Archive for February, 2011


Is it time for Percy to retire?

February 28, 2011

Dinouk Columbage, in the Sunday Leader, 27 February 2011 

 Pic from Sunday Leader

 Pic  by Chamil Tantrimudalige courtesy of

The memories of the 1996 win in the final of the World Cup is being re-etched into our memories. Scenes of jubilation on the part of the players are once again fresh in our minds, and on the side is the famous duo Percy Abeysekera and Lionel Nawaragodagedera. These two were the unofficial flag bearers of the Sri Lanka team; at every match they were there leading the local cheer squads.

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Excess baggage in security for World Cup cricket

February 27, 2011

Michael Roberts, 23 February 2011

In conjecture I would say that the dangers of attacks on the cricket teams in the three Asian countries staging the World Cup are minimal. However, in the context of the assault at Lahore on 3 March 2009 and the generalized assault on high-profile targets at Mumbai by Pakistani extremists, it is quite understandable that strong security cordons surround the teams and cricket venues. My questions here are directed at the specifics of the arrangements in Sri Lanka as witnessed around Sooriyawewa and Hambantota; and my experiential evidence of holes in the cordon.

 Police screening — Pic courtesy of the Sunday Times


 Scene at Sooriyawewa three hours before match Between Pakistan & Kenya – with “catchers” and 3 guards around -Pic by Roberts

   Several days back Mahinda Balasuriya, the IGP, with Lawrence Fernando, Sri Lanka Cricket’s head of security, in attendance, held a media briefing at which he thanked Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary, for the assistance provided to the police in seeing to the safety of the ICC officials and teams. He then went on to stipulate that the public would not be permitted to bring a whole range of items into the grounds: namely, “banners,  placards, crackers, laser lights, professional video cameras, laser points, firearms, knives, sharp objects, smoke bombs, flag poles, firecrackers, mirrors, drink cans, glass bottles, liquor and sharp instruments.” These items were not only listed, but illustrated pictorially in the Sunday Observer of the 20th February 2011. Read the rest of this entry ?


Namal Rajapaksa presents Hambantota as new sports centre

February 26, 2011


 Sri Lanka vs Canada, 20 Feb. 2011, Pic by Roberts



Dhoni and other cricketers adorn the rurality of Hambantota

February 25, 2011


DHONI in the Bondocks

 AFRIDI in the wild


MALINGA’s kiss of death



 MAHELA at a cricical juncture                         







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Kushil Gunasekera on Murali, welfare work and goodness

February 22, 2011



Sri Lanka’s Prospects in the World Cup, 2011

February 21, 2011

Michael Roberts

This article was written on 24 January 2011 in response to a request from an Indian friend. I am not sure whether it has appeared anywhere in the Indian media world; but consider that I am not obliged to wait any longer to present it to the Sri Lankan public.

 The World Cup 2011 is wide open. Though Ian Chappell has asserted that only India, England, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa have “a realistic chance’ of winning,[i] I disagree. The quarter final knock-out stage looms as an moment of ambush where any one of the other sides can eliminate the favoured few. New Zealand and Bangladesh have balanced and competent squad, while Pakistan and the West Indies have mercurial men who can turn games. Again, the minnows may provide an occasional surprise or two in the first rounds.

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The Sri Lankan cricketers pay their respects to P. B. Tennekoon, 17 February 2011

February 17, 2011

Cricket is a vibrant game. It involves pressure-cooker situations. As the Sri Lankan cricket squad prepares for the saga known as the World Cup, the heightened tension of competition and the expectations that have been foisted on their shoulders will surely weigh heavily. So, it is of some consequence that they were, one and all, reminded of the limitations of the human body and the fate we all face by the passing away of Punchibanda Bulankulame Tennekoon.

    Punchibanda Bulankulame Tennekoon was the father of their Manager, Anura Tennekoon and went to the lands and lives beyond after seeing through 93 years in this lifetime. He died peacefully today 17th February 2011 while sleeping, a sign, some would say, of a worthy life. His cremation was attended to on the same day

    His many children, daughters Malkanthi, Savithri, Priyani and Premini and sons Bandula and Nalin, as well as his many grandchilden and in-laws, were there to bid adieu. His eldest son, Anura, was on duty for his country in Bangladesh at the opening ceremony; and could not participate in this sad and important moment.

 However, the Sri Lankan cricketers and their support staff compensated in some measure by turning up for the wake at the Tennekoon residence in Templar’s Road Mount Lavinia. At a moment when the preparations for the battles ahead on the cricket field dominated their concerns, this readiness to take time off for an act of human concern was truly a mark of team spirit. It was much appreciated by the Tennekoon family. Read the rest of this entry ?


Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka hoping to repeat triumph

February 15, 2011

Saroj Pathirana, BBC World Service

Cricket fans and analysts alike in Sri Lanka hope that the 1996 champions can repeat their World Cup success when the 2011 event starts on Friday. Sri Lanka are co-hosting the tournament with India and Bangladesh. Roy Dias, a former vice-captain and national selector, said: “If you compare the 1996 and 2011 teams, both are very well balanced. “I think Kumar Sangakkara’s team is focused very much to win the World Cup,” he told the BBC Sinhala Service. “There are plenty of bowling varieties with Rangana Herath coming to the team as a left-arm spinner.”So with Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, the spinning department has three different types of bowlers with Tillakaratne Dilshan as the extra off-spinner. We also have five fast bowlers who are very good.”

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English sceptic rubbishes World Cup format

February 14, 2011

Martin Johnson, in the Sunday Times, es reproduced in The Australian under title “ICC’s geniuses find cure for insomnia”

Whichever team parades around the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with the World Cup, each and every nation will share in the moment. From Bridgetown to Brisbane, Christchurch to Chittagong, bonfireworks will be detonated. Strangers will take to the streets, lock themselves together in passionate embrace and, despite the emotion, the words will finally find a way past that lump in the throat: “Thank God that’s over.” A Scottish psychiatrist once stumbled upon the statistic that the suicide rate rises during World Cups. He was probably looking at football, but if cricket is included, the figures need to be altered. Of all the emotions felt by those watching the past two tournaments, the urge to jump under a bus would have been pretty high up the list.

The International Cricket Council tugs the forelock to nobody in the art of solving difficult problems. When considering how to make this World Cup even less watchable than the previous two, an apparently insoluble conundrum turned out to be the equivalent of bowling a leg Read the rest of this entry ?


Bhanuka Rajapaksa: Q and A with Brian Thomas

February 13, 2011

 19 year old Bhanuka learnt the rudiments of the game at his Alma Mater Royal College Colombo. He not only captained his prestigious institution, but went onto represent the Sri Lanka under 19 team in the recently concluded under 19 World Cup in New Zealand. Sri Lanka Cricket has given this young talented left hand bat great opportunities by giving their under 19’s exposure by arranging tours against their counterparts in South Africa, England, Australia, and also a home series against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bhanuka was the leading scorer for his country in the World Cup aggregating 253 runs, he also showed his class against the Australians in their own back yard when he pummeled the strong Aussie attack to compile his career best of 154 off 111 deliveries, a series which his team won in down under.

BT: – Happy with your achievement so far in the international arena?

BR:- so far so good, I have grabbed the given opportunities with both hands, I have done my best and am pleased that I have taken all the steps with caution in achieving my objective to play for my country sooner rather than later. Read the rest of this entry ?