The Sunday Times on the Web Sports
16th August 1998

Front Page|
Editorial/Opinion| Business| Plus |
Mirror Magazine

Front Page
Mirror Magazine

Big boost for Rugby Refs.

By Bernie Wijesekera

For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka Rugby three referees have been invited to officiate at the forthcoming Commonwealth, Games tournament to be staged in Malaysia next month.

The Sri Lanka Rugby Union in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Referees' Society nominated the three senior referees, namely S. W. Chang, Roshan Deen and Dilroy Fernando for consideration.

All three have been in the forefront in the local scene and refereed in all major tournaments conducted by the SLRFU, thus winning much admiration with their firm decision making. The trio has come up the hard way, with sheer devotion and dedication and richly deserve this recognition for their consistent blowing, without fear or favour.

Topping the list is S. W. Chang, the 37 year old former Trinity ruggerite, who played from 1979- 80 and later donned the Havies jersey from 81 to 83.

He took to the whistle in 1983. Since then he has blown in all club and school tournaments. He started his international career initially in the Cargills 7s staged in Colombo in 1993. In 1995 he stood in the second Test between Sri Lanka and Welsh Districts in Colombo. He blew the Asiad final in Colombo in 1990. This was followed by two stints in Singapore in 1992 and 93.

In 1994 in the Asiad held in Malaysia in 1997 was appointed to the international panel (Asian region). In the same year blew in the All-India rugby tournament, Pakistan 7s and in the under 23 Test between Thailand - S'pore, in Singapore. S. W. attended several seminars at home and abroad since 1986.

He possesses a storehouse of knowledge in rugby skills and has been a coach too besides blowing the whistle coaching the Army S. C., the Havelocks S. C. and the CH and FC. Schools like Ananda and St. Peter's benefited from his experience.

Roshan Deen 41 yrs. played for St. Peter's from 1974 to 77 and led the team in 76. He too has donned the Havelocks S. C. jersey, in 1978. He took up to the whistle in 1989. Since then has blown in all schools and club tournaments.

His first assignment in foreign soil started in 1993 in the Thailand 7s. Since this baptism he officiated in the Cargills 7s (International) held in Colombo, Two 7s tournaments in S'pore, in 94 and 95 and in the Hathai 7s in Thailand also in 95. This was followed by the rugby Asiad in 1996, Taiwan.

He also had the distinction of refereeing in England on referees exchange programme in 1997.

Roshan, attended several referees' seminars at home and abroad.

A keen student of the game he is a live wire in the Refs. Society doing much spadework for its promotion.

Old Isipatana stalwart, Dilroy Fernando the youngest of the trio (35 yrs). He captained the school team in 1982 and had a long stint with CR and FC, starting in 1982 and culminating in 87 as a gritty forward. He has helped his old school for the upliftment and further development of this sport whilst serving in various capacities, with his other fellow old boys.

Today Isipathana, is in the forefront of Sri Lanka schools rugby and feeding many talented players to the national squad.

Dilroy, nurtured with a services background, firmly believes in discipline, which has paved the way for him to go places on and off the field. He took upto the whistle in 1991. Since then has officiated in all major tournaments, be it club or schools.

His first assignment at the highest level was in 1997 in the CR and FC's 75th anniversary invitation international club tournament. The same year officiated in the Aussie Northern Territories Sri Lanka tie in Colombo.

He started his overseas assignments in the Dubai 7s in 1993. Since then it was no stopping blowing in Hongkong and in Singapore. Last year, was one of the members in the Asian Quadrangular panel to blow in Thailand.

Fernando was elevated to the international panel (Asian region), in 1997. The same year was standby referee China - Singapore, in S'pore.

He has attended seminars at home and abroad on several occasions.

Undoubtedly, Dilroy though young at heart has abundant experience with his rugby know-how, which has helped him immensely when running with the whistle from the middle.

Rugby football is on the upward trend in the Asian region and the appointment of three refs. from Sri Lanka for the above tournament is a tremendous boost for the game and for the Referees Society headed by Metha Abeygunawardena. Metha is doing much for improving the standard of refereeing, which is the main sledgehammer to keep the ball moving and for a clean game. There may be human errors, but good refereeing means exciting rugby. This was evident when Englishman Steve Savage took up the whistle in the 'decider' between CR and FC and Kandy S.C. played recently. Savage, a fine communicator must have given much food for thought for our locals in the fundamentals of good blowing.

