by Rex Clementine
If your grandchildren ask how bad 2020 was tell them that even Ranil Wickremesinghe couldn’t survive as the leader of UNP!
Ranil’s tenure as UNP’s leader has been noteworthy. He assumed duties as the party leader in 1994. The Sri Lankan cricket captain at that point was Arjuna Ranatunga. Since then, Sri Lanka has had 11 different Test captains; England has won a World Cup; International Cricket Council’s founder members have lost their veto powers and India has taken over as world’s leaders of cricket. Even the Catholic Church has seen three different Popes during the last 25 year – John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I. But Ranil remains UNP’s leader!
Sir Ian Botham is the greatest cricketer produced by England in the last 50 years. So is Ranil. Not many are fit to hold a candle to Ranil when it comes to his oratory skills or his knowledge of the Constitution. But everyone is not a leader. Botham had a brief stint as England captain. When the Ashes was slipping away from England under his charge in 1981, he sensed what was in store for him and stepped down before being axed. Mike Brearley, Botham’s successor was hardly a match winner; he never scored a Test match hundred and ended up with an average of 22. But Brearley, who had degrees from Cambridge for Classics and Moral Science, was an outstanding leader. As Rodney Hogg, the Australian fast bowler put it, “Brearley had a degree in people.”
Ranil failed to see the signs. The writing was on the wall for him in the lead-up to the recent election. Instead of handing over the party reins to someone else he decided to stay put and the voters taught him an unforgettable lesson. Ranil did not have Botham’s humility to play under someone who could never match his abilities or skills.
Having stepped down from captaincy, Botham extended his fullest support to the new skipper. His impact in the 1981 series was such that it was called ‘Botham’s Ashes.’
Not Ranil, though; he dragged his feet on naming Sajith as UNP’s presidential candidate, and after naming him came up with some ill-timed moves that literally derailed his understudy’s campaign.
Ian Chappell is one of the finest captains the game has ever seen. He didn’t hesitate to take on the administration, demanding that his players be paid well and that he be part of the process where decisions were made. Chappell was so straight forward that he didn’t even spare Sir Don Bradman. Chappell was a true leader.
Ranil unfortunately while being in power didn’t fight for his rights or for those of his party members. He has absolved himself of any responsibility for the Easter Sunday attacks, claiming that he had not been invited to Security Council Meetings. Ranil shouldn’t have taken it lying down when he was kept out of those important meetings. Then after the attack, his lack of remorse during television interviews gave the impression of a man who did not feel for his people.
Chappell’s grandfather Vic Richardson also captained Australia. The best advice he gave young Chappell was ‘if you ever get a chance to captain Australia, don’t captain like a Victorian.’
Ranil too had close relatives at the helm of politics. They should have told him what ‘disce aut discede’ really meant.
Chappell even dropped his best mate Doug Walters from The Oval Test of 1972. It was the first time ever a New South Walesman did not feature in an Australian Test side. Dick Tucker, a reputed Australian journalist told Chappell that he was surprised at what the latter had done.
Chappell said something interesting: ‘Dick, If you think that I am going to pick Doug Walters because he is a mate of mine when that is not in the best interest of the team, you don’t know me. I am going to pick a team that is going to win a game. I am not going to pick up all my mates and leave out someone who I am not fond of. Ridiculous.”
Ranil has a lot to learn from Chappell. One of the first things he did after being in the opposition for more than a decade was to appoint his mate Arjun Mahendran as Governor of Central Bank. The rest, as they, say is history. After all, here’s a man who said, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the Governor of Central Bank, that it was like ‘picking a donkey for a Derby.’
Not just Botham and Brearley, Ranil has a lot to learn from even our own T.M. Dilshan. Not the brightest captain that we have had, Dilshan became the first Sri Lankan skipper to win a Test match in South Africa. But he lost the series. The following day he announced that he was stepping down from captaincy.
Ranil should have stepped down the day after his party was reduced to just one seat in Parliament. He is still hanging on, hoping against hope.
Piyumal, Shehan hog limelight with notable feats
Under 19 Division I Cricket Round Up
by Reemus Fernando
A captain’s knock of 96 runs by Janitha Shehan and a five-wicket haul by Kavisha Piyumal were among the highlights as Tier ‘A’ and ‘B’ matches of the Under 19 Division I Limited Overs cricket tournament continued on Wednesday.
