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“A Doyen of Sri Lanka Hockey”

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“Just call me DENNIS” a retrospective on Hockey in Sri Lanka will be launched on the 13 of February.

On Saturday the 13th of February the Book – “Just call me DENNIS” a retrospective on Hockey in Sri Lanka will be launched at the BRC, Havelock Park, Colombo 05, organized by the Mercantile Hockey Association.

Dennis a doyen of hockey in Sri Lanka has served the sport at it its best and leaves a legacy to inspire a generation of future hockirites.

Double International Chandra Schaffter in his message, mentions “There is nobody connected with the game of hockey as I have known it over the past 60 years who contributed more towards this than my friend Dennis De Rosayro. Dennis rose high in the ranks of club hockey players and is one to be respected.”

The book captures the interesting feats of hockey greats and wizards of the sticks in a pictorial story having played against immortal legends like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh and Leslie Claudias. Records on Sri Lanka games with Olympic teams and the Asian circuit. The inaugural Hockey Nationals and its history to date is useful material for the future custodians of the game in the country.

HE represented Sri Lanka in the Corera Cup, which was virtually an annual tournament between Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Bangalore states. This was the level of Sri Lanka hockey then.

After having retired as Shipping Manager after a 40 year stint with Heath & Company, Dennis also served with the Janashakthi Group and into full retirement from Idac (Pvt)Ltd.

83-year-old Dennis, a doyen of the sport was the President of the Mercantile HA from 1978 to 2007 and still going strong, was the first captain of hockey at St. Benedict’s College in 1954. He played for BRC from 1954 to 1978 and All-Ceylon as a schoolboy against the Indian Olympic team in 1960 and against Pakistan in 1961, having represented Ceylon before in 1955. He was also a member of the Colombo Malay Cricket Club hockey team that toured South India, the first overseas hockey tour by a club in 1971 which comprised of some hockey greats. Serves currently as the Patron of the Burgher Recreation Club and an Honorary Life Member of the Mercantile Hockey Association.

His involvement with the game did not end when he retired as a competitive player, instead he continued to coach and or manage the BRC, MHA, CHA and Sri Lanka teams. Dennis goal was to give back to the sport he so loved so much. Numerous students have attested that Dennis has shaped their work ethic. His life and work were an example to the youngsters, many of whom would go on to achieve great things.

The book relates interesting anecdotes of his career. One of the highlights of his college career came about when he led the college team that played a hockey match against the prestigious Burgher Recreation Club(BRC) team in 1954. The BRC team had seven players who had international experience, including Asia’s Best Goalie, Freddy White, as well as Hugh Aldons and Ivan De Krester, all of whom captained Sri Lanka in later years. The accomplish team was unable to beat the school team and the match ended in a 4-all draw. Young Dennis surpassed all expectations netting the ball three times against this star team that day.

Captaining and coaching the Colombo Hockey Association(CHA) team in their tours to participate in the All-India invitation tournaments in late 60’s and early 70’s, he recalls the “Father of Hockey” the late Mr. Walter Jayasuriya who Managed the team.

Former Sri Lanka Hockey Captain Subash Fernando of Old Bens fame quotes – ” I know Stanley(Fernando) was trying his best to emulate you and I followed him. You were one of the greatest and stylish players I have ever seen. Unfortunately, we played on opposite sides. But you will not know how much we adored you as a hockey player and most importantly as s good citizen. If we had not seen you play, I do not think we would have reached half the standards we did. “

A legend by no means in the field of hockey in Sri Lanka, has dedicated a life time to the sport he so cherished. A strong believer of performance with integrity. During Sri Lanka’s historical tour between December 1959 and February 1960 to South and North India, ‘Dhayan Chand’, famously known as the ‘best ever player’, and his equally famed younger brother ‘Roop Singh’, came out of retirement to play for Jhanshi District Hockey Association. Their match against Ceylon drew over 10,000 fans. The Ceylon Captain Mylvaganam magnanimously asked Dennis to toss the coin and play center half in the match, which ended in a nil-all draw. After the match Dhayan ranked Ceylon about No. 05, in the world after India. Pakistan, East Germany and Holland, along with England and Malaysia and some continental countries.

The first book of its kind of Sri Lanka Hockey compiled provides readers with some in depth history of hockey in Sri Lanka, twisted with some hockey anecdotes to indulge in interesting reading. The book about Dennis and his adventourous journey in parallel captures periods the time the game was held in high esteem in the country and its formal administration to its current status. Sri Lanka having once enjoyed the position of third challenger in the Asian region to India and Pakistan was highly respected hockey playing nation then. Of course, the course of the game has changed with time, however India and Pakistan continue their challenging positions in the world. The game is continued to be played widely in the country.

