Thomian schoolboy Dejan de Zoysa karts to glory
Invited to participate in world championship round, at Sepang
By Annesley Ferreira
Youth, flamboyance and the brilliance of 16-year-old Thomian Dejan de Zoyza
saw him earning top laurels at his first International Go-kart meet in
A team member of the Motor Racing Association (MRA) comprising reigning
Sri Lankan champion Randy Batcho, Romani de Silva, Yoga Perera and Rohan
de Silva, he clearly demonstrated his dominance when he outclassed his
compatriot on a purpose built International standard Go-kart track. On
official timing as well, he was a clear 02 seconds ahead.
He finished sixth overall in the finals despite not starting off on
a heat and having had to start the final race on grid number 11 (eleven).
The five karters who finished ahead of de Zoyza were driving the latest
water-cooled engines and chassis. Team Manager Dinesh Jayawardena was of
the opinion that his charge would have matched them if he had a better
grid and a competitive engine and chassis.
De Zoyza has been invited to drive at a fully-fledged International
kart meet at the Sepang track in Malaysia on the 2nd and 3rd of March with
also the World Karting Championship in the horizon.
Introduced to Prokarting by Pradeep Jayawardena he was taught the finer
lines by Randy Batcho who spent most of his spare time practising with
Dejan, the 13-year-old won the Caltex All Island Prokart Championship (Open
Event) beating all the seniors, three months later. He had his first opportunity
in Go-karting, when he was thrown to the deep end of international Go-Karting,
by Suren Cooke who was confident that he would make the grade. In his first
season in the Caltex All Island Go-Kart Championship he was tied on points
with the ultimate champion, the brilliant Yoga Perera. He had engine failure
into the final round and contended being lst runner-up.
In this year's championship, although driving a new machine, he could
not get his kart to perform due to experimental settings and had to be
content with being 2nd runner-up in the championship behind Randy Batcho
and Romani de Silva. De Zoysa is a very talented sportsman having won his
colours in rowing and also represented S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia
in swimming and Under-15 Cricket.
He has been sponsored by Colombo Prokarts the cradle of Motor Racing
in Sri Lanka and attributes his success to Randy Batcho, Dhanuka Nadeera,
Suren Cooke, Sheran Cooke (who first parted with his champion kart for
Dejan to race) and Dinesh Jayawardana who is his Race Manager.
Dejan is the son of Sri Lanka's legendary Rally driver Richard de Zoysa
who at present is organizing the first ever FIA standard Rally together
with the MRA.
Everything in life is temporary - Malik
By Bernie Wijesekera
Malik Samarawickrema, who is now the Chairman of the UNP, is a ruggerite.
He played rugby with distinction for Royal, CR and then for the national
Bryan Baptist, the former Royal and Sri Lanka rugby player, the Jt.
Managing Director of Bartleet Produce Marketing Ltd., is of the opinion
that Malik could still do a lot for SriLanka rugby-football.
An year ago, Malik said that he had recommended that the Sri Lanka Rugby
Union get down an 'A' Grade coach to train rugby coaches and that he would
contribute 50 per cent of the costs involved, but this did not materialise.
Malik is a man of few words. He keeps his mouth shut and his eyes are wide
open. He is a good observer. Samarawickrema was the President of the Rugby
Union from 1991 to '92. He did much to uplift the game with a concerted
team effort. His expertise in figures put the SLRFU accounts in order and
for its smooth running. He made the Union more transparent.
He is a Royalist and a Royalist to the last and will support the old
school to the end. He has played rugby for the school in the company of
Haren Malwatte, Jagath Fernando etc., and later for the CR&FC. He eschews
school ties, race or religion when it comes to help the less affluent,
be it sport or otherwise.
He served from the base as a rugby player. He could do likewise and
has the ability to plan strategy with a united effort.
Dr. Sarath Kapuwatte, the President of Kandy SC said, Malik, has done
much for the uplift of rugby in the Hill Capital. The international rugby
'sevens' organised by Kandy SC was started in 1999. His vision has contributed
much to make it a reality. The Singer-Sri Lankan Airlines Int. Sevens at
present is in the IRB calendar. Chairman of Singer Sri Lanka Hemaka Amarasuriya
paid a glowing tribute to Malik's ability for laying the foundation to
put Sri Lanka rugby in the international. map with this tournament. Amerasuriya
mentioned this at last year's award ceremony.
