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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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Sri Lanka cricket on roller coaster as Bangladesh add to their embarrassment

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Rollercoasters don’t come better than Sri Lanka’s current cricket fortunes as they lurch from a high to an unexpected low and then drop into a chasm that is near terrifying as they try to break out from their transitional period sans any superstars in their ranks.

My assertion to the hapless Sri Lankan plight traces back to when they sensationally upset the top ranked Australians a few months ago winning the Test series 3-0 then travelling to Zimbabwe and winning the Test and one-day series before being brought to a shuddering halt by the South Africans who thrashed them in all formats and brought them back to earth.

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Wildfire and Rap-SoD to light up Wheels for Wheels

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Rap-So-D

Ron and Shabi Meerwald

Last year’s Wheels for Wheels featured Gary and Natasha Pinto with Carmen

 

Reignited Wildfire will light up Melbourne after a lapse of several years as the band renowned for their artistic brilliance have reformed and bring their amazing talent to Melbourne and Sydney at the end of April.

Comprising two of the best guitarists from Sri Lanka in Shafi. S. Shafi and Derek Wickremanayake, Wildfire also has versatile drummer Chris Dhason and ‘Cobra’ who complete an awesome combination.

Wildfire begin their performances at the annual Saints of Nugegoda dinner dance on April 28 at Gaelic Park hall in Keysborough followed by the Wheels for Wheels charity dance at the Grand on Princes held each year to raise funds for Cerebral Palsy.

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Bulldogs and GWS stake their claim for Premiership glory

HAWKS “Fourthorn” still a distinct possibility

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

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Not for as long as I can remember has the Premiership flag been open to anyone of the top six teams but this year’s crackerjack season has set up just that scenario leaving only the bold to make a standout prediction.

Hawthorn will always be the favourite going on their hat trick of wins over the past seasons but from the rest, health there is little to choose as even the underdogs of the past, ask Greater Western Sydney and the Western Bulldogs have shown enough to suggest that they are quite capable of going all the way.

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All Blacks throw down the gauntlet saying “Catch us if you can”: Bledisloe Cup tucked away for another year

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Catch-us-if-you-can

High in confidence after their memorable World Cup triumph, web the mighty All Blacks reminded the Wallabies that their pain was to continue for another year, 14 consecutive in fact, thrashing their trans-Tasman rivals to take a firm hold of the Bledisloe Cup for another year.

The retirements of Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and a host of others who formed that fearsome All Black World Cup winning team threw a glimmer of hope to the other nations
about their possible vulnerability as the world champion regrouped with their emerging stars.

But it has made little difference to a nation which could throw together another line up that could still beat the other nations in the world game.

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Sweet and sour Sri Lankans have something to smile about

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

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buy arial, buy helvetica, recipe sans-serif;”>Australia showed what a champion team is made of by shrugging off the 3-0 whitewash in the Tests to totally annihilate the Sri Lankans in the one- day and T20 series and returned home with some of their tarnished image somewhat intact.

Sri Lanka, touted the underdogs in all formats, shocked the former world number one ranked team with a sterling effort thanks to veteran spinner Rangana Herath, skipper Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal and a handful of emerging youngsters who though lacking in experience showed dour qualities and a hunger to win.

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