Janitha Shehan almost single handedly guided Gurukula to victory with an unbeaten knock (96n.o. in 114 balls, 9x4s) as he anchored the batting line up to reach a target of 188 runs in the penultimate over. They were 78 for four wickets at one stage.
At Katugastota, left-arm spinner Kavisha Piyumal produced his best figures in a limited overs match as St. Anthony’s, registered a three wickets victory against St. Sebastian’s, Moratuwa according to the Parabola Method.
The match which commenced as a 41 overs-a-side encounter saw the visitors being bowled out for 117 runs as Piyumal impressed with a five-wicket haul. His figures read 7.1-0-14-5.
In their essay, the home team had a revised target of 114 runs to chase in 39 overs and they achieved it in the 26th over with three wickets to spare. That was the third victory registered by St. Anthony’s. However, despite the victory they will remain in the fourth position in the points table behind St. Sebastian’s, who have four victories under their belt.
Wesley will remain in the second place in their group after registering their fourth win of the tournament yesterday. They beat D.S. Senanayake by five wickets after Shakesh Minon lead their attack with a four-wicket haul to contain the visitors to 159 runs at Campbell Park.
At Campbell Place, Nalanda were reduced to 126 runs before Royal pulled off a three wickets win to remain on top of the table in Tier ‘A’ Group ‘A’. Royal have four victories against their name now after six outings.
In a Tier ‘B’ match played at Kadirana, St. Joseph Vaz’s pulled off an exciting two wickets victory over St. Sylvester’s as their ninth wicket pair kept their cool to add an unfinished stand of 34 runs to win with three balls to spare.
In the other Tier ‘B’ match, a century by Amitha Sandeepa (121 in 131 balls, 11x4s, 2x6s) was in vain for St. Anthony’s Wattala as Mahinda restricted them to 259 runs to win by 17 runs at Galle. For Mahinda, Shehan Hasaranga hogged the limelight cracking 69 runs in 31 balls. His hurricane knock included three fours and seven sixes.
Wesley beat DSS by five wickets at Campbell Park
159 all out in 37.5 overs (Gaviru Senhas 54, Manura Pieris 30, Akidha Weerasuriya 27n.o.; Uvin Perera 3/32, Shakesh Minon 4/41, Linal Subasinghe 2/19)
161 for 5 in 29.2 overs (Sanithu Amarasinghe 28, Chamath Gomez 48, Ashan Sudarshana 34, Uvin Perera 24; Senura Silva 3/48)
St. Anthony’s beat St. Sebastian’s by three wickets according to Paraboala Method at Katugastota
117 all out in 39.1 overs (Ryan Dissanayake 28, Sanesh Fernando 28; Kaveesha Piyumal 5/14)
117 for 7 in 26 overs (Janith Rathnasiri 39, Thisara Ekanayake 42n.o., Sajan Wijerathna 2/19, Nadeesh Fernando 3/29)
Royal beat Nalanda by three wickets at Campbell Place
126 all out in 37.3 overs (Yasiru Samarakoon 29, Manupa Manmitha 40; Dasis Manchanayaka 2/17, Sineth Jayawardena 2/20, Thamod Madularachchi 2/15)
127 for 7 in 38.2 overs (Sineth Jayawardena 37; Sajitha Vithanage 2/23)
Gurukula beat De Mazenod by three wickets at Kandana
187 all out in 48.5 overs (Hasith Sandeepa 23, Neshan Dias 30, Uvindu Perera 22, Sithum Fernando 24, Mishen Fernando 52n.o.; Janitha Shehan 2/45, Hiruna Nimsara 4/27)
188 for 7 in 48.5 overs (Janitha Shehan 96n.o.; Sithum Fernando 2/17, Neshan Dias 2/39)
Mahinda beat St. Anthony’s Wattala by 17 runs at Galle
276 for 7 in 50 overs (Dinura Kalupahana 55, Dhanuja Induwara 64, Hareen Achintha 22, Hiruna Mandila 23, Shehan Hasaranga 69; Madura Bashitha 2/57, Amitha Sandeepa 2/49)
St. Anthony’s Wattala
259 all out in 49.3 overs (Harsha Weerasooriya 26, Amitha Sandeepa 121, Pathum Vihaga 22; Dinura Kalupahana 2/38, Shehan Hasaranga 2/58, Dhanuja Induwara 2/38)
St. Joseph Vaz’s beat St. Sylvester’s by two wickets at Kadirana
184 all out in 50 overs (Malith Lakshan 35, Dion Fernando 44, Yoshitha Isuranga 36, Chandupa Waduge 21; Janith Shehan 3/41, Menusha Perera 3/33)
St. Joseph Vaz’s
185 for 8 in 49.3 overs (Kavindu Nishara 41, Dasun Perera 30, Vishwa Rajapaksha 26, Janith Shehan19n.o., Raveen Chethana 14n.o.; Khanka Wickramasinghe 2/35, Akila Wickramasinghe 4/19)
HFC champions at Western Province Schools Basketball Tournament
Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya emerged undefeated champions in the Western Province Schools Basketball Tournament and advanced to the All-Island School Games Basketball Championships.
