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COPE reprimands SLC

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By Saman Indrajith 

Members of the Parliamentary watchdog committee- COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) severely reprimanded the officials of the scandal-ridden Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday for their irresponsible attitudes and manner of handling finances.

The Sri Lanka Cricket officials were reprimanded at a probe conducted by the COPE at the parliamentary complex yesterday where it had been found that officials had not come there prepared with documents necessary for the audit, parliament sources said. 

The COPE investigation lasted for around one and half hours when its members decided to suspend the probe abruptly and ordered the officials to appear before the committee for its investigation in a month’s time, Chairman of the COPE Prof Charitha Herath said.

The Officials had been summoned to investigate the issues arising from the Audit Reports and Performance Reports pertaining to the financial years 2017 and 2018. Though the COPE had informed the officials to be present ready with documents, they came there empty handed, sources said.

Yesterday’s meeting presided by Prof Hearth comprised of COPE members Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Ministers Indika Anuruddha, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Nalaka Godahewa and MPs Patali Champika Ranawaka, Jagath Pushpakumara, Eran Wickremaratne, Premanath C Dolawatte and S Rasamanickkam. 

Prof Herath said that there was no financial discipline in Sri Lanka Cricket administration. The informal manner of financial administration had resulted in chaos and many other problems of the institution, Prof Herath said adding that people have expressed  their displeasure on the conduct of the cricket governing body as well as the subsequent losses of the national team in recent matches. The officials should understand that Sri Lanka Cricket is not a property of some of them but belongs to the public. 

The COPE members found fault with Sri Lanka Cricket officials for not submitting for audit documents pertaining to contracts and other deals running over Rs 240 million in the year 2017. The officials could not produce those documents at yesterday’s investigation too, parliament sources said.

The COPE members also observed that the officials failed to submit for audit documents for various incomplete projects worth Rs 511 million as at the end of 2020.

COPE members questioned officials for not collecting a Rs 29 million television rights fee for the South Africa-Sri Lanka series in 2018. SLC head Shammi Silva said that there was a CID investigation in progress on the matter. It was revealed during yesterday’s probe that the aforementioned fee had been remitted on a personal bank account of an American national of the name of Diamond Chanel. The COPE members demanded to know from officials as to how such remittance could be made, yet the officials could not respond to the investigators’ satisfaction, sources said adding that COPE Chairman Prof Hearth instructed Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Anuradha Wijekoon to conduct a separate investigation on the matter and submit a report to the COPE within a month.

COPE members pointed out that the service contract of recruiting Chandika Hathurusinghe as the head coach of the Sri Lanka Cricket team was full of errors and now Haturusinghe has moved court against the unjust meted out to him. Officials in response said that Haturusinghe had a three year contract period but he had to be removed prematurely because he could not deliver the expected results.  It was also revealed that Sri Lanka Cricket had to pay 20 million rupees up to yesterday as legal fee for lawyers to attend to the legal action filed by Haturusinghe. 

The COPE members censured Sri Lanka Cricket officials for their failure to submit its annual reports for several years. The committee ordered the Secretary to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to submit those annual reports immediately, sources said. 



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Saajida Razick clinches Under-16 girls’ title

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SSC Open Ranking Tennis

Bishops College player Saajida Razick out played Dinara de Silva to clinch the Under-16 girls’ singles title of the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Thursday.

The number two ranked Under-16 player beat the St. Bridget’s Convent player 6-2, 6-1 to claim her first title of the year in her age category.

Razick was out played by Hasali Gajaba at last month’s Colombo Championships and was eliminated in the quarter-finals at the Tennis Nationals 2020 (U16) which was played in January.

Though the finalists are from two schools they represent the same tennis school, namely the Dineshkanthan Tennis School.

In the Under-12 boys’ singles Elizabeth Moir School’s Saha Kapilasena won the title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jayin de Saram in the final.

Meanwhile, Dulkini Ranasinghe and Arushi Thomas overcame stiff resistance to advance to the Under-14 girls’ singles final. Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, while the other semi-final too was decided in three sets. Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6.

Results

Under-16 girls singles final

Saajida Razick beat Dinara de Silva 6-2, 6-1

Under-12 boys singles final

Saha Kapilasena beat Jayin de Saram 6-3, 6-4

Under-14 girls singles semi-finals

Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Jayami Thambugalage 4-6, 7-5, 10-7

Arushi Thomas beat Onali de Silva 6-7, 7-5, 10-6 (RF)

 

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Ahan, Sadeesh in record-breaking stand as Royal recommence cricket

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Under-19 Cricket

by Reemus Fernando

Captain Ahan Wickramasinghe scored an unbeaten double century and put on a record breaking partnership with Sadeesha Rajapaksha as Royal recommenced First XI cricket in style against Trinity at Reid Avenue on Thursday.

Royal reached 403 for two wickets at stumps as Wickramasinghe and Rajapaksha put on an unbroken third wicket stand of 362 runs.

According to Royal statistician M.L. Fernando ‘it is the highest stand by a Royal College pair against any opposition in more than their 140 year old history.

They broke the record held by Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra.

“In 1981 Sumithra Waranakulasuriya and Ajith Dewasurendra put on 304 runs for the third wicket. Ajith walked in when the score was 10 for two and their stand helped the school win by an innings and 62 runs,” Fernando told The Island. Incidentally, the previous record too had been established against Trinity.

According to Fernando the partnership is also a new ground record at Reid Avenue, a venue which had witnessed the rise of a number of Sri Lanka national players.

The 19-year-old Wickramasinghe who was part of the Sri Lanka Under-19 team that featured in the last Youth World Cup faced 223 balls and stroked 17 fours and two sixes in his knock.

Rajapaksha’s knock which came in 259 balls contained ten fours.

The match started on Thursday was Royal’s first official cricket encounter since the 141st Battle of the Blues played last March. Though the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association is set to start a limited overs tournament instead of the customary league tourney of innings format, schools which respect their historic traditional encounters have resumed their First XI cricket matches.

The Royal-Trinity cricket series, which according to Royal statistician had been played uninterrupted, had commenced in 1893.

Scores:

Royal 403 for 2 in 98 overs

(Ahan Wickramasinghe 210n.o., Ashen Gamage 22, Sadeesha Rajapaksha 152n.o.,)

 

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SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully

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SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021’ Motorbike and Car racing championship powered by the ultra-high speed fibre broadband and fastest mobile internet services provider in Sri Lanka SLT-MOBITEL concluded successfully amid much fanfare, on the 27th and 28th February, 2021 at the Eliyakanda racing circuit in Browns Hill Matara.

SLT-MOBITEL joined hands with the Southern Motor Sports Club (SMSC) for the 25th edition of the ‘SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb’.

The exciting racing spectacle comprised of 16 motor cycle events and 17 motor car events, on an uphill course covering a distance of 540 metres, The Bike races were conducted on 27th February and the Car races took place the next day, on 28th February, 2021.

Jaden Gunawardena took pole as the faster rider among 103 racers, marking a new race record of 33.63 seconds. Moreover, Ashan Silva made history at the car race as the first person in the event’s 25 year history to complete the race in 31.26 seconds. The race was made extra special as Ashan had in his first run beat Dilan Seneviratna’s record of 31.783 seconds.

The SLTMOBITEL Speedup Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb is a national championship event which functions under the purview of the Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), the governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka.

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