The indomitable Murali
By Peter Casie Chitty
He is a complex individual, respected yet hard to fathom. I can't ever
remember wanting to say "hello" to him in five years. Without pretending
to know him personally I must admit his feats as a cricketer has earned
him the admiration and the awe he deserves. I can predict that Murali will
finish on top of every record and set one that will never be reached. Seven
hundred test wickets.
Facing upto him as a batsman or media man must be mesmerising for as
he speaks of his gains he says its a team effort. Murali is known to give
a hundred and ten per cent on the field — bowling and fielding, then makes
a mockery of batting.
"I am here to take wickets" he once told a colleague journalist who
ventured to ask why he did not think of improving his batting. He has had
them all from kingpins Mark Waugh, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara to Craig
Mc Dermott, Courtney Walsh and Henry Olonga the jack rabbits making many
other middle order batsmen including Jonty Rhodes, Alex Stewart and even
Wasim Akram look foolish enough to force them spend hours trying to 'suss'
him out. Brian Lara told me " I read him out of his hand but I am sure
he'll have another trick up his sleeve".
Jacques Kallis the only other batsman who was confident enough to adapt
to our dust bowl has said "the man can be flabbergasting" Carl Hooper said
"He is the best spinner of the era, generation whatever"
Against the English five tests have brought him 35 wickets off 410 overs
for 814 runs. His best 9 for 65. Average 23.25.
Murali was lucky to have forthright men like skipper Arjuna Ranatunga
,Tony Greig, Geoff Boycott and Peter Roebuck to stand up for him when the
Aussie sledged him as a Nation. Only an extremely strong character can
win through situations like that . Muttiah Muralitharan is resourceful
and from his expressive eyes it is easy to tell that he is a born fighter,
a man who does not like to lose, a man who will fight to the last and a
man who believes he is the best. whatever".
Against the Aussies Murali has 22 wickets for 922 off 306 overs bowled
in seven tests with only one five wicket haul. Average 41.90.
When Hair and Emerson two of the most vindictive umpires who called
him for throwing they were also echoing what David Lloyd former England
coach, one Englishman and New Zealander including Martin Crowe were whispering
Against the West Indies he had 44 wickets for 830 runs off 331 overs
in six tests at an average of 18.86.
Remember Richie Richardson advicing Murali to bowl leg spin and calling
the Aussie bluff?
Skipper Carl Hooper, star Brian Lara and manager Ricky Skirret said
that Murali made the difference here and shielding their young batsmen
was harder than they thought. The West Indies were comprehensively beaten
in Sri Lanka despite Lara's defiance. Lara who could speak with authority
said "Murali is streets ahead of Warne."
The South Africans in 10 Tests have given Murali 70 wickets for 1469
runs and two match bags of over ten wickets and 8 five wicket hauls. Average
Despite Murali not having the straight ball in his arsenal then and
was bowling at one of the most exciting young all rounders Jacques Kallis.
Hansie Cronje went hitting him into the mid wicket stands off the predictable
Against New Zealand Murali has 39 wickets for 912 averaging 23.38 and
three five wicket hauls.
Steven Fleming and Adam Parore two excellent players of spin bowling
said "Murali will, always be a handful".
The Indo Pakistani cricketers are known to be excellent players of spin
yet he has 51 wickets against India from 12 tests at 32.94. Expensive,
realising that there was no racial pressure there.
Eleven tests against Pakistan and his 60 wickets have cost 24.91 each.
Shaeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi,Inzamam Ul Haq and Wasim Akram had skipper
Jayasuriya and Ranatunga protecting Murali long after the 15th over sometimes.
Zimbabwe have had the most trouble with Muralitharan. While Andy Flower
is always a thorn in Murali's side with his two handed sweeps and excellent
eye brother Grant seems to fall to Murali more often than anyone else."We
will figure him out eventually" and they are still trying. Maybe if the
Zimbabwaen players had more political peace of mind things would get better
for their team till then Murali will go from record to record and end up
with the best ever bowling feat in Cricket History.
