‘Battle of Double Maroons’
By M. Minhaz in Kandy
Madina Central College Madawala will go
out firm favourites while Azhar Central College,
Akurana, will look for their maiden win when these
teams clash in their third big match known as the
‘Battle of Double Maroons’ which will be played at
the Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy on Tuesday – April 20.
Manager Coaching Sri Lanka Cricket, Malcolm Perera
will be the Chief Guest.
Perhaps this is the only big match between two
Muslim schools in the island. Madawala and Akurana
are separated by the hills of Katugastota, about 12
kilometres apart in two different electorates.
The first encounter was played in 2008 when bad
light resulted in the match ending in a no decision.
The second battle saw the Madinians breaking the ice
scoring the maiden win of the series.
This big clash has in the past seen very big
crowds as bus loads of cricket lovers arrive from
the two townships. Tickets are sold in advance. What
is most remarkable is that a healthy rivalry
prevails as the supporters cheer their teams lustily
and encourage them to perform better - a very good
example to other schools where violence is a regular
feature at the big matches. One of the main reasons
is that alcohol is prohibited for the Muslims and
they are in their senses.
Madina Central College will be led by all-rounder
and third year player Mohammed Hisham, a steady
left-hand bat and a medium pacer who will spearhead
the attack. He is one of those who played in the
maiden encounter. His top score this season has been
127. The deputy skipper of the side is A. S. M.
Shafri who has a good individual score of 140. He
will share the new ball with his skipper. The other
centurions in the side are M. M. M. Mifras (135) and
last year’s skipper M. Suhail (105 not out).
Runs could be expected from the bats of A. L. M.
Arshard, M. T. M. Rashid, M. S. M. Fazmin, A. M.
Manarir, Ashan, M. L. Wazeehul Ahmed, and A. L. M.
Arshard which shows plenty of depth in their
There is a glut of pacies in the side spearheaded by
the skipper and his deputy. For extra pace there is
Fazmy Ahamed, M. S. M. Fahir, and A. M. Mahazir
Ahshan. But they will depend largely on the off-spin
of M. S. M. Schail to deliver the goods. The other
spinners in the side are M. T. M. Rashid, and M. T.
Madina Central College has played 7 matches, won 5
and drawn the rest. The team is coached by former
Antonian cricketer Mohamed Rikaz with Mohamed Nazmi
as his Assistant. M. Zaheed is the Master in Charge.
Azhar Central College will be led by all-rounder A.
Z. Anas Mohamed a third-year player who participated
at their first encounter. He is a good all-rounder
with a number of good scores which included four
half-centuries. All-rounder M. I. M. Azahir is the
vice captain of the side. The individual bowling and
batting performances of Azhar Central College are
Their batting will revolve around M. I. M.
Azahir, M. M. M. Manazir, Anaz Mohamed, Mohamd
Dilshad and M. Z. M. Waseem.
They will depend largely on their pacies like M.
Wazeem and M. Azahir and spinners M. Manazir, and A.
S. M. Akhil to curtail their opponents.
Azhar Central College have played 6 matches, winning
two and drawn the rest. They are being coached by A.
A. M. Muyeemi with M. H. M. Munas as the Master in
Veteran umpire Udaya
Wickremasinghe passes away
came to know Umpire Udaya Wickremasinghe when I was
attending an umpire’s seminar for new recruits in
1985. As he was so fluent in English and Sinhala his
lectures were very interesting and we caught up many
of the finer points of the game. All the
participants at the seminar spoke highly of him.
During this period it became very evident to me that
he was a good teacher. This was perhaps the secret
of his success.
“Never kick a fallen dog,” was one of the mottos he
believed in. He was so simple, humble and pleasant.
He was one of the International Test Cricket Umpires
who brought honour to our country. For nearly four
decades he was in active umpiring and officiated in
a few Test matches and ODI games.
His contribution towards the qualitative improvement
of the Association of Cricket Umpires’ (ACU) had
been commendable. He was elected General Secretary
of ACU on several occasions.
I had the great privilege of umpiring first class
club matches with him. He was so helpful and
co-operative, and so jovial too, that I did not feel
the time passing.
An old boy of Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya, he
became an immigration officer in the early sixties
and was in service until the late nineties.
He was 70, when he passed away last week. He was a
match referee attached to SLC until his demise.
Several years after his retirement from public
service he worked as an Assignment Officer of SLC.
