Lure of IPL too great – Stuart Law

By Chloe Saltau
In the three weeks since Stuart Law was appointed interim coach of Sri Lanka, the Australian has gained a powerful insight into the forces affecting his players and the need to keep the island nation’s influential neighbour, India, ‘’sweet’’.
In that time the captain and vice-captain have stood down, the entire selection panel has been replaced, and star fast bowler Lasith Malinga has quit Test cricket because of a chronic knee condition.
Speaking about the upheaval from his base in England, Law said Malinga had previously told him he wanted to resume his Test career against Australia in August but, when told he must also make himself available for the impending tour of England, he opted instead to stay in the IPL and play only limited-overs cricket for Sri Lanka in future.
The former Queensland captain, who played 54 one-day internationals and a Test for Australia, expressed sympathy for the 27-year-old with the sling-shot action, and said it was increasingly difficult for nations such as Sri Lanka, which do not have the wealth of other boards, to command constant control of their players.
‘’It’s a tough one for the players because we’re not talking about $10,000 here and there. We’re talking about a million dollars and Malinga, when he bowls, he puts his body through hell, so … two more years of IPL cricket and he can put his feet up and not go through that pain again,’’ Law said.
‘’It’s disappointing that he doesn’t want to play [the] longer [format cricket] but you can’t make a guy who goes through hell every time he bowls a cricket ball. I can sympathise with him. I would love him to play every game for us but that’s impossible, no one does that these days.’’
Sri Lanka’s former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will leave their IPL franchises only in time for their country’s second warm-up match in England. And, in a bizarre situation, new captain Tillakaratne Dilshan wants to leave the IPL earlier to join the squad in England for the first practice game but the decision has been taken out of his hands as the Sri Lankan and Indian boards negotiate his release date.
‘’The IPL situation - we’ve got to be smart with that,’’ Law said. ‘’India, they are big brother, we’ve got to look after them, we don’t want to upset them. It’s where a lot of the world cricket boards make a lot of their money, so we’ve got to keep India sweet.’’
Law said that the IPL is a ‘’great tournament’’ for the Sri Lankan players, not just financially but also ‘’cricket-wise’’ as they can learn from different coaches and the top international players.
‘’You want the best for your players and the best Sri Lanka can supply to the players at this stage is nowhere near what other international players are getting.
‘’I think [better pay] will arrive one day but right now it is difficult to attract the players to continue to play international cricket when they can go to the IPL for six weeks and earn five years’ money.’’
Law, who joined Sri Lanka as an assistant to fellow Australian Trevor Bayliss in November 2009, will coach the side in England and has been shortlisted for the permanent job.
He is excited about rebuilding the Sri Lankan team with an aggressive new leader in Dilshan and following the retirement of champion spinner Muthiah Muralidaran. He also can ‘’totally respect and understand’’ the decisions of Sangakkara and Jayawardene to relinquish their leadership positions.
‘’Sri Lanka will go through a rebuilding phase now but the amount of talent that is yet to play international cricket at this stage is amazing,’’ he said. – [The Age]


Royal edges out Patana in listless game

By Samiddha Rathnayake
In a game that both teams committed a high percentage of mistakes, Royal prevailed over Isipathana by 11 points (one try and two penalties) to 10 (two tries) in their under 20 A division rugby league match played at the Royal Sports Complex yesterday.
Though the score lines depict the game to be a tight one it lacked the much needed enthusiasm from both teams as they continued to make blunders on the field. At lemons Isipatana led 5-3.
Though the Pathana team came into the game as hot favorites, the manner in which they made their approach was not impressive at all. It all stared with an easy opportunity missed by their outside center Prasad Devinda. Royal made an impressive advance in the fourth minute of play and managed to go for a scrum inside the 22 meter line, but failed to capitalize on it.
Though the visitors opened their account through a convincing try by right wing Mecalanka Fernando it later became their only mode of consolation until the last stages of the second half. Pathana lost golden opportunities to pierce the shaky Royal defence lacked understanding in their line.
On the other hand Royal showed immaturity in their defence. On an average day for Pathana the score line would have been a totally different one. Royal made their first appearance in the scoreboard with a penalty put over by Arshad Jamaldeen and at that was to be their only scoring in the first half.
After the turnaround Royal covered more ground and were in an attacking mood. This resulted in a penalty from Jamaldeen and a try being scored as Royal took the lead to 11-5. The 50th minute try was planted by Royal captain Shehan Pathirana. Fernando’s last minute effort to swing the match Patana’s way with his second try of the match came all but too late for them.
Referee: Pradeep Fernando.


