Lanka gains win over B’desh and secure 3rd spot in Shield

The ISTAF World Cup a sum up
By Rangi Akbar

The much awaited ISTAF WORLD CUP 2011 took place July 21 to 24 in Kuala Lumpur with the participation of 24 Men's teams and 12 Women's teams as the first competition of a new format called super series being devised by the International Sepaktakraw Federation with wide TV coverage to popularize the game globally.

Roween Sarap (Capt)

The rationale and spirit behind the venture is not winning but how all countries could grasp the exposure and experience provided at the competition in order to carry that exposure and experience back to their respective countries.

Indeed when stronger and established teams like Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, etc; played teams from developing countries where Sepaktakraw was not popular. They cheered every point obtained by the weaker teams encouraging them to play that way continually.

The Host country Malaysia and ISTAF were of high praise for all participating teams for their solidarity displayed by participation at a high profile competition knowing well that they were up against professional teams.

In this context Amateur Sepaktakraw Association team's performance was laudable as they were compelled to field fairly experienced veterans as the younger players were not available for the competition due to injuries and Exams. They were drawn into a very tough group and undeterred by the opposition they fought tooth and nail before conceding defeat to European Champions Germany and second best team France earning the applause of the vast crowd who were behind the Lankan lads. Sri Lanka registered their first victory when they defeated Bangladesh to secure third place in their group in the Shield Competition. The captain of the Lankan team Roween Sarap suffered a knee injury half way during the game against France which somewhat unsettled the momentum the team had acquired from the game against Germany.

The team could take solace from the fact that the exposure and experience of the senior players could be passed onto the younger players and newcomers who are due to resume training in due course according to the Sect. of the Association Mr.T.F.Ousmand and Mr.T.Zahiran Hajireen Chairman of the Technical Committee.

The President of the Amateur Sepaktakraw Association Nizam Hajireen is determined to seek Sports Ministry Affiliation in the very near future when according to him the outstation Associations are stabilized and galvanized to actively engage in the game without being dormant. At present they are somewhat inactive apart from participating at the Sepaktakraw Nationals.

He also stressed that some disgruntled official of the former Sepaktakraw Federation whose identity is known to them from time to time to cause embarrassment sends anonymous petitions to various Institutions and Newspapers character assassinating the present Office-Bearers. Continuing he said:

“We had invited him to join us and continue the game of Sepaktakraw in Sri Lanka,” and in fact Nizam Hajireen is ever ready to hand over the Presidency to any one who can deliver as the Association has continued to date without state or private sector funding and it appears to be the only Association to promote sports spending their meager resources as most office-bearers are retired Public Servants who are dedicated and committed individuals seeking no personal benefits or publicity.

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