Sponsorship money misused
How is that a leading sports controlling body in Sri Lanka is making use
of the money by sponsorship for the outstation promotion of the sport for
Many leading cricket playing schools are having second thoughts of playing
cricket matches against those coached by umpires, since decisions are going
against them in favour of those of the school coached by the umpire, with
the likelihood of his colleagues following suit. A report is to be submitted
against such abuses to the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association and if
no action is taken fixtures may be cancelled.
Lankan Test venues in jeopardy
If a proposal by the ICC takes effect, Sri Lanka may possibly lose at least
three Test venues. The proposal is to debar any Test matches being played
if the wicket starts turning within the first half hour of play.
All in shambles
The junior ruggerites are in a quandary as to the stories spread against
them and their pathetic showing at the competition is not helping either.
These stories, according to Rover, is spread by a parent who is very angry
that his son, who is from a leading school, was not made the deputy skipper.
Indoor Cricket Champs due today
By M.Shamil Amit
The current world champions in indoor cricket Australia will arrive this
evening for three international test match series against the local team
which is scheduled to be played from January 22 to January 26.
The Australians were the first country to play indoor cricket way back
in 1970 when it made its appearance in Perth, Australia. Orginally it was
played as a domestic game but gradually became popular and the game spread
very fast in Australia and then to other countries as well.
International recognition came equally fast and within a few years indoor
cricket was accepted as an international game.The first world cup was played
in 1995 in England where the Australians emerged winners. The Australians
repeated the feat in 1998 when it was held in Australia and again in 2000
when it was held in South Africa.
The Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association (CICA) made their maiden tour
to Australia last year and made a big impact 'down under' with some eye-catching
performances which impressed their counterparts and in return were awarded
to stage the world cup in the year 2004. The CICA has been able to gain
confidence from many firms which have taken a great interest in this game
with the result. "Caltex Lubricants" has come forward to sponsor the test
series between Sri Lanka and Australia. With co-sponsors Jet Asia coming
in as the official travel agent, Mobitel as the official Mobile Phone suppliers
and Hotel Galadari as the official hotel joining the sponsorhip band.
Sri Lanka Team - Asela Pathirana Captain (Access), Chrishantha Peiris
Vice Capt (HNB), Sanjeewa Jayaratne (Access), Anil Rideegammanagedera (Access),
Roshan Weerasinghe (John Keells), Dilshan Witharna (John Keells), Iroshan
de Silva (East West), Dharshana Gamage (Janashakthi), Nalaka de Silva (East
West), Lyndon Hannibal (Lanka Yalta Lions), Bumika Rasanjana (Informatics).
Craig Slocombe (Coach), Brian Thomas (Manager), Hiran de Mel (Umpire).
The itinerary of the Australian tour:
January 20- Arrival of the World Champions/World Body Officials. January
21- Practice match Sri Lanka 'A' vs Australia 2.00 p.m.- 4.00 p.m. January
22- Sri Lanka vs Australia (1st Test) 4.30 p.m.-6.30. p.m. January 23-
Sri Lanka 'A' vs Australia 7.00.p.m.-9.00.p.m. January 24th- Sri Lanka
vs Australia (2nd Test) 4.30 p.m.-6.30.p.m. January 25- (Rest Day). January
26- Sri Lanka vs Australia (3rd Test) 3.30. p.m.-6.30 p.m. and Awards Ceremony.
January 27- Departure of Australian team.
Ruhunu's emerging rugby 'Sevens' contest
The Singer Sri Lanka emerging inter-club rugby 'sevens' tournament, kicked
off on Jan.19 at the Koggala Free Trade Zone grounds.
According to Tony Amit, who is overseeing the promotion and development
of rugby in Ruhunu said this tournament the first staged in Galle district,
is confined to clubs which have taken to the sport at grassroots level
in the districts.
It's open to all the new clubs and the newcomers to scrum down in this
competition for the first time. Besides the teams drawn from the Matara
district there are other district teams who will take part drawn from Kurunegala,
Kalutara, Hambantota and Kandy.
Amit said, this tournament will inject enthusiasm among the youth players
to indulge in a 'sevens' rugby initially before they take to 15-a-side
rugby. Its the brainchild of Ruhunu R.F.U. president, Kumar Abeywardena,
to spread the gospel of rugby at competitive level among the emerging clubs.
It will be played in 7 groups. 27 teams will participate.