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SLADA to employ law enforcement officer to fight doping in sports



by Reemus Fernando

Obtaining the service of a qualified law enforcement officer and joining hands with the Director General of Health Services and the Public Health Inspectors are among strategies that the Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency is going to employ to fight the use of prohibited drugs in the sports field.

Dr. Seevali Jayawickreme, Director General SLADA expressed these views in an interview with The Island as his agency marked its seventh anniversary on Sunday (15).

There is wide belief that sportsmen both professional and nonprofessional are being introduced to performance enhancing drugs at private gyms but perpetrators often go scot-free for the want of a proper system to monitor unauthorized supplement use.

“Director General of Health Services has more powers than us in dealing with issues pertaining to substances that are available in the market. So we are going to have a MOU signed with the Director General of Health and get the services of PHIs to work hand in hand with us to tackle the problem,” said Jayawickreme.

There have been several high profile athletes who have been found positive for banned substances during the past few years. Though bans and provisional suspensions have been imposed on athletes the real perpetrators have not been brought to justice.

“Up until now no athlete found positive for banned substances has divulged the source from which he or she had obtained the banned substance. For three years we have been trying to fill one of the key posts which had remained vacant in our carder, the post of Director Implementation and Enforcement. There is an Assistant Director post as well. We are going to get the service of a law enforcement officer to fill this post soon. The three ‘I’ s. That is information, inelegance and investigation issues will then be addressed by him.”

Jayawickreme said introducing a study on anti doping to the subject of physical education in schools curricular and vocational institutes was also in the pipeline. “We are having discussions with the National Institute of Education to include a study on anti-doping into the school curriculum. As a first step we are going to propose to include them in the grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and O/L classes. We hope to have them by 2022.”

SLADA’s actions too have been hampered by the Covid 19 pandemic, with the anti doping officials conducting fewer tests this year but Jayawickreme said that his institute had conducted awareness programmes when they were possible.



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Mathews regrets Mankading of Buttler



by Rex Clementine 

In an interview with our sister paper ‘Divaina Online’ former captain Angelo Mathews admitted that he regretted Mankading of England batsman Jos Buttler in 2014 at Edgbaston. This was the tour where Mathews had skippered Sri Lanka to an ODI and Test series wins in England. The teams had come into the final ODI with the series squared 2-2 and everything to play for. Buttler was run out for 21 as he was backing up too far at the non-striker’s end by off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake.

The umpires asked captain Mathews whether Sri Lanka were serious in their appeal. Mathews answered in the affirmative and Buttler had to go. But there was a storm of protest in England saying that Sri Lanka had contravened the Spirit of Cricket. Many believe that Mankading is unsportsmanlike as batsmen leave the crease unwittingly and not in a bid to gain undue advantage.

Mathews was adamant at that point that  he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, but now seven years older and a veteran of 100 Tests, the former captain regrets the decision.

“It was a spur of the moment thing. In hindsight we shouldn’t have done it. I could have told the umpires that I’m withdrawing the appeal.  Yes, I regret the decision. But we had warned Buttler several times. Not only at Edgbaston but even in the previous game at Lord’s,”  Mathews said.

There was more  to it than what everyone had witnessed that night. Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu is meticulous with his planning and he had observed in the previous game that Buttler converting many singles into two and twos into threes. It had been observed that Buttler had run ten twos in the last ten overs in the previous game. Marvan had given the thumbs up for Mankading of Buttler.

The incident was not well received in England. Mathews was a public enemy and a much despised figure. Not even David Warner and Steve Smith after the sandpaper gate had received such a hostile reception in England during Australia’s Ashes campaign.

Mathews and England captain Sir Alastair Cook had exchanged words during the game and Cook minced no words at the post match media briefing. “There’s a line and that line was crossed here. I’ve never seen it before in the game and I was pretty disappointed by it. As captain of your country, there are certain ways you want your team to operate. And obviously he is fine with it. He has said he will do it again.”

Sri Lanka’s Manager at that point was the equally eloquent Michael de Zoysa and he queried, ‘Who marks those lines.’

