Former Lankan paddler builds new TT stadium

By Dhammika Ratnaweera

The inaugural South Asian Table Tennis Championship is going to be held from April 25 - 28 at the newly built Jagath Rajapakse International Indoor Stadium at Galaha, Peradeniya.
All eight SAG countries will take part at this tournament for both seniors and juniors. Tournament organiser Brigadier Fadyl Meedin said nearly 80 lakhs is allocated for this event sponsors have to be found during the next two months. Reza Lathif former treasurer and assistant secretary of TTASL was the first person to donate Rs. 100,000 rupees for this event.

TTASL President, Minister Rohana Dissanayaka said Jagath Rajapakse, the former national player, who was away in France for nearly 16 years as a professional coach, came back to Sri Lanka recently and spent his own money to build this new Stadium which is going to be of international standard. This is great example for the others to come up with this type of donation to promote the game. Jagath was also appointed as national TT coach recently.

When The Nation contacted Jagath he said: “My ambition was to do something for my country as well as for table tennis. I had to train with limited facilities those days but with hard practice I came up and enjoyed good results. This was part of the reason that prompted me to do something for the sport. The International TT Federation officials have already come to look at the progress made on the stadium and they are satisfied with the work done.”

After peace returned to this land President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appeal to the Sri Lankans abroad to return and play a role to help develop the country had a big impact on Jagath. “When President Rajapaksa invited Sri Lankans who are away in foreign countries to come back and assist in rebuilding the country, I wrote to the President and his response was very positive. I then wanted to go ahead with the stadium project and I am happy to have done something to help the progress of table tennis. It is also good to see the South Asian TT championships being held out of Colombo. My ambition is to see our performances reaching international standard focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2020 Olympic Games and this is the beginning of the plan for table tennis.”

Rajapakse also said that he had to spend Rs. 9 million for the land and Rs. 22 million for the construction of the stadium and was grateful to former TTASL president Pesi Pestonji for donating ten lakhs for carpeting the stadium floor. He also expects to get a loan from Seylan Bank and is hopeful the bank will give him the opportunity to complete the stadium project which will be of tremendous benefit for the sport and the country.


11th Inter-International Schools’ Athletics Meet

Lyceum Wattala clear-cut champs

Superseding 18 competitive International Schools, Lyceum International School Wattala excelled in the 11th Inter-International Schools’ Athletics Meet (ISAC) - 2011.
Reckoned for a positive outcome, Lyceum International School - Wattala became the champions for the 3rd consecutive year during the successful Inter-International Schools’ Athletics Championships held from February 18th to 20th, at the Sugathadasa International Stadium, Colombo. The meet was organised by Lyceum International School.
With a clear-cut lead of 160 points, Lyceum Wattala was able to bag a total of 994 points exhibiting their athletic competencies and strenuous dedication. Also, with great effort, Gateway College Colombo earned 834 points to achieve second place while Lyceum Nugegoda was third with 535 points.
The chief guest at the closing ceremony of the ISAC 2011 was Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapakshe and Mrs. Sriyani Kulawanse was the guest of honour.
Backed by a skillful and able training team, Lyceum Wattala athletes proved their team spirit by grabbing a total of 17 challenge trophies and establishing 12 new meet records.
Trophies won by Lyceum Wattala:
1.Gateway International School Challenge Trophy for the overall champions of the meet
2. Additional trophy donated by Edexcel for the overall champions of the meet.
3. Cambridge Challenge Trophy for the relay champions
4. Two trophies, the Ritzbury Challenge Cup for the best female athlete and the Optimum Q Trophy for the best performer of the meet, went to Nirma Sandarathne for her splendid performance in the under 17 girls 200m event with a new meet record of 25.91 seconds.
5. Championships of five age groups (under 9, 11,13,15,17 and 19).
Individual championships:
Under 9 girls - Salma Badri
Under 11 boys - Vihanga Wijesinghe
Under 13 boys - Shehan Wisanperuma
Under 15 girls - Amasha Polkotuwa
Under 17 girls - Nirma Sandarathna
Under 17 boys - M. Aadil Fareed / Shehan Rodrigo
Under 19 boys - Viyath Anthony
New meet records:
Long jump under 15 girls - Amasha Polkotuwa
Triple jump under 17 boys - Shihan Rodrigo
200m under 17 girls - Nirma Sandarathne
High jump under 15 girls - Sarah Karunapala
Triple jump under 17 girls - Chathuri Fernando
High jump under 13 boys - Waruna Attanayake
Long jump under 13 boys - Waruna Attanayake
400m under 17 boys - M. Aadil Fareed
400m under 19 boys - Viyath Anthony
High jump under 17 - girls Divya Amunugama
4 x 100m relay under 13 boys - Lyceum Wattala
12. 4 x 100m relay under 17 boys – Lyceum Wattala


