The Sunday TimesTimesports

19th January 1997




Afridi, Waqar star as Pakistan win

SYDNEY, Saturday, (Reuter) - Fast bowler Waqar Younis and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi shared seven West Indies wickets as Pakistan coasted to victory in the first match of the World Series Cup best-of-three finals today.

West Indies slumped from 99 without loss to 179 for nine in their 50 overs and Pakistan won the day-night clash by four wickets.

Wicketkeeper Moin Khan, who hit an unbeaten 38, hoisted a six over long-off from the gentle leg-spin of Shivnerine Chanderpaul to complete Pakistan's win at 185 for six with 70 balls to spare.

The young Pakistani team were always likely to take the opening game of the finals after West Indies collapsed in dramatic fashion, losing seven wickets for 24 in 10 overs.

Waqar, back to his bristling best this week after a month off with a shoulder injury, took three wickets for one run in one devastating nine-ball spell. He finished with four for 43.

But it was Afridi who did most to ensure the victory, starting with his dismissal of Brian Lara caught and bowled for nought.

Lara had almost single-handedly dragged West Indies into the final, scoring 295 in his previous three Cup innings, including 103 not out in his last game against Pakistan.

Afridi was mobbed by his ecstatic team mates after plucking the return catch from Lara off his shoelaces and hurling the ball into the air in celebration.

Pakistan captain Wasim Akram later said he had urged Afridi to improve his game after some poor recent form and the "talking to" appeared to have worked.

"He got a couple of crucial wickets, fielded well and he batted well, he batted a little better with a little more sense than before," Akram told a news conference.

Afridi's dismissal of Lara appeared to shock his fellow batsmen, who fell in quick succession afterwards.

Duncan White Award for Sugath Tillekeratne?

He beat Michael Johnson at the Atlanta Olympics

Sugath Tillekeratne, who created a sensation by defeating Michael Johnson in the third heat of last year's Olympics 400 metres has been recommended as the Number 1 choice for the 1996 Duncan white Award.

Thillekeratne got the nod ahead of Susanthika Jayasinghe at the Technical Committee meeting by 4 votes to 1 has to be ratified by the Board of the Duncan White Sports Foundation.

The Village lad was considered for this prestigious award as he became the first Sri Lankan to win a heat at the Olympics which even Duncan White, though winning a silver medal failed to do.

His crowing moment was when he beat Michael Johnson who later went on to win a gold medal in both the 200 and 400 metres. Johnson's timing in the metric quarter mile was 44.62 seconds nowhere near the world mark of 43.49 seconds.

Thillekeratne when beating Johnson into second place clocked 45.79 seconds and in the next round though failing to make into the semi finals improved on his timing by 0.1 second.

Thillekeratne is seeded 27th in the world in the quarter mile, while Susanthika Jayasinghe is seeded around the 13th in the 100 metres and Sriyani Kulawansa 14th in the 100 metres hurdles event

The Duncan White Sports Foundation invited nominees from Boxing, Track & Field, Cycling, Swimming and Rifle shooting to decide the winner

The Duncan White Awards Nite will be held on March 1 Duncan White's birthday.

The Technical Committee of the Duncan White Award comprised, Vijitha Fernando, Neville Abeygunewardena, Annesley Ferreira, Shirajiv Sirimanne, Namal Pathirage and Derwin Perera.

Travelserv Golf tourney

The Travelserv Classic Stableford 1, round Golf tournament organised by the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) will be held on February 15 at the RCGC course.

The two main events will be the men's handicap limit 24 and ladies handicap limit 24 with an added competition for seniors.

This tournament is expected to attract many participants in view of the attractive prizes that are on offer by the sponsor. Five return air tickets will be awarded at this tournament which will include a return air ticket to London for the winner of the handicap limit 24 gents and a return airticket to Singapore for a hole-in-one at the 9th hole.

There would also be several weekend packages and valuable gift vouchers to the runners-up.

