Mahela’s discipline has rubbed into entire team – RP Singh

We’re here to play hard cricket, says medium pacer RP Singh of Team Kochi in an interview with TOI.
Kochi is a new team. How hard is it for the players in a new franchisee?
Our focus is on training hard and maintaining unity amongst team members. We have had a fruitful training session before the start of IPL 4, under coach Geoff Lawson, which has helped the entire team to gel and work on our strengths. We are getting along pretty well as a unit and the results are showing on the field for Team Kochi.
How did you reinvent yourself for the T20 format?
I have been working hard on my bowling. I’m also concentrating on my fitness. Hopefully, the results will show in all formats of the game and not just in T20. Personally, I am satisfied with my bowling and hope to continue this form for the remaining matches for Team Kochi and in the near future as well.
How is Mahela Jayawardene as a captain?
It has been an absolute privilege working under such a methodical captain. The discipline he gets into his cricket has rubbed off on the entire team. Having such a positive person at the helm spreads a sense of comfort amongst the unit.
Team Kochi does not have celebrity owners. Is the missing glam factor making any difference?
We are here to play some hard cricket and it is the result that counts. Our franchisee has been very supportive and encouraging throughout our journey. For any successful cricket team, it is the strong management support that counts.
Playing with international players in the IPL, have you shared any important insights to improve your game?
One learns everyday. It is a privilege sharing a dressing room with cricketing giants like Mahela, (Brendan) McCullum and Murali. It is a dream come true to play alongside the highest wicket taker in the world. Such inspiration has certainly helped my bowling.
Are you working towards a comeback for Team India?
Playing for Team India has always been my priority and I will work as hard as I can to bowl to the best to my ability.
What do you think are the chances of Team Kochi?
We are playing well as a team and the results have been good. We have won the last three of our matches and hope to continue this form. If we play the way we are we will certainly reach far in the tournament. – [TNN]


Royal College honours Mahesa Rodrigo

Royal College honoured the late Mahesa Rodrigo, by naming the home dressing rooms at the Royal College Sports Complex, in his memory. The former Royalist and sporting legend often referred to as ‘master of both bat and boot’ captained Royal College’s cricket and rugby teams in the year 1946.
Rodrigo, a double International who represented his country in both cricket and rugby, forged a unique place for himself in history as a man whose talent remains unsurpassed.

The commemoration ceremony, held at the Royal College Sports Complex on Thursday was graced by the school principal, the members of the Royal College Rugby Advisory Committee, eminent old ruggerites of all generations, the current rugby team and family members of the late Mahesa Rodrigo. The rugby fraternity of Royal College gathered to pay homage to the legend whose contributions to his school, club, country and the sporting world, remain immeasurable.

The ceremony commenced at 5.00 p.m. with the unveiling of a plaque by the principal of Royal College, Upali Gunasekera who said “Mahesa Rodrigo will be remembered as a sportsman par excellence who was a mastermind in the rugby field. He brought many glories to the school and also to the country.” In his address, Royal’s Lakshman Kaluaratchi spoke on behalf of the many generations of Royal ruggerites who fondly remembered this sporting legend. The daughter of the late Mahesa Rodrigo, Ms. Tarini Rodrigo Vosper thanked the principal and the Royalists past and present for this tribute to her late father.

Mahesa Rodrigo, an unforgettable figure in Royal’s sporting history, was celebrated for his remarkable contributions to rugby as a player, captain, coach, administrator and sporting ambassador. The diminutive, witty and well-recognised Mahesa brought his passion and brilliance to sports, having captained his school rugby and cricket teams. In the same year he went on to play for and become a lifetime member of, two of Sri Lanka’s most reputable sporting institutes, SSC and CR&FC (the latter which he captained in 1952). In 1948, Rodrigo played for Sri Lanka in the national rugby team and became the first Sri Lankan to captain Ceylon in a team dominated by Europeans. He also made his debut in the International cricket arena when he represented Ceylon.

Rodrigo also took all that he learnt during his days in the field and gave it back to the sporting world by getting involved in its administration at Royal College and the CR & FC, first as secretary and then as president in 1972. At a national level he was also secretary of CRFU. Hugely modest and humble in his ways, Rodrigo never took credit for his historic performances; he always preferred to remember the other great men with whom he engaged in the sporting arena.


Munchee National VB finals on May 7

By Dhammika Ratnaweera
The volleyball fraternity in Sri Lanka will witness some enthralling contests when the finals of the Munchee National Volleyball Championship gets underway on May 7 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The tournament is conducted by the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation with Ceylon Biscuits Ltd as the main sponsors.
President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation, Minister Dilan Perera said that more than 4000 teams took part in this year’s competition and great enthusiasm prevailed in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Minister Perera also said the finals would be a keen tussle as all teams are strong and well balanced.
In the second Division finals of the National championship Casualine Sports Club Mawathagama will confront Vijaya Sports Club Koswadiya in the women’s category. In the men’s event it will be Sri Lanka Army Kandy team that will take on National Youth Services Council team. These two finals are scheduled to be held from 9 am onwards.
In the super league category, Sri Lanka Air Force women will meet the women from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. In the much awaited men’s final Sri Lanka Ports Authority will take on the Sri Lanka Navy, who is appearing at a national final for the first time in their history. Ironically, the defending champions of both categories have failed to make it to the finals this year. Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Ports Authority won the men’s and women’s championships last year.
Winners of all categories will receive handsome cash awards and trophies. The omission of the last year’s champions proves how tough the competition is this year. Newcomers Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment women has come forward and taken part with much confidence. The super league finals will commence from 1 pm onwards.
Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage, President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation Minister Dilan Perera, Minister Pavitra Wanniarchchi, Secretary Defence Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Somathilaka Dissanayaka, Commander of the Air Force Air Marshall Harsha Abeywickrama, Group Director CBL Ltd, Nandana Wickramage and a host of distinguished invitees are due to attend the event.
The finals will be telecast by ITN.


