Spectators at the Joe-Pete cricket encounter behaved well on the first day of the match as seen in this picture before a section of the crowd ran onto the field and disrupted play on the following day (Pic by Venura Chandramalitha)

Shameless unruly behaviour by supporters of St. Joseph’s College Maradana ruined the annual cricket big match played against traditional rivals St. Peter’s College Bambalapitiya which took place at the P. Sara Stadium last week. the Petes were completely deprived of a certain well-deserved victory on the field.

Nevertheless, the genuinely concerned Rector of St. Joseph’s College, Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel subsequently awarded the win to St. Peter’s College.  Critics opined that the Peterites thoroughly deserved victory in this edition of the match.

Unable to hide their emotions, the Josephian spectators behaved like rowdies on field, preventing the gallant Peterites from finishing off the match. They invaded the field many times much to the utter dismay of genuine cricket loving spectators among who were both Peteries and Josephoans.

Chasing a target of 66, the Peterites were cruising to a fabulous victory. There were 59 for 4 with unsung hero Lakshina Rodrigo, who scored nearly 1,300 runs in this ongoing schools season, piloting his side to the verge of victory with nearly three overs remaining. He smashed the St. Joseph’s bowlers to all parts of the grounds. However, much to the disappointment of the umpires, Rodrigo was stopped in his strides not by the battered Joes bowlers and fielders but by a bunch of hooligans. This sort of uncalled for behavior has not been witnessed in a ‘Battle of the Saints’ in the 81 encounters played before this one.

These ugly disruptions only strongly suggest that the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) take stern action against St. Joseph’s College.

At the time of writing this article, there are queries from the cricket loving public whether there was a political hand in the violence that took place at the Joe-Pete cricket encounter.