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Colts celebrates a glorious 150!

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Chief Guest at the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Colombo Colts Cricket Club

by Rex Clementine

Colombo Colts Cricket Club celebrated its 150th anniversary at the club premises on Saturday with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and first lady Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe gracing the occasion.

It’s been a glorious 150 years for the Park Road club that was only the third cricket club to be established in Sri Lanka and in fact the first Ceylonese club with the other two being exclusively British. Even though more prominent local clubs came into existence since then, Colts’ unique feature was that it welcomed members of all ethnicities and religions.

To mark the 150th year celebration, there was a major redevelopment work undertaken by the club and currently it’s beyond recognition becoming a high-end Colombo club in no time rubbing shoulders with SSC and CCC.

The members of the 1996 World Cup winning team and the players of the side that won the 2014 World T-20 were awarded life membership of the club and President Wickremesinghe also received a life membership.

Although Colts is a club with a rich history most prominent players in an era gone by opted to represent other leading clubs with the likes of Roy Dias, Chaminda Vaas and Romesh Kaluwitharana being exceptions. However, that’s not the case anymore as many national players opt to play for the Park Road Club. Some of the key player of the club at present are Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera, Dilshan Madushanka and Dunith Wellalage.

With the club’s state-of-the-art facilities available at the moment, more and more players are going to head to Park Road. Colts also have been pioneers of promoting women’s cricket and the club continues to be a strong force in women’s cricket.

President Wickremesinghe during his speech gave an assurance to create a culture where cricket will prosper without the inference of politicians. The President’s assurance came at a time when Sri Lanka Cricket has been suspended by the International Cricket Council and the Executive Committee running SLC is facing allegations of financial malpractices.

Sports Minister Harin Fernando, Western Province Governor Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake, members of the 1996 and 2014 cricket teams were present along with many other dignitaries.The 150th year anniversary celebrations were spearheaded by Colts President Nishantha Ranatunga, club stalwarts Trevor Rajaratnam and Carlton Bernardus.

Colts stalwart Trevor Rajaratnam was felicitated during the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations



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Afghanistan elect to bat first in third T-20 International

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Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the third T-20 International against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on Wednesday. The Afghan captain won all three tosses in the series but this is the first time he has opted to bat first.

The game is a dead rubber with Sri Lanka having already secured the series 2-0.

Sri Lanka made four changes from the side that won on Monday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.

They left-out Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Binura Fernando and Maheesh Theekshanka and brought in top order batter Kusal Perera, all-rounder Kamindu Mendis, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya and seamer Nuwan Thushara.

Afghanistan also made four changes leaving out Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq.

They brought in all-rounder Sharfuddin Ashraf, left-arm seamer Fareed Malik, right-arm quick Wafadar Momand and batter Mohammad Ishaq, who is making his debut.

The tourists are yet to win a game in the multi-format bilateral tour. They lost the one off Test match in Colombo and suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series at Pallekele before conceding a 2-0 advantage in the three match T-20 series in Dambulla.

Sri Lanka:

Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (Wicketkeeper), Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga (Captain) Matheesha Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Thushara.

Afghanistan:

Ibrahim Zadran (Captain), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Wicketkeeper), Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad, Hazratullah Zazai, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Mohammad Ishaq, Fareed Malik and Wafadar Momand.  

Umpires:

Lyndon Hannibal (SRI) and Ravindra Wimalasiri (SRI)

Television Umpire:

 Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

Match Referee:

Chris Broad (ENG)

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Sri Lanka teams reach tennis quarter-finals

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Dinara de Silva and Ganuka Fernando

The girls and boys teams of Sri Lanka reached the quarter-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup Junior and Junior Davis Cup Asia Oceania Pre Qualifying tournaments continued at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association courts on Wednesday.

The girls team beat Maldives 2-0, as Ivanka Samarasinghe (beat Nishan Naba 6-1, 6-2) and Dinara de Silva (beat Azim Araa Aasaal 6-2, 6-2) registered straight set victories in the singles.

The boys team edged out Iraq 2-1. Ganuka Fernando beat Shammama Faisac 6-1, 6-2 in his singles match before joining Lithum Jayabandu to win the doubles against Shammama Faisac and Bakr Akam 6-2, 6-1.

In the second singles Jayabandu went down to Bakr Akam (6-3, 6-2).

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Dialog powers Royal – Thomian for 19th time

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Lasantha Thevarapperuma – Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC handing over the sponsorship to Rev. Marc Billimoria – Warden, S. Thomas’ College and Thilak Waththuhewa - Principal, Royal College. Also pictured (L) Rehan Gunasekera – Co-Chairman, Royal Thomian Match Organizing Committee From RC, (R) Arjuna Waidyasekera – Co-Chairman, Royal Thomian Match Organizing Committee from STC.

Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, has extended corporate backing for the 19th year as official sponsor of the country’s blue ribboned cricket encounter, the ‘Battle of the Blues’ between Royal College, Colombo, and S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia on March 7, 8 and 9 at the SSC Grounds, Colombo. The limited-over ‘Mustang’s Trophy’ match will be on March 16, also at the same venue.

The 145th cricket encounter will be aired live on Dialog Television – ThePapare TV HD (Channel Number 126), live-streamed on ThePapare.com and the Dialog ViU App.

Further, Dialog initiated the ‘Play for a Cause’ charity initiative with a mission to uplift school cricket across Sri Lanka. Through a generous pledge of Rs. 1,000 for every run scored and Rs. 10,000 for every wicket taken, last year’s encounter raised a substantial donation of Rs. 1,128,000. The proceedings were distributed in consultation with the Principal of Royal College and the Warden of S. Thomas’ College. This commendable effort helped support and empower four deserving schools in the country.

In this year’s encounter, the boys from Mt. Lavinia will be led by Mahith Perera, while the lads from Reid Avenue will play under the captaincy of Sineth Jayawardena, the U-19 Sri Lanka skipper. The ‘Royal-Thomian’ series spans an impressive 144 years, making it the second longest uninterrupted cricket series in the world, behind the annual encounter between St. Peters College, Adelaide, and Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, Australia, which began just a year earlier.

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