great experience for
his younger players to be in this situation.
“Playing against the greatest bowlers like (Muthiah)
Muralitharan and (Nuwan) Kulasekara gives a lot of
confidence for them. All these youngsters are highly
talented. But they haven’t got exposed to this
level. We know that we can’t come to a level to win
against Sri Lanka. It’s a good experience for me
“Canada right now is in a development stage. It’s a
young team. We have five under 19 cricketers in this
group. It’s the experience we want to take up from
this game. Most of the players have never played in
front of a crowd like this,” Dassanayake said.
Among the youngsters was Sri Lankan-born Ruvindu
Gunasekera who represented Canada in the ICC Under
19 World Cup last year and also played domestic
cricket in Sri Lanka representing Badureliya CC in
the Premier tournament.
“Our plan is to develop the game and by 2015 or
so to become a full member. Cricket is growing in
Canada in a big way. Lots of South Asians are moving
in there. There has been a lot of development in the
last two to three years. But from now onwards we
don’t know which way we have to go,” said
“For us cricket is the number one game, but in
Canada they are pushing for the shorter version of
games like ice hockey, basketball and baseball. We
were able to develop the game because of the South
Asian population,” he said.
“Right now our focus is the schools. We have a
lot of hurdles as we play cricket from May to
September, but schools holidays are from June to
September. So playing inter-school cricket is a
task. But we are working on that to improve it.”
Dassanayake said the game had developed in North
America but it was a big task to emulate them
although they had plans in place.
“Our next aim is to build up a good team for next
year’s Twenty20 World Cup. They are going to have 16
teams and we have a good chance of getting into
that. We will do everything to build up a good team
for the event,” said 40-year-old Dassanayake who
represented Sri Lanka in 11 Tests and 16 ODIs from
1993-94 and has also represented Canada in the ICC
The 2012 ICC Twenty20 World Cup will be hosted by
|Wake me when
the finals start
These floggings are
By Stuart Clark
DURING the past week, we have seen some of the most
boring and one-sided cricket ever to be played, at a
time when one-day matches need more substance and
relevance. It proves that at this World Cup there
are too many teams and not enough talent.
We have seen Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli belt
a third-rate Bangladesh attack, we have seen Shane
Watson have a net against a Zimbabwe side that
contained players who would not make first grade for
Sydney University, and we saw Kenya get bundled out
for 69 in 23.5 overs and the New Zealanders peel
them off in eight overs. If you weren’t bored of
one-day cricket after this summer, I think you might
To prove the first week is nothing more than a
glorified warm-up fixture, the most interesting
piece of cricketing news from India came in the
shape of the “Ricky Ponting smashed TV scandal”,
which sent Indian media - and their Twitter accounts
- into meltdown, and has caused uproar here as well.
It even had one former Australian cricketer
calling for Ricky to be sacked and sent home. His
memory must still be sketchy from his playing days
or he must have forgotten what batsmen of previous
generations did upon being dismissed. Oh, and by the
way, I would have been a little frustrated as well
if I got run-out facing that attack. I am not for
one minute condoning this behaviour but surely the
World Cup has something more interesting and more
important to offer.
If you still need further evidence for me to
prove my point, look no further than John Davison.
The slow bowling coach at the Centre of Excellence
and a former player for Victoria and South Australia
has not played at a substantial level since the 2007
World Cup, but has answered the call from Canada
aged 40 to appear in another World Cup. This is by
no means an attack on him or his cricket, because he
is a great guy and fine coach. But should a cricket
fan be subjected to this level of international
cricket? And who is accountable for allowing it to
I hear you say, what about the Netherlands versus
England? The fact England only won with eight balls
to spare shows that the system of developing
countries is working, and soon the land of clogs and
windmills could be a powerhouse of world cricket.
Wrong. England is a fine Test-playing nation but a
poor one-day team, and if they continue to play like
that, they’ll find themselves in the developing
So before the World Cup of 2015, the ICC needs to
decide what is more important - the game or revenue.
If they decide to reduce the amount of games and
eliminate the weaker nations, they will make the
cricket more competitive and a much better
spectacle, but if they decide the revenue is more
important, they will keep all the teams, potentially
add more and therefore increase the revenue
generated from TV contracts. It means we will be
watching more games of meaningless cricket.
I’m not interested in watching the minnows. The
World Cup needs to be the best of the best. If the
ICC wants to make it a combination tournament of
Test nations and minnows then I’ll switch it on when
the finals begin. (The Sydney Morning Herald)
By Hafiz Marikar
The Annual General Meeting of the Central Province
Rugby football Union (CPRFU) was held recently at
the OTSC Auditorium. There were no nominations for
election as it was agreed that the previous
committee, under the dynamic presidency of Mohan
Samarakoon, continues in office for 2011. The
Patron: Malik Samarawickrema, President: Mohan
Samarakoon, Vice President: Tuan Dole, Secretary:
Gamini Udugama, Treasurer: Anura Madawela, Trustee:
Maurice Perera. Executive Committee - Hafiz Marikar,
HG Ariyaratne, Kalu Perera, Nikoo de Silva, M.
Madagamage, S.Alawathagama, A. Mallawarachchi, S.
Madugalle, Viper Gunaratne - Development Officer,
Nihal Viper Gunarathne - Technical Officer, Anil
Jayasinghe - in charge of Referees, Brig. Udaya
Ariyaratne - Schools Representtive.
CPRFU is a large district spread over Kandy, Matale,
Gampola, Nawalapitiya, Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla,
Haguranketa and Wasgamuwa. The need to develop rugby
in these districts is a huge task. The CPRFU is
solely dependent on the IRB funding in 2011 to
continue its earlier development programme suspended
by the Interim Committee in 2008.