2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary draw in July

By Hafiz Marikar
Manilal Fernando the Management Chairman of the Sri Lanka Football Federation and Ex-co member of the FIFA says that all eyes of the football world will be on Rio de Janeiro. On 30 July at 3.00pm when the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil preliminary draw takes place, the first major Kick-Off Event ahead of the tournament itself, takes place.
The ceremony will be held close to the beautiful Copacabana beach, where four kilometers of white sand stretches across one of the most recognisable districts of Rio. Guests from around the world will convene at the Marina da Gloria harbour to watch the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminary competition. Manilal Fernando and Chrysantha Perera the CEO will be there for the grand occasion.
A total of 203 associations out of 208 will participate in the campaign. Brazil qualifies automatically as hosts and will therefore not be involved in the preliminary draw. Bhutan, Guam and Mauritania have also opted out, while Brunei, Darussalam are currently suspended by FIFA and therefore prohibited from participating in the qualifying competition.
The format for the South American qualifying competition has been confirmed. As Brazil does not need to qualify, the CONMEBOL Zone will consist of one group of nine teams all competing for the places at the finals. Also confirmed is the first round of qualifying in Oceania, which will consist of all teams from the confederation, aside from New Zealand, facing one another as part of the South Pacific Games in New Caledonia in August. The qualifying draw for the four other confederations will be made in Brazil. However, the formats for these preliminary competitions must still be ratified by the FIFA Executive Committee, which will convene in Zurich on 27 May.
FIFA will be providing extensive coverage of the preliminary draw in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a Live Draw Application and the popular Fan-chat, which allows fans from around the world to share their opinions. The official 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil website will be offering exclusive interviews with stars from the world of sport, politics and show business, as well as all the necessary information regarding the draw and colorful reports from in and around Rio, said Manilal Fernando.


DSI Schools VB entries open

The DSI Supersport Schools Volleyball Championship will be conducted for the 13th consecutive year and sponsored by the DSI Company.
This tournament, a much looked forward to event by the school children will once again provide the youngsters opportunity to display their talents in the national sport. The tournament will be conducted in collaboration with the Sports Unit of the Ministry of Education and the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation.
The tournament will be conducted in four age categories of under 12, 14, 16 and 18 respectively for boys and girls.
Entry forms are available from around 200 DSI showrooms throughout the country for all schools. Entries close on May 13 and could be sent by post addressed to: Sales Service Manager, D. Samson and Sons (Pvt) Limited, No. 263, High Level Road, Nawinna, Maharagama. Entries can also be handed over to any DSI showroom before May 13. - (DR)


Left-handed golfers in Sri Lanka form association

Inaugural tournament at RCGC on May 7

Left-handed golfers in Sri Lanka have come together to form the National Association of Left-handed Golfers Sri Lanka (NALG-SL) on the lines of similar associations in many golf playing countries.
The new association, which already has 75 members, has secured affiliation with the World Association of Left-handed Golfers (WALG). The World Association for left hand golfers was formed in 1979 and has conducted 17 World Championships in world famous golf courses around the world.
The founder committee of the National Association of Left-handed Golfers Sri Lanka consists of Dr.C. Thurairajah. (President), Captain Nihal Keppetipola (Captain), Firaz Hameed (Secretary), Lewie Diasz (Treasurer) and Christopher Dias (Membership Development), Glen Mathew (Tournament Committee), Dinesh de Silva (Tournament Committee) as founder committee members.
The newly formed association will conduct its first tournament for left-handers in Sri Lanka on Saturday May 7 at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) and more than 160 left-handed golfers including foreign participants of affiliated organisations of the World Association of Left-handed Golfers are expected to compete at this event, the Association said.
“Associations for left-handed golfers have been formed in many parts of the world to encourage and foster the game of golf, in particular left-handed golf,” Dr. Thurairajah said.
“This inaugural National Tournament of the Association will be an excellent opportunity for left-handed golfers in the country to compete against some well known golfers from overseas and to help raise funds and increase our membership,” he said.
Apart from the tournament, the Association is planning many other activities for the benefit of left-handed golfers. These include sending members to the 2011 World Championship for left- handed golfers at St. Andrews, Scotland and in Tokyo, Japan next year. Hosting the Asian Championship and the World Championship are among the other ambitious plans being explored by the Association.
Among the well known left-handed golfers in Sri Lanka are Amal Cabraal, Kumar Sangakkara, Savantha de Saram, Chandana de Silva and Sanjeewa Wikramanayake to name a few. On the world stage, the most famous left-handed golfers are Sir Bob Charles and Phil Mickleson.