Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews makes a surprise appearance at the Sinhalese New Year Celebrations at the Dandenong Showgrounds. Several federal and local Labor MP,s and Dandenong Councillors attended the celebrations.
Dimuth Karunaratne Captain
Age: 30 years 362 days. Opening batsman Bat: Left-hand bat Bowling: Right-arm medium
Age: 27 years 224 days. Allrounder Batting: Right-hand bat Bowling: Right-arm off break.
Age: 32 years 181 Bowler. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium
Age: 21 years 13 days. Opening batsman. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm medium-fast
Age: 32 years 39 days: Bowler. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm fast-medium
Age: 35 years 233 days: Bowler. Batting: Right-hand bat Bowling: Right-arm fast
Age: 31 years 320 days Allrounder. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm medium
Age: 24 years 75 days: Wicketkeeper batsman. Batting: Right-hand bat
Age: 36 years 93 days. Allrounder. Batting: Left-hand bat. Bowling: Leg break
Kusal Perera. Wicketkeeper
Age: 28 years 244 days Wicke-tkeeper batsman. Batting: Left-hand bat
Age: 30 years 15 days Allrounder. Batting: Left-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm medium-fast
Age: 33 years 135 days: Allrounder. Batting: Left-hand bat. Bowling: Slow left-arm orthodox
Age: 29 years 252 days. Top-order batsman. Batting: Left-hand bat. Bowling: Right-arm medium-fast
Age: 31 years 60 days. Allrounder. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Left-arm medium-fast
Age: 29 years 72 days. Bowler. Batting: Right-hand bat. Bowling: Leg break.
Dimuth Karunaratna will lead Sr Lanka.
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
In a country that dwells on chaos and confusion in many aspects, Sri Lanka’s beleaguered cricket selectors have finally put together a squad for the World Cup as heated debate on media and social platforms dissects the selected members.
The most significant point of conjecture is the selection of Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratna to lead the side overlooking at least three former limited overs skippers who the selectors perceive will divide the commitment from within.
All of this form a laughable scenario when a realistic view would suggest that all chosen are expected to pull on the national cap with pride and a commitment to making their country proud of their achievements. Not so according to many of this lot, some of who carry personal agendas attached to their selection.
Obliged to select on current form and experience, the Sri Lankan selectors find their hands tied as they sifted through the raw and experienced talent available to them and the squad put together is expected to gel under Karunaratna whose success with the Test team in South Africa gave credence for his selection despite him being stereotyped as a ‘Test cricketer’ with little exposure to the limited overs game and a poor average.
What Karunaranta brings apart from his astute leadership qualities is the stability and reinforcement in the batting which has recently not lived up to the modern methods used by the better teams in the world. This has resultantly seen the Lankans bowled out within the allotted overs on several occasions. He can hold up an end if required and his shot making can be as good as any if he needs to step it up.
There is a wide variety of stroke makers in the selected squad but the axing of players such as former skipper Dinesh Chandimal, justifiably for his underperformance, may yet deprive this fairly raw team of some experience in English conditions.
The return of seasoned campaigners such as former Skipper Angelo Matthews, Jeewan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep and the injection of Milinda Siriwardene and recall of Jeffry Vandersay will make this team more competitive. The exclusion of Niroshan Dickwella and Oshada Fernando who were shining lights in New Zealand and South Africa did raise some eyebrows in a selection that is now done and dusted.
While the team is under the pump to put up a reasonable performance and not be deluded by their ability to win the event under such circumstances, it will be a heavier burden to bear on coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and his support staff whose future hinges on what he can deliver with the current squad and how well his mentoring plans are executed.
Sri Lanka go into this World Cup amid a similar scenario to 1996 when they won the event held in the sub-continent under Arjuna Ranatunge in Lahore, Pakistan. During unrest in the country at the time, devastating bomb blasts by Tamil Tigers in the capital Colombo accounted for many lives and resulted in Australia and West Indies withdrawing from their games handing the Lankans walk-overs.
The recent horrific events in Sri Lanka will probably help dispel any differences and cement a common bond within the team as they try to re-establish themselves as a force in the game without personal prejudices.
The current team selected appears to be weighted on all-rounders which is heartening after watching the lackluster performances of the bottom order in many of their recent games which contributed to their sorry showing over the past few years.
All eyes will be riveted on Sri Lanka due to recent events of a horrible Easter Sunday and it is hoped that a little ray of sunshine will descend on them and enhance their performances in England and Wales.
‘Everesting’ for the 1st time in Sri Lanka and Asia
FROM TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
The human pursuit for pushing the boundaries of endurance sometimes has no logical end or explanation as enthusiasts conjure up various means of testing how far they can stretch their bodies and mental capability to achieve what no other can.
