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Australian specialist says...
Murali needs no surgery
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka's champion off-spinner Muttaiah Muralitharan consulted an orthopedic surgeon at the Melbourne Orthopedic Unit yesterday and was told that he will not require surgery on his injured left arm. He will instead have a special sling for four weeks.

The latest situation on Muralitharan's injury was revealed to the Sunday Times by Sri Lanka Physio Alex Kontouri who was in contact with the Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. David Young and Muttaih Muralitharan yesterday. Speaking to The Sunday Times soon after contacting the surgeon and Muralitharan, Kontouri said,"Murali will not need any surgery. He will have to use a specially made sling which will hold his left arm and apply the required pressure to bring his injured arm back to normal.

He will have to use this sling for four weeks and will not be able to move it. After four weeks the sling will be removed and Murali will have to gradually start moving his arms and do exercises to get back to normal.' According to Kontouri, Murali spent over an hour with Dr. Young and was delighted over the news that surgery will not be required. If surgery was required Murali will need at least three months to be back in action. However the off spinner will now have a chance of playing in the second test against England late next month depending on how well he progresses.

The off-spinner will remain in Australia for a further two weeks, during which time he will undergo treatment and return to either Colombo or join his team mates in England.
Dr. David Young is reported to have operated on Muralithran's right arm earlier. He had also operated on Arjuna Ranatunge, Sanath Jayasuriya and Hashan Tilakaratne on earlier occasions.

Muralitharan was injured during the Sharjah Cup final when he fielded a ball from mid-on and attempted to throw it, in an unusual manner which resulted in the player landing on his left shoulder. According to Kontouri Muralitharan has torn his ligaments that connect his left shoulder blade and collar bone.

The player who was rushed to a hospital in Sharjah was reported to have taken a couple of X-rays that revealed his injury. Although in severe pain at the Sharjah Hospital, Muralithran has rotated his right arm and told Kontouri that he should be able to bowl even with his injury to his left arm. The Pysio was simply shocked at this players courage and commitment to the game. Murali did not arrive in Colombo with the rest of his team mates but flew directly from Dubai to Australia.

Alain bags Mercedes Benz 'A' golf trophy
By Bernie Wijesekara

Sri Lankan golfer Alain Gyi, regained his old touch to win the Mercedes-Benz 'A' Division Sri Lanka Country Finals with 38 points (with a better back 9) over Jehan de Saram (38) in a rousing contest at the 11th Dimo sponsored one round 18 holes at the RCGC greens yesterday.

Played in beautiful conditions, ideal for golf, 176 golfers teed off last morning which was played in three groups. All three groups played in a handicap provided close contests. The winner in each group and the runner-up will qualify for the Regional Finals to be held at the Hyatt, Gold Coast, Australia.

Gyi, who won the RCGC Grand Prix last year was a consistent performer but since of late his form had deserted him. But yesterday he came back to his own to get the better of Jehan de Saram in a close contest. Both hail from golfing stock. Alain's father David is a former club captain and Jehan's dad Johnny were both outstanding golfers.

Group B went to S. Korean golfer Jo Hi Ko with 38 points over newcomer to the links. Capt. Navin de Silva of SriLankan Airlines. Navin, an outstanding cricketer who played for the country at junior national level, displayed some powerful drives to be in contention. He had 36 points while motor ace Ananda Jayasekera too scored 36 points. De Silva with a better back nine came second.

Navin who took up to golf nine months ago made giant strides to win the recent McBride championship. Youthful Amrith de Soysa had the longest drive with 261 yards. Fourteen-year-old Sanjaya Gunawardena showed maturity to win Group C Handicap with 40 points. There was a tussle for the second spot between Shivantha de Soysa and Thejan de Silva who deadlocked at 37. Shivantha with a better back nine, was the runner-up..