The tournament will commence at 6.30 am. and conclude with the awards ceremony fixed for 5.30 p.m. (AF).

Gunaratne 107 not out

By. M.E.Marikar

A glorious unbeaten 107 by Antonian skipper Tharaka Gunaratne highighted the second day's play in the Inter-School cricket match between St. Anthony's Katugastota and Dharmaraja at Katugastota yesterday.

St. Anhony's - 224 for 8 dec (A.S.Pinnaduwa 55, T.Gunaratne 46, A.Kuatunga 43 n.o; P.Seneviratne 3 for 51) and 212 for 5 at cose (T.Gunaratne 107 n.o, P.ayalath 40, Dilshan Vitharne 25).

Dharmaraja - 106 for 2 overnight contd 198 al out (M.Sakaasuriya 87, W.Herath 29; K.Werakkody 3 for 46)

Kick Off, Cash In

Asian sport is now big business. Stadium attendances and TV ratings have soared, and corporate sponsors are tripping over each other to tap sport's pulling power

Wheeling away from the goal, Feng Jiang Guo is enveloped by the roar of 50,000 fans. The Jinan stadium is packed to capacity, and Feng's 55th-minute goal has just put the home side ahead of league heavyweights Shanghai. The cheering continues to the final whistle, as Jinan sends Shanghai packing 1-0.

Far more astounding than Jinan's upset victory, however, is the size of the crowd at this September football match in eastern China. Five years ago, sports folklore has it, one game between Chinese first-division teams drew a mere 35 spectators - and the equivalent of $6 in gate receipts.

The transformation of Chinese football is just one tale in the epic success of Asian sport. With advertising money flooding in, sport is sweeping into the commercial big leagues: Indonesian badminton, Taiwanese baseball, Filipino basketball, Indian cricket, Hong Kong rugby - even Ssirum, an ancient form of South Korean wrestling - are all getting in on the act. Encouraged by soaring stadium attendances and high television ratings, consumer-product companies, Asian as well as multinational, are tripping over each other to use sport as a marketing tool.

And what a tool it is: The Asian sport industry, say executives, is now worth billions of dollars a year - rather than the mere millions it attracted at the beginning of the nineties. Even that doesn't include Japan and Australia, both multibillion-dollar markets in their own rights.

Although still in its infancy, China's Marlboro League shows how much can be achieved, and earned, in a short space of time. Teams like Jinan are now sharing match receipts of roughly 1.25 million renminbi ($150,000) per game. And that's just the beginning. Each of the league's 12 teams has lucrative sponsorship deals (some reportedly worth more than $1 million), typically with multinationals such as Nike, Ford, Kenwood and AST, whose brand names are emblazoned on the player's jerseys. Clubs also get a share of the estimated $2 million that American tobacco giant Philip Morris pays annually to name the league after its biggest cigarette brand. Then there are revenues from television: Star Sports, part of Rupert Murdoch's Star TV network, pays more than $1 million a year for rights to broadcast 22 league games. And yet more income is generated by merchandising.

Expect more to come: Asian sport is also one of the region's fastest-growing businesses. How many other industries, for instance, can match the Marlboro League's track record in attracting new "consumers"? Stadium attendances in the 1996 season exceeded 3.2 million, up from a few hundred thousands in the late 1980s.

"Chinese football is no longer an amateur sport; it's big business," says Breck McCormack, who heads the Asian operations of International Management Group, the American firm largely responsible for creating the Marlboro League. "And it's getting bigger all the time."

Behind the growth throughout Asian sport is a dynamic demographic driver - Asia's burgeoning middle class, which now has more money and more time to spend on leisure. Tens of thousands of fans now crowd into stadiums every week.

And if it's popular, it's powerful. "The logic is simple," says Kelvin Rollenhagen, vice-president of sales and marketing in Greater China for Swiss watch maker Omega, which sponsor an Asia-wide golf tour. "Asians love sport. So if you can establish a link between their favourite sport and your product, you're on a roll."

