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!
Dinesh Chandimal enjoyed a marathon innings of 354 runs in 390 balls[run rate being90.53] as the SL Army cricket team piled up 642 runs dfor 8 wkts vs Saracens at the Katunayake grounds before declaring.
The time has come to grasp the nettle, to remove the mental and, to reject the frown, the shrug, the pursed lips and the quizzical look. Muttiah Muralitharan was, without qualification, the finest cricketer on the planet last year and, by implication, is one of the best cricketers that have ever played the game.
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.
Harry Solomons, the Aloysian Australian Invincible, in Australian colours…. the same combination as his alma mater, St, Aloysius, Galle …. playing for Australia’s Over Seventies against New Zealand this February 2020 –where, he says, “we beat NZ in our only 70s International on tour…… [and] I played the full 6 matches on tour”. Harry then presents snapshots of the “emotional cap ceremony.”
Dhammika Ratnaweera, in Sunday Observer, 15 December 2019, with this title “Pioneer cheer leader Percy launches book”
The story of one-man cheer squad Percy Abeysekera titled ‘I‘am Percy Cricket Crazy’ was launched yesterday at the newly opened Chance Sports Grand Showroom at Baseline Road Borella. The veteran cheer leader’s biography written by Darrshini Parthepan notes Percy’s unforgettable stories out of the boundary line in this book and the first copy was handed over to 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga from the man himself at the simple ceremony organized by Sportsinfo and Trimo Media.
Geoff Lemon, in Daily News, 7 December 2019, with this title “Like those of greats before him, David Warner’s triple century was a giant feat in a dull game”
When David Warner made his unbeaten 335 in Adelaide, a fair few people felt inclined to present some caveats. The pitch was flat, the bowlers were no good, the ball didn’t swing, Mercury was in retrograde. Those opinions would hardly have been muffled when the Pakistan tail-ender Yasir Shah made his first Test ton in reply, having never previously passed 50.
ONE: Karuppiah Ramakrishnan, in Sunday Observer, 8 December 2019, “Millions busted as Sri Lanka falls short at SA Games,”
Sri Lankan sports officials have expressed dismay at the current performance of the country’s athletes at the South Asian Games in Nepal saying the investment has not brought forth its desired results. As many as 567 athletes from Sri Lanka from many sports arrived here in Nepal to contest the 10-day event making it the biggest contingent at the Games behind giant neighbour India and host Nepal.
“The government spent nearly a hundred thousand for each of the athletes selected for their final preparations before the games and Rs.123 million was spent on air travel and other expensives [sic] and over a hundred of them were not able to win a single medal,” said a charged up Dhammika Mutugala who is the director general of sports in the Sports Ministry.
ONE: Arriving in Visakhapatnam and getting a ticket for the match
When my international flight landed in Delhi it was inevitably raining and I had to splash my way through a series of puddles and potholes to reach Terminal 2 and check-in for the next fight to Visakhapatnam. Once the flight was called from Gate 29 a bus was required to ferry us across another series of deep potholes before we were able to climb aboard the relatively small Indigo aircraft. I’d read in the Times of India an article by Aasish Nehra claiming Bumrah’s stress fracture to his lower back had nothing to do with his unorthodox bowling action. There won’t be too many pundits who agree with that but perhaps he’d had one too many Indigo flights leaving from Gate 29. I had to admire the staff working for the airline for their determination to get more rupees out of me. I had the foresight to purchase an additional 5 Kg baggage allowance when buying the ticket. When I checked the bag in at the Etihad desk in London it weighed 17.4 Kg. By the time it reached the scales at Indigo it had put on another 2.4 Kg and now registered 19.8 Kg. Normally I’d be worried about shampoo and other things that can spill being stolen from the unlocked part of my bag to potentially make it lighter. I couldn’t see the staff in Abu Dhabi adding a few extra bricks for a laugh and could only conclude that the scales were deliberately set in a very creative manner at the Indigo counter in Delhi’s Domestic Airport.
Contingencies reigned during the Second Test Match at the Colombo Oval between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Rain was the reigning contingency — surmounted in part by the tremendous work of an army of workers beating tarpaulins and what have you. Watching most of the match live, my thoughts are disjointed and point-form.