Lanka community in UK to felicitate Jayasuriya
Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from England

BRISTOL, Saturday - The Sri Lankan community in England is planning to give one of Sri Lanka’s cricketing legends Sanath Jayasuriya a memorable farewell next month.
The veteran cricketer who turns 42 on June 30 is retiring from international cricket after the first One-Day International against England at the Oval on June 28 ending an illustrious 22-year-old career. The Sri Lankan community in UK feels that Jayasuriya deserves to be felicitated for the number of hours he has entertained them with his mesmerising batting and the contribution he has made to Sri Lanka cricket.

The event is scheduled to take place sometime around July 20 (the date has to be finalised) before Sri Lanka end their tour of England and is sponsored by a well-renowned restaurant in Wembley ‘Chak89’ which is owned by Pakistani F Khalid, a keen follower of Sri Lanka cricket.
The community is looking at inviting former England fast bowler Darren Gough to perform the duties as after-dinner speaker.

Dinner Dance today
The Sri Lanka Cricket UK Committee headed by former Sri Lanka under 19 captain Asitha Jayaweera will host the Cricket Ball 2011 where members of the Sri Lanka cricket team will be the guests of honour. The event is scheduled to take place at St Paul’s Grange Hotel in London today (Sunday).
The committee has been a strong supporter of Sri Lanka schools cricket over the years and has been instrumental in sponsoring promising young schoolboy cricketers from Sri Lanka to UK to play in the English leagues, players in the calibre of all-rounders Farveez Maharoof and Angelo Mathews are some of them.
Presently Chaturanga Kumara of St Joseph’s College, Colombo is benefitting by the scholarship arranged by the committee representing Southgate CC as their overseas amateur player in the Middlesex league. Proceeds of the dance will go towards this scheme.
The committee has also helped provide cricket equipment, bags and matting to schools in the North and East through Sri Lanka Cricket.
One of Sri Lanka’s top music entertainers Sohan and Damien, a Sri Lankan born guest artist from Switzerland will be in attendance backed by one of UK’s leading nine-piece bands ‘Exceed’.
Amongst the invitees are over 100 officials from English clubs and counties and top corporate professionals.
The Sri Lanka Cricket UK Committee comprises Asitha Jayaweera (chairman), Ajith Dandeniya, Deepal Ahangama, Faleel Marikkar and Upali de Zoysa.


Brazil Word Cup preparations delayed

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is concerned Brazil has fallen behind schedule with its preparations for the 2014 World Cup.
A new stadium in Sao Paolo will not be ready for the 2013 Confederations Cup, seen as a World Cup dress rehearsal.
Airports and transport links are also reportedly behind schedule and Valcke said: “I won’t say Brazil started too late but we are not advanced in Brazil.

“We don’t have stadiums, airports, or a national transportation system.”
Brazil are the most successful World Cup nation with five victories, but the country has been much-criticised for its planning since winning the rights to host its first tournament since 1950.
“To deliver stadiums is the most important part... it’s a lot of work. The Sao Paulo stadium is definitely not a World Cup stadium and that is why it is closed,” Valcke said.

Valcke was addressing Russian officials in Moscow who will host the 2018 World Cup tournament, and informed them they should aim to have everything in place two years before the start of the event.
Alexei Sorokin, chief executive of Russia’s World Cup organising committee, told the forum the 2016 deadline was “absolutely realistic,” despite having to build or renovate every stadium.
“We have to build a lot. We have never hid the fact that we do not have a single stadium that is up to FIFA standards,” he admitted.
Russia has nominated 13 host cities for the event, a figure that will eventually be reduced, while estimating the total bill for new infrastructure at $10bn (£6.26bn). (BBC)


Serena befriends little Jack

By Mick Cleary
The American thought she was in a dark place coping with the injury and illness that kept her from tennis for almost a year until she came across Jack. On Thursday, all wrapped up in blankets against the blustery wind, Jack looked on as Williams battled through in three sets against Simona Halep.
Williams was surprised when questions were asked about Jack afterwards because she had thought it a private matter that she had befriended the boy, having lunch with him and his family at Wimbledon on Wednesday and inviting them along to yesterday’s match. But it all came out on Twitter, which is where Serena came across his desperately sad story a few months ago.