Say’s Dennis; ” I wish to a leave a legacy for the nation on which future building blocks could be explicitly planned to bring back the glory of the game once enjoyed as a nation and slot Sri Lanka back as a challenger once more”.

Dennis has contributed his skill and talent for the benefit of the nation, a true son of Sri Lanka. The Book ‘Just call me Dennis” is a chronicle of this episode.

 

 



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The brand of cricket we want to play is free and relaxed:  – Sangakkara

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The 2008 IPL champions employed five opening pairs in the previous edition.

As many as five opening pairs were experimented with by the Rajasthan Royals last season. Ahead of their season opener against Punjab Kings, Sanju Samson, the newly-appointed captain of the franchise says that this year around, more stability can be expected from the side that chopped and changed so much to the extent of being unable to settle on a side until much later in the tournament.

“Myself and Sanga will try to give the best combination,” said Samson on Sunday (April 11). “From my point of view, it’s crucial to give an individual or a pair of opening partners enough time in the tournament. So, I think a bit of stability will be seen in this tournament. The rest it depends on how we go.”

Much has been debated about the batting order. Whilst Jos Buttler’s record at the top speaks for itself, Ben Stokes has been their go-to man for the opening slot. With Robin Uthappa gone this year, will they persist with Stokes at the top with Yashasvi Jaiswal, or will they promote Buttler up to a position he loves? Without committing too much either way about their preferred sequence, Kumar Sangakkara, the director of cricket at the Royals said the combination will be a decision they will undertake with the “full buying of the players involved”.

“We look to finalise (combinations) later on today before we go for training and we want we want to keep our options open,” said Sangakkara. “The most important thing is that players are communicated to clearly as to what their roles are and get them to commit to it.

“What we planned to do is get a balanced side, everyone available, a full squad, try and have a consistent philosophy of cricket. The brand of cricket that we want to play is quite free and relaxed. Also in terms of preparing well and executing well… to get everyone prepared to think and to be problem-solvers. To think for themselves. It helps Sanju a lot on the field when people are thinking for themselves and know what’s going on. It builds a lot of trust within the group as well. Everyone has individual strengths that they bring into the side which are highly valued. We try and build that into a good unit where everyone knows what they’re doing, what their value is and what their roles are. Then we’ll go and try to play some good cricket.”

An overhaul in how the Royals went about their business was needed, having had finished last in 2020. Rajasthan just couldn’t crack the code of winning matches consistently and a lot of it had to do with the lack of the team striking together. There were moments of brilliance before they fell back.

“We have a lot of match-winners who are absolutely wonderful players…in Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia, our fast bowlers. The key is to have different people who do something a little bit special on the day and the point of a great team performance is to have your regular players performing consistently and once in a while. Someone stepping in to do a little bit extra. If it’s a different player most of the time and not the same person, it’s even better.”

Another area of concern last year was the lack of support from the contingent of pace bowlers around Jofra Archer, who was named MVP. Archer missing the first few games will be a big blow for Rajasthan. Sangakkara, however, threw his support behind the inexperienced Indian bowlers in their squad to come good.

“I think inexperience sometimes can work for you and against. Inexperience would probably mean that the opposition has not really seen them either, but fast bowling, specially in the IPL is not an easy task and we saw that yesterday as well. Sometimes the wickets are really good for batting or most of the wickets are, so you have to be quite skillful. So I’m pretty confident that our young fast bowlers will step up. We’ve had Kartik Tyagi who did very well last season in patches in various phases of the game and this year we have a new additions in Kuldip Yadav and Chetan Sakariya. So I think it’s about you know keeping them again focused on what their job is really and get them trained and prepared to execute all the different deliveries and scenarios and match plans for the opposition. But at the same time concentrate in giving them confidence of their own strengths.”

When asked if despite all his years in the game, the highs and lows, he feels pressure of expectations in his new role, Sangakkara didn’t mince his words.

“I think there are always expectations and pressure. You can’t get away from that and you got to accept it. And the only way you deal with it is really, you know ticking off the boxes that you want in terms of training, in terms of preparation, getting combinations right. Get the players involved take ownership of not their own roles, but also the team plans and that makes things a lot easier. You can’t guarantee what will happen on the day of a match, but what you can guarantee is that you can go out and control what you control. Take a great attitude out, and Sanju always talks about playing with passion and with heart. I think that’s a very important point as well. That can really lift a team to do some special things out there when the pressure is on.

“So for me personally, know my job is to get everyone ready and once they get on the field my job is actually secondary. It’s about them going out there and expressing themselves playing really good smart cricket. But we wait and see. I think everyone’s really looking forward to starting the tournament,” he added.

