|Thursday, 27 December 2001|
Janashakthi strikes a double
The Sri Lankan cricket loving public will once more be in for excitement with the commencement of the Janashakthi National Test Series when Sri Lanka takes on Zimbabwe in the First of the 3 test matches on Thursday, 27th December at the SSC. If Sri Lanka were to win the three-match test series, which will run until mid January 2002, it is said to take Sri Lanka to greater heights in the international test cricket circle.
The BCCSL this time around has moved away from the usual sequence of test match schedules and fixed the matches at Colombo followed by Kandy and then the final match at Galle.
Having taken the last two wickets in consecutive balls in the second innings of the West Indies in the 3rd test, all eyes will be on Chaminda Vaas's hat-trick, though not in the same match, which is sure to crate history in test cricket. The series is also of paramount importance to the Sri Lankan cricket team, who now holds a five-match winning streak following their three-nil whitewash against the West Indies. The other wins include the single test against Bangladesh and the last of the test against India. A repeat of the feat against West Indies may virtually take them to the second spot in the ICC World's Test Cricket rankings, provided Australia beat South Africa, who are the current occupants of the second spot in all 3 test matches.
To add value to the excitement, Janashakthi Insurance Company Limited and National Insurance Corporation Limited have come forward to strike a double, sponsoring back to back home test cricket series. Sri Lanka's colossal success and history writing performance where a 3 test match series was won for the first time in Sri Lankan Test Cricket History, against the West Indies have prompted the sponsors to take the oncoming series against Zimbabwe, who have shown an improved performance with respective 2-nil and 1-nil home and away series against Bangladesh.
"After Sri Lanka's successful test series against West Indies, we felt it was in the best interest of both cricket at large and our company to continue to be involved with Sri Lankan cricket. We anticipate an exacting series against Zimbabwe, especially when the Sri Lankan team is doing well rallying around Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Mahela Jayawardena ad Hashan Tillakeratne, we thought the spectator interest would be high" said Mr. Chandra Schaffter Managing Director of Janashakthi Insurance Company Limited and National Insurance Corporation Limited.
Some of the Sri Lanka cricketers getting into world rankings would no doubt add colour to the series. On the part of the Zimbabweans, expectations would be on Wisden's player of the year Andy Flower and his widely known mastering of the deadly Muralitharan. The Flower brothers will hold the key to the tourists batting while Heath Streak and the inimitable Henry Olanga will have to bring out their best to best a boosted Sri Lankan batting machine.
The sponsors Janashakthi Insurance Company Limited and National Insurance Corporation Limited have many incentives awaiting the best performers in the series. There will be lucrative prizes for the "Man of the Match" in all three tests and a coveted "Man of the Series" award for the most outstanding player. The winners will receive the "Janashakthi National trophy" with prize money.
On par with its innovations in the Insurance business, Janashakthi delivered the coveted trophy in spectacular fashion with the Sri Lanka Air Force paratroopers descending on test venue by air, during the 3rd Sri Lanka West Indies test match, much to the delight of the crowd present. The excitement planned this time around remains to be seen.
Janashakthi's association with cricket runs a long way back with its Managing Director Mr. Chandra Schaffter representing Sri Lanka - then All Ceylon at Cricket. Mr. Schaffter has also served as the Manager of the Sri Lanka cricket teams in 1982, 1991 and in 1999, where Sri Lankan cricket received rejuvenation after their dismal performance in the World Cup. In addition Mr. Tryphon R Mirando the Director Marketing is a former Honorary Secretary of the BCCSL and is presently the President of the Tamil Union cricket and Athletics Club.
Apart from that Janashakthi holds what can be deemed the biggest weapon in the Sri Lankan armoury with world famed spin wizard Muttaiah Muralitharan being a member of the Janashakthi staff. The private sector company also represents the country's mercantile cricket with many talented cricketers employed by them. In one of the biggest contributions to cricket, they published the "Janashakthi Book of Sri Lanka Cricket" a 636-page publication covering 165 years of Sri Lankan cricket.
Produced by Lake House