Michael was also careful to protect his captain. Instead of sending Mathews for the post series media briefing as was the custom, he brought down Mahela Jayawardene. MJ was diplomatic. “We had warned Buttler at Lord’s and we warned  him in the 42nd over in this game and when he did it again in the 44th over, we ran out of options,”  he said.

Buttler  had  been a serial offender and had been dismissed backing up too far in the IPL as well with Ravichandran Ashwin effecting the run out.

The MCC, the guardians of Cricket’s Laws put an end to the debate with a tweak in the Law in 2017. Earlier, it had been suggested that the batter could take off when the bowler landed his back foot. But now the non-striker can take off only after the bowler has released the ball and it seals the deal.” The MCC Cricket Committee that introduced the change included some of the finest brains in the game  like Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting and  Brendon McCullum.

What does the term Mankading means? Well, Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad had famously run out Australia’s Bil Brown in 1947 in Sydney for backing up too far after multiple warnings. There was controversy but Australian captain Sir Don Bradman had defended Mankad’s actions. The press had a field day and gave birth to a new English word, ‘Mankading’.

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Stage set for Battle of the Golds- UVA



St. Joseph’s College First Row (from left): Uthpala Imendra (Captain), G. Nalanda (Asst. Coach), R.B. Dulinda Abelanka (P.O.G), Laksiri Jayantha (Principal), Kapila Weerasekara (M.I.C), Chandana Bandara (Coach), K.H. Yasiru Ruwantha (Vice Captain) Second Row: D.M. Nishan Pramod, A.G.Sarith Malinda, T.M. Sachin dilanka, W.D. Ashan Ravindu, M.F.M. Shaheed, K.Sahan Hansaka, A.M.D. Sasitha Prabath, Akila Sawmya, D.M.Sithija Chamindu, R.M. Tharusha Nirmal, N.A.Themiya Sheheran, E.M. Hesara Dulaj, K.H.M. Oshada Devinda,L.M. Dilakshana Umesh

The 17th ‘Battle of the Golds – Uva’, the annual cricket encounter between St Joseph’s College, Bandarawela and Central College, Bandarawela will be played on August 18 and 19 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa.

St Joseph’s will be led by Uthpala Lankathillake, while Sadith Prabhath Rathnayaka will skipper Bandarawela Central. This year’s edition of the Big Match, is organised by the Bandarawela Central College Past Pupils’ Association.

St. Joseph’s lead the victory tally of the series having won the Big Match on three occasions. Central College has won the encounter on two occasions.

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Mel Jones to step down as Cricket Australia Director



Mel Jones, who joined Cricket Australia as a director in December 2019, has decided to step down from her position at the next Annual General Meeting of the board in October because of her media and other work commitments in Australia and abroad.

“It has been an honour to serve for three years on the CA Board but my future work commitments, particularly given that I will be overseas for many months of the year, mean that I will not be able to devote the time required to fully support my fellow Board members after this year,” the former Australia batter said. “Consequently I will not be standing for re-election and will complete my three-year term at the next AGM.

“I would like to thank the Chairs and Board members, Cricket Australia staff and committee members and wish all those involved in Australian Cricket every success as we embark on an exciting new strategy and build on the game’s great foundation for the future. I am delighted, of course, to be able to continue my long-standing connection to cricket through my commentary, sporting and business interests and broad range of cricket relationships,” she added.

“Mel has been an outstanding member of our Board and her unique perspective and insights have been invaluable as we have set the strategy to ensure the continuing future health of the game,” Cricket Australia Chair Lachlan Henderson said. “Mel has made an enormous contribution to cricket through her playing days and subsequent involvement in coaching, commentary and work in the community, and will continue to do so.

We look forward to formally recognising Mel’s contribution on the CA Board at the AGM in October.”

Jones, who made her ODI debut in 1997, went on to play 61 ODIs for her country scoring 1028 runs. She was also part of two Australian squads that lifted the 50-over World Cup trophy in 1997 and 2005 respectively. She also represented Australia in five Test matches, aggregating 251 runs at an average of 35.85.


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