Discipline at what cost!
A Senior Sri Lankan cricketer was fined US$200 by the Manager following a breach of discipline on the eve of the Sharjah Cup Finals. According to informed sources the player was having his masseur (brought from Sri Lanka on his own expenses) in the Hotel room well after the stipulated time. The player who was asked to either pay a fine of US$ 200 or forfeit the finals agreed to pay the money.

However he was very unhappy since all he was doing was preparing for the important game ahead. Thus he made a complaint to the captain regarding the incident. The captain and the vice captain discussed the issue with the manager but it was of no avail. The player was shattered and so was his close associates in the team.

Looking back at the finals one could clearly observe that the player who performed well in the league stage did not come off as expected in the finals. The question asked is did this incident reflect on the player's performance in the finals? Discipline is a must, and should be strictly adhered too. However, if a fine was required it should have been carried out after the match and not before? After all, the ultimate objective should be to get the maximum from the players on the field. - MF

Nalin races to glory at Foxhill Supercross
By M.Shamil Amit
Nalin Perera the Supercross specialist of Sri Lanka was the toast of the crowd at the 10th Foxhill Supercross held at Diyatalawa on Friday. Nalin kept the massive crowd of over 150,000 which thronged to witness the Foxhill Supercross spellbound with his dare devil riding to win all his four events putting another top rider young Rakitha Wijetunge into second place in all the events. Nalin riding a Yamaha Y2 125 proved too much for Rakitha's powerful Yamaha YZ 400.

In the beginning of the races Rakitha surged through to the front but Nalin with a better leap at the bumps put his riding skills into full use and once he took over the lead he maintained it to win all his races convincingly. Earlier in the day the cynosure of all eyes was the race for kids Under 10 where ten were taking part.

A seven year old girl Nayanthra Fernando from Wycherly International rode her Yamaha PW 50cc to perfection overcoming the nine competitors who were all boys to win the race. Dinesh Deheragoda the ace motor car driver was the other to impress when he won both his races convincingly.

The first win being the Open Race for Truck and Jeeps. The second win of Dinesh which was the much looked forward event of the day with the best of the drivers in Sri Lanka due to participate turned out to be a one sided affair. Defending champ Aravinda Premadasa had to pull out at the start of the race due to his engine giving problems which made things easy for Dinesh driving his powerful Mitsubishi Evolution VII winning the race without any fuss.

The only lady driver of the Foxhill Shehara de Silva driving a Nissan March outsmarting most of her male competetors in a 5 lap car event and was leading till the fourth lap when she was overtaken by Prasanna Ranasinghe who eventually won the race. But the race was awarded to Shehara as Prasanna had overtaken her when the marshalls had shown the yellow flag which indicates danger and according to the rules a driver cannot overtake another competitor when the yellow flag is shown. With the result Prasanna was disqualified and placed last.

Of the teams that were battling for honours Caltex drivers were in the forefront with Rizvi Farouk, Nalin D. Perera and Prasanna Ranasinghe winning three races and being placed in seven other events. Followed by Mobil team which had two winners Rohan de Silva and Shehara de Silva. While Dinesh Deheragoda got the two wins for the Mitsubishi team.

The Foxhill Supercross was organised by the Sri Lanka Military Academy Diyatalawa in association with SLARDAR and sponsored by Caltex Lubricants Lanka Ltd for the tenth successive year.

Reconciliation via sports
By Bernie Wijesekera
In the past North and Eastern regions produced some of the finest national level sportsmen, especially in track and field sports. But the country has been torn apart due to the on-going conflict. In its wake brought forth untold misery and suffering to all on and off the field. You need two hands to clap.

Sports, too suffered in N.E. as a result
Despite all these setbacks the then Minister of Sports, Lakshman Kiriella and his Ministry officials broke the ice last year for a mass exodus of rural athletes drawn from the two regions to participate in the National Sports Festival staged in Kurunegala. Apparently, in the past no one had the courage to take up the challenge due to the trials and tribulations one had to face by inviting them. Put aside finding the funds, but the security risk and the safety of the participants.