Horlicks Trophy final

St. Peter's College Bambalapitiya will take on Maliyadeva Kurunegala in the under 15 Division 1 Inter Schools Cricket final played for the Horlicks Trophy on August 18 and 19 at Bambalapitiya.

Earlier this match was to be played on August 14 and 15 at the Ibbagamuwa Central College grounds, but was postponed due to the examinations.

St. Peter's will be led by Jehan Jayasuriya and coached by L..H..Sunil with Hiran Perera as Master-in-Charge.

On their way to the final St. Peter's beat De Mazenod, held to a no-decision by Sri Sumangala and beat St. Joseph's in the first round and in the second round beat D.S.Senanayake, Joseph Vaz and Mahinda and was held to a no-decision by Royal..

The outstanding performers for St. Peter's were, Ruchira Fernando who scored 339 runs assisted by Shamendra Gunasekera 309 runs and Jehan Jayasuriya 242 runs.

In the bowling department Indika de Silva, Jehan Jayasuriya and Ruchira Fernando captured 14 and 12 wickets respectively.

The final XI for St Peter's will be picked from:- Jehan Jayasuriya, Shamendra Gunasekera, Dever Faux, Shane Perera, Ruchira Perera, Nandula Wijeratne, Aravinda Herath, Kevin Abeyasekera, Saminda Gallage, Sujitha Mendis, Sendul Suriyaku-mara, Indika de Silva, Chamal Warnapura, Viraj Pillai, Nishad Perera, Gaffild Labrooy and Srinal Silva.

Old Joes elect sports officials

Chrisantha Fernando was elected President of Old Josephians Sports Club at its annual general meeting held recently.

Leo Wijesinghe was elected as Honorary Life Member of the club for his services rendered to the club.

The others elected were:

Patron - Rev Fr, Victor Silva.

Vice Patrons - P. C. S. Fernando, Hector S. A. Perera, Durand Perera, A. L. M. Shariff, Maurice Perera.

Immediate Past President - Felix Perumal.

Vice Presidents - Sunimal Wijeratne, Manik Pereira, A. Lucky Fernandez.

Secretary - Lalith Gamlath.

Treasurer - K. S. Sunderan.

Bar Secretary - Turlough de S. Wijeyeratne.

Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer - Ajith Puvamanasinghe.

Sports Secretary _ Hiroshan Perera.

Billiard Secreatary - Harsha de Silva.

Social Secretary - Nishantha Muhandiramge.

Committee members. Derrick L. E. Zoysa, Lucian Pereira, L. F. Luckshman Silva.

New basketball Federation

The New Amateur Basketball Federation was formed with Malsiri Perera as President to uplift the promotion of the game at district level.

Seven unions affiliated to the Sri Lanka Basketball Federation attended the annual general meeting held at the NCC pavilion.

The associations who have broken away to form the new Federation are, Colombo, Gampaha, Trincomalee, Mercantile, Badulla, Army/ Navy/Air Force, Veterans.

The first tournament to be conducted by the new Federation will be the Colombo Championships.

The others elected to this Federation are:

Vice presidents - Francis de Almeida, Brother Phillip, Wing Cmdr. Gamini Silva

Secretary - Col. Vickum Siriwardena.

No Indian cricket team for Commonwealth Games

New Delhi (AFP) India's participation in the cricket event at next month's Commonwealth Games in Malaysia appeared in doubt following a row over the composition of the team.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the apex body for all sports in the country except cricket wants to field a full-strength team for the event being introduced for the first time at the September 11-21 Games in Kuala Lumpur.

England will be the other team not participating.

Mahanama for training in Australia

Marlon Fernandopulle reporting from England

Australia's Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy has agreed to sponsor Roshan Mahanama's two week training Programme in Adelaide.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka(BCCSL) decided to send the Sri Lankan batsman although he was on Medical leave .

Soon after Mahanama was omitted from the England tour party he requested for two months' leave. However the BCCSL initially refused the two months' leave and suggested that the batsman keeps away for 7 -10 days only and also plays against the touring South Africa A team.However Mahanama was not willing to accede to the CB request and submitted a Medical Report from a leading physician in the country to which the CB agreed.

The decision to send Mahanama to Australia was taken after the batsman had indicated that he will be able to go through a training session with the Academy.The Sunday Times learns that former Austrlian Captain Greg Chappell and opening batsmen Wayne Phillips will have a close look at Mahanama during his stay with the Academy.