The Western Province School Games basketball tournament concluded during the last weekend. 29 girls’ teams featured in the tournament with 16 teams in the Under 17 category and 13 teams in the Under 20 category. Matches up to quarterfinals were played as knockout matches and the winning four teams (from each category) advanced to the semi-final stage. The girls’ semis and finals were played at the St. Peter’s College Basketball court.
In the Under 20 competition the Familians secured a dominant 53 – 7 win against Colombo International School at the finals after defeating Bishops College 67 – 20 (quarter-finals) and Our Lady of Victories 69 – 30 (semi-finals).
The younger Familians saw off St. Joseph’s Girl’s School to win their final with a score line of 28 – 17. HFC’s Under 17 team clinched the win defeating Our Lady of Victories (quarterfinals 57 – 22) and Lyceum Wattala (semis 47 – 27).
Both teams started strong and kept the momentum throughout the tournament scoring in each possession they could, pressurizing the oppositions with a tight defense, dominating in terms of pace, steals and rebounds which led to many fast breaks.
St. Sebastian’s and Sangamitta Balika clinch ‘Super A’ team titles
Under-19 Inter-Schools Badminton Team Championship
St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa and Sangamitta Balika Vidyalaya, Galle, clinched the boys’ and girls’ Super A Division titles respectively at the Under-19 Inter-Schools Badminton Team Championship which took place in Colombo.
The all-island tournament, organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Badminton Association (SLSBA) at the Royal College Sports Complex and the D S Senanayaka College Indoor Stadium, saw teams from 84 schools in action under five divisions, namely A, B, C, D, E and Super A.
The Super A Division saw Ananda College, Colombo (A) and Sujatha Vidyalaya, Matara becoming runners up in the boys’ and girls’ categories respectively.
Division A titles were won by St. Anthony’s College, Kandy (A) and Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo while Lumbini College, Colombo and Maliyadeva Balika MV, Kurunegala, clinched the Division B victories.
Wesley College, Colombo, and Holy Family Convent, Kurunegala won the Division C titles.
Lalith Athulathmudali MC, Mt. Lavinia, won the Division D boys’ championship while Rathnawali Balika Vidyalaya, Gampaha, clinched the girls’ title.
Both boys’ and girls’ Championship crowns were won by shuttlers from Central College, Badulla.
Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB) President Rohan de Silva graced the final day’s prize distribution ceremony held at the Royal College, as the chief guest. SLSBA President Atula Wijewardena, officials of the SLB and SLSBA and the principals of the participating schools were also among the attendees at the occasion.
Under 19 Inter-schools
Central College, Badulla
Tissa Central College
Central College, Badulla
Lalith Athulathmudali MC, Mt. Lavinia
AS Siraj College, Kandy
Rathnawali Balika Vidyalaya, Gampaha
Good Shepherd Convent, Kotahena
Wesley College, Colombo
Mahinda College, Galle
Holy Family Convent, Kurunegala
Princess of Wales College, Moratuwa
Lumbini College, Colombo
Bandaranaike College, Gampaha
Maliyadeva Balika MV, Kurunegala
Viharamahadevi Balika Vidyalaya
St. Anthony’s College, Kandy (A)
Richmond College, Galle
Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo
OLV Convent, Moratuwa
St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa
Ananda College, Colombo (A)
Sangamitta Balika Vidyalaya, Galle
Sujatha Vidyalaya, Matara
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