By Harsha Amarasinghe
CH and FC have opted to withdraw from the Commander’s Cup 7’s rugby tournament after two of their ‘key players’ tested positive for Covid-19.
The Maitland Crescent Club in an e-mail has informed Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) about their unavailability for the tournament.
“We deeply regret this decision taken, however are compelled to do so due to serious budgetary constraints and the lack of two key players who have tested positive for the C19 virus which will severely hamper our game plan and it also does not permit us adequate practice time without our star members. We apologize for any inconvenience caused in this regard and wish you all the very best for a successful tournament,” CH has stated.
With CR and FC also opting to pull out on Thursday, the tournament is left with only five teams as Kandy Sports Club also announced their withdrawal earlier this week.
However, SLR President Rizly Illyas is confident of a ‘competitive tournament.’
“We completely understand the situation the clubs are facing because these are very difficult times, and that is why I would like to give special credit to Havelock Sports Club. I think they are the best managed club because they were very well prepared for any situation and have planned everything perfectly. Along with the tri-forces and Police, Havies have been quite brilliant in that regard,” Illyas told Daily Mirror.
Navy Sports Club have already confirmed that they will be fielding a second team as well while it is likely that Havelock Sports Club or Army Sports Club may also be sending a ‘B’ team as well.
However, Daily Mirror understands that there is a possibility of a team from Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Academy to feature in the tournament.