Kandy SC will overcome all obstacles, says Malik
Problems which beset Kandy Sports Club during the rugby season were
many but we took everything in its stride and emerged victorious in all.
Some of the problems which were faced by us were injuries to key
players, crossover to other clubs and player suspensions and though
affected our overall strength but it not weaken us as we were able to
win the rugby's 'plum' both the Caltex League Championship and the
Clifford Club knockout title for a record number of years, said the
Trustee of Kandy Sports Club and former President of the Sri Lanka Rugby
Football Union Malik Samarawickrema.
He made these observations when he addressed the Club membership at
the 138th Annual General Meeting of Kandy Sports Club held at the Club's
Auditorium at Nittawela.
Malik Samarawickrema said that the standard of refereeing in some of
the matches were poor and not up to standard and this area needs
improvement. The new President of the SLRFU Asanga Senaviratne has
assured of a level playing field and has expressed dis-satisfaction of
the performance of certain officials of the SLRFU in the past. It is
left to be seen whether this will materialise without outside
He said that the SLRFU will permitting every club to field two
expatriate ruggerites during the current season and Kandy Sports Club
will make use of this opportunity to play two foreign players in the
side. The selection of two foreign players will decided in consultation
with the rugby coach Johan Taylor and the Rugby Committee. Johan Taylor
is expected to return to the country in February. The appointment of the
official captain has been put on hold till the return of the coach.
He thanked both Singer Sri Lanka (Pvt) Limited and Etisalat Lanka (Pvt)
Limited for sponsoring the club in the past and they will be once again
sponsoring the club this season.
He said that he is happy to announce that none of the ruggerites who
played for the club last season have crossed over to any of the clubs
despite the inducements offered to destabilise the club. They have stood
loyal to the club.
Speaking on the newly formed Upcountry Lions Club which is expected
to scrum down this season, though the club is reportedly based in
Nawalapitiya, around 8 to 10 ruggerites are from Colombo and the rest
from Kandy. The formation of another club is good, if it is done with
the best interest of rugby at heart. But there appears to be conflict of
interest as according to informed sources that the Ministry of Sports is
playing an active role and what should be understood is the fact that
this Ministry is the Ministry of Sports for the entire country and not
one particular region. It is left to be seen whether they could sustain
for a long period for which there should be a long- term plan.
He thanked the media for not only reporting all their matches in
detail and also reporting on other matters without favour or fear. What
is required is fair reporting and they have done their job well even
when a T56 rifle was fired in the field by a player but surprising no
action had been taken by the authorities and amazingly some officials
have gone to the extend of justifying this action.
He said that the club's estimate for the season is Rs 30 million and
this may go up when the foreign players are contracted. He appealed to
the membership to help the club in its membership drive and also
patronise the club more frequently. The gymnasium of the club will be
upgraded with the installing of the state-of-the-art equipment. The
players should indulge in the off season fitness programme.
Dr Sarath Kapuwatte thanked the membership for electing him as the
President for the 19th time since 1990 which in a record for the club.
He will be failing in his duty if he does not appreciate a word of
thanks for the spectators who turned up in their numbers not only to
support the club but also this swelled the gates. The gate collection in
one match last season was the highest ever and in fact record for any
club match in Sri Lanka.
Dr Kapuwatte said that the club had performed exceedingly well last
season and did not yield to pressures or got domoralised at the
happenings which is now well known and needs no repetition. It must be
mention that the Official captain Saliya Kumara was declared ineligible
to play in any of the matches.
The Acting captain Buddhi Talagampola was injured during the first
round matches and missed the rest of the season. The stand in captain
Senaka Bandara though soft spoked displayed excellent leadership
qualities to lead the club to both championship titles.