Speed racing series round II comes alive at Pannala

The speed racing series jointly organised by the Ceylon Motor Sports Club, the Sri Lanka Motorcycle Club, the Motor Racing Association and the Asian Motor Racing Club will be held on May 22 at the Pannala race track. It will be the second round of the championship out of five rounds in total.
The first round was held successfully in February this year which drew a considerable amount of entries and spectators as the Pannala track was available after a lapse of time. The competitors experienced a revamped track with improved safety and facilities while the spectators enjoyed a quality race meet with access to food and beverage.
The organisers released the sporting regulations to the competitors and the entries are now open for all Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS) approved classes. A spokesperson for the joint committee of Speed 2011 stated that the entries will close on May 13 at 10.00 pm at the Speed Drome, Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla for motorcars. Motorbike entries will also close on the same day at No 5A, Havelock Place, Colombo 5.
The popular events will include the SLGT 3500cc, SL H 1600cc and the one make classes of the Mini, Nissan March, Ford Laser and the Formula Ford together with the Formula Mclarens 1300. The championship will also make way to newcomers who will race in the Formula Mclarens 1300 event and also the Suzuki Maruti/ Alto class. The results of this championship will be taken towards the 2011 National Championship of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports.
There will be a host motorcycle event worked off as well and those results will also be counted in for the National Championship of the Federation of Motorcycle Sports in Sri Lanka. Sources say that some foreign riders are due to participate in the motorcycle events. The organisers included the qualifying of the bike in order to determine a grid position for the start of the motorcycle races. This was a new rule brought in by Sri Lanka Racing Riders Association to uplift the standards of the sport.


36 schools presented with Reborn performance wear

Reborn t-shirts the local youth icon in Sri Lanka, announced that it will be the official performance wear provider for 36 first eleven cricket teams from 36 schools across the country. Reborn which has been synonymous for cutting edge design and world class manufacturing of quality t-shirts and is now reaching another milestone with the introduction of ‘No Sweat’ t-shirts primarily targeted at the active youth.
This new product development is to coincide with the ongoing schools big match season and will undoubtedly fire up the performance edge of every school cricketer.
The new range of t-shirts are made out of a technologically advanced fabric, worn by world class athletes and has been proven to achieve optimum performance during game time. The material is referred to as ‘wicking fabric’ and is said to draw moisture away from you body. Unlike cotton that makes clothes hang onto your sweat, making clothes heavy and clammy, wicking fabric picks up moisture and carries it away from your body spreading it out to evaporate easily on the outside.
“This new product development is a testament to our continuous quest for quality and reflects our standards and capabilities in terms of product design, material sourcing and manufacturing of a world class apparel product” said Shakir Hafeez , Managing Director of Stafford Garments ( Pvt) Ltd, the manufacturers of Reborn t-shirts.
“Every athlete needs a signature style that is unique to them. They also need clothing gear that would not hinder their performance and instead enhance it. Reborn ‘No Sweat’ t-shirts are designed to optimise performance” said Murshid Mowlana, Marketing Manager for Reborn t- shirts.


Premier League cricket

Welagedara, Herath warm up for England

Tamil Union’s England bound cricketers fast bowler Chanaka Welagedara and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath warmed up for the tour with pleasing bowling performances in their Premier Tier ‘A’ match against Lankan CC at the P Sara Oval yesterday.
Left-armer Welagedara took four wickets for 68 off 18 overs and Herath picked up two for 60 as Lankan CC resuming at 177-6 was dismissed for 266 in their first innings. Tamil Union struggled to 187-6 by the close and required another 80 runs to gain the vital first innings points.
At Havelock Park Colts held the upperhand against Badureliya CC. Their pace cum spin combination of Kanishka Alvitigala (5/34) and Sajeewa Weerakoon (4/36) routed Badureliya for 132 in reply to Colts’ first innings of 200. By the close Colts had stretched their overall lead to 268 with three wickets in hand going into the final day today.
CCC was struggling at 88-4 after dismissing Bloomfield for 270 on the opening day of their Premier Tier A match at Welisara yesterday. Left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana took six for 78 for CCC. The match will continue on its second day today.


