By Susil Premalal
The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation has made all arrangements to host the First Asian Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup from Saturday (15) to September 21 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Colombo.
The tournament will be conducted by the Asian Volleyball Confederation. The champions and runners-up of this competition will qualify for the Asian Men’s Championships to be held in 2019, the venue for which has not been decided as yet.
The opening ceremony will be held on Saturday at 3.30 pm with President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chief Guest.
This is the first occasion that an Asian Senior level volleyball tournament is being held in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka team is being skippered by Chamara Mihiran of the Sri Lanka Army.
Prior to these two junior tournaments, one youth tournament and two Central Zone tournaments were held in the island.
Eight Asian teams will take part in the competition as follows: Group A: Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Saudi ArabiaGroup B: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bangladesh, Iraq and Mongolia
The matches scheduled for tomorrow as follows: 9.30am – Iraq vs Bangladesh 10.30am – UAE vs Mongolia4pm – Sri Lanka vs Hong Kong6.30pm – Malaysia vs Saudi Arabia
The quarter-finals will be played on September 19, the semi-finals on September 20 and the finals on September 21.
The main sponsor of the contest is Dialog Axiata.
The Sri Lanka team: Chamara Mihiran (Captain – Sri Lanka Army), Janith Surath (Ports Authority), Shamil Silva (Sri Lanka Army), Gayan Madushanka (Ceylon Electricity Board), Premesh Sudasinghe (Sri Lanka Air Force), A.W. Lakmal (Ceylon Electricity Board), Shehan Vimukthi (Ports Authority), Kasun Fernando (Ceylon Electricity Board), Dhanushka Fernando (Sri Lanka Air Force), Lasindu Methmal (Ports Authority), Deepthi Ranawaka (Ceylon Electricity Board), Wasantha Lakmal (Sri Lanka Army), Ayesh Dilshan (Ceylon Electricity) and Malith Dinidu