20 February 1999

The cup that cheers unites India and Lanka at sports

Marianne Decker

While the Indian national cricket team will be engaged in a Test match with Sri Lanka at the SSC grounds commencing February 23, their vizs-a-vizs in the tea trade back home will be pitted against local counterparts at the grounds next door, the CCC, in the limited over version of the game.

For the first time this year the Colombo Tea Traders Association annual sports festival will have an international flavour, with two teams involved in the same trade from the Indian cities of Calcutta and Cochin fielding a 50-strong contingent for the four sports (cricket, tennis, squash and golf) at the fiesta.

The first item on the festival's agenda is the 30-overs limit cricket match on Tuesday (February 23) morning at the CCC between the Cochin team and the local Planters' side, while the CTTA team will take on the Calcutta side in the afternoon. Tennis will also commence on the 23rd morning at the SSC courts while squash will be played at the CCC the same evening.

Wednesday (February 24) will be a free day for the teams while Thursday will see the finals of the cricket, tennis and squash. Friday will be 'tee off' day for the golfers from 7 am.

The local Planters field strong sides for the festival with Vernon Tissera leading the cricket team which comprises Manoj Kariyapperuma, Lanil Tennekoon, Denham Madena, Roshan Rafayal, Dayan Madawala, Harsha Wickremasinghe and Saman Dorenagama. Among their tennis side led by Dushy Perera is Gihan Perera, Brian Perera, Brian Koelmeyer, Rohan Abeywardena and Chula de Alwis. The golfers will also prove a strong outfit in Ken Murray (capt), Vernon Tissera, M. Balendran, 'Nugs' de Silva, G. C. Wickremasinghe, Eraj Guneratne and Sanjay Wijesinghe.

The CTTA cricketers led by Ken de Alwis also have many former stars among them like Michael de Zoysa, Ray de Silva, Kapila Wijegunawardena, Rupanath Wickremaratne, Samantha Dodanwela, Shamal de Silva, Priyan de Silva, Lalith Ratnayake, Chandana Jayakody and Rukman Nanayakkara. Their golf team also has many famous names, among them are Zal Chitty, Neil Chanmugam, Bernard Fonseka, Lalith Ramanayake, Tyeab Akberally, Michael de Zoysa, Rohan Fernando, Vernon Caldera and Nirmala Ranasinghe. 'Squashing' it out for them will be Rohan Fernando (capt), Sanjay Karunaratne, Sriyan Senadhira, Dinesh Fonseka, Azim Azain and Dinesh Wijewardena. Leading their tennis side is Sriyan Senadhira (former national champion for many years), Dhayan Peiris, Dinesh Wijewardena, Sanjay Karunaratne, Sanjay Herath, Thushara de Silva and Sanjaya Wijewardene.

Former India Test player Ashok Gandotra leads the Calcutta cricketers who have in their ranks Kiran Desai, N. Mathu, M. Chirmar, m. Newar, J. Gohain, V. Rampal, D. Singh, R. Mukerjee, S. P. Ray, K. Grewal, A. Monem and the Ketan Desai's senior and junior. The Cochin cricketers are led by Ajay Singh and comprises Guarav Ghosh, O.T. Jayachandran, O. Soman, Ajay Kumar, Abraham Idiculla, Uday Batra, K. K. Thomas, Sidhart Sashi, Suresh Balaram, Surajit Hazarika, H. Govind, Venkat Naidu and D. Vohra.

The golfers from Calcutta are led by Kiran Desai and comprise N. Mathur, Ashok Gandotra, M. Chirimar, J. Gohain. V. Rampal, D. Singh, Ketan Desai jnr., M. Lal, O. Kaul, V. Krishan and L. Jhingan. The Cochin team comprises T. K. Madhav, Gaurav Ghosh, Venkat Naidu and Raghav Lal.

Gaurav Ghosh, K. M. Thomas, Vijay Shankar, Tilak Kalyanpur and Surajit Hazarika make up the Cochin squash side while V. Rampal, D. Singh, Ketan Desai jnr., V. Varma, M. Gurubuxani and S. Raha represent the Calcutta side in the sport.

The tennis teams from India are represented by: R. Kidwai, V. Rampal, D. Singh, R. Mukerjee, A. Monem and Ketan Desai jnr (Calcutta) and Tilak Kalyanpur, Sivaramakrishnan, Abraham Idiculla, Surajit Hazarika and Venkat Naidu (Cochin).

The festival is sponsored by Ceylon Paper Sacks (Edna Group), Fountain House Group, St. Regis and M. Abdullaly and Company.

Source :: Daily News (http://www.lanka.net)