Connect with us


New book says Bradman played at CCC in 1930 



by Rex Clementine 

All of us cricket nerds have heard stories of Sir Don Bradman’s visit to P. Sara Oval. There are a couple of images too; one where he strides out to bat and another where he walks alongside Ceylon skipper Mahadevan Sathasivam for the toss.

There are other famous stories as well about how the greatest batsman the game has seen appreciating the scoreboard at The Oval and him finding out the inadequacies of the pitch. Some even believed that P. Sara Oval was the only ground in Asia where Bradman had played.

However a new book ‘An Island’s Eleven’ by British writer Nicholas Brookes reveals that Bradman had played at Maitland Place in 1930 en route to England for the first time. Brookes’ book is a well researched document on Sri Lankan cricket and gives a vivid description of cricket in the island in the pre- Test era. The writer has spoken to many stalwarts of Sri Lankan cricket from S. Skandakumar to Kumar Sangakkara and elaborates how the game evolved.

“The whistle stops came thick and fast and 1930’s match was a momentous occasion. None present could have realized the history they were witnessing. On 3 April, at Colombo Cricket Club, Donald Bradman played his first game of cricket outside Australia. He treated the crowd to plenty of shots and had reached 40 when something remarkable happened. With his very first ball in international cricket, debutant Neil Joseph had Bradman hit-wicket.”

The book is a fascinating read but there are those who contest some of its content. Mahendra Ratnaweera, a cricket historian believes that the game took place not at Maitland Place but at the Nomads Grounds, the property owned by Colombo Municipal Council. Currently this location is the home for Nelum Pokuna where dramas, musical shows and functions take place.

Veteran journalist Palitha Perera disputes the date of the game.

Bradman’s 1948 visit to Colombo attracted a  lot of attention as he was not only the captain of Australia but by that stage had broken every batting record. In 1930 when he visited Colombo, he was still a rookie finding his feet in the game at the age of 22.

Also compared to 1930, in 1948 the game had fairly established in the island, the newspaper industry was thriving and Ceylon itself had a proper cricket team.  The book is not just about Bradman’s visit to Colombo. But it’s a comprehensive study on history of Sri Lankan cricket and you come across men and women who nurtured the game, the visionaries who saw the potential and the generous individuals who kept finances coming.

Cricket became popular as European planters went beyond Kandy for tea cultivation and apparently the game was quite healthy over there but gradually Colombo became the central location for cricket with most clubs being based in Colombo. Even bigger clubs in places like Galle and Matara have found it tough to maintain the sport. So many of their home grown talents have moved to Colombo.

In that context, you’ve got to take your hat off to Sumith Perera, who fought a lone battle for Badureliya. You may not agree with his politics but you’ve got to give the devil his due. He’s not a very wealthy man but he’s got a knack as to how to run a cricket team.

The book states that there  were some rivalries between Europeans and locals in the early days and certain clubs were out of bounds for local cricketers. As a result there was no fair representation of Ceylon and some deserving cases missed out. The writer Nicholas Brookes was based at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia during his research for the book that stretched for several years.


Australia and India set for showdown at The Oval




The winners of the World Test Championship final will receive £1.29m in prize money and the losers £644,000 (pic BBC)

Australia and India will meet at the Oval on Wednesday (07) for the ICC World Test Championship 2023.

The winners of the World Test Championship final will receive £1.29m in prize money and the losers £644,000.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadakt, Umesh Yadav.

(BBC Sports)


Continue Reading

Latest News

First sprinter to run 100m in under 10 seconds dies




Jim Hines held the world record in the men's 100m for nearly 15 years (pic BBC)

US sprinter Jim Hines, the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, has died at the age of 76.

He broke the record in 1968 when he recorded a hand-timed 9.9 seconds at the US Championships. Hines then broke his own record shortly after while winning gold at the 1968 Olympics, where an electronic timer in Mexico City recorded him at 9.95. His record held for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith ran a time of 9.93 in 1983.

That is the longest length of time an athlete has held the record for the men’s 100m since the International Amateur Athletic Foundation began keeping track – 110 years ago.

His death was announced in a statement by World Athletics. The organisation said it is “deeply saddened” by the news. Both the Olympics and USA Track and Field shared tributes to Hines on Twitter. “The sport has lost a legend,” USA Track and Field said.

Hines was born in the state of Arkansas in 1946 but was raised in Oakland, California.

He had an early love of sport, namely baseball, but showed a real talent for sprinting as a teenager. He attended Texas Southern University where he ran for the Tigers track team before competing in national championships and the Olympics.

In addition to winning the 100m at the Mexico Olympics, he was also part of the US 4x100m relay team which won a gold.

He ended his sprinting career shortly after the Olympics and joined the NFL. He spent three years in the league, playing for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs.

(BBC Sports)

Continue Reading


Silverwood promises to address dot ball issue



Rex Clementine
at Suriyawewa

Leading up to the World Cup Qualifiers starting in less than two weeks’ time in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood promised to address the team’s dot-ball woes.

In the first ODI against Afghanistan which the hosts lost by six wickets here on Friday, there were 158 dot balls with the batters struggling to rotate the strike. That is a huge amount coming up to more than 25 overs. Although the number was cut down to 128 in the second game, Sri Lanka would like to do better than that.

“The dot ball issue is something that we are addressing. A lot of people are talking about it I know. We need to rotate the strike better and put the pressure back on the bowlers. The boundary percentage went up in the last game. Getting a balance between the two will help us to score above 300,” Silverwood told journalists.

Silverwood, the former England Head Coach, also welcomed the return of seniors Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne back into the side bringing more stability to the batting unit. Mathews was left out for game two, but that appears to be part of the team’s strategy to give everyone in the squad a go.

“Angelo was brought into the squad to boost the batting lineup and bring confidence into the side. He has experience of playing big matches. The fact is we must prepare the whole squad to cover ourselves to face any situation.

“Dimuth is making a comeback into the ODI side and he played superbly. He had a good Test series against Ireland. His tempo is very good. He gave us something to build on. The openers added 80 plus for the first wicket. Every partnership after that was scored at less than run a ball. It shows what we can do when we have a good start,” noted Silverwood.

Dhananjaya de Silva came up with a match-winning effort in the second game bowling his off-spin so well picking up three wickets that included the prize scalp of Ibrahim Zadran and earlier his less than run a ball 29 had helped Sri Lanka to a match-winning total of 323 for six.

“Dhananjaya is at six and has to adapt to situations whether it be setting a target or chasing one. The first game he played a superb inning. Today we saw him capitalizing after we had a great start. He kept the momentum going. Obviously scored quickly which is exactly what we need to get over 300. We want to keep pushing the barriers. When it comes to his bowling, he has been threatening to do it for a while.”

Continue Reading