Knowlton picked despite medical recommendations
RUGBY: Despite two eminent medical specialists recommending
that Kapila Knowlton is not fit enough to represent Sri Lanka at the
Hong Kong International Rugby 7's to be staged on March 28, 29 and 30,
the national selectors picked him in the 12-member side.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of the Sports Medicine Unit of the
Ministry of Sports and Public Rrecreation, Dr. Wasantha Perera, states
that in his opinion Knowlton "is not fit to take part in sports at
national level" viewing the MRI report.
The MRI Scan report on Knowlton's injured left knee joint done at
Nawaloka Hospital states that a "partial turn medical and lateral
collateral ligaments with a small effusion in the left knee joint and
soft tissue oedema around the joint," is shown.
Knowlton was referred for the MRI scan by Dr. Seevali Jayawickrema of
the Sports Medicine Institute of the Ministry of Sports, whose
Director-General, Dr. Githanjana Mendis, states in a letter to the
Chairman of the national selectors, Brigadier Jupana Jayawardena, that
Knowlton has a "marked injury in his left knee and should subject him to
a fitness test and then decide whether he could take part in the Hong
When the two local rugby coaches, Alex Nishantha and Sudath Sampath
were taken to see Dr. Wasantha Perera on March 19 at Nawaloka Hospital,
Kapila Knowlton went "missing" from the hospital. Dr. Githanjana Mendis
confirms this incident in his letter to Brigadier Jayawardena on March
20. He has not trained for the past one week and neither did he play in
Friday's practice match with Police at Police Park.
It is rather surprising that only two selectors (Brigadier Jupana
Jayawardena and Norman Silva) were present at this practice game which
was also meant to test Knowlton's fitness. Knowlton did not play in this
particular game. Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, too was present this occasion.
The Sunday Observer is surprised at the competition of the Sri Lanka
side which includes only two forwards while the other 10 players are
three-quarters. Who is going to win possession of the ball.
A knowledgeable former national player of repute stated that there
should be expert forwards to hold the scrum, win lines-out and win the
ball at break down points. Without possession one cannot play 7's rugby.
Also, Knowlton, is 34 years and a younger player should have been sent
instead. He further said that the victoriouis Sri Lanka side of 1984
inclucded six forwards under Hishan Abdeen.
The national selectors include Brigadier Jayawardena, Norman Silva,
Savantha de Saram, Lalin Tennekoon and Graham Raux.
Brigadier Jayawardena says that Knowlton had undergone the "fitness
test" successfully and was picked.
The 12-member side for the Hong Kong 7's are - Radhika Hettiarachchi,
Imran Bisthamin, Saliya Kumara, Pradeep Liyanage (Captain), Sanjeewa
Jayasinghe, Fazil Marija (all from Kandy Sports Club), Ashen Karthelis,
Ashan de Costa and Amjad Buksh (from CR & FC), Lakala Perera (CH & FC),
Wasim Thajudeen and Kapila Knowlton (from Army).