The list of companies making the connection stretches across the breadth of consumer-products industry - from beverage makers such as Coca-Cola and Carlsberg to car giants such as Ford and General Motors.

Not all sponsors are multinationals. More and more Asian companies are boosting sport-promotion budgets too, South Korea's big businesses, or chaebols, have long owned baseball and football teams - but have only recently begun to spend big money on sport. Samsung has splashed out $130 million for a giant new football stadium in Suwon, south of Seoul, while the chaebols spend anywhere from 5 billion to 12 billion won ($6 million-14 million) annually on their baseball teams. The baseball federation claims marketing revenues from its league could reach 550 billion won a year; the football federation puts its league's potential at 300 billion won.

In the Philippines, too, companies like beer giant San Miguel and food group RFM have bought into basketball teams, and pay between 35 million and 50 million pesos ($ 1.3 million-1.9 million) a year. But the money is well spent. Each team gets around 48 hours of television exposure a year - and the companies brand names feature prominently on players' shirts. That translates to less than 14,000 pesos a minute for television exposure - a bargain compared with the usual 100,000-peso-a-minute price tag for TV advertising. "There's probably no other advertising venue in which you can get the man-on-the-street to mention your brand so often," says Elmer Yanga, manager of the RFM-owned Sunkist team.

Some Asian companies are even venturing away from home to find suitable sporting events, just as they are seeking markets abroad for their products. San Miguel sponsors football in Hong Kong, and Samsung is pitching for the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. "Asian companies are becoming very sophisticated sponsors," says Chris Renner, general manager of sport-marketing company ISL. "They've learnt from the multinationals."

But the real big-timers in sport advertising are the tobacco companies - multinationals such as Philip Morris and BAT, as well as Asian firms such as Indonesia's Sampoerna and India's ITC. Tobacco money fuels South Asian cricket, Chinese and Malaysian football, Indonesian badminton and Hong Kong tennis. While sports administrators in the West may be shying away from cigarette sponsorship, many of their Asian counterparts are much less spicky. Anti-smoking activists' periodic campaigns to remove the tobacco stains from Asian sport have had little impact - even in countries where governments are imposing restrictions on smoking and tobacco-related advertising. Despite Beijing's official anti-smoking stance, for instance, Philip Morris remains the Marlboro League's title sponsor.

If governments are prepared to look the other way as tobacco finances sport, clubs and players aren't particularly choosy, either. Regardless of its origins, the sponsorship flood has left sports administrators and clubs flush with funds, allowing them to build more stadiums, invest in talent-development programmes and make sport an often highly lucrative profession.

Far Eastern

Economic Review

Lanka's challenge in Sharjah

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Sri Lanka will join Pakistan and Zimbabwe at this year's three nation champions trophy cricket tournament scheduled to be played in Sharjah in April.

It will be the 5th time that Sri Lanka will be participating in a One-Day Tournament after winning the Wills World Cup early last year.

The World Champions won the Singer four-nation tournament in Colombo, but lost in Singapore, Sharjah and Kenya.

In all 3 previous defeats Pakistan was the stumbling block for the World Champions.

The Sri Lanka team is expected to fly to Sharjah after their five week tour of New Zealand in March.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's new coach Bruce Yardley said his new assignment in Colombo will be challenging, but promised to elevate Sri Lanka further in the World cricket ladder.

The former Western Australia and Australian test off-spinner said in Melbourne that his prime aim is to make a significant contribution to Sri Lanka cricket and help them to achieve their goal of becoming the best test nation by the year 2000.

"They proved that they are kings in one-day cricket and now my task is to upgrade their position in the established game," said Yardley who has represented Australia in 33 tests from 1977 to 1983 taking 126 wickets and scoring 928 runs.

The 49 year old spinner who has an unorthodox action is expected in Sri Lanka next week.

Fernando (120) lifts Nalanda to fine win over Royal

By S.M.D.Sirisena

A fine 120 by opener Danuska Fernando enabed Nalanda to gain a six wickets win over Royal in the Inter-School cricket mach payed at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Set to make 234 runs in 51 overs, Nalanda made 235 for 5 wickets with ten balls to spare to gain this handsome win.