All big guns fired once

By Dyan Pathiravithana

From the games completed so far we can go for an early review of conditions and how teams have reacted to them. Except for the scare that the English received at the hands of associates Netherlands all went according to predictions of cricket pundits.
But tense moments with regard to weather conditions were reported and seen in the sub continent in keeping with whatever natural causes were behind them. We wish that weather gods would not be spoilers and be part and parcel of upsets that would mar the conditions that are well set at this moment for an exciting finish.
The natural thing was for the teams to get used to conditions the first time out. That is what happened with the top teams that emerged as winners. Some were happy to chase and others opted to go about setting the target for the opponents to chase.
Out of the one’s that sent the opponents in to chase were Bangladesh. I feel they got the wrong end of the stick. A score of three hundred plus is no easy chase even for the best batting set-up during a Cricket World Cup. On the other hand it is a score any team taking first lease would dream of next to four hundred plus.
The Bangladeshis should have known that the likes of Shewag’s and Tendulkar’s would look to get into record books every time they walk into bat and that’s what took place this time out. Bangladesh have the bowlers that could upset any batting line-up with their spinners and winning the toss was a god-send for them to set a target not chase one. They had this opportunity on Friday when the won the toss and batted against Ireland. And, though they got only 200 plus, their bowlers and fielders excelled to give them a great win.
The most convincing win was the South African win over West Indies. The West Indies were put into bat knowing they could keep them quiet. Protease were in shock when Darren Bravo got set for a big one they were lucky in challenging the umpire’s decision and reversing the original not out, to a face-saving out. Bravo at the time looked so convincing he would have gone for a big score. He was a carbon copy of his famous cousin Brain Lara batting at number three with such confidence. South Africa looked hungry and was after their prey as a pack and that looks interesting with all of the top teams performing well. We fans are the ones who are going to benefit with some exciting good cricket.
It will be further strengthened when the proper eight get into the quarters from stage one and two. Then we will be in the round that will be most interesting for those who have their own predictions of who will come out and play at their best or face elimination from the semis. Why I make this statement is because it will be the stage of no return for those straying off track. One mistake even in calculations will make teams drop out, if Duckworth and Lewis formula comes into play. So all teams to qualify will play with intent not only to win but not make mistakes.
So have the paper and pens ready to get the final rounds worked out here in Sri Lanka.


