June 10, 2000

Rain prevents play on first day of the tour

The torrential rains that have drenched Colombo in the last few days have prevented any play on the first day of Pakistan's tour. The gloomy whether was however unable to dampen the spirits of the Pakistan players who were in a jovial mood today. Perhaps still elated after their triumph in Dhaka they arrived early in the morning, disappeared for some indoor practice before returning for a spot lunch and a gentle sing song. This was ended when the umpires eventually called it a day at 12.20pm.

The rain continues to fall at Police Club Sports Club and the hardworking groundsmen have now retired to their huts, content that they have finally finished their work for the day. The staff here at were only given only 24 hours notice to prepare the wicket after plans to play at Moratuwa were hastily abandoned, due to the state funeral of the late Minister C.V. Gooneratne today.

The players are due to return tomorrow, but for what no-one is quite sure. If play is possible then the one days play would represent nothing more than a glorified net. There is a possibility of a one day match, but considering the overpowering frequency with which Pakistan play ODI's one doubts their enthusiasm for such a meaningless exercise.

The Sri Lanka players in the BCCSL side have now missed an opportunity to impress the selectors before tonight's selection meeting, which is expected to name Arjuna Ranatunga in the team for Sri Lanka's historic test match at the SSC on Wednesday.

The Sri Lanka selection committee has recently been joined by Dav Whatmore after the resignation last week of Sidath Wetimuny and Asantha De Mel. He will join former opening batsmen and wicket-keeper, Brendon Kuruppu and T.H. Kehelgamuwa in the selection committee.