This is how the new craze enveloping the world can be described with the advent of ‘Everesting’, born in Melbourne, Australia in 1994 by famous explorer George Mallory, whose other exploits included climbing Mount Everest, and now generating thousands of enthusiasts worldwide.
Never before staged in Asia, this is a gigantic step taken by the organizers and sponsors of the event which will, apart from the competition, showcase Sri Lanka and its wonderous natural beauty to the rest of the world.
The setting for the ride is the picturesque and chilly climes of Radella, in Nuwara Eliya area, world renown for the origins of the best Tea.
So far over 20 entries have been received for the event said Ron Meerweald at a media briefing in Melbourne. The competitors will challenge themselves to achieve tough physical and mental aspects that make the desired 8848 vertical meters within 24 hours.
Principal sponsor Manjula Kulathunga who will support the event from Melbourne said he was proud to be involved in the challenge which will draw unprecedented crowds. The proceeds from the event will be channeled to nominated charities.
A press communique released in Melbourne says,
“Cycling enthusiasts get the unique opportunity to participate in reaching their zenith through ‘Everesting’ and this year the event is being held in the paradise isle of Sri Lanka. The tropical island situated in Southern Asia is renowned for its mesmeric landscape and vibrant culture with the event taking place amid the cool climes of the central hills from 6-7 April at the Radella Hill Climb in Nuwara Eliya”.
“We are pleased to announce an event of gigantic proportion in the cycling world and proud to partner with the Sri Lankan based www.goceilao.com (a reputed travel company which specializes in inbound and out bound travel, offering clients a wide variety of options from leisure, business, sports and other forms of travel). It is also our pleasure to enable the cycling fraternity an opportunity to test their endurance levels, as we foray into Asia for the first time,” remarked Andy Van Bergen, Founder of the prestigious concept which has taken the cycling arena by storm and into an unknown territory.
Manjula Kulathunga, Director of Australian Migration Consultants www.amconline.com.au , the Principal Sponsor of the event stated that “it is an honour to be part of this pioneering effort which enables the cyclist of the world to test their endurance levels and aim for success in the most anticipated event catered exclusively for them.”
Sharing his perspective, the CEO of Thomas Peer Solution www.thomaspeer.com.au , Udara Dharmadasa mentioned, “It is a great privilege to be the Digital Partner of such a prestigious event, which involves a worldwide participation of cyclists who ride for a purpose and aspire to reach the highest goals pertaining to their sport.”
“We at www.ceilaoezy.com are eager to introduce ‘Everesting’ to the Asian continent by partnering at this much anticipated event which has reached dizzying heights in Australia and Europe since its inception. This event in itself is the best opportunity for Asia to witness the dynamic task of reaching the highest altitude in the world through cycling,” added Chamaka Manjula – Director of Ceilào Ezy, Remittance Partner of the event.
“ The event which is categorized under the banner of Sports Tourism, creates the added impetus to visit Sri Lanka, not merely to indulge in tropical pleasures but to watch the most epic event related to cycling unfold in paradise itself,” enthused Amila Gunawardana, GM of Go Ceilào (Pvt) www.goceilao.com .
Another highlight of this year’s event is its A-list of participants, which includes Sanjee De Silva, the first Sri Lankan/ Australian to complete the daunting task of ‘Everesting’ during a previous attempt. “I am thrilled to be part of this iconic event which will be held in my country of origin, making it a personal quest for myself and adding an immense sense of sentimental value,” enthused the cyclist/ philanthropist who will be donating Rs.3mn worth of medical equipment and operating as the emergency partner to the Nuwara Eliya hospital.
Participants are required to repeatedly ride a hill of their choice and ensure the successful completion of the task by reaching the equivalent to Mount Everest which is 8,848m. It is compulsory to complete the event within a period of twenty four hours without sleep. Winners will be awarded the coveted Hells 500 grey stripes, earned merely by 3174 cyclists globally and indicted into the Hall of Fame. The festive atmosphere will additionally provide the spectators as well to be entertained by numerous activities which have been planned by its sponsors.
The world class event which has taken precedence in the Australian and European continents is reaching out to the far corners of the earth, as it leaves its indelible mark in the largest continent of the world, Asia!
In addition to Ceilào Ezy as the Australian based partner, the principal sponsor is Australian Migration Consultants with the Sri Lanka based partners Go Ceilào, Tangerine Tours, Tourism Malaysia, Sunday Times, Lankadeepa ,Daily Mirror and Hi Magazine, Daily FT, Real FM, Kiss FM , Lanka Hospitals , Critical Care Health Solutions, Sri Lankan Airlines and , Thomas Peer Solution functioning as the digital partner.
A background to the origins of this new craze goes back to Australia, its place of invention.
If ‘everesting’ is about to sweep through weekend warrior cycling, it will be all the fault of the man who founded the idea and coined its name: George Mallory.