Nalanda who continued from their overnight score of 99 for 9 were all out for 111 in repy to Royal's first innings score of 193. Umesh Goonewardena top scored with an unbeaten 37. He was supported by Lasantha Liyanage (33) and Venura Tiakaratne (21).

Nalanda chasing 235 runs were given a fine start by opener Sanjay Rodrigo (40) and Danuska Fernando (120). This pair pit on 116 runs for the first wicket. Both batsmen were run out.

Danuska Fernando's 120 consisted of 13 hits to the ropes and came up on the board in 200 minutes. Fernando was also associated in a 76 runs partnership for the second wicke with skipper Shantha Kalavitigoda(26).

Royal - 193 and 152 for 7 dec. in 41 overs (Lasantha iyanage 33, Umesh Goonewardena 37 n.o, Venura Tiekeratne 21; Niranan Kumara 2 for 37, Dantia Dayaratne 2 for 45).

Nalanda - 99 for 9 overnight 111 a out in 39 overs (Anuk Samarakkody 2 for 24. A.Saneeva 2 for 21, Venura Tilakaratne 2 for 20, Umesh Goonewardena 2 for 10 and 235 for 4 in 49 overs (Saneeva Rodrigo 40, Danuska Fernando 120, Shantha Kalavitigoda 26, Mevan Pokurage 10, D.Dayaratne 12 n.o)

Wesley draw with St. Joseph's

Dharshika Jayakody who scored 116 on the first day for Wesley came up with a fine spell of spin bowing to take 4 for 44 in their drawn Inter-School cricket match with St.Joseph's at Campbell Place yesterday.

Wesley - 213 in 73.1 overs (D.Jayakody 116) and 195 for 8 (J. Johan 65, D. Amarasekera 39, D.Jayasekera 20; C.Fernando 4 for 72, M. Perera 2 for 34).

St. Joseph's - (overnight 98 for 3) 159 for 9 dec (M.Perera 43, C. Fernando 23; D. Jaya kody 4 for 44, M.Karunaratne 4 for 25) 114 for 4 at close (Monro Perera 34 n.o, J. Jayasuriya 34 n.o, M.Fernando 23 n.o; D.Jayakody 2 for 46)

11wicket haul by Pushpakumara

NCC trounce Kalutara; Muralitharan helps Tamils to rout Antonian SC

By Marlon Fernandopulle

Ravindra Pushpakumara claimed his second eleven-wicket match haul as NCC trounced Kalutara TC by an innings and 22 runs inside two days in a P Sara trophy game concluded at Maitland Place yesterday.

Pushpakumamara followed his first innings 5 for 65 with another devastating spell taking 6 for 43 in Kalutara's second innings for NCC to record victory before tea.The Lankan speedster had earlier taken eleven wickets (vs CCC) and ten wickets (vs Sebs) to take his season's tally to 37 wickets.

The visitors who were trailing by 187 runs in the first innings were bowled out for 165 in their second innings. Left arm medium pacer Sajeewa Silva claimed his second three wicket haul in the game as Kalutara TC folded up without muuh resistance.

A tantalising spell of right arm off spin by Sri Lankan spinner Muttaiha Muralitharan helped Tamil Union to an innings and 55 run victory over Antonian SC at the Sara Stadium.

Muralitharan claimed 7/55 as Antonians were sent crashing to 179 all out. Thushara Kodikara top scored with a well compiled half century.

Following on, the visitors fared evn worse as they were spun out for 136 runs. Tamil Union's spin trio Muralitharan (3/23) Niroshan Bandaratileke(4/41) and Upul Chandana ( 2/37) did the damage as Tamil Union coasted home to an easy victory.