His work was appreciated by many.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana, via the
shortest route through Sansara.
|Moreton cricketers enjoy
success in Sri Lanka
By Hafiz Marikar
Moreton cricketers from Brisbane, Australia made
their 9th tour of Sri Lanka, and flew back with
grand success. Three teams were on tour accompanied
by former Royalist, Baba Sourjah, as the overall
coach and old Trinitian, Athula Unantenne as the
Baba Sourjah, a fine sportsmen and sports
promoter, played rugby and football at Royal College
and represented the Sri Lanka under-19 football
team. He also played for the Kollupitiya United team
and would have made it to the national football team
if he had not migrated to Australia. Sourjah was a
fine rugby fullback and played for Havelocks SC in
the late 1960s playing along with top players such
as Nico de Silva, Noel Brohier and J. Rodriguesz.
Though he did not play cricket for Royal, Sourjah
was one-time national coach of Butan and Maldives
and now handles Moreton cricket as the overall
Athula Unantenne captained the cricket and rugger
teams in the centenary year of Trinity College in
1972. Later he played for Kandy SC and CR & FC as a
schoolboy and was in the Sri Lanka rugby pool.
Unantenne in his manager’s message said that the
Moreton Cricket tours in the past have provided
wonderful opportunities for fostering strong team
spirit and developing friendships.
There were three teams on this tour, one junior
team and two senior teams; one of the senior sides
was made up due to the efforts of Norman Kochannek.
According to Unantenne and Sourjah, Norman had
rounded up a group of very exciting cricketers from
the warehouse leagues of Brisbane. The second senior
team included two very talented Queensland
cricketers, Trent Clemments and Jacob Judd, and,
last year, Terry Oliver the Queensland high
performance coach provided an opportunity for Ben
Dunk and Chris Lynne, two young talented cricketers
who are now playing for Queensland. On this tour
Trent Clemments and Jacob Judd were accompanied by
Vic Williams – another top class Queensland high
performance coach who was in charge of the second
side. The Junior side is coached by Brody Grogen,
Regional Cricket Coach, Queensland.
Moreton Cricket tour started on March 28 and ended
April 11. They played matches at senior and junior
levels at NCC, P. Sara Stadium, Thurstan Grounds,
Asgiriya Stadium, Pallekelle Stadium, Galle
Internatioanl Stadium, Seenigama Grounds and Colts
The Junior team had players like Gallan Webster,
Sulakshan Fernando, Aryan Jain, Joshua Gannon,
Grayson Jones, Aiden Wevster, A. Andy, Matthew
Troth, Gurbaj Virk, Jarrad Joskin, Connor Heiling,
Mitchel McKnight, Body Grogan and Edward Terry,
The senior ‘A’ team had Cameron Buchanan, David
Gregg, Michael Anastasia, Andrew Trotter, Aaron
Molenaar, Lloyd Moore, Lance Roydenko, Mahesh Joshi,
Mark Trotter, Dough Pountney, Jacob Judd, Trent
Clemments, and Daniel Lennox.
The senior ‘B’” team was: Cameron Buchanan, Aaron
Molenaar, David Cook, Taylor Gregg, David Gregg,
Norman Kochannek, Harry Tsoumbaras, Paul Trotter,
Mathew Trotter, Rod Buchner, Doug Poutney, Mark
Irwin, and Giuseppe Terranova.
|Wesley’s cricket idol Bryan
Claessen is no more
The passing away of
Bryan Claessen in Australia is mourned by several
thousands of Wesleyites throughout the world. Bryan
was one of the very few Sri Lankans who played for
the country as a schoolboy. That was in 1953 against
Australia skippered by Lindsay Hasset.
Bryan was a shrewd captain. Wesley remained unbeaten
under his captaincy, defeating Royal, St. Joseph’s,
Prince of Wales’, Kingswood and Richmond.
He was the first Wesleyite to score four
centuries. At the time he played, the School played
only 8 school matches. Today, the number exceeds 18.
As a bowler, he was greatly feared. His best bowling
was against St. Joseph’s 8 for 68, vs. Trinity 6 for
87, vs. Kingswood 6 for 39, vs. Zahira 9 for 37, and
vs. Prince of Wales’ 6 for 20.
While in Australia, Bryan played for the Prospect
District Cricket Club winning the bowling prize in
both 1984 and 1985. He was a wily googly bowler and
a brilliant fielder in any position.
