Indrajit Cooomaraswamy’s Harrow Innings at Lords

Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News, April 2017, where the title reads Winning against Eton was the highlight of my career– Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy”

The rare honour of Rahul Wijeratne captaining the prestigious Harrow School at cricket during the 2017 English season has not gone unnoticed. S Skandakumar, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia writes to reveal that it is 50 years ago that the first Sri Lankan had the honour of captaining Harrow. He was none other than Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the present Central Bank Governor. Skandakumar writes: “What a fine achievement……FIFTY years after the first ever to do so! Our own Central Bank Governor Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy! No surprise that we have such a straight Bat driving that revered Institution!!  SS”

 Indrajit seemingly stumped?

Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy (captain of Harrow School 1967, 1968)

“I am extremely proud for that boy Rahul nothing should be taken away from his achievement,” Dr Coomaraswamy told the Daily News. “It’s a tremendous achievement to captain Harrow let alone play for them. This boy has also captained the Middlesex under 17 side so he must be an outstanding cricketer.”

Dr Coomaraswamy captained Harrow at cricket in 1967 and 1968 and he also played rugby for them.

“I happened to go to Harrow School because my father who was abroad in the US wanted me to get a British education,” said Dr Coomaraswamy. “I was 13 when I entered Harrow and the main incentive for playing cricket is that you get an opportunity to play at Lord’s.”

Dr Coomaraswamy said that he played in the prestigious Eton v Harrow annual cricket encounter at Lord’s for four years. “The first year I played in 1965 we won. The next two years we drew and in 1968 my final year as captain we won again. Winning this celebrated fixture against Eton was the sporting highlight of my career,” said Dr Coomaraswamy. “I played as a slow left-arm bowler and in my first year I batted at number 11. By the time I captained I had moved to number five. I took quite a number of wickets the year we won,” he said.

In fact Dr. Coomaraswamy led Harrow from the front in 1968 finishing with match figures of 12 wickets for 92 runs taking 7 for 42 in Eton’s first innings of 210 and 5 for 50 when they were dismissed for 141 in the second. Harrow made 260 (Coomaraswamy 34) and 92-3 to win by seven wickets with 15 minutes to spare.

In his first year as captain in 1967 Harrow narrowly escaped defeat clinging onto a draw at 151-7 after being set a target of 219. Dr Coomaraswamy held four catches in the Eton first innings of 274-6 decIared and took two wickets for 18 in the second innings.

Dr Coomaraswamy stated that the time he joined Harrow there were only a few foreign students attending unlike today where there are many. “There have been several Sri Lankans who have been to Harrow and played cricket. Two Wijeratne boys (Sachin and Rahul) played together in one year (2015) which is unique. “There is also another younger brother whom I think will make the grade soon,” said Dr Coomaraswamy who had a distinguished career in sports playing cricket for Royal College and Tamil Union and, rugby for CR&FC and also captaining the Sri Lanka team in the 1974 Rugby Asiad.

 Rahul Wijeratne today

Eton College v Harrow School
Other matches in England 1968
Venue Lord’s Cricket Ground, St John’s Wood on 11th, 12th July 1968 (2-day match)
Balls per over 6
Toss Toss not known
Result Harrow School won by 7 wickets
Umpires N Cooper, FR Parker
Close of play day 1 Harrow School (1) 159/3 (Franks 15*)

Eton College first innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s
DJB Wood b Webster 0
JBW Stewart b Holland 0
VA Cazalet lbw b Coomaraswamy 62 104 6
MJJ Faber c Vinson b Holland 100 14
*+RC Kinkead-Weekes b Coomaraswamy 0
GMP Consett b Coomaraswamy 3
APR Tomkin st Vinson b Coomaraswamy 19
MGE Hughes b Coomaraswamy 4
CHR Fortescue c Harrison b Coomaraswamy 6
A Douglas-Home b Coomaraswamy 0
JRT Barclay not out 0
Extras (3 b, 9 lb, 4 nb) 16
Total (all out, 48.4 overs) 210
Fall of wickets:
1-3 (Wood), 2-3 (Stewart), 3-129 (Cazalet), 4-129 (Kinkead-Weekes), 5-140 (Consett), 6-184, 7-191, 8-206, 9-206, 10-210 (48.4 ov)
Harrow School bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls
Holland 12 3 90 2
Webster 12 2 40 1
Evans 3 0 22 0
Coomaraswamy 21.4 8 42 7

Harrow School first innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s
AP Webster c Cazalet b Barclay 90
AH Bruce c Kinkead-Weekes b Douglas-Home 0
ME Harrison c Hughes b Barclay 42 84 5
TM Franks b Douglas-Home 21
PJE Needham b Barclay 5
*I Coomaraswamy b Douglas-Home 34  
SG Ffrench c Hughes b Barclay 19
+RW Vinson c Barclay b Douglas-Home 21
MC Dickinson b Barclay 1
SG Holland st Kinkead-Weekes b Barclay 4
MTA Evans not out 1
Extras (10 b, 6 lb, 6 nb) 22
Total (all out, 84 overs) 260
Fall of wickets:
1-15 (Bruce), 2-111 (Harrison), 3-159 (Webster), 4-167, 5-191, 6-224, 7-230, 8-240, 9-258, 10-260 (84 ov)
Eton College bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls
Douglas-Home 32 9 72 4
Hughes 8 1 27 0
Fortescue 10 3 27 0
Barclay 31 7 100 6
Faber 3 0 12 0

Eton College second innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s
DJB Wood c Holland b Coomaraswamy 69
APR Tomkin c Dickinson b Holland 5
VA Cazalet lbw b Webster 16
MJJ Faber c Webster b Evans 12
*+RC Kinkead-Weekes c Dickinson b Coomaraswamy 3
GMP Consett b Holland 0
MGE Hughes st Vinson b Coomaraswamy 2
CHR Fortescue c Webster b Coomaraswamy 16
JRT Barclay b Coomaraswamy 0
JBW Stewart b Webster 0
A Douglas-Home not out 0
Extras (10 b, 5 lb, 3 nb) 18
Total (all out, 61 overs) 141
Fall of wickets:
1-11, 2-35, 3-61, 4-89, 5-105, 6-119, 7-122, 8-122, 9-123, 10-141 (61 ov)
Harrow School bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls
Holland 11 5 19 2
Webster 22 7 38 2
Coomaraswamy 24 11 50 5
Evans 4 2 16 1

Harrow School second innings Runs Balls Mins 4s 6s
AP Webster b Douglas-Home 22
AH Bruce b Hughes 6
ME Harrison not out 48
*I Coomaraswamy b Hughes 8
PJE Needham not out 4
TM Franks did not bat
SG Ffrench did not bat
+RW Vinson did not bat
MC Dickinson did not bat
SG Holland did not bat
MTA Evans did not bat
Extras (4 lb) 4
Total (3 wickets, 33.2 overs) 92
Fall of wickets:
1-10 (Bruce), 2-36 (Webster), 3-49 (Coomaraswamy)
Eton College bowling Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Wides No-Balls
Douglas-Home 17 5 51 1
Hughes 16.2 4 37 2




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