Jaffna has produced some all-time greats, like the legendary N. Ethirveerasingham, Summa Navaratnam, W.T. Sanders, R.E. Kitto, N. Sathkunarajah and many others, who kept the Lion Flag fluttering at home and away under one banner thereby doing proud for the country.

Kiriella during his short and turbulent period did his best to heal the wounds and tried to bring about amity among all factions in the governing bodies. Inviting the youth from N.E. to participate in last year's Sports Festival in Wayamba was the stepping stone for a better future.

Distractions can cause problems
Rugby is a wonderful sport played in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It's a robust game, but if played in the proper spirit adhering to the rules could be enjoyed by all. The eyes should be more on the ball not on the opponent.
The referee at the middle plays a vital role to control the game without fear or favour. He is the sole authority with the help of the two linesmen. Unlike in cricket at national level there is no third umpire and the electronic eye to help him mostly on line decisions.

In these columns it was mentioned about mental skills and physical fitness which is vital for a Referee. George Ayoub, the Sydney-based coach-cum-trainer was here to train the referees and cadets of the newly formed Central Province Referees Society. In an interview with The Sunday Times in Kandy he emphasised on the above mentioned to be a competent Referee.

Family Chores
There is another important factor that could hamper him - Distractions, one - the attending to family commitments. He has to spend some time with the family and most important to the domestic attending chores before leaving for the game. It's very difficult to satisfy a woman in any walk of life. If there is peace and calm at home, then handling the whistle is not all that difficult. Things within him. Hunger and thirst. Not being fit - late nights as a result fatigue. Wearing uncomfortable clothes including boots. It's here the society or the Rugby Union must assist. They are doing a honorary job.

When you run on to the field make sure that you have parked all the distractions.
Make sure, not enter the field with any of the "baggage" of day to day life, but leave behind. Concentrate on the match with a peace of mind. If there are any distractions, it will mar you from the primary duty of doing a reasonably good job.

There may be human errors. It's part and parcel of the game. No one is a paragon of virtue. Forget about all other things and take the field with an open mind and allow rugby refereeing material to take precedence. Self believing in oneself is a 'must'. Like a surgeon when he enters the theatre his sole object is performing a successful surgery on the patient The Referee, too has to list all things over which he has to control. The second list all of those which you cannot control. Probably you will think the second list will be many times longer than the first. However there is no reason to worry.

So they do not control us. This technique will help you not to be bothered about everyday commitments. Here in Sri Lanka quite oftenly the Referee is not at the venue on time. Sometimes they don't turn up despite being assigned in advance, especially in school games. As a result a spectator, who has played the game is called upon to take the whistle. It's unethical. Most of the local Referees don't possess vehicles and have to depend on public transport. A country to progress economically, there should be proper mode of transport.

Sri Lanka is in the bottom of the ladder by any standards. One can't depend on public transport to be on time in any walk of life. The powers that be have shown a blind eye from whatever corner. The Referees Society must look into this and fund them so that they could come to the venue on time. Today the cricket umpires are being well paid, unlike the rugby referees. One can't be born free all the time. Call upon the participating teams to give some out of pocket expenses at least for travelling.

The Rugby Union must look into this and take remedial measures. George Ayoub, when asked said, the referees officiating the first class matches in Australia are being paid. Being a third world country the locals have to struggle to eke out a living to maintain their families put aside refereeing which they do for the love of the game unlike cricket umpires. Some umpires have given up lucrative jobs to do full-time umpiring.

When they stand in a first class match they are also put up in a five-star hotel, but not the poor rugby referee. He has to put up with a friend, whilst officiating in a game in the outstations. In the end he is being hurled with brickbats and has to be escorted.

Isipatana to celebrate golden jubilee with Int. Schools rugby 7s
Isipatana M.V., will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year on a grand scale. As part of their celebrations, the old boys have decided to organise an International Schools Rugby, 'Sevens' Tournament to be staged on Sept. 7 and 8, 2002.

