The Coronavirus could not impact much on Sri Lanka school cricket and spoil it because it hit the country during the latter part of the local inter-school season. By the time the Coronavirus became deadly, almost all the final league round school matches were concluded. Even the key four Colombo big matches – Royal-Thomian, Ananda-Nalanda, Josephian-Peterite and Thurstan-Isipatana had been concluded when the Coronavirus brought sport and everything else to a complete standstill.
In the golden era of Sri Lanka cricket, one player was prominent in the close-catching positions, motivating the team even when the opponent was on top. His encouraging words played a big role for the Lankan team - to bounce back at crucial stages. The pencil-slim player’s extraordinary role in keeping the spirit of the team high at all times won him the right nickname – Unanduwa, which in Sinhalese means Motivator.
The 141st Battle of the Blues between Royal and S.Thomas’ had a close call due to the coronavirus as it continued its traditions with the game at SSC ground ending yesterday. The world’s oldest uninterrupted inter-school cricket match which has even survived two World Wars, faced and overcame the biggest challenge in its long history.
March is considered the ‘big match’ month and two big matches –Thurstan-Isipatana and Josephian-Peterite have just been concluded. The Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda is also set to conclude today and the pitch has now been laid for the world’s oldest uninterrupted inter-school encounter – the Battle of the Blues between Royal and S.Thomas’ to continue its 141 years of glorious cricketing traditions.
The long awaited inter-school big match season has just begun. The big match season gives a new rhythm as the schoolboys and their old boys get proactive with excitement and renew loyalty with true feelings for their schools. The big match season and the venues are the annul meeting places for old boys of their respective schools to meet, greet and swap yarns, especially those who have domiciled abroad flying down for the big occasion.
There is only three weeks to go before the oldest big match and the world’s oldest uninterrupted inter-school cricket encounter - the Battle of the Blues - between Royal and S. Thomas’ to be played. It is during this time that the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year gathers momentum. Now there is an added reason to feel proud because the Observer-Mobitel Schoolgirl Cricketer of the Year too is run concurrently.
The Observer-Mobitel School Cricket awards has gained momentum over the years and accounts for almost half of the life story of Sri Lanka’s flagship English newspaper the Sunday Observer. The historic first ever school cricket awards show in Sri Lanka began exactly on the 50th anniversary of Sunday Observer
It was a pleasure to see the sponsors of the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year receiving a great sportsman as its Chairman in Rohan Fernando. As President of the Sri Lanka Rowing Association and ex-Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Old Thomian Fernando was a superb rower during his day who has been appointed the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Telecom and SLT Mobitel.
The 2019/2020 inter-school cricket season will reach top gear before the all-important big matches with the first X1 matches in progress. All matches played in February have special significance to fine-tune their teams before going on to traditional big matches from the beginning of next month.