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TRrevine Rodrigo

Sri Lanka……. Whipping boys of world cricket –
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

 

Chandika Hathurusinghe

 Sri Lanka’s current form suggests that they are in the worst place since gaining Test status in 1982 and sporadic bursts such as the unlikely series win over Pakistan in the Arab Emirates throws a shadow over the actual happenings in the oil rich nation.

 To even suggest that they are capable of beating anyone in the top ten at the moment is laughable let alone possible as the current series against the world’s top team India, is proving in no uncertain terms.

All the excuses thrown around about departing stars is now wearing thin as the Island nation struggles to find genuine talent with a tag of consistency attached to it as they offer themselves as cannon fodder to everyone they come up against.

 Over the past two years Sri Lanka have managed only three Test series wins over Australia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan with lengthy spells between those successes.

They have been hammered into submission in the one-day format by almost everyone which is a sad indictment for a team known previously for their expertise in the shorter version of the game.

 As they lurch from one series defeat to the other, the coaching department appear to be adrift of a solution, opting instead to point fingers in the direction of the players by stating the obvious instead of finding and providing them with the right direction.

 A complete revamp of the coaching department appears to be the only solution at present and a search for a competent coach is as obvious as day turning to night.

 Right now, the cards appear to be falling nicely into place if they are adventurous enough to pursue former Bangladesh Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe a former assistant with the Sri Lankan team, before he was dumped without valid reason. It now depends on whether Hathurusinghe is interested in coaching his former country and the wounds of the past have healed. He is an absolute goer in world cricket proving his ability for New South Wales in Australia before taking the Bangladeshis from minnows to a feared force in world cricket at the moment.

 Hathurusinghe gave up his coaching role in Bangladesh after a fall out with some of the players who are reported to have begun rebelling against him.

 Remedial action and a solid structure is of the essence at the moment as sniping and fractured relationships within the Sri Lanka cricket administration currently threatens to rip the heart out of the game in which they were once a feared force by the rest of the world.

 As the other nations keep shunting ahead in proven progress, Sri Lanka are in a downward spiral that need to be arrested if fans around the world are to show any interest in turning up to watch them play. They were crowd pullers in Australia and many other parts of the world before. But right now, with their poor form and inconsistency, fans will be thinking twice before committing to spend a day watching them play.

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Desmond and the Clan …. A true reflection of Sri Lanka’s rich heritage of musical talent – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Click Here to view the Photos on eLanka Facebook page

Desmond and the Clan …. A true reflection of Sri Lanka’s rich heritage of musical talent

Vintage performance at the Grand on Princes

By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

 It’s little wonder when you hear bands of the caliber of Desmond and the Clan who dominated the music scene in Sri Lanka many decades ago, that the newer bands of today have had to strive to be as good or even better to gain acceptance and recognition from music lovers these days.

In a master stroke that was hatched as an idea by Sri Lanka’s versatile icon of many decades, Desmond De Silva in consultation with wife and event coordinator Phyllis managed to rope in his former band mates for a tour to Australia and they gave music lovers in Sydney and Melbourne a fantastic show that will be long remembered by those fortunate to be there. To paraphrase an old adage, “They came, they saw and they conquered” Australia with their exceptional musical prowess.

Missing from the original set up was master drummer, the late Harris Jurangpathy, whose place was filled with aplomb by Nimal Punchihewa from Desmoind’s Australian band the ‘Impressions’.

They played to sell-out crowds in Sydney and then announced themselves in no uncertain manner at the new place to be in Melbourne, The Library in Clayton, before delivering their versatile best to an appreciative albeit moderate crowd (Four functions in Melbourne that night), before parting ways and heading back to different parts of the globe where they now reside.

Desmond and the Clan ruled the waves in Sri Lanka during their heyday in an era when music was churned out on instruments with less sophistication and only the extremely gifted could survive the lofty critics of the time whose judgement could be drilling and hard to appease at most times.

They came together in Sydney, spent minimal time resynching their past, and then put on a masterpiece for a performance which brought out an ingenious array of life- like performances of some of the best musicians in the world from different eras.

The Melbourne performance at the beautiful Grand on Princes showcased the versality of this wonderful band.

For men of their vintage, they have matured like a good wine and proved that age has certainly not wearied them.

Chuti Padmaperuma who began his musical career as a piano accordionist and played keyboards with some of the best musical setups at the time such as Gabo and the Breakaways, Flame and the Oceanites. He has entertained audiences in Europe mainly, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenlands, Italy, Germany and Austria before returning to Sri Lanka where he now resides after a stint in the Maldives. He has now expanded his talents to playing, Keyboards, guitar, Sax, Trumpet and Panpipes.

Kitsiri Abeywickrema was an absolute delight to watch backing his exceptional guitar work with acts such as Michael Jackson and Tina Turner which had the crowd enthralled. He has had a wide connection with some of the leading musicians such as Joey Lewis before settling in with Desmond and the Clan which toured and made a big impression in Europe mainly, Norway, Sweden and Germany.

It seemed through the night that the versatility of the band knew no bounds as Tony Fernando bass and Elvis and Elton John impersonations, Susantha Perera Sax, Keyboards and vocals and then the maestro himself, Desmond De Silva stepped up by blowing everyone away with his rendition of the Bee Gees, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin which was as authentic as you would ever wish to see.

Among the crowd in Melbourne was former Red Dragons lead guitarist Chris VanCyulenberg in raptures labelling the band’s performance as ‘World Class’ and no one on the dance floor appeared to be in argument with him.

Desmond and the Clan certainly did not disappoint the high expectation of them and no sooner had they wound up their commitments, plans were soon afoot to have them back in Australia in the not too distant future.

