Category Archives: player selections

A Love Affair with the Colombo Oval

S. Skandakumar, in The Sunday Island, 30 August 2020 where his chosen title is “The Colombo Oval and I”

The majestic Oval scoreboard clock showed ten minutes to three on a Sunday afternoon when our final wicket fell. We had conceded first innings points by a small margin to Moors in a P. Sara Trophy encounter. The year was 1973 and it was my first game for the club. The many Moors supporters hugged each other and left the venue to return to Braybrook Place to celebrate. With just half an hour left to tea, and two hours thereafter to the end of the game, their optimism was justified.

In our dressing room our skipper Benedictine Tony Appathurai had other ideas. “I want five by tea,” he thundered as he briskly led us back on to the field for that half an hour. I admired his arrogance!

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Tharanga Paranavitana calls it A Day

ONE: ESPNcricnfo staff:

Tharanga Paranavitana, the 38-year old Sri Lanka batsman, has announced his retirement from international cricket. Known as an old-school opener, he played 32 Test matches for his country, scoring 1792 runs including two hundreds and 11 fifties.

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Dhanasiri Weerasinghe passes away in Melbourne

ONE: Elmo Rodrigopulle in Daily News, 15 July 2020

The death of any outstanding personality in any form of life saddens many as was the passing away of Dhanasiri Weerasinghe a cricketer who in his own unique way and style contributed to make cricket what it is in the country today.

DHANASIRI WEERASINGHE passed away last week in Melbourne, Australia after an illness bravely borne. Cricketers of an era gone by – the 1950s and the 1960s – will mourn Weerasinghe who made his bat talk and his intelligent captaincy brain tick with great efficiency.

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Jermaine Blackwood stands up for the Windies

Nagraj Gollaupadi, in ESPNcricinfo, 12 July 2020, where the title readsJermaine Blackwood writes history in his own way”

Dom Bess mocked him in the first innings. Jermaine Blackwood had charged England’s offspinner on Friday to hit hard into the hands of James Anderson at mid-off. Bess imitated swinging a golf club, as if out of a bunker in the golf course adjacent to Ageas Bowl. Blackwood’s audacity was not to the Englishman’s liking.

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Test Cricket to Savour: Tests commence again with a Wham-Bang!

‘What a Test match to herald the return of cricket’ – Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara’s Tweet among the Host of Tweets: “What a test match to Herald the return of cricket. Steely determination from @windiescricket both @benstokes38 and Jason Holder have shown themselves to be exemplary leaders.
Mark Wood floors himself as Jermaine Blackwood’s lofted drive beats mid-off

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Remembering Everton Weekes: Cozier and Chappell Speak

ONE:  Tony Cozier in 2015: “Ninety years of Everton Weekes,” 26 Feb 2015

Of all the numbers stacked against the name Everton de Courcy Weekes in scorebooks the world over, 90 carries an unfortunate significance.

   

It was his score in West Indies’ first innings of the fourth Testagainst India in Chepauk, Madras, now Chennai, in January 1949. Ten more runs would have extended his overall record of five successive Test hundreds that has never been surpassed; he was cut short by a run-out decision by the square-leg umpire that Weekes now euphemistically describes as “rather doubtful”.

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Stanley Jayasinghe: Nalandian Schoolboy Prodigy and Outstanding Cricketing Man

Mahinda Wijesinghe, in Sunday Times, 14 June 2020, with this title “A Schoolboy who made the grade and played for the National team”

Stanley Jayasinghe (born 1931) was a household name in cricket in the 1950’s. Educated at Nalanda College Colombo, he captained his school in 1951. He was an outstanding right-hand batsman and a part-time off-spinner as well. He had the distinction of playing for Ceylon – whilst in school.

Stanley playing for Leicester

Two of his team-mates, opening batsmen Carl Obeyesekera and Ashley de Silva were also national players, the latter being a twelfth man. What an honour for the school. Just imagine having three schoolboys who were simultaneously national players. This indicates the standard of school cricket in that era. No wonder there were spectators galore including many a schoolboy who used to ‘cut’ school to watch their heroes in action.

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Gamini Goonesena in Pictorial Mode

Photographs to complement Rohan Wijeyaratna’s classic account in Thuppahi = https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/gamini-goonesena-leading-cambridge-to-victory-in-1957/

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Three West Indians opt out of England tour

Nagraj Gollapudi in ESPNcricinfo, 3 June 2020 … with this title “Why West Indies trio pulled out of England tour”

Concerns about their families are understood to be the primary reason behind Darren BravoShimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul declining to be part of the West Indies Test squad for the England tour. Both the prospect of leaving their families for seven weeks and concerns about how quickly they would be able to see them on their return to the Caribbean at the end of July are understood to be key factors in the players’ decisions, with uncertainty around the quarantine requirements that may be imposed by their respective governments.

Hetmyer and Darren Bravo in the middle

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Roshan Mahanama: Staying True in Tempestuous Cricketing Times

Sanjeewa Jayaweera, in Island, May 2020, with this title Roshan Mahanama a gentleman par excellence” ….. http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=222098

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.

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