 

 

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Sheran’s back to back half centuries help Joes

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Under-19 Cricket

Back to back half centuries by Sheran Fonseka stood in good stead for St. Joseph’s as they forced a draw to their First XI cricket encounter against S. Thomas’ at Darley Road on Monday. Thus they retained the Gilmore Jayasuriya Trophy which they won under the captaincy of Sameera Weerasinghe in 2009.

Commencing from 344 for nine overnight, the Thomians declared their innings after Yasiru Rodrigo completed his century, an unbeaten 103 runs.

It was Rodrigo’s day as he followed up his century with a three wicket haul to trouble the home team.

The Joes lost wickets at regular intervals but Fonseka’s contribution helped them post 176 for nine wickets declared. Soon they were asked to follow on but the open batsmen put up a healthy stand to prevent a repetition of first innings disappointments.

Fonseka scored an unbeaten 57 runs and was involved in a first wicket stand of 123 runs with Sadeesh Jayawardena who scored 62.

Meanwhile the match between Mahanama and St. Anne’s ended in a draw at Kurunegala after the home team posted 164 for nine wickets in reply to visitors’ 169 runs.

Match Results

S. Thomas’ V St. Joseph’s at

Darley Road

S. Thomas’ 344 for 9 overnight 350 for 9 decl. in 103 overs (Anuk Palihawadena 54, Ryan Fernando 71, Thenuka Liyanage 36, Yasiru Rodrigo 103 n.o., Gunaratnam Caniston 53; Dunith Wellalage 3/111, Shenuka de Silva 2/13)

St. Joseph’s 176 for 9 decl. in 51 overs (Sheran Fonseka 92, Mithira Thenura 20; Yasiru Rodrigo 3/48, Gunaratnam Caniston 3/42, Anuk Palihawadena 2/48) and 127 for 1 in 31 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 62, Sheran Fonseka 57n.o.)

Mahanama V St. Anne’s at Kurunegala

Mahanama 169 all out in 71.2 overs (Sadishan Chamodya 22, Pavan Rathnayake 81, Sachira Weliwatta 23; Pasindu Tennakoon 4/51, Manaan Muzammil 2/49, Kalindu Wijesinghe 2/28)

St. Anne’s 79 for 1 overnight 164 for 9 in 69 overs (Dilhara Deshabandu 39, Kavindu Ekanayake 43, Pivithu Fernando 22, Shevan Nimantha 20; Devindu Kekirideniya 4/57 ) (RF)

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Dahamdi, Esha win Round Robin stage

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Sri Lanka Girls U-14 Chess Grand Prix 2021

Sanudula Dahamdi of Musaeus College and Esha Pallie of Visakha Vidyalaya were the winners of Group ‘X’ and ‘Y’ respectively at the end of the Round Robin stage of the Sri Lanka Youth Girls’ (Under-14) Chess Grand Prix 2021

Dahamdi was outstanding right throughout as she remained unbeaten to score nine points in nine games. Pallie won Group ‘Y’ with a score of 7 ½ points.

Dahamdi beat L.H.M.G.S. Somarathne, Nemindi Linaya Ramanayake and Sasmi Sithumsa in the second session to remain unbeaten.

Esha had a tough competition in last three rounds with a win against Piyumi Uthpala Amarathunga and a draw against Onwli Vithanawasam. She lost her encounter Tenuli Dahamna Rathnayake.

Nemindi Linaya Ramanayake( Central College, Veyangoda), Tharuli Vihansa Ranganath(Yoshida International School) and Oshini Devindya Gunawardhana (Pushpadana High School) scored 5.5, 5.0 and 5.0 respectively and managed to win second, third and fourth places in Group ‘X’ respectively by selecting to the quarter finals.

Oneli Vithanawasam (Lyceum International, Wattala), Desandhi Dhihansa Gamage (Sirimavo Bandaranayake BV) and Tenuli Dhahamna Rathnayake (Gothami Balika Vidyalaya) were placed second, third and fourth in Group ‘Y’.

Esha Pallie, Oneli Vithanawasam, Desandhi Gamage and Dhahamna Rathnayake are now in the quarter-finals.

The top four players in Group ‘X’ and ‘Y’ will play a knocked out rounds.

The Youth Girls Chess Grand Prix 2021 which commenced on April 2 with 18 leading Girls Under 14 Chess players will culminate on April 16.

Quarter Finals

A – Q/F 1 – X winner V Y 4th – Dahamdi V Tenuli

B – Q/F 2 – Y Winner V X 4th – Esha Pallie V Oshini

C – Q/F 3 – X Runner Up V Y 3rd – Nemindi V Desandi

D – Q/F 4 – Y Runner Up V X 3rd – Oneli V Tharuli

The Chess Federation of Sri Lanka is offering Rs. 55,000/= as cash awards for the winners.

The event is held according to the strict health guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and The Medical Unit of Ministry of Sports.

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