HNB retains over 40 cricket sixes title

HNB, led by Manoj Perera for the first time, retained the MCA Centenary Year 2011 Over-40 Cricket Sixes title for the second year running, thus carrying away the brand new American trophy at the MCA grounds on Sunday.
HNB coasted to a comfortable five-wicket win over Informatics in the final, with former Sri Lanka player Sajeewa Silva hogging the limelight with a fine all-round performance (35 not out).
Silva bagged three of the five special awards offered, the best batsman (119 in 3 innings/two not outs), most sixes in the tournament (12) and the man-of-the-final.
The other two awards went to HNB’s captain, Manoj Perera (best bowler) and Informatics’ 52-year-old, Anura Athukorala (most senior player).
Results league: Informatics 64/1 tied with Airport & Aviation 64/3; HNB 66/2 beat Lanka Bell 42/1; Airport & Aviation 65/1lost to Singer 69/1(4.1); Lanka Bell 67/2 lost to Janashakthi 71/1 (4.0); Informatics 43/2 beat Singer 31/4; HNB 91/0 beat Janashakthi 45/2.
Final: HNB beat Informatics by 5 wickets.
Informatics 41-1 (5) (Krishan Dharmasena 20 n.o., Jagath Perera 17, Manoj Perera 1/2)
HNB 42-0 (2.5) (Sajeewa Silva 35 n.o.)
HNB was represented by Manoj Perera (captain), Sathiya Jayasuriya, Sajeewa Silva, Waruna Weragoda, Mahesh Wijenayake and Krishan Pathirana.
The tournament was sponsored by American Premium Water Systems (Pvt) Ltd for the first time and their Head of Business Development, Rizwan Jallill was the chief guest and the post tournament awards presentation. – [LW]


Century and two hat-tricks feature MCA ‘B’ div cricket

A century and two hat-tricks took centre stage in the ongoing Coca-Cola /MCA Centenary Year 2011 Division ‘B’ 50 overs League Tournament.
Janashakthi ‘B’, the defending champions recorded their first win beating the debutants, Union Bank by 115 runs riding on the century scored by Kasun Bodhitha (116 in 129 balls with 13 fours and 2 sixes) and the hat-trick bagged by Ruwan Sampath (5 for 14 in 5.2 overs)
The other hat-trick was by Charith Bandara (3 for 18) from ETI, who tagged along with Roshan Laksiri (4 for 14), to rout Singer “A” by 8 wickets. This was ETI’s fourth successive win.
Kusal Janith scored an impressive 70 to steer MAS Unichela “B” to their 2nd successive win, beating NTB by 6-wkts.


At St. Benedict’s College grounds: MAS Unichela ‘B’ beat Nations Trust Bank by 6 wickets.
NTB 171 (36) (A. Liyanage 47, S. Galappaththi 30, R. Perera 32, M. Lakmal 2/30, U. Manohara 3/49, G. Siyambalapitiya 2/13)
MAS Unichela ‘B’ 172-4 (31) (M. Wijekoon 21, Kusal Janith 70, N. Nawala 38 n.o.)

At Thurstan College grounds: ETI beat Singer ‘A’ by 8 wickets
Singer ‘A’ 117 (37.4) (I Sharma 25, J. Francis 20, C. Keerthisinghe 20, C. Bandara 3/18, R. Laksiri 4/14)
ETI 120-2 (17.3) (DK Ranaweera 38, Gayan de Silva 64 n.o.)

At Moratuwa Stadium: Janashakthi ‘B’ beat Union Bank by 115 runs.
Janashakthi ‘B’ 327-9 (50) (Kasum Bodhitha 116, Charinda Fernando 55, Saliya Saman 36, N. Charaka 3/73, W. Randeniya 2/55, S. Perera 2/45)
Union Bank 112 (24.2) (S. Silva 27, P. Perera 25, R. Sampath 5/14, C. Amarasinghe 2/25, V. Disanayake 2/14) – [LW]


Sanath Jayasuriya CF wins indoor cricket c’ship

Sanath Jayasuriya CF did well to win the under-15 indoor cricket championship organised by Fingara International Cricket Academy played at Rattanapitiya Indoor Stadium.
The tournament was organised for the first time and was a unique tournament of its kind. There were more than 30 teams taking part. This was an eight-a-side tournament with one pair of batsmen restricted to batting a maximum of two overs.
This has been their first major title since inauguration of the foundation. They also created some major upsets in the 7th Nelson Mendis International Invitation under-14 Cricket tournament by reaching the semi-final stages by beating CCC school of cricket, who were one of the major contenders for the championship, in the quarter finals. This helped them to end up as 2nd runner-up in the tournament.
In this indoor cricket tournament Sanath Jayasuriya CF beat Fingara ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ and Lankans ‘B’ in the first round. In the semi-finals and final they did well to beat Gampaha Cricket Academy ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams respectively. Gampaha ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams displayed some quality cricket and had been in the forefront by producing some exciting performances in this tournament.


