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 ?