Black Knight giving Lankan cricketers extra groom and glitter


By Ifham Nizam

The grooming and etiquette part of the Sri Lankan cricketers is of paramount importance when representing the country at international level. The Sri Lanka Cricket Board would continue to do its utmost by selecting the best brands, said a top official of the Board.

Sri Lanka Cricket Board Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga answering queries at a ceremony to announce a Black Knight tie up with the Board, said that the contract would go on for three years for national and under 19 teams.

Black Knight, one of the foremost brands in men’s personal care and grooming, has been named the Official Personal Care Partner in the Grooming Category for Sri Lanka Cricket.

Ranatunga added that at the same time the Board would ensure that cricketers will continue with their good manners in keeping with the culture and traditional values of the country.

Ranatunga strongly believes that grooming is an integral part as more than 80 per cent of the cricketers come from the outstations. However, he declined to comment on the sponsorship amount.

Group Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Mohan Bharara said that the Group contribution to Sri Lanka Cricket goes back to the sixties and the role played by R. Rajamahendran in helping Gamini Dissanayake in his venture of gaining Test status for Sri Lanka, was a fact lesser known. Raja Mahendran played a prominent role behind the scenes in Sri Lanka gaining Test status, he said.

He added chairman of The Capital Maharaja Organisation was instrumental in getting Sri Lanka admitted as a full member of the International Cricket Council and being awarded Test status in 1981, together with the late Gamini Dissanayake, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka at the time, and other officials.

Rajamahendran was also responsible for getting the services of former English cricketer Edward Ralph Dexter, as a professional advisor to the Sri Lanka cricket team when they toured England to play their first Test at the home of cricket, Lords, in 1984. The manager of this tour was the late Neil Chanmugam who played for Ceylon in the pre-Test era and was also a Group Director at the Capital Maharaja Organisation.

The Capital Maharaja Organisation’s involvement with cricket in Sri Lanka began way back in 1963. That year its team entered the Mercantile Cricket Tournament in the lower division. It quickly proved its prowess in the game and before long entered and won the coveted ‘A’ division tournament trophy in 1969 – a feat it was able to repeat for the next four years which was the golden era for Maharaja Cricket.

The cricketers at Maharajas earned much acclaim and many went on to play for the country and become legends in the sport. Among the notable names in the Maharaja team were, Duleep Mendis, Roy Dias, Daya Sahabandu, Sidath Wettimuny, Mithra Wettimuny, Ranil Abeynaike, Russel Harmer K.M. Nelson, Roshan Mahanama, Rumesh Ratnayake, Hemantha Devapriya and Ashantha De Mel, to name a few.

"Our association with cricket proved fruitful then, and we are glad to be back in the fray," Bharara stated.

Group Director, International Cosmetics, Kirubha Kumarakulasin-gham, took pride in partnering with Sri Lanka Cricket. "We feel truly honoured to be associated with the valiant knights of Sri Lanka who have brought glory to our country. Black Knight’s association with the game and its highly popular players will greatly enhance its brand appeal, he said.

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