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Schoolboy cricketers of Kandy have geared up and are practicing for their tournament as well as traditional matches. Their preparations have been somewhat hampered because of wet weather. The other factor that has affected school cricket over here is the year-end exam.
Kandy cricket has survived each year despite these little obstacles. These schools have maintained despite these odds and produced cricketers who have done their country proud. There are no proper cricket playing clubs in Kandy. The resources these players have are also not worth bragging about. This is why cricketers over here look at other avenues when they say goodbye to their schools.
School cricket in the hills is popular largely due to the big matches. Some of the traditional matches have been played for many years and boast of a rich tradition. Unlike most other popular sports, cricket generates equal interest in all schools.
However, there is big problem in school cricket which needs attention. Most schools don’t print their fixture cards because some schools are hampered without grounds. In the absence of fixture cards it is rather difficult for scribes to obtain the full names of players even if they contact masters-in-charge of schools.
Apart from these issues, some schools are finding it difficult to keep the sport going. A cricket match will cost them over Rs. 20,000. And if they have to travel it will cost more. Adding to the woes is the heavy costs involved on purchasing cricket equipment and gear.
Sri Lanka Cricket talks so much of development in the entire Island, but their work is confined to the city. Cricket is blossoming in other provinces where there are sponsors and plenty of money.
It’s sad that the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) does not observe this and doesn’t work alongside with the district or provincial unions. The SLSCA has sufficient funds for development of cricket in every district. Cricket is a particularly demanding sport that requires great technical skill, strength of character, concentration, commitment and physical endurance.
Meanwhile, Dharmaraja College opened the season with a win against Dharmasoka College. They followed this with a win against Dharmapala College but lost to Trinity College. They drew with St. Sebastian’s College, St. Anthony’s College Wattala, St.Sylvester’s College and Zahira College. The fixtures against Royal College and Maliyadewa College were postponed due to wet weather. Their next game is on January 2 and 3 against St. Mary’s College Kegalle. Deshan Gunasinghe is the captain and up to now has beein doing a good job. The team’s coach is Senaka Dissanayke.
Trinity College opened the season with a friendly against Vidyartha College and followed with wins against St. Servetus College, D.S. Senanayake College and Dharmapala College. Their last match for the year is against Nalanda College on December 28 and 29. And in the coming year will play against Richmond, St. Joseph’s, St. Sebastian’s, Ananda, Isipathana, S. Thomas’, Royal and St. Anthony’s. Leading the side is all-rounder Shanogeeth Shanmugantha. The coach is Kavinda Jayasuriya.
St. Sylvester’s College coached by Jaliya Weerasinghe and led by Manoj Perera won the opening against Anuradhapura Central. They drew with Kalutara MV, St. Anthony’s and Kingswood College. Their next game is on December 27 and 28 against S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavania.
Sri Sumangala College are led by Mithun Karunaratne. Hemantha Wimalasekara is the coach. They are playing in Division II. They enjoy limited facilities. Their next game hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Sri Rahula College are led by A.G. Gehan Dilesha Madushanka, a good all-rounder. They are coached by A. Bogalande. According to the coach they have played only one game so far which was against Nugawella Central College. Their ground at Katugastota is under construction.
Kingswood College opened the season with a draw against St. Sylvester’s College. Ruwan Hathurusinghe, the stumper, is the captain. They are coached by Indika Fernando.
Vidyartha College played their first match against Trinity College as a friendly encounter. Leading the team is Ravishka Lakshan Upananda. They are coached by Sanjeewa Silva.
St. Anthony’s College is captained by Mohamed Alfat. They opened the season with a match against Wesley College which ended in a draw.
Nugawella Central College are hoping to do well this season. They are coached by Lalith Chandrasena. Vickum Babunuarachchi is the captain.
Madena Central College plays in Division III tournament. They are yet to open the season due to examinations and problems regarding grounds.
Walala A Ratnayake Central College are keen followers of cricket. They are coached by an old boy Sanjeewa Seelaratne. I.K.S. Kodikara has been chosen to lead the side.
Azar College Akurana plays in the level 11 segment of the Division III tournament. They are led by H.M. Aqeel Mohamed and coached by H.M. Rikas.
Galagedera Central College are involved in cricket, but they are still to play a match.