St. Anthony’s College, Kandy, founded in 1854, is a Roman Catholic school which has done well at cricket. At one time this school was a major force in school cricket. This institute has produced champion teams and some of the finest cricketers this country has seen. Cricket fans should recall the year 1991 when St. Anthony’s emerged as league champions and finished as runners-up in the 50 over cricket tournament.
St. Anthony’s College played its first inter-school match against Dharmaraja College in 1904. Today their most looked forward to game is against Trinity College.
They have produced some fine cricketers. One of them in the early days of St, Anthony’s was Jack Anderson who held the record for the highest individual score in school cricket (291) which came against S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia in 1917. ACM Lafir was another fine cricketer who played several graceful innings for the school, Nomads CC and Sri Lanka. Other outstanding cricketers produced by this school were Wijepala Premaratne and Charlie Joseph who became the best schoolboy cricketer of the year in 1959.
In recent times the school produced its best product, classy spinner Muttiah Muralidaran who at one time was the world’s highest wicket taker. Some of the other cricketers produced by the school during this time were C.P.P. Raj, Marlon Van Haught, Damian Nadaraja, Ruwn Kalpage, Piyal Wijetunge, Suresh de Alwis, Umesh de Alwis and Sajith Fernado.
As of today it is sad to say that there are several shortcomings in cricket at the school with no proper person there to provide information to the press.
Due to poor performances at cricket, St, Anthony’s is playing in the Division II tournament.
St. Anthony’s is fielding a good side this season which has no less than seven players from last year. They are led by Kaniska Ugalpaya who is a knowledgeable cricketer and a good leader. His deputy is Mohamad Alfer. Prasad Ranawake is the coach.
The school’s cricket team has received the commitment of old boys who have taken turns to sponsor some of the matches.
The Antonians have upcoming fixtures against St. Sebastian’s at Moratuwa, Kalutara Vidyalaya at Katugastota, Sri Devananda College at Ambalangoda, S. De S. Jayasinghe College in Katugasota, St. Joseph’s College at Darley Road, St. Peter’s College at Katugastota and St. Benedicts College at Katugastota. The big match against Trinity is scheduled for March 11-12 at Asgiriya and the one day on March 19 at Katugastota.
Some of the players to watch this season are Korindo Yapa Bandara, Janidu Himsara, Lakjeewa Wijebandara, Thiksha Gunasinghe, Dilanka Wijeratne, Sathish Wickramarachchi, Rumesh Premaratne, Suren Jayasinghe, Devin Perera, Virajitha Jayasinghe, Diyon Stouter, Sandaruwan Dharmaratne, Mohamed Abser, Mokshana Wickremanayake, Udantha Amarakoon, Ravindu Japthanthri, Pramodith Panditharathne, Mohamad Rukshan, Thamasajha Abeyakoon, Kevin Dananjaya, Lasith Werallagama, Chamod Wanasinghe, Janith Dabagalle, Gyan Samarathunge, Mohamed Kaneen, Thanushka Mohjotty, S. Weersinghe, Hasitha Chaturanga and Norman Nishantha.