The cricket match against Royal in 1953 is of
special interest as in three innings the score did
not exceed 85. Royal scored 68 and 76, while Wesley
scored 145 and 84. That match was played at Reid
Another interesting feature was that on the Wesley
side there were three sets of brothers: Bryan and
Herman Claessen, Lou and Vincent Adhihetty, Ansar
and Abu Fuard.
Professionally, Bryan was a prosecutor in family
law. When he retired, he was in charge of the
division responsible for the enforcement of Family
Support Orders in South Australia.
Bryan was proud to be a Wesleyite. He maintained his
interest in Wesley by keeping in touch with his
close friend Dr. Nihal Amarasekera.
Bryan’s wonderful wife Carol has stood by Bryan,
valiantly. He was a man in a million. When cometh
the likes of him again?
Former Prefect of Games, Wesley College, Colombo.
top 100 sporting moments...
Continuing with our series
14. 2008: John Terry’s missed penalty, Moscow
The first all-English final of the Champions
League was staged about as far as you could get from
Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, but 40,000 fans of
Manchester United and Chelsea trekked across Europe
to see their teams play. Half made the long journey
back devastated, half ecstatic. After goals by
Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard, the teams could
not be separated at the end of extra time and
penalties beckoned. Ronaldo missed United’s second
kick, meaning that Terry could win the game with
Chelsea’s fifth. Alas, he slipped as he ran up and
the ball hit a post. When Nicolas Anelka’s shot was
saved two kicks later, the trophy was United’s
13. 2004: Arsenal’s 38th game without defeat,
In 2002 Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager,
predicted that his team were good enough to go
through a season without being beaten. Many scoffed.
Only one team had done that and Preston North End’s
immaculate season was in 1888-89. But Arsenal became
the second team to earn the nickname “Invincibles”
when they went through the 2003-04 league season
with 26 wins and 12 draws, sealed with a 2-1 win at
home to Leicester City. They stretched the streak to
49 unbeaten matches before losing away to Manchester
United in October 2004. It was not quite a perfect
season because they lost in the semi-finals of the
FA Cup and Carling Cup (in both legs) as well as
suffering three defeats in the Champions League, the
last being a semi-final reverse at home to Chelsea.
12. 2005: Kevin Pietersen’s 158 to win the
Ashes, Brit Oval
Kevin Pietersen has made 158 three times in Test
cricket, but it was the first of these — his first
Test hundred — that meant the most. Needing at least
a draw in the final Test to win the Ashes for the
first time in 18 years, England had a six-run lead
after the first innings but slipped to 126 for five
in their second. Thankfully for the home team and
their supporters, Pietersen was still there. Yes, he
benefited from being dropped three times during his
innings — once by Shane Warne, his good friend, at
first slip — but as the batsman pointed out, he had
dropped twice as many catches on his own that
summer. By the time he was the eighth man out,
England led by more than 300 and the match was
11. 2001: Germany 1 England 5, Olympic
Even Emile Heskey scored — that is how big a
drubbing England gave Germany in this World Cup
qualifying match. They needed to win well because
after five matches, including a 1-0 defeat by
Germany at home, England were six points behind
their opponents, albeit with a game in hand but an
inferior goal difference. A win for Germany would
have consigned England to a play-off with two
matches to go. When Carsten Jancker scored in the
sixth minute, it looked grim for David Beckham’s
team. But Michael Owen struck an equaliser soon
after and by the 66th minute he became the first
England player to score a hat-trick against Germany
since 1966. Heskey made it 5-1 and England went on
to qualify automatically.
10. 2006: Zinédine Zidane’s head-butt, Berlin
What was he thinking? Was he thinking? How could
one of the decade’s greatest sportsmen lose his head
at the pinnacle of his career and ensure that he
would be remembered more for an act of thuggery than
any brilliant footballing skill? Zidane had put
France ahead in the World Cup final against Italy
with a calm penalty, but after Italy equalised, more
calmness was needed in extra time. Instead, he let
Marco Materazzi’s taunts get to him and, with ten
minutes of the game left, Zidane felled Materazzi
with a head-butt. The Frenchman was sent off and
Italy went on to win on penalties. Despite this
moment of madness, Zidane was named player of the
tournament. - [Times London]
[Next week: 5-9]