In 1994 Mallory – after several failed attempts – ‘everested’ Victoria’s Mount Donna Buang. This feat involved climbing the mountain by bike 10 times in a day. It’s taken 20 years to catch on, but word of Mallory’s feat has smouldered in amateur circles ever since.
If the name sounds familiar, you’re right. He is the grandson of the British mountaineer of the same name, who many believe was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest but who never made it back down to tell the story. Modern-day Mallory, 54, has also climbed the real Everest.
“My idea for everesting arose from a game rock climbers play,” Mallory says. “We would do multiple rock climbs in a day with the aim of gaining the equivalent height to El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. In 1989, with my climbing friend Kevin Smith, we climbed five routes on a 300-metre high cliff in 24 hours.”
In 1994, during training for a trek up Everest, Mallory “started dreaming up epic training projects”.
“I wondered how many times I could cycle up [Mount Donna Buang] in a day. Was it five, or six? Or, maybe I should aim for eight! By doing eight laps of the hill my vertical gain would be 8800 metres, approximately the altitude of Mt Everest. Would this be possible? Was there a world record for this brand of stupidity?”
Mallory slowly built ever-increasing numbers of repeat runs up Donna Buang. Then, one day in March 1994, he set out to clock “two laps more than the six I had managed previously”.
“[It] doesn’t sound like an outrageous increase, but I was destined to learn the hard way that the human body is not a machine. Marathon runners know that half of 42 is not 21, but 35.”
Every generation needs one. An ultimate, amateur, physical goal. A marathon, an ironman triathlon, a swim across the English Channel. Now comes “everesting”, the ultimate test of an amateur cyclist’s endurance.
Weekend cycling warriors: if you’ve not yet heard of “everesting”, get set to be astonished and inspired.
In February 34-year-old Melbourne woman Sarah Hammond became the first woman to everest a mountain by bike. She did it by riding her bike unassisted up Mount Buffalo in north-east Victoria not once but eight times in 18 hours, in the process notching 9031 vertical metres of climbing.
The magic number is 8848 meters, the elevation gain of Mount Everest. Her extra metres were to make certain of it. Forever after, in hard-core cycling circles, Hammond will now “own” Mount Buffalo.
That’s the criteria for ‘everesting’, you have to notch a minimum ascent of 8848 vertical metres, all in one continuous cycling effort. The mountain or hill or “elevation” is entirely open to your choice, though the shallower the hill you choose the longer (distance) and more time it will take – choose a hill too gentle and you’ll run out of time before needing to stop and/or sleep.
To claim your place in history, you also have to be the first cyclist known to have ‘everested’ that particular hill or mountain.
A slew of the 58 successful ‘everesting’ attempts made so far originate in Victoria, where the sport began. Just one successful attempt has been recorded to date in New South Wales – when Rohan Symons climbed Dead Horse Gap near Mount Thredbo in March – with four in the ACT and three in Queensland. ‘Everests’ have also been recorded in England, New Zealand, the US, Italy and Norway.
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Sri Lanka’s triumphant Test match euphoria has quickly dissipated into the previously familiar role of eating humble pie as the South Africans exacted revenge for their embarrassment in the Tests by grinding their opponents into the dust leading 3-0 in the one-dayers in a relentless display of ferocity.
Already, the series has moved into a dead rubber situation with two games remaining as the struggling Sri Lanka lineup find that their horses for courses squad does not match up to the heroes that dethroned the hosts in the two Test series a few weeks prior.
One- day skipper Lasith Malinga’s desperate move to publicly scorn his squad for their lack of respect at being given national selection and reminding them of the pride associated with donning the Sri Lanka cap appears to have added more fuel to the fire rather than douse it judging by the reaction in the third game. Factions within appear to suggest that a change at the head may yet bring out the best from this talented but currently dysfunctional team.
Port Elizabeth and Cape Town beckons in the next two encounters which will be of academic interest before the Lankans figure in three T20’s before departing the Southern Hemisphere with little comfort but plenty to dwell on for their efforts.
What has been clear in the whitewash is that the current squad lack the temperament and depth in their batting as they clearly squandered a chance of winning games they could have after the bowlers did a great job in containing the strong South African batting line- up.
Niroshan Dickwella has failed as an opener and should move down the order for better impact and experienced Upul Tharanga should be made to prove his worth in the squad by filling that role or consider his career over.
The Sri Lankan fielding which was exceptional in the Tests, was appalling to a point where fielding coach Steve Rixon was visibly wincing as if in pain at the morass of mistakes.
Everything fell apart in the rain hampered third match where they let the South Africans get away to a huge total thanks to sloppy fielding and erratic bowling mainly by proven specialists like Thisara Perera whose form or motives need questioning.
With the World Cup fast looming on the horizon Sri Lanka desperately need some wise heads and proper direction in a hurry if they are to avoid humiliation after their proud record in previous editions which included that historic victory in Lahore in 1996. They are winless in six encounters in 2019.