tough for the captains
Hussein gracefully bowed out of the English captaincy last week
after England's opening test match against South Africa. The chopping
and changing began after the World Cup, in March. Many resigned
and some were politely dismissed by the National Selectors. Hussein
threw it in as one-day captain of his country at that stage and
now he feels the desire, the motivation and the ambition to lead
his country have diminished and the reins have been handed over
to Michael Vaughan.
the team sport that requires the captain to play a major role on
the field, in fashioning the moves on the field. He not only has
to play the role of the player but also decides on so many vital
moves. The decision he takes could mean the difference between winning
cricket captain is a national figure today. Every country that plays
the sport at that level, views the team's performances with a lot
of passion. During the dark days when terrorism reigned in this
country for nearly two decades, when economic pressures weighed
down the nation, it was the deeds of the national team that sparked
joy and national unity. This feeling has been shared by many nations
for nearly a century now. So the burden on the man at the helm is
is additional pressure with the media breathing down the skipper's
neck. The public relations chores, personal form, family commitments,
salaries and benefits, communication with the authorities and many
other responsibilities are on a captain's list of duties. It requires
a man of steel to come out on the top.
has over and over again proved that he is a man of steel. His two
centuries against Bangladesh indicates that he is on the opposite
mental zone to Nasser Hussein. He does not see his mission as Australian
captain as accomplished. He has indicated that to defeat India in
India would be the icing on the cake. So he goes on. Ricky Ponting
meanwhile, has done an excellent job as head of one-day affairs.
Beyond doubt Ponting has an astute cricket brain. Now he waits in
the wings to take over whenever Waugh calls it a day. Simultaneously
his batting form and the manner in which he accumulates runs continues
to improve. Indeed, a very healthy position.
Graeme Smith, Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillekeratne and Brian Lara
(Given another crack at the whip) are the new men on the job. Latif
and Smith are slowly but steadily setting in to the new responsibility.
Lara has accepted the challenge with glee and seems committed to
resurrect West Indian cricket. Atapattu and Tillekeratne have not
kicked off with a bang. Both have commenced on a defensive footing
treading their way cautiously. It will be a big test when England
challenge them in November.
It must be time
to start grooming captains. Not when they get into the national
team and get established as players. Just as batsmen and bowlers
come through the ranks from under 15 stage, so too must the leaders.
The task becomes
difficult because first you have to be good enough to play. This
means a number of those who display potential as players must be
groomed. They should be given the opportunity whenever possible.
There is a learning process for a cricket captain. All those with
potential must be taught the language of cricket leadership.
A cricket team
must have a captain who is looked up to as the leader who delivers
on the field and leads by example.
clinch the Milo championship in style
Royal College Colombo lived up to the expectations of their
fans when they won the Milo A division competition
The way Royal
has performed this season is that they reserve their energy for
the later stages of the second half. This was witnessed in the Peter's,
Anthony's, Trinity and Thomian matches. Special mention must be
made about their forwards with only one senior in their ranks have
displayed excellent rugby setting up number of scoring opportunities.
Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) has indicated
that they are unable to shift dates and since its clashing with
the Bradby Shield, Royal will not take part in this year's knock
note that the Bradby is not only one of the biggest events in Asia
but also this is a much looked forward event by most of the rugby
crazy fans in our country and old boys of both schools all over
the world. Royal made a request to the SLSRFA for a postponement
for their match to August 4 but it was turned down.
did another blunder by fixing the semi-finals of this knock outs
on August 9 which will clash with the much looked forward A division
match between League champions Kandy SC and the CH & FC. To
add more problems to the fans to decide which match to go as this
seasons so many inportant matches clashed with either good club
matches or school matches.
led Royal from the front with his vast experience which he gained
in the international rugby field by touring with the senior national
team to South Korea for the Asian Games and the Asiad in Thailand.
He also played
a major role for the national team at the IRB/ARFU matches against
Arabian Gulf and the Asian Champions Japan. Undoubtedly the star
of the side was Laxman Dissanayake with his strong build, He powered
his way through most of the schools teams defencees. These two players
have already been ear-marked by leading clubs. But Laxman Dissanayake
will most probably lead the Royal side in the 2004 season. He also
posses international exposure by touring with the senior team to
Korea for the Asian Games. It is also interesting to note that Laxman
is the son of the late Dr. Lakdasa Dissanayake the drop kick specialist,
whose kicking alone humbled Mohan Sahayam's Trinity side in 1964.
With the seniors
Varun Wijewardena, Awaiz Rasheed, Shihab Bahudeen, Prabath Udugampola
and the rest delivering the goods they have had a successful season
winning the 'A' division title. Royal pulled out of the President's
Trophy knock-out Tournament.
the season with a bang when they outclassed Rajans 45-0 in Kandy.
out St .Peter's 8-6 after the Bambalapitiya side led for most part
of the match. Their flanker Palinda Wickramasinghe dashed all hopes
of the Peterites by planting a try in the dying stages of the game.
Royal lost their only game in the season to Wesley which was their
first defeat at their New Sports Complex.
The lads from
Borella who have been encountering Royal since 1958 tasted victory
after 45 years when they trounced them 22-18. This game was played
at hectic pace with both teams dishing out excellent rugby. Though
Royal made a last minute try it was too late to prevent the Wesley
side from making their first victory over the Reid Avenue school.
They met the Antonians in their third outing which was a nail biting
affair which Royal won 10-7.
This game was
played under wet conditions where the respective forwards dished
out an exhibition of good forwards rugby. Strongly built Laxman
Dissanayake crashed through the Antonian defence in the dying stages
of the game to give Royalists the victory.
leader Avaiz Rasheed who missed the first three games came back
with a sterling performance in the game against Pathana. This game
played for Major Milroy Fernando Memorial Trophy was won by the
Reid Avenue school who toppled the Havelock Town boys 19-8. They
met Trinity College Kandy in their 59th Bradby Shield first leg
Reid Avenue side went as 'hot favourates' they were made to fight
for their points and in the end they edged out the Lions 13-11.
With this win
they cleared their first hurdle in their attempt to retain the Bradby
Shield for the third consecutive year. This may not be the best
effort by Royal in the current season but they got their act together
well in the second-half.
were trailing by 0-11, they came back strongly to tame the Lions
with the help of a terrific second half rally which has always been
the strong point of the Royal team. Rajith Jayasundera planted one
try with Bahudeen converting and put over two vital penalties as
well which saw the Reid Avenue school through in the first leg of
After so many
disputes regarding the dates of their match against S.Thomas for
the Michael Gunaratne Trophy which was played at last in between
the first and second legs of the Bradby Shield encounters. They
outclassed the lads from Mount Lavinia 17-6.
Royal who won
the Milo 'A' league is coached by former Sri Lanka scrum-half C
P.P Abeygoonawardena who represented the Sri Lanka team at the Hong
Kong 7s in 1984 when Sri Lanka won the Bowl Trophy.
He also coached
the star studed Kandy SC with much success in becoming the triple
champs among clubs. Best known as C P.P , he played for Royal as
a scrum- half. He was assisted by the former Police player and the
IRB rated referee Nizam Jamaldeen.