  • At P Sara Oval: Lankan CC 177-6 contd 266 (84.1) (Ashen Silva 95, R Laksiri 42, R Weerasinghe 21, S Malinga 21 n.o., C Welagedara 4/68, R Herath 2/60, J Mendis 2/33)
    Tamil Union 187-6 (59) at close (D Rajakaruna 39, G de Silva 56, S Serasinghe 35 n.o., R Weerasinghe 2/40)
  • At Havelock Park: Colts 200 and 200-7 (45) at close (M Warnapura 44, J Kulatunga 21, Roshen Silva 65 n.o., S Weerakoon 33, A Prasad 2/81, T Sampath 3/40)
    Badureliya CC 57-4 contd 132 (58.4) (S Wijeratne 36 n.o., K Alvitigala 5/34, S Weerakoon 4/36)
  • At Welisara: Bloomfield 270 (67.4) (D Munaweera 61, N Nawala 73, S Jayantha 31, C Silva 35, C de Silva 32, S Pathirana 6/78, M Gajanayake 2/22)
    CCC 88-4 (24) at close (A Berenger 35, D Gunatillake 38).


Arpico ‘A’ win ‘C’ division opener

Arpico ‘A’ beat David Peiris Motor Company ‘B’ in the opening game of the Mercantile Centenary Year ‘C’ division 50-over league tournament played at the FTZ grounds, Katunayake yesterday.
Scores: Arpico ‘A’ 268 (50) (Athula Wickramatilake 59, Sameera Perera 32, Charith Jayaratne 25, Ruwan Kariyawasam 55, Suminda Perera 47, Nalin Channa 3/65, W. Balagama 2/40, Prasad Niroshan 2/29)
DPMC ‘B’ 243-8 (48) (Madushan Fernando 37, Hasantha Ekanayake 30, Akhila Elaboda 27, Prashan Perera 30, Nalinda 30 n.o., M. Mahanama 2/45, Athula Wickramatilake 3/28) - [LW]


Japan outclasses Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AFP) - Japan marked an emotional return to the Asian Five Nations with a 22-45 away victory over Hong Kong, as they began their World Cup preparations with glimpses of free-flowing rugby.
Ahead of the game the crowd observed a moment’s silence to mark the victims of Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
Heads bowed and arms across each other’s shoulders Japan’s players, sporting black armbands, led the tribute while a Japanese flag was unfurled with the words “One for all and all for one” running across the Rising Sun.
Japan are Asia’s number one side and the tournament’s defending champions, and after testy early exchanges in which both teams swapped big hits Japanese pressure began to translate into possession close to the home try line.
Powerful number eight Ryukoliniasi Holani found his way through the defence on 11 minutes, with his try was converted by Ryan Nicholas.
Japan’s back line began to assert themselves, with quick hands aiding their expansive running game to pin Hong Kong down on their 22. After a clever dummy fly-half Shaun Webb went over on 18 minutes, again converted by Nicholas.
Mop-haired captain Takashi Kikutani was at the centre of Japan’s forward play, bustling with energy and drive, and Japan notched a third try through centre Hirotoki Onozawa.
Hong Kong’s first points did not come until the 35th minute, from the boot of Keith Robertson, but two quick-fire Ailsi Tupuailai tries, the second off a flowing move started deep in Japan’s half, gave the visitors a commanding 3-31 half-time lead.
True to their captain’s pre-match pledge not to roll over Hong Kong stuck doggedly to their task, with the forwards tackling hard and backs increasingly influential.
In the second half Tupuailai completed his hat-trick but Hong Kong outscored the visitors by three tries to two, including a Rowan Varty dash the length of the field with 15 minutes to go.
That left the hosts 22-45 behind, but the reigning champions refused to be pegged back any further.


Fitness First Show today

The biggest and most glamorous fitness and beauty pageant will be shown on Sirasa TV at 10.30pm today.
The Fitness First, Fitness and Wellness Center takes pride in presenting the gala interactive all-island pageant for potential males and females which encompasses as an innovative event which took place on February 5 at the main Ballroom at Waters Edge.
The show will be telecast under the sponsorship Fitness First and Ranjanas Textiles.