 Their next gig cannot come soon enough.

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Bungling administration drives Sri Lanka Cricket to depths of despair

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine-Rodrigo

A once proud cricketing nation, Sri Lanka have fallen into a deep abyss and appear powerless to claw their way back from their pathetic plight as the world watches and wonder what has struck them down.

Less than a year ago the rebuilding process appeared to be on course under the watchful eye of South African Graham Ford as the young and inexperienced Sri Lankans sans retired stars Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas and a few others took on the might of the then number one Test team Australia, and comprehensively thrashed them 3-0 at home to signal the changing of the guard.

The excitement that was derived from that success was short-lived as Sri Lanka then made a morass of mistakes, appointing a performance Manager who apparently interfered with Ford’s coaching style leaving the South African with no recourse than to chuck it in and return to his homeland. The result has since been horrendous to say the least as the Lankans were held by Bangladesh at home in all three formats and were then beaten in a one-day series by bottom rung Zimbabwe at home and nearly lost the solitary Test too.

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Bumbling fumbling Sri Lanka crash out of Champions Trophy

Pathetic fielding costs a semi-final berth

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

Sri Lanka lurched like a drunken sailor at the Champions Trophy in England before being unceremoniously dumped before the semi-finals thanks to pathetic fielding against Pakistan in a crucial game that decided the final four spots.

Team manager Asanka Gurusinha’s assertion that only the best fielding team would make up the final composition for the tournament irrespective of batting or bowling strengths came back to haunt him when the team delivered him and the team management a slap in the face against Pakistan as they literally found a way to kick themselves out of the tournament due to butterfingered fielding.

Compounding the dropped catches was the poor ground fielding which at times made them look amateurish and begged the question whether they were good enough at international level. The coaching staff must be left pondering their future.

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Desmond Kelly DVD launch for charity nets $2500

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine_Rodrigo

Veteran crooner Desmond Kelly was overjoyed that the proceeds from the sale of his DVD launched last year raised $2500, (Rs. 280,050) and the proceeds was handed over to an orphanage in the land of his birth, Sri Lanka.

The legendary performer signed off his lengthy musical career spanning several decades with a DVD which encompasses the beauty and splendor of Sri Lanka along with some humorous Video clips and a fine selection of his favourite songs delivered in his own inimitable style.

Desmond Kelly has over the years entertained countless fans in Sri Lanka and worldwide not just as a singer but as an actor and in numerous other roles including as a writer which he still plays a starring role for the Website Elanka and Editor of the Lanka Times in Melbourne. His number one hit song in 1958 “Living in a dreamworld” lives on to this day.

The monies raised was sent through DVD sponsors Fastcash, Melbourne’s leading money transfer company to Sri Lanka, to the Kudakusum orphanage, (Little Flower Convent) in Tangalle. The monies collected was received with thanks by Rev. Ashley Samarasinghe, SJ who in turn handed over the funds to Sr. Basiliya Perera, H.A to help educate and care for 21 girls aged between 4 and 12 years old.

Desmond Kelly says that the effort will be particularly pleasing due to the funds being directed to a worthy cause. He was thankful to the producers of the DVD, to Jude Goonewardena in particular, and a host of others who played an instrumental part in making the musical effort a reality.

“I am very happy that he (Michael) handled the financial side of it. It was a “team-effort” involving Mike, Dallas & yourself as well. Also we must not forget Neil Jayasekera of the most popular website ELanka in Australia who has given us plenty of publicity gratis”, says Des after the successful effort.

“Jude Goonewardane in London was respinsible for the production of the DVD, which several people informed me, was absolutely superb. If whatever I have done on this ultimate effort is appreciated, that is reward enough for me. I only wish it could have been ten times the amount we’ve already sent. I hope that those who bought the DVD will watch it now & then to bring back some “Bolanda Katha” (childhood memories) of our Lovely Island Home” he added.

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Bumbling fumbling Sri Lanka crash out of Champions Trophy – Pathetic fielding costs a semi-final berth

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine-Rodrigo

Sri Lanka lurched like a drunken sailor at the Champions Trophy in England before being unceremoniously dumped before the semi-finals thanks to pathetic fielding against Pakistan in a crucial game that decided the final four spots.

Team manager Asanka Gurusinha’s assertion that only the best fielding team would make up the final composition for the tournament irrespective of batting or bowling strengths came back to haunt him when the team delivered him and the team management a slap in the face against Pakistan as they literally found a way to kick themselves out of the tournament due to butterfingered fielding.

Compounding the dropped catches was the poor ground fielding which at times made them look amateurish and begged the question whether they were good enough at international level. The coaching staff must be left pondering their future.

Injuries to skipper Angelo Matthews in the opening game against South Africa and the suspension of inform stand in skipper Upul Tharanga and then Kusal Perera’s hamstring tear against India definitely dented Sri Lanka’s chances.

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Elvis ‘Ricky’ Thurgood feted at Easter Sandown races 37 years after tragic mishap

Elvis ‘Ricky’ Thurgood with parents Noel and Doris.

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Trevine-Rodrigo

 

The Horse racing fraternity in Australia are a rare breed as envisioned by their tender loving care for a fallen mate, Elvis ‘Ricky’ Thurgood, a champion Jockey who was literally stopped in his tracks on a fateful Easter weekend at Caulfield racecourse and left quadriplegic for the past 37 years.

The horse that Ricky was astride on that terrible Easter Cup day, Taras Regent, unfortunately suffered a heart attack in full stride throwing the champion jockey to what was considered a fatal fall but he has hung on in a quadriplegic state since and has recently shown miraculous signs of some form of recovery.

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