According to Cricket Board President Thilanga Sumathipala the Chief Executive of the Australian Cricket Academy Rodney Marsh contacted the Commonwealth Bank who are the sponsors of the Academy with regard to sponsoring Mahanama's stint in Adelaide.The Bank had no hesitation with the request and had said that it was a privilege to sponsor a Sri Lankan in the calibre of Roshan Mahanama.

According to the Cricket Board President the sponsorship for the two weeks would be around 10,000 Australian Dollars.However Mahanama's air ticket will be borne by the Cricket Board.

40 Concrete Wickets

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka under their 1998 National Development Plan has decided to set up 5 Regional Boards in Sri Lanka. Under the Infrastructure Development Plan of the National Development Committee headed by the President of the BCCSL. Thilanga Sumathipala, it was decided to put up 120 concrete practice wickets all over the country through the 5 Regional Boards. Allocation given to the Colombo Regional Board will be 40 wickets.

These wickets will be mainly constructed in under-privileged districts such as Ratnapura, Puttalam, Chilaw, Matugama, Horana, Kalutara, Gampaha, Negombo and also in the Colombo suburbs.

Cost of each wicket will be around Rs 65,000/- and the Colombo Regional Board has already started work on these wickets at Gampaha and Ratnapura Districts. The venues of the proposed wickets are a follows:

Kadolkele Grounds Negombo- Twin Wicket, St Anthony's College Wattala- Twin Wicket, Gurukule MV- Twin Wicket , Sri Pannananda National school- Twin Wicket Kahandawa Kanishta Vidyalaya- Single Wicket, Christ the King College Ragama- Single Wicket, Basilica College Ragama- Single Wicket, Galahitiyawa MV Ganemulla- Single Wicket, Karunaratna Buddhist MV Mahabage- Single Wicket, Bandaranaike MMV Veyangoda- Single Wicket, Udugampola National School Udugampola- Single Wicket , Kuruvita SC Kuruvita.- Single Wicket, Balangoda MMV- Single Wicket, Karavita Central College Ratnapura- Single Wicket, Gankanda MMV Ratnapura- Single Wicket, Eheliyagoda Esplanade Ratnapura- Single Wicket, Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya, Single Wicket, Janadhipathi Vidyalaya Mahara-gama- Single Wicket, Veluvana College Colombo 9- Single Wicket, Vivekananda MMV Colombo 13-Single Wicket, Sri Subuthi MMV Battaramulla- Single Wicket, Mahabodhi College Colombo 10-Single Wicket, Moratuwa MMV Moratuwa- Single Wicket, Wijerama MMV Nugegoda- Single Wicket, Siddaratha MV Thalapathpitiya- Single Wicket, Thakshila Central College Horana - Single Wicket, Sri Piyarathana Padukka, Single Wicket, Bandaragama esplanade, Bandaragama esplanade Bandaragama, Single Wicket St. Andrews Malay SC Colombo 2, Twin Wicket, Baduraliya SC Baduraliya- Twin Wicket, Kalutara Esplanade Kalutara, Twin Wicket.

This project will be completed before 30th September, says Anura Weerasinghe Secretary of the Colombo Regional Board.

The Regional Board has made arrangements to reconstruct the centre turf wicket at St. Anthony's College, Wattala.

Rover Pinpoints

Lost Licences?

Mismanagement on the part of officials attached to the Basketball Federation of Sri Lanka has prevented referees qualified in the Asian region from blowing in matches. These officials have neglected to renew the licences Rover learns.

When these referees asked the officials each one pointed at the other. And that was that. What absolute nonsense?

Captain forever?

Who is this captain of a national sports body going around saying that he will captain the Sri Lanka team until he finds somebody fit to hand it over to,

Past sportsmen and women are wondering how this captain has got the power to do so, when the selection committee has all the powers to pick a person of their choice.

Is the selection committee being dictated to by this captain?

Rover scores

Rover scored for the third time in predicting that a leading Umpire in Sri Lanka was to be appointed as the Director of Umpires with a handsome salary.

How come colours?

It was boastfully stated that all swimmers and divers who took part in the 12th Asia-Pacific Age Group Championships in Malaysia, would be given Sri Lanka colours.

How could this happen, when the swimmers and divers took part under the tag of NAASU and not Sri Lanka.

Francis as Director

Cricket umpire K.T. Francis has been appointed Director of Umpiring by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka. Francis took up this position on August 1.

The Cricket Board has accepted the internationally known 'Umpiring Evaluation System' which will be organised by Director of Umpiring, K.T. Francis.

Francis is a well-known umpire with international experience.