Spot Stumpy and Do the Dance

ICC promotion to reward cricket crazy fans with free match tickets, Hero Honda Motorbikes and LG Televisions
The official mascot of the ICC 2011 Cricket World Cup, Stumpy will be travelling around the official World Cup venue cities of Colombo, Kandy and Hambantota and eager cricket fans that spot him, stand a chance to walk away with free match tickets!
Prior to receiving the tickets, cricket fans will also have to do the Stumpy Dance! A catchy, easy to repeat dance move, created by Stumpy himself.
During selected World Cup matches the ICC will also give away Hero Honda Motorbikes and LG Televisions to members of the crowd who do the best imitation of the Stumpy Dance. Match officials will carefully select the winners from the audience.
Stumpy is aged 10 human years, is enthusiastic and determined, thinks cricket is the most fun game in the world, loves playing street cricket - would play 24/7 if he could, worships cricket heroes, their technique, skill and character, understands there is a lot to learn and works hard at it along the way learning to master the art of concentration while he also dreams of playing in the World Cup, one day!


Kotte Football League Sevens Tournament

The Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Football League (SJKFL), which has taken great strides to change the lives of many in the Kotte area under their motto “Prevention of crime through sport,” will be organising the Presidents Trophy All Island Seven-a-side Invitation Football Championship for men and women on March 12th and 13th at the Obeysekerapura MC Playground, Rajagiriya.
The SJKFL will also felicitate Manilal Fernando, on his election to the FIFA Executive Committee, at this event.


MCA ‘E’ Division 40 overs League

Sanjaya, Eric shine for Union Assurance

Half-tons by Sanjaya Attanayake (93 runs in 105 balls, 7 fours and 4 sixes) and Eric Upashantha (65 runs in 45 balls, 9 fours and a six) propelled Union Assurance Ltd., to their third successive win beating Dialog ‘A’ by 72 runs, in the on going Bajaj-MCA Centenary Year 2011 Division ‘E’ 40 overs League Tournament.


  • At Ananda Mawatha: Metropolitan Group beat Alpha Orient Lanka by 3 wickets.
    AOL 178 (33.2) (K. Ranasinghe 25, M. Fernando 35, A. Jayasanka 25, T.D. Perera 20, S. Liyanage 2/40, K. Udawatte 3/30)
    Metropolitan 179-7 (35) (KL Faber 41, M. Bandaranayake 38, C. Girihagama 41 n.o., M. Samaranayake 2/20, N.D. Senaweera 2/45)
  • At MCA: Akbar Bros beat SL Telecom ‘B’ by 76 runs.
    Akbar Brothers 210 (36.2) (R. Urendran 52, CK Kumara 30 n.o., L. Dissanayake 20, N. Kapila 2/25, KS Amarasinghe 4/55)
    SLT ‘B’ 134 (30.5) (S. Wijeratne 25, A.B. Ekanayake 35 n.o., AS Bandara 38, G. Gomes 4/35, K. Prasanga 2/9, L. Dissanayake 2/24)
  • At St. Benedict’s College Grounds: Union Assurance beat Dialog ‘A’ by 72 runs.
    UAL 265-8 (40) (F. Aron 42, S. Attanayake 93, E. Upashantha 65, M. Wattegedera 2/35, K. Ruwan 2/35)
    Dialog ‘A’ 193 (35) (M. Wattegedera 40, R. Kaleel 42, S. Chsthuranga 20, U. Ruberu 25 n.o., E. Upashantha 3/35, I. Perera 4/25)
  • At Thurstan College Grounds: Asian Alliance Insurance beat Trellerborg Lanka by 8 wickets.
    Trellerborg Lanka 84 (14.3) (S. Dinesh 27, A. Meemanage 2/30, C. Jayaminda 3/20, D. Fernando 3/5)
    AAI 85-2 (15.1) (C. Boteju 49, S. Dinesh 2/25) – [LW]