Four former Presidents of Sri Lanka Cricket; Ana Punchihewa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Vijaya Malalasekara and Sidath Wettimuny along with some prominent and well respected individuals moved the Appeal Court to change the governance and voting structure of Sri Lanka Cricket.
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka Cricket hierarchy that came in for a severe censure last week by the Parliamentary watchdog COPE has received another blow with a group of well respected individuals moving the Appeal Court requesting for a restructure of the governance and voting structure of Sri Lanka Cricket.
The group of petitioners includes some high profile individuals like world’s highest wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan, former SLC Presidents Ana Punchihewa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Sidath Wettimuny, former captain Michael Tissera, Sri Lanka’s former High Commissioner to Australia S. Skandakumar, eminent President’s Counsel Dinal Philips and many others.
The petitioners point out that cricket is now a million dollar business and the alarming decline of the sport in Sri Lanka can be only addressed through a complete revamp.
It has been pointed out that a new constitution needs to be put in place for cricket with the support of the ICC bringing independence, integrity, transparency and accountability.
The petition has gone onto prove that the government can be told to act with regards to the sports body through an intervention of judiciary as it happened in India whereas a direct involvement by the government could result in the suspension of SLC by the ICC like it happened in Zimbabwe.
The well researched petition goes onto show that from the 1st of January 2016 to 31st January 2021, the national cricket team has lost 118 of the 194 international matches they have been involved in with a winning percentage of 30%. The root cause of the decline in the sport is poor governance, it has been argued.
The petition goes onto show that the system we have in place encourages office bearers of SLC to satisfy the clubs – their vote base and further points out that that SLC is a body of the clubs, by the clubs, for the clubs. A more appropriate name for SLC, the petition says, would be Cricket Clubs of Sri Lanka (CCSL).
On gender equality it has been pointed out that the national female population is 52% but the role of women in governance of the sport is zero.
Several former greats have pointed out that a diluted First Class tournament is not helping cricket in Sri Lanka but SLC has failed to act as reduction of First Class teams would anger their vote base; clubs. It is strange that how for a population of 22 million Sri Lanka has a monumental 24 First Class teams and comparatively for a population of 25 million, Australia has just six First Class teams.
Another pertinent point to come out of the petition is how India with a population of 1.3 billion has a vote base of just 38 whereas with a population of 22 million, Sri Lanka has 146 votes at the cricket elections.
The petitioners point out that they intend to drag SLC into the 21st century from its anarchic amateur practices of the 19th century.
Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa and the Executive Committee of SLC have been named as respondents in the petition. If the Sports Minister, who has promised to address cricket’s decline, agrees that changes need to be done at the next court hearing, cricket is set for a massive revival.
SLT-MOBITEL Southern Eliyakanda Hill Climb 2021 Concludes Successfully
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.
Wenuka wins all Thomian final to clinch U16 boys’ singles title
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
by Reemus Fernando
Wenuka Kithnula clinched the Under-16 boys’ singles title with a win over top seed Zaidh Zihar at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Wednesday.
In an all Thomian final Kithnula scored 7-5, 6-4 against Zihar, who had to be content with the runner up title for the second consecutive time within weeks.
For Kithnula, it was the first title in this age category after being eliminated in the quarter-finals of two consecutive tournaments this year. He has however tasted title victory in lower age category events at the SSC Open Raking Tournaments before.
Both Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula have been performing consistently since tennis resumed following a long hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The S. Thomas’ College players were also among the top contenders when they were competing in the Under-14 age category often sharing the champion and runner up titles between them.
At the Tennis Nationals 2020 which was played in January this year, Kithnula was eliminated by eventual champion Kiran Viravanathan in the quarter-finals of the Under-16 tournament. Zihar reached the semi-finals in that tournament.
At the last month’s Colombo Championships, Kithnula was knocked out in the quarter-finals, while Zihar reached the final where he was beaten by Viravanathan.
Meanwhile, in the Under-16 girls’ singles, Dinara de Silva and Saajida Razick from Dineshkanthan Tennis School are set to meet in the final as they won their semi finals.
In the Under-14 girls’ singles Arushi Thomas, Onali de Silva, Jayami Thambugalage and Dulkini Ranasinghe advanced to the semi finals.
Under-16 boys’ singles final
Wenuka Kithnula beat Zaidh Zihar 7-5, 6-4
Under-16 girls’ singles semi-finals
Dinara de Silva beat Anithra Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-4
Saajida Razick beat Dinethya Dharmaratne 6-2, 6-3
Under-14 girls’ singles quarter-final
Arushi Thomas beat Melasha Randini 7-5, 6-4,
Onali de Silva beat Inuki Jayaweera 1-6, 6-2, 13-11
Jayami Thambugalage beat Brinda Fernando 6-3, 6-1,
Dulkini Ranasinghe beat Akeesha Silva 3-6, 6-4, 10-8
Top seeds Zihar, Wenuka book final berths
SSC Open Ranking Tennis
Top seeds Zaidh Zihar and Wenuka Kithnula advanced to the final of the Under-16 boys’ singles as they won their respective semi-final matches at the SSC Open Ranking Tennis tournament in Colombo on Tuesday.
Zihar, the top seed, beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5 to book his second consecutive Under-16 boys’ singles final berth. Zihar was the runner up to Kiran Viravanathan at the last month’s Colombo Championships.
The second seed Kithnula ousted Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his first final after being eliminated in the quarter-finals at both the Colombo Championships and the Nationals (U16) in January.
In the Under-12 boys’ singles Saha Kapilasena edged out his bother Tyee 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to book a place in the final. Kapilasena will now meet Jayin de Saram who won his semi final against Aahil Kaleel (7-6, 2-6, 10-5).
In the Under-16 girls’ singles, third seed Dinethya Dharmaratne secured a semi-final place against number two seed Saajida Razick when she overcame a set defeat to beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8. Razick advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nesangi Hemakumara.
In the other semi-final Anitra Dharmaratne is set to meet Dinara de Silva who beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7. Anitra Dharmaratne secured her spot when she ousted top seed Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10.
Under-16 boys’ singles semis
Zaidh Zihar beat Hasal Ahangama 6-4, 6-5
Wenuka Kithnula beat Ransath Peiris 6-2, 6-2
Under-16 girls’ singles quarter-finals
Dinethya Dharmaratne beat Nelini Jayasuriya 3-6, 6-2, 10-8
Saajida Razick beat Nesangi Hemakumara 6-2, 6-2
Dinara de Silva beat Ruvi Lewkebandara 0-6, 6-1, 10-7
Anitra Dharmaratne beat Dewmini Warnasuriya 6-2, 1-6, 12-10
Under-12 boys’ singles semi-finals
Saha Kapilasena beat Tyee Kapilasena 3-6, 6-2, 10-6
Jayin de Saram beat Aahil Kaleel 7-6, 2-6, 10-5
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