He has served in the National Grid International Panel of Umpires appointed by the International Cricket council since 1994.

Are you encouraging outstation rugby?

How come Kandy SC players were made to grope in the dark!!

On Saturday there was a paper article informing about pool practices on the following day, Monday.

At this juncture KSC had come down to Colombo to play a game in Colombo and returned home during the early hours of Sunday.

Since they could not get leave, due to short notice they could not come back to Colombo on Monday.

Again on Tuesday, they were informed to come for trials on Wednesday after a day's notice.

Due to short notice, they could not make it and requested the selection committee for a later date.

Kandy SC has been coming down on five consecutive weekends (nine times ), so far for their engagements in Colombo.

It's ridiculous to give them a day's notice to come down for a trial or otherwise.

As a result it deprived them the opportunity for inform "Sevens" players, of the calibre of Indrajit Bandaranayake, Hettiarachchi and Basnayake of being considered for selection apparently due to no fault of theirs.

It's given to understand, that only two selectors were present on Wednesday, to pick the team.

If the selectors concerned couldn't make it, how could one expect outstation players to make it, is the talking point in the rugby circles?

This sort of short notices are not going to be a source of encouragement for the outstation players, who are striving to promote and develop this beautiful sport where Sri Lanka has shown vast improvement in recent times.


I wish to clarify two erroneous news items appearing in The Sunday Times of the 2nd Aug. 98 regarding our Association (NAASU).

Air ticket prices - According to a new law introduced by the Ministry of Tourism, Travel Agents can quote only the approved minimum fare to any destination, as such we quoted the approved minimum fare to the parents. Some parents claimed they could get cheaper prices - but were unable to give us a written quotation as it was an illegal offer and the Travel Agent concerned would have been fined by the Director of Civil Aviation.

On representations made by us to the Ministry of Sports they recommended to the Ministry of Tourism that our team be given discounted tickets on AirLanka, even though we were not entitled to same, as we were not a National Team but a NAASU Team. That is the reason for the discrepancy between our original price and the AirLanka discounted price.

Also no NAASU official has resigned since our last AGM.

Sports Editor's Note

We referred to two former administrators who were told to resign, not the present, which means earlier, and stand by the story.

Sports in Brief

Wattala Anthonians cager champs

Thushara Jayanath was picked the best player in the St. Anthony's College, Wattala, Old Boys' Association Invitation Inter Schools' Cager tournament concluded at the school's courts at Wattala.

St. Anthony's College beat D. S. Senanayake by a slender margin of 4 points 47 to 43 in the final. The Anthonians led 23-12 at half time.

Navy Wrestling, Judo, Karate

Sri Lanka Navy Inter-Command Wrestling, Judo and Karate Championships will be held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on August 16.

This event is being revived after 4 years as a part of the overall programme to revive sports in the Navy by Vice Admiral Cecil Tissera, Commander of the Navy. Several National Poolists are expected to participate.

Book on swimming out on August 17

The former Royal, Swimming, Diving and Water-Polo player, Mahinda Liyanage has written a book on Swimming and Water Sports. It will be out on August 17 at a ceremony at the Sri Lanka National Library Services Board Auditorium at Independence Avenue, Colombo 7 at 4.30 p.m.

The chief guest will be the Minister of Sanurdhi, Youth Affairs and Sports, S.B. Dissanayake.

The other special invitees for the occasion will be Hemasiri Fernando, the President of the National Olympic Committee, Henry Perera, the President of the National Amateur Aquatic Sports Union and Rizvi Zain, the National Swimming Coach and Head Coach, Royal College. Liyanage is a former National swimmer, Diver and Water-Polo player who represented Sri Lanka in international swim meets.

He is also a qualified Life Saver and a FINA water polo referee of the Asian Amateur Swimming Federation and on FINA International panel diving judge.

Track cycling again

The National Track Cycling Championships is to be revived after a lapse of 14 years by the Cycling Federation of Sri Lanka and sponsored by Mitsui Cement which will be held on Friday August 14 at the Sports Ministry grounds, Racecourse on the grass track.

This event has the blessings of the Department of Sports Development of the Ministry of Sports.

For the first time cycling has been included at the 24th National Sports Festival as the 25th discipline on August 22 to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

The best cyclists men and women will be awarded the Mitsui National Track Cycling Challenge Trophy.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

More Sports

Return to Sports Contents Page

Sports Archive

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Business| Plus | Mirror Magazine

Hosted By LAcNet

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.