The coronavirus may have struck shortly before the English cricket season was due to start, but it threatens to have major implications for the game worldwide. English officials still believe they can fit a full international programme of three-Test series against both the West Indies and Pakistan, as well as one-day internationals with Australia and Ireland, into a season that won’t start until 1 July at the earliest.
I recall meeting Roshan Mahanama and his father Upali Mahanama 15 years ago, both not known to me, while climbing a narrow staircase in a hospital. Presumably, the elevator was not functional. I was taking my mother for a consultation. What struck me and my mother, who was then about 75 years, was the innate politeness and humbleness of Roshan and his father. They quickly got aside and made way for my mother and me to go up as they were coming down. Also, they acknowledged us with a heartwarming smile despite not knowing us.
Mahinda Wijesinghe, in Island,19 May 2020, where the title runs“Winds behind the willows. An Encyclopaedic history of SL cricket with”warts and all,
a rare photo taken in Colombo (October 1930) of S.P. Foenander, then the Sports Editor of ‘Ceylon Observer’, gifting a replica of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy (Temple of the Tooth) to Don Bradman. Foenander is carrying Australian skipper Bill Woodfull’s son, Jack, in his arms. (Courtesy State Library of South Australia – PRG 682/16/108)
Almost a century ago, S.P.Foenander, referred internationally as the ‘Wisden of the East’, authored his 268-page classic tome ‘Sixty Years of Ceylon Cricket’ (Ceylon Advertising & General Publicity – 1924). That was the first book which authoritatively enlightened the cricket world about cricket and cricketers between the years 1863 to 1923, in the then fair isle of Ceylon. One must also remember that Foenander, who even rubbed shoulders with the legendary Bradman – see photo below- must have experienced the difficulties at that time in collecting/collating information and statistics and so on in compiling his book. After all, the print media at that time was not developed; TV nor Internet was not even thought of. In short sophisticated communication systems were not even in its infancy. So the accolade of being the pioneer of cricket journalism in Ceylon falls squarely on the shoulders of the late S.P. Foenander.
Sarath Gamini De Silva, in Island, 6 June 2019 where the title was different**
I am an ardent cricket fan, being educated at a school giving pride of place to cricket. The annual “Big Match” was one of the most looked forward to events in the calendar. My own experience in the game was limited to playing with the soft ball in the backyard with my friends. Whenever time permits, I watch cricket on television but only occasionally do I go to see a match. I am overjoyed to see Sri Lanka winning matches, which unfortunately is a rarity now.
Rex Clementine in Island,1 May 2020 where the title reads “Galle voted world’s best cricket ground ahead of Lord’s”
Galle International Cricket Stadium has been voted as the best cricket ground in the world ahead of home of cricket – Lord’s and other leading international cricket grounds. In a survey conducted by cricket statistician Jarrod Kimber through twitter, an audience from all over the world voted and Galle earned the top price.
Champika Fernando, in Sunday Times, 5 April 2020, with this title ‘Continuity’ – De Mel’s mantra
Chief cricket selector Ashantha De Mel often speaks of ‘continuity’ to give players a fair run in the team. The strategy seems to be bearing fruit. Sri Lanka’s 3-0 triumph against West Indies in the ODIs came against the backdrop of resolute selection, something that will be adhered to again as the team prepares for the World T20 qualifiers in Australia later this year.
Sa’adi Thawfeeq in Daily News 5 February 2020, with this title “The Kusal Perera saga”
Many opinions has been expressed and many words written on the exclusion of Kusal Perera from the Test squad to Zimbabwe. Perera as you may remember played one of the greatest match-winning innings in Test cricket against South Africa guiding his team to an epic one-wicket win at Durban hitting an unbeaten 153 as Sri Lanka chased down 304.
But since then Perera’s scores in Test cricket have been 20, 1, 23, 0 and 0. However the selectors persisted with him and took him to Pakistan but with the return of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal both of whom missed the South African series, he lost his place in the Test team and was pushed to the rank of reserves.
Gideon Haighin Weekend Australian, 24 January 2020, where the title runs
In December 2011, Rahul Dravid delivered a justly celebrated speech at the Australian War Memorial, the Bradman Oration, lyrically evoking the plurality and diversity of cricket in the subcontinent.“The Indian cricket team is in fact, India itself, in microcosm,” he said, describing a dressing room drawn from every corner of the country that spoke 15 different languages and stood “not just for sport, but possibility, hope, opportunities”.
Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 20 December 2019, where the title runs thus: “Dinesh Chandimal condenses rollercoaster career into one innings”
Dinesh Chandimal plays a shot during the second day of the second Test cricket match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka –Photo by Asif HASSAN /AFP via Getty Images)
There is almost a novel here. A talented wicketkeeper from the southwest gets spotted by a big Colombo school in his teens. Goes on to lead that school to their best season ever. He quickly gets picked up by the national squad, and at first glimpse of this guy, the public is enchanted. He’s organised, but there’s also that manic fun of a schoolboy. He swings so hard at the ball his limbs could go flying off. By 23, he is Sri Lanka’s T20I captain – their youngest ever.