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COPE reprimands SLC



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. 


Sri Lanka level series with big win in second ODI 



Dushmantha Chameera wheels away in celebration

Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa  

Sri Lanka bounced back to beat Afghanistan by 132 runs on Sunday to square the three-match one-day series in Suriyawewa yesterday. It was Sri Lanka’s biggest win over Afghanistan in ODIs and makes amends for its disappointing performance in the first ODI on Friday, which they lost by six wickets,

Having set Afghanistan a stiff 324-run target, fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera dismissed the dangerous Rahmanulah Gurbaz cheaply for two runs to give his side an early advantage. Although Afghanistan put together two strong partnerships after that, the required run rate kept climbing and the Afghans lost their way trying to keep pace.

 Opening batsman Ibrahim Zardan continued his good form, posting 54 runs while captain Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored with 57 runs, but once Sri Lanka dismissed the top order there was not much resistance from the rest of the batters.From 146 for two, Afghanistan collapsed to be bowled out for 191 runs in 42.1 overs, losing their last eight wickets for just 45 runs.

Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva shared six wickets between them to seal a comprehensive win for the home side.   Sri Lanka’s batting put on a show giving the team confidence ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe this month.

Afghanistan have already qualified for the World Cup and despite the heavy defeat on Sunday, will feel positive with star Rashid Khan expected to feature in the final game on Wednesday. The leg-spinner was ruled out of the first two games with a back injury.

Half-centuries by Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka post their commanding total. While Mendis top scored with 78 runs off 75 balls with seven fours and one six, Karunaratne, who was recalled for this series to stabilize the batting, made 52 off 62 balls with seven fours. Opener Pathum Nissanka contributed 43 runs while Sadeera Samarawickrama, featuring in an ODI for the first time since 2019, made 44 off 46 balls.

There was some big hitting by the lower middle order with captain Dasun Shanaka chipping in with 23 runs while Wanindu Hasaranga finished things off in style with an unbeaten 29 off 12 balls with four fours and a six. Dhananjaya de Silva was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten 29 and three wickets.

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Tharushi wins silver, Uththara clinches bronze at Asian Junior Athletics Championships  



By Reemus Fernando  

Ratnayake Central, Walala runner Tharushi Karunaratne and Holy Cross College, Gampaha sprinter Jayeshi Uththara shared the silver and bronze medals respectively of the women’s 400 metres to give a winning start to Sri Lanka’s Asian Junior Athletics Championship campaign on day one of the event in South Korea on Sunday.

Karunaratne and Uththara reached the final as the second and third fastest from the heats held in the morning and those positions remained unchanged as they finished second and third respectively in the final.

Karunaratne clocked 53.70 seconds to finish second behind India’s Rezoana Mallick Heena who returned a time of 53.31 seconds for the gold. Uththara clocked 55.51 seconds for her bronze.

Commenting on their achievements Sri Lanka Athletics in a statement said that it was the first time in almost three decades that two Sri Lankan female athletes had won medals in a single event at the Asian Junior Championships.

The track and field governing body was referring to the gold and silver doubles of legendary Susanthika Jayasinghe and Damayanthi Dharsha who shared the gold and silver medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres with championship records at the 1994 edition held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

At the last edition held in Gifu, Japan Sri Lanka’s men’s pair of Aruna Dharshana and Pasindu Kodikara won the gold and silver medals in the men’s 400 metres.  Karunaratne who is trained by veteran coach Susantha Fernando is set to compete in the women’s 800 metres final today where she will be the favourite for gold.

She returned an Asian leading time of 2:01.39 seconds at the selection trail held in March though her preparation for the event was plagued by a sickness forcing her to skip the recently held Junior National Championships. Tharushi will enter today’s race as the third fastest 800 metres runner in the world this year.

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Dominant Sri Lanka claw back to level series




Sri Lanka came up with a dominant show with both bat and ball to stage a strong comeback and level the three-match series against Afghanistan on Sunday (June 4). Having lost the first ODI, the hosts staged a commendable comeback with their top four laying the platform for a 300-plus total which was then defended with ease as Afghanistan fell short by 132 runs.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 323/6 in 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 78, Dimuth Karunaratne 52; Mohammad Nabi 2/52) beat Afghanistan 191 in 42.1 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 57, Ibrahim Zadran 54; Dhananjaya de Silva 3/39) by 132 runs

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