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.