According to Dilroy Fernando, the tournament organizer (has played rugby at national level and at present an international IRB referee), the response is good. It has received the blessings of the Sri Lanka Rugby Union and the Asian Rugby Union. In the last two decades the Havelock Town School has been one of the main nurseries for the development and promoting rugby. In its wake has produced some outstanding players, who have performed with distinction at home and abroad.

One of them is Hisham Abdeen, who led the Sri Lankan team on their maiden Welsh tour. Fernando said, this is the first Int. schools tournament organised in Asia. In all probability will attract schools worldwide.

The tournament will be confined to 24 teams. Already there is a healthy response. No looking back. If it becomes a success, we will strive to make it an annual contest. The aim is to provide our leading schools with stiff opposition and the visiting teams to enjoy quality rugby and see the county's tourist attractions during their stay.

It will also make further in roads in Sri Lanka and Asia and improve their skills in the shorter game. Schools 7s rugby here, is quite popular as a result, many a schools in the district has joined the scrum.

Sumalka and Farveez prop Schools XI
By M.Shamil Amit
Two half centuries by Sumalka Perera of St. Sebastian,s and Farveez Mahroof of Wesley helped Sri Lanka Schools XI to gain a slender 15 runs lead over the strong Development Squad on day two of the BCCSL Invitation Quadrangular cricket tournament game at Braybrook Place yesterday.

The Development Squad taking first lease of the wicket were able to muster only 215 with Anushka Polonowita doing the scoring by scoring 89. For the Schools XI Farveez Mahroof bowled best taking 3 for 37. Sri Lanka Schools XI in reply made 229. hinthaka Jayasinghe and Kaushalya Lokuarachchi shared six wickets between them. The Development Squad batting a second time were 32 for no loss at close.

Development Squad - 215 (Anushka Polonowita 89, Kaushalya Lokuarachchi 32, Ian Daniels 24, Indika Gallage 27, Kaushal Weeraratne 22; Farveez Mahroof 3 for 37, Malinga Surappullige 2 for 42, Ganganath Ratnayake 2 for 49, Gamini Chandrakumara 2 for 9) and 32 for no loss (Shantha Kalavitgoda 19 n.o.)

Sri Lanka Schools XI - 229 (Sumalka Perera 57, Farveez Mahroof 52, Jeevan Mendis 17, Ishan Muthalip 15, Charith Sylvester 27; Chainthaka Jayasinghe 3 for 36, Kaushalya Lokuarachchi 3 for 45, Kaushal Weeraratne 2 for 24, Malinda Pushpakumara 2 for 36)

Sri Lanka 'A' in dire straits
Sri Lanka 'A' were in dire straits against the Combined Clubs XI on the second day of another match of the BCCSL Invitation Quadrangular cricket tournament at the SSC grounds. Sri Lanka 'A' batting first were bundled out for 232 after being in a strong position on 219 for 5. In reply the Combined Clubs XI made 251 with Praneeth Jayasundara and Nimesh Perera making half centuries. Sri Lanka 'A' going into bat the second time were badly placed on 66 for 6 wickets at close.

Sri Lanka 'A' - 232 (Avishka Gunawardena 80, Bhatiya Perera 51) and 66 for 6 at close (Chamila Gamage 4 for 25)

Combined Clubs XI - 251 (Praneeth Jayasundara 58, Nimesh Perera 78 n.o.; Dhammika Perera 5 for 57, Rangana Herath 3 for 51)-MSA

UK Indoor Cricketers arrive tomorrow
The England Indoor cricket team will arrive tomorrow morning. They will be playing three Test matches against the Sri Lanka Indoor cricket team. This will be the third international team to play here within the last six months. Following the Indians and the Australians who played three Test matches each. All matches will be played at the Austasia Indoor Cricket Stadium in Thalawathugoda.-MSA

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