Bloomfield batsmen blossomed at Reid Avenue to notch up 410/9 in reply to BRC Ôs first innings total of 283 allout.Skipper Roshan Mahanama opened the innings and led the way with a fluent 94. Together with Sanath Jayasuriya (43) he put on 105 runs for the first wicket to lay the fondation for a sizeable first innings total.

Allrounder Kumara Dharmasena followed his last week's century with another solid innings of 94. He struck 3 sixes and 10 fours in his 170 ball innings. Dharmasena added 84 for the 5 th wicket with Ruwan Kalpage (24) to ensure that the hosts pass the 400 run mark and pave the way for an outright victory.

At Maitland Place: NCC beat Kalutara TC by an innings and 22 runs.

Kalutara TC - 114 & 165 (Nilantha Tilekaratne 46 Chitraka Hettiarachchi 22 Rohita Kottachchi 52Ravindra Pushpakumara 6/43 Sajeewa Silva 3/47), NCC - 301 (Ruwin Pieris 125 Hashan Tilekaratne 21 n o Ruwan Chandana 3/41 Malinga Bandara 3/57)

At The P Sara Stadium : Tamil Union beat Antonians SC by an innings & 55 runs.

Tamil Union 370 all out Antonians SC - 179 (Thushara Kodikara 54 Yasas Tilekaratne 32 Muttaiha Muralitharan 7/55 Niroshan Bandaratileke 2/13) & 136 (Thushara Kodikara 36 Nallaiha Devarajan 23 Muttaiha Muralitharan 3/23 Niroshan Bandaratileke 4/41 Upul Chandana 2/37)

At Reid Avenue : Bloomfield vs BRC

BRC - 283 Bloomfield - 410/9 at close (Sanath Jayasuriya 43 Roshan Mahanama 94 Naveed Nawaz 49 Kumara Dhrmasena 94 Ruwan Kalpage 24 Suranga Wijeynayake 22 n o Deepal Madurapperuma 3/86 Lalith Sagara 4/131)

At Havelock Park Colts vs Singha SC

Singha SC 327 & 13/0 Colts - 379 - (Chaminda Mendis 131 Tilan Samaraweera 117 Dulip Liyanage 47 A D Bandula6/32 S Sanjeewa 2/78)

Arunasiri 5/21

(By Marcus Joseph)

Discarded Sri Lanka cap Don Arunasiri gave the selectors food for thought wiyh a fine spell of bowling to claim 5/21 for Panadura SC against Police SC at Panudara yesterday.

Panadura SC 156 & 133/2 (S K umara 49 n o B Perera 35 n o ) Police SC - 84 -(R Wimalasiri 25 D Arunasiri 5/21 S Kumara 2/28 I Gallage 2/29)

Paramanathan to represent Sri Lanka

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has withdrawn the White Badge awarded to John Rajapakse. The ITF has also written to Gihan Dalpathado that it has observed that he (Dalpathado) has done a minimum amount of chair-umpiring in 1996.

John Rajapakse is a former president of the Sri Lanka Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) and Gihan Dalpathado is a former secretary and vice president of the SLTA.

John Rajapakse has been informed by the ITF's Administrator for officiating, Ken Farrar in a fax of the decisions taken at a recent re-certification meeting of the ITF held in London.

The fax to John Rajapakse states: "After careful consideration it has been decided to withdraw your White Badge. This decision has been taken based on the fact that you have not fulfulled the minimum requirement to hold a White Badge.

The fax goes on to say that the ITF is disappointed in having to withdraw the White Badge and thanks Rajapakse for the contributions he has made to tennis officiating.

The second Sri Lankan official, Gihan Dalpathado, has been written to by Farrar stating: "In reviewing your work for 1996, it has been observed that you have done a minimum amount of chair-umpiring."

"The development and improvement in an official is directly related to the amount of work an official performs during the year."

The fax to Dalpathado adds: "While you remain an ITF certified official in 1997 (this year), the ITF feels your workload as a chair-umpire must increase substantially in the coming year in order to keep your certification and hope that your will be able to increase your commitment to officiating in 1977." - A.F.

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