According to her advisers, Williams herself was having a hard time then as she recovered first from a foot injury and then the pulmonary embolism that almost killed her. Jack’s tale struck a chord and contact was made, a remarkable turn of events given that Serena has some two million followers on the social networking site. It became more than a fleeting relationship, Serena establishing regular contact, culminating in meeting the family in person over the last couple of days.
“I read his story and my heart kind of went out to him,” said Williams, who, like many others, is able to follow his story on www.jacksfund.co.uk

“This has given us the opportunity to make some special memories,” said Jack’s mother, Tracey Marshall whose son was diagnosed in October 2009. “I’d been posting pictures of Jack each day and the fight he’s had. Serena picked up on it and it blossomed from there. She’d seen those pictures of him smiling no matter what he’s going through. It’s gone from there. She’s a beautiful person as well as beautiful personality. Jack kissed her hand, flashed winks at her and enjoyed all the attention he’s had from her. ”

A sense of perspective does not always accompany multi-millionairesses. It’s a welcome development. Williams had more mundane issues to contend with yesterday, notably the sprightly opposition provided by Halep.
The No 2 court graveyard may have moved but it took a few phantoms with it as Serena Williams will testify. The defending champion was a set down on the relocated court that has seen many a star perish down the years and looking as if she were hearing the ghosts of upsets-past whispering words of doubt in her ears.

Halep stretched and teased her throughout a first set of high quality, deservedly taking the honours 6-3. Halep had even had to stop for five minutes treatment on a strained calf but recovered well. But that was as much damage as the demons managed to wreak, Serena Williams moving into the third round to meet Russian Maria Kirilenko. She had to graft, and she’ll be all the better for it. There were no tears this time as there had been after her return to action on Monday but her satisfaction at being a contender once again was clear to see.
Williams relished the experience, even if the blustery conditions did cause her difficulties. As with her sister, she’s a fighter.

Halep, a former world junior No 1, was clever and decisive in equal measure, a woman who knows her own mind as illustrated by her bold move to undergo breast reduction in order to help her career.
The manner in which she lost the second set, to a lucky net cord, finally seemed to drain her spirit. The third set was a romp. Williams could even afford to waste three match points at 5-0 on Halep’s serve but eventually closed out the deal to secure a satisfying win in just two hours.

(The Telegraph)


Andy Murray beats Ivan Ljubicic

By Piers Newbery
British number one Andy Murray secured his place in the second week of Wimbledon with a tense four-set win over Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic.
Rain meant Murray had to wait until 1853 BST for his third-round match to start under the Centre Court roof, but he prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4).
Ljubicic threatened with his huge serve but Murray found a burst of form in the third set and edged a nervous fourth.
The Scot goes on to face Richard Gasquet in the last 16 on Monday.
That will be a repeat of their five-set epic at the same stage three years ago, and Murray can expect another testing encounter after being pushed hard by Ljubicic.

The Croatian is the world number 33, and at 32 years old remains a player capable of threatening the very best, in large part because of his world-class serve.
That proved to be the key shot in the early stages, faltering under sustained pressure from the Murray return in game six but getting him out of trouble from 0-40 and seeing off four break points.
A rasping Ljubicic forehand winner then earned a break point in the following game and Murray dumped a mid-court forehand into the net to fall 4-3 behind.
This was not what the Centre Court crowd had expected to see, and the sense of shock appeared to transfer to Ljubicic as he barely had time to enjoy his advantage before a double-fault handed the break straight back in game eight.

Ljubicic could not afford to give the world number four any gifts but at 5-4 down he misjudged a Murray defensive lob that landed inside the baseline, allowing the Scot to take the point and moments later convert his second set point with a brilliant forehand pulled down the line.
But the lapses in concentration that still blight Murray’s game were to reappear early in the second set, successive double-faults rounding off a dreadful service game and handing Ljubicic a lead he would not relinquish as he served out to level at one set all.
Another set, another Murray, and the Briton was switched on from the start of the third, a drop shot and a sweet backhand winner carrying him to a break at the start, and a tracer-like backhand down the line helping move 4-0 clear in no time.


Wimbledon 2011

Andy Roddick suffers third-round loss

Three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick suffered a third-round exit as he was beaten 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 by Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
Both men offered few breaking opportunities on serve, forcing the first two sets to tie-breaks won by Lopez, ranked 44 in the world.
Eighth seed Roddick’s 16 unforced errors proved crucial as Lopez broke his serve in the third set.
And he held on for his first victory in eight attempts against Roddick.
“It was a great win for me, I have never beaten Andy,” an estatic Lopez told BBC Sport.
“Even leading two-sets to love I knew that he would still be a great fighter as he is such a great player.
“It’s a very important win. I was a little nervous towards the end as it’s always difficult to close out a match.”
Roddick gives up racquet but not dreams
Roddick praised Lopez, saying: “He came out and served as well as a person can. He played an outstanding match.”
The former US Open winner, 28, added: “I haven’t played well this year, for sure. It has to get better, there’s no doubt.”
Two-time quarter-finalist Lopez will play either France’s ninth seed Gael Monfils or Poland’s Lukasz Kubot in the last 16. (BBC)


Till the winner of the protest game is determined

Sri Rahula prevails over Sri Sumangala

By M. Minhaz in Kandy
Protests and counter protests were the order of the day as Sri Rahula, Katugastota scored a 17 points (1 goal, 2 tries) to 12 (1 goal, 1 try) win over their home town rivals Sri Sumangala, Kandy in their schools under 20 Division ‘C’ rugby tournament match played at the University grounds, Peradeniya yesterday. At halftime the scores were deadlocked at seven-all.
Before the commencement of the match both teams lodged their written protests to the Match Commissioner, WDO Wijewansa alleging that their opponents were fielding players who were not eligible to remain in school and play in this tournament.
Sri Rahula’s protest stated that a particular player from Sri Sumangala, though underage, had failed the G.C.E. O/L examination and was not eligible to remain in school. Sri Sumangala in turn alleged that two of Sri Rahula’s ruggerites had not declared their proper age and as a result could not play in this match.
The President of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Union Ranjith Chandrasekera said that an inquiry into these protests will be conducted shortly.
Sri Rahula scored their tries through Y R Kumara (2) and center T Jayasekera (1) and fly half A P Dushantha added the extra points to one of the tries. For Sri Sumangala full back R C Tillakasiri (1) and prop C P Jayawardena (1) scored tries and one of them was goaled by fly half D. Sandaruwan.
Saman Edama refereed.


The Finance backs Havies

Sri Lanka’s oldest finance company now known as The Finance Co. PLC, and Havelocks Sports Club, which was established 93 years ago, forged a mutually beneficial relationship. This year, The Finance Company PLC will be sponsoring Havelocks rugby in the on-going inter-club rugby season. The team, which is a blend of youth and experience (including two foreign internationals from the Pacific Islands), started off the season by almost rattling reigning champions Kandy Sports Club.


Matale stickers trounce neighbours Kandy

Matale District trounced Kandy District by 8 goals to nil to become Central Province Men’s’ hockey champions in the inter-district hockey finals organised by the Ministry of Sports of the Central Province played at the Nandimithra Ekanayake Astra turf, Matale yesterday. At halftime Matale District scored their goals through fullback Prasanna Abeyweera (1), left inside Dhammika Abeyratne (2), left extreme Traneesh Cramer (3), right extreme Keerthi Kumara (1) and centre half D T Panditharatne (1).
S M Wijesinghe and Mangala Karunaratne umpired. (Minhaz)


Reebonn Naturally Cosmetics
Netball Tournament 2011

Keen competition was witnessed yesterday among the teams of the corporate sector and girls schools in the above tournament organised by gamezmag and Kotte Sports Club, which will continue today (26th) at Angampitiya Sports Grounds, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte