25 August, 2019

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A Thomian Look-Back At The 137th Battle Of The Blues

By Krishantha Prasad Cooray

Krishantha Cooray

Krishantha Cooray

Stunned. The word sums up the overall sentiment at the SSC ground on the evening of the 12th day of March, 2016. It didn’t matter which camp you belonged to, whether Royal or S Thomas’. If you had been following the game from Day One, you would have been stunned by the result of the 137th Battle of the Blues.

At the end of the first day the Thomians were on top. They had started off as favorites and Royal’s gamble in putting the opposition in after winning the toss had well and truly backfired. There was talk of a possible Thora victory. When Royal, in response to the Thomians’ first innings total of 350 for 5 were 122 for 5 shortly after lunch on the second day, possible turned into probable.

Even with Royal clawing back to get to 280 for 7 with 16 year old fresher Pasindu Sooriyabandara unbeated on 97 at the close, Thomian coach Dinesh Kumarasinghe was still upbeat. He envisaged his boys picking up quick wickets, then putting up a challenging total and the bowlers finishing off the job, presumably sometime during the 3rd session of the 3rd day.

Royal ThomianThat is not what happened. Royal, fighting with their backs to the wall on Day Two, took the fight to the Thomians from the word go on Day Three. Quick runs and a declaration even though still 22 runs in arrears indicated a new found self-confidence. Things went downhill for the Thomians thereafter and Royal scored the winning runs in rapidly fading light.

Walking out of the SSC after the match I saw lots of young Thomians, as upset as they were stunned. There were down in the mouth and looked sad. Right next to me was an elderly Old Thomian. His phone rang. I assumed it was his wife. I couldn’t help but overhear. It was the account of a man who was looking for some kind of consolation.

This is the gist of what he said: ‘We lost but it was a good match. It was very good for cricket.’

He was spot on. Even the most ardent Thomian would admit that Sooriyabandara played an exceptional role in Royal’s win. He is just 16 years old. He was a fresher. His team was struggling to save the match. He was facing bigger boys with big reputations. He stood tall. We cannot but admire him, even though in effect he demonstrated the grit that all Thomians believe is their preserve. The old gentleman was right about cricket being the ultimate winner. It was not a one-sided affair or one that played out a script based on form and strength. Instead, the old adage ‘Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties’ was affirmed. That was why everyone was stunned.

So what really happened? How was it that the favorite went down after being in a position of immense strength? What went wrong?

Cricketing pundits will no doubt talk about turning points; the umpiring decision that went the other way, the dropped catch, the key bowling change, the decision to declare on the first day, sending in this batsman early or that batsman late and so on. Of course, these things count. They add up. But perhaps there was something else in the factor-mix.

The Thomians came as hot favorites. Royal were the underdogs. This everyone knows. Both teams had talented players, but the Thomians were better balanced and had more depth in both the batting and bowling departments. The Thomians were ready to hit and hit hard. They did just that. Put into bat, the Thomian openers negotiated the traditionally difficult first hour at the SSC and went on to post a formidable first innings score. They continued to hit and hit hard on the second morning. Both teams played the expected script.

Then something unexpected happened. Two Royalists, almost as if they had stolen a page from the age-old Thomian text book on grit, dug in and fought back. They took the hits but refused to be knocked down. It was almost as though this was Royal’s plan all along: to expect some hard knocks but refuse to go down without a fight. Indeed it was as though the Thomians had neglected an important element of fighting: all opponents have reserves of energy and sometimes will punch back. They didn’t expect a punch-drunk opponent to punch back and when the punches came they just weren’t prepared to take the hits. The lesson is that while one should be prepared to hit hard one should also be prepared to take a hard hit, that while one should put pressure on the opponent one should also be ready to absorb pressure in turn.

The Thomians had talent. They worked hard. One wonders if they forgot that ‘spirit’ is also an important element in any contest. When Sooriyabandara, ably supported by Malith Kariyawasam, showed some pluck, when they changed gear from solid defense to fluent stroke-play, it appeared that S Thomas’ had come to the SSC without a Plan B. It was naturally infectious. These two affected a radical transformation in the mindset of the rest of the team. They smelled blood. They went for the kill.

To the credit of the Thomians, they continued to fight even after conceding the initiative. The tail showed the top order that there were no demons in the wicket that could not be negotiated. And when Royal began their chase, the bowlers stuck to their guns, picking wickets at regular intervals. Things had gone beyond the point of retrieval, however, and Royal squeezed out an improbable win. Again, to the credit of the Thomians, the captain Sachitha Jayathilaka kept his men under strict control, ensuring that there were no unwarranted delays which theoretically could have robbed Royal of a win which at that point was certainly deserved. In fact when a lone Thomian Old Boy attempted a field invasion he was rightfully and unanimously rebuked by the Thomians in the area who bellowed, ‘We don’t want to turn this into a Joe-Pete’ referring to the ugly scenes that had marred the Battle of the Saints a few weeks before. Grit may have abandoned the Thomians at critical points but sportsmanship did not. That’s something all Thomians should be proud of.

Whether or not the elderly gentlemen referred to above saw all this, I do not know. However, all this were important in making this particular encounter a memorable one and deserving of his observation, ‘it was good for cricket’.

Is that enough for the Thomians, though? The disappointments will take time to wear off, but sooner or later there will have to be a post-mortem and thereafter it will be about looking to the future. It is the last part that I concern myself with. The issue is 2017 and thereafter. We were shocked, we are upset. That’s natural. Moving forward is about leaving behind emotion and taking the lessons that only the employment of reason will obtain.

Talent will not be an issue. There was ample talent and if the Under 20 rule is brought almost the entire team will be around one year from now. They will be better and mentally that much more tougher. They have taken a big hit so that will not be something new. They have all put in hard work and now they have to understand that it is always possible and always important to work harder. They must always remember that hard work can beat talent. If ‘grit’ was something robbed by the Royalists then the onus is on the Thomians to show one and all that they have enormous reserves of that precious commodity and prove it too at every turn when called upon to do so.

Spirit is not the preserve of Royalists. Neither is ‘fighting back’. ‘Character’ is something that every Thomian in this team ‘won’ from this Royal-Thomian encounter. It is precious. It has to be nurtured. It has to be protected for it can also slip through the fingers easily where there is no hard work, no humility, no determination and no love for the alma mater. Thomians, as the school song goes, must ‘do and dare’ and they can because again as the school song puts it they have to learn how to take defeat when fortune frowns. That is the ‘call of duty’ as S Thomas’ press onward to the goal of recovering from this defeat and indeed use it as a stepping-stone to reach the heights of glory. Character, in this effort, will be tested because defeat more than victory is what can build character.

The Royal-Thomian was lost. But if you think about it, there were many victories that were secured even in defeat, less glamorous no doubt but which are necessary ingredients of future successes. No one perhaps is better positioned under these circumstances to take S Thomas’ forward than the members of this highly talented team. They can learn from each other and they can pass on the lessons learnt at the SSC over those amazing three days when Royal scored an improbable win but cricket and sportsmanship was the ultimate winner.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    6

    The Blue Black and Blue For Ever.

    • 5
      3

      Krishantha Prasad Cooray

      “This is the gist of what he said: ‘We lost but it was a good match. It was very good for cricket.’”

      The Old guy wads certainly a good sport.

      Did Anybody ask Daha, Sirisena for his comments or opinion about the cricket match and its outcome. After all, he got more publicity than the cricket match, at least on CT.

      Has Daham heard about Sooriyabandara and Malith Kariyawasam, or just that Ranil Wickramasinghe will be there. Is Daham an old boy of Royal College Colombo, or Royal College Anuradapura/Pollanaruwa?

      • 4
        1

        St. Thomas’ made the same mistake Royal made a couple of years ago and lost. When Royal opted to field after winning the toss on a batting wicket, St. Thomas’ took it as a sign of weakness. I do not know the reason why Royal made that decision, but this is done when a team decides not to lose and go for a draw, and if possible win. Thomians should never have declared their first innings at end of day one. 350 is not a good score to ensure victory in a 3 day match especially on a batting wicket. They should have continued till just before lunch on second day and declared after posing a higher score. In this way if the wicket starts to help bowlers, they can get Royal out twice and win, or if wicket remains dead and Royal posts a big score, to go for a draw. Unfortunately for Thomians, wicket started to turn bad, and they got caught in it and collapsed. Even Royal was struggling in their second innings, but managed to win. This is an example of glorious uncertainty of cricket. My Royal classmates said at the begining of the match, they thought even a draw for Royal was a miracle. Thomians must be congratulated for their sportsmanship in defeat, though being stronger than Royal.

    • 7
      6

      Who cares? Grow up, you imbeciles.

      There are more important things in this world than your old school.

      • 4
        1

        Fed-up

        “Who cares?”

        You must be a machine and not human. Humans have feeling and yearning for the good childhood days. It is these little things that go a long way to relieve our stress. I think you should check your blood pressure but again if you are a machine that may not be necessary.

    • 2
      0

      just watching the Afghanistan v Sri Lanka T20

      the national anthem was sung only in Sinhala and it went on and on.
      The govt should use the new constitution to truncate the national anthem and have a hybrid Sinhala/Tamil version

      • 2
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        rajash

        “The govt should use the new constitution to truncate the national anthem and have a hybrid Sinhala/Tamil version “

        Yes. Truncated version in both Sinhala and Tamil, or long Version in both languages.

  • 13
    0

    ‘sportsmanship was the ultimate winner.’

    Until the President’s son decided to force his way onto the podium and try to claim some of the glory for himself. Pathetic case.

    • 4
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      Dear paul, very true; but let’s focus on the positive and the constructive.

      I hope that what I have just posted is considered positive – it’ll appear below this.

  • 8
    1

    The Thomian Motto ‘Esto Perpetua’, May she endure forever, and the Royal Motto ‘Disce Aut Discede’, Learn or Depart, may shed some light on the two different approaches to the encounter. It ended with the Royalist learning to fight to the end, and the Thomians also learning that to endure one must persevere to the end. No encounter is won or lost till the last ball is bowled.

    Also we the spectators learn and appreciate the high standard of sportsmanship that prevailed, a lesson for all our adults who resort to dirty tricks to win the game of life. Indeed we need to ‘Learn of Books and Learn of Men and Learn to Play the Game’.

    • 7
      1

      The improbable winner may well have been boys of Reid Avenue this year.

      However, the real winner was Sri Lanka Cricket itself.

      Not to mention the enviable sportsmanship & brotherhood on display in Colombo that weekend. Not only for Sri Lankans, but for the whole world to watch & “Learn (or Depart)”.

      May Royal-Thomian survive a thousand years.

      May Battle of the Blues teach generations of young Sri Lankans to come, how to “Play the Game”. The Gentlemen’s game.

      Cheers!

      PS: May Thisuri Wanniarachchi’s at times misguided pen be kinder to “The Big Match”.

    • 0
      0

      esto perpetua

      imbibe or eat thou forever!

      Etymology 1[edit]
      Form of the verb edō ‎(“I eat”).

      Verb[edit]
      ēstō

      second-person singular future active imperative of edō
      third-person singular future active imperative of edō (wikipoedia)

      Actually a mystical term for living within God pervaded by Him

  • 8
    0

    Thanks, Krishantha Cooray, for a thorough and factual account of the game, which I myself had followed. I was in the Mt. Lavinia School for two years myself, but I skip the match nowadays.

    You have highlighted the sporting spirit in which the game was played: quite right. All credit to Rev. Marc Billimoria, for this, and for conducting all those Board of Governors elections fairly. So, we have Channa Asela de Silva, representing the Staff, and Rajindra Jayasinghe and Milinda Hettiarachchi representing us Old Boys. This is the way to run a school. Fr Marc has matured well.

    When at Gurutalawa he conducted Board elections in exemplary fashion, and so has the current Headmaster there. However, you ought to be concerned at the downright cheating that so often takes place when electing just two Board of Governors members for the three “Branch Schools”. That took place just yesterday, the Ides of March. Please find out what the regulations are from here:

    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/05_Rules_of_STC_Board_of_Governors.pdf

    Well, you’ve written an article here which every Thomian will read, but which really should be in a place like Cricinfo; whereas, CT deals with sociological issues. This comment is meant to be a prelude to a serious article that I intend writing on the subject of what we at S. Thomas’ should be contributing to Sri Lankan society. And it is good that you have focussed on what was positive in the match.

    The way yesterday’s elections were conducted is going to drag us all down, but to realise that, I think that you should know how our schools are governed. I am inexorably driven to feeling that few know; thus the earlier link, and also this:

    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/04_STC_Board_of_Governors_Ordinance.pdf

    That indicates the importance that our school once had, and also the reason for our impotence in certain respects. None of that can be changed except by an Act of Parliament.

    However, that earlier link shows you “Rules” made by the Board that can and must be changed. The Ides of March problem was caused by this imprecise wording:

    “One person elected by an electoral college under the Chairmanship
    of the Hony. Secretary of the Board of Governors consisting of representatives of the Staff made up as follows:
    Two from the tutorial and administrative staffs of each of the Branch schools at Gurutalawa, Bandarawela and Kollupitiya

    1.5.3The following conditions shall be applicable to the aforesaid electionsreferred to in 1.5.1 and 1.5.2.
    (a) The election shall be by secret ballot
    (b) The persons nominated for election shall be members of the respective Old Boys’ Associations.
    (c) The members of the staffs of the four schools shall not be eligible for nomination or election.
    2(d)The candidates for election shall be members of the Church of Ceylon or of a Church in communion with that church

    Should the “Secret Ballot” be held in each of the three schools, a few days prior to the “Ides of March”, or on the Ides, in the Kollupitiya school? I’m here trying to simplify matters for you to understand! It can be any venue, and any date early in a Leap Year. Only Gurutalawa held a “Secret Ballot”, the way we did for our TWO OBA members on Friday, the 13th of February 2016? Is it fair to allow only TWO members for the TREE Branch Schools? Is it sensible to have Board Members emerging from this chaos when the process of selection is so flawed, and when they also have a say in running the “Flagship School”?

    The person elected yesterday was not supported by any staff, nor was his candidature known. That sort of manipulation befitted the Dark Era of this “Land Like No Other”, an Era which is now over.

    • 11
      1

      Thank you Sinhala_Man. The cancer of corruption has reached the school selection boards. It is a reflection of our sick society.

      • 3
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        paul /Sinhala Man

        “Thank you Sinhala_Man. The cancer of corruption has reached the school selection boards. It is a reflection of our sick society.”

        Thanks.

        That is why it should be exposed.

        Expose, expose and expose!

        • 2
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          Dear Amarasiri,

          I have exposed all, but you haven’t cottoned on to it: see immediately below.

          Your trenchant comments are awaited, but you know not where to look!

      • 2
        0

        Dear “paul”

        I have given a full account here; and of course you’ll find my real name and a not very handsome picture of me here:

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/belief-in-the-worth-of-teachers-at-s-thomas-colleges/#comments

        On the other hand, cameras don’t lie! That’s what I look like!

  • 3
    2

    I am a Royalist but I am extremely impressed with the way Thomians behaved. Thank you Krishantha Cooray for a truly great article.

    Well done

  • 10
    11

    What has Royal -Thomian got to do with CT.
    Please publish these articles in sports journals.A big match played by kids and nothing else.Who cares who wins and who looses.Please publish more productive articles.

    • 11
      2

      Priya, its the spirit and fairness with which the game is played that matters, not the game itself. Compare this game of cricket with the game of politics.

      What do you think of the players in the game of politics, of the two plus teams, of the rules they play by, of the fairness and justice in their game? They are all thieves and scoundrels aren’t they?

      If they played politics the way the Royal-Thomian is played the country would be a land worth living in.

    • 1
      0

      Priya

      “What has Royal -Thomian got to do with CT. Please publish these articles in sports journals.A big match played by kids and nothing else.Who cares who wins and who looses.Please publish more productive articles. “

      From the writings, it is clear BOTH St. Thomas and Royal Players and supporters were very good sports in this cricket match.

      Want to know about BAD Sports? Indians!

      Look at the 1996 Semi-Finals in India between Sri Lanka and India, as to how they behaved when they started losing.

      Butthurt Indian crowd burn down stadium because India are losing 1996

      Published on Apr 27, 2012
      Your team is losing so what do you do – well you burn down the stadium of course, naturally.

      World Cup 1996 semi final INDIA vs SRI LANKA KOLKATA CALCUTTA whatever.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy-6VnKXwhA

  • 3
    1

    A Thomian Look-Back At The 137th Battle Of The Blues…
    Oh ! they discovered a new emerging Polonnaruwa Royalists on the presentation stage.

    Quote: May Royal-Thomian survive a thousand years. – ben hurl…
    Also may many Polonnaruwa Royalists emerge or appear on the presentation stage.

    Fortunately, there were no Ambassadorial posts offered to anyone on the winning side.

  • 6
    1

    Priya (obviously not his real name) is a not very intellgent reader. For some reason he is badly affected by this article. There must be a good reason why he has taken the trouble to post a comment. If he doesn’t like it all he has to do is to avoid reading it.

    This is a quality article and the readers will appreciate CT for carrying such a good article which I read with lot of interest. Thank you CT for this very valuable article.

  • 6
    5

    This is a stupid article. I agree with Priya. I am also a thomian. Writer is trying to motivate the losers. Waste of time.

  • 5
    3

    This is definitely one of the best articles I have read about the royal thomian. Both schools should have this article in their magazines next year. If you read the article properly then there is a lot people especially sportsmen and women can learn from it. Thank you for the writer and CT for this valuable article.

  • 3
    3

    Very well written article. I think both schools should have this article, in their Souvenirs next year. The writers ability to maintain a good balance, right throughout the article should be appreciated.

    Royal Thomian, is not only about winning but sportsmanship and this year proved it beyond doubt. This is an article worth forwarding to none royalists and thomians as well. I learnt a lot from this article. Thank you for this piece.

  • 1
    4

    Elegantly written article. I hope the Thomians will learn from the mistakes, and show their colours next year. The writer has analysed the match splendidly. He has managed to, craft his arguments without any biases. This article gives good advise to all sportsmen. I feel that the thomians will do well and will win the Royal Thomian next year.

    Next year is going to be a Thora year

  • 2
    3

    Next year the thomians will surprise the royalists. Thank you krishantha for an excellent article. Proud to be a thomian.

  • 2
    2

    Priya.

    The Royal-Thomian encounter is only the second longest[In terms of years] recorded in the World.
    So,my dear fellow,CT is entitled to highlight this historic event./
    I once heard a story to the effect that the Undertakers never liked the Thomians; Reason-their motto Esto Perpetua meaning Be Thou FOREVER!

    • 2
      1

      That’s fine my friend.I have nothing against Royal Thomian.In fact I am strongly connected to both schools.My point is there are millions who have not been to either of the schools.We need to show some sensitivity to their feelings.Why don’t we discuss these matters in a platform common to both parties.What has this got to do with other people.You think they will be impressed by the fairness ,glory and glamour of the Royal Thomian tradition .It is more likely to cause resentment and hence more divisions among the public.I have witnessed this over and over again and could not resisit commenting on this occasion.
      If die hard loyalists got offended by comments I am
      really sorry.Though I belong to one of the schools , I am raising my voice on behalf of the millions who did not have that opportunity and privilege .I am just thoughtful about their sensitivity to issues like this..That’s all.

      • 4
        0

        Priya, I agree with you that some resentment will be caused. I can remember a few years ago Royal College brought some children from a village development scheme to Colombo as a treat. They were shown around the college and it made some kind of donation to the scheme. I remember thinking that they should never have been shown the college – a place they could only dream of entering. Poor fellows, it would have been better if their school was uplifted rather than bringing them to Colombo. If someone suggested scrapping the Royal Thomian and using the millions spent on it in improving a village school, I would be the first to support it. But that will never happen.

        Having said that, the millions you mention to whose feelings we should show some sensitivity, are hardly likely to read these posts. Thanks to the accursed politicians who have bled this nation dry for decades, they are unlikely to be able to read English at all.

      • 1
        0

        I understand you, Priya. I was born in what is now a branch school. My father was a teacher there; the founder,

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/belief-in-the-worth-of-teachers-at-s-thomas-colleges/#comments

      • 1
        0

        I understand you, Priya. I was born in STPS, Bandarawela. My father was one of the finest teachers there; the founder, W.T. Keble was my Godfather. My father died in 1963; my mother in 2007. Can you extrapolate from there?

        I became a trained teacher, and did my teaching practice at Royal: six weeks in 1970. Bogoda Premaratne. It was a good school.

        Years later, I read English at Pera University. I won the Leigh Smith Prize for English in 1985. Lectured in 1986 . . . It’s too long a story to give now, but basically, once a “game iskole mahatteya”, always one, is what some illiterates think!

        I’ve just posted this; you’ll find my real name there and my photograph:

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/belief-in-the-worth-of-teachers-at-s-thomas-colleges/#comments

        I’d like to hear what you think.

        • 1
          0

          Dear Sir
          Sorry to hear the unjust you had to experience. Hope everything will be resolved in a fair manner soon.What I wanted to highlight many have failed to grasp.We Sri Lankans love to live in bubles.When it comes to matters related to brain and heart we always take the side of the heart ignoring brain.
          Look at the number of people who have subconsciously insulted ” Polonnaruwa Royal”.We are hyper egoist and belive the whole world should revolve around us ignoring the sensitivities and sentiments of other people.I am not against Royalists or Thomians and as I said earlier I am one of them and am extremely proud about my Alma Mater.However that does not give me an automatic right to belive I am supreme and others are rubbish.
          We need to to come to terms with ground realities and recognise the disparity of education in Sri Lanka and .We need to recognise the existence of ” others ” and respect their right to exist with dignity.
          I would like to see a brave Polonnaruwa Royalist to stand against those derogatory remarks.I have associated distinguished Etonites in my experience in overseas .But have never seen any one bragging about their school
          So much like us Sri Lankans.
          There is nothing wrong with this article.Infact the writer has composed it beautifully and some even some outsiders have praised it which is very good.However can I ask for one last time ,Can we come out of this elegant glamorous buble created by ourselves and see the world in its true sense acknowledging others.Time has come to rise as one Sri Lankan nation together and not as Royalists ,Thomians,Trinitians,Anandians or whoever it is.
          This should start from the distinguished pupils both past and present of these two schools and unless they initiate no one will take any notice.That will be the best way to demonstrate the spirit we talk all the time.
          Thank you very much

  • 2
    1

    Reminds me of the great Centenary match, where Thomians Mahinda Halangoda in the company of tail ender CP Richards stopped the stride of the Ranjan Madugalle led Royalists in their march for victory. Another great match played in the right spirit.

    Later, I got to know CP Richards and always wondered if it the same happy go lucky chap who had showed such steel? Cometh the hour, cometh the man..

  • 1
    0

    This will be an article lot of people will preserve. These kinds of articles are a pleasure to read. It is an unbiased account of the match. The writer should be appreciated and will be remembered for this great article. Thank you CT for providing such a quality piece.

  • 1
    2

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. This is why they say that, the royal thomian is unique. What really matters, is the spirit in which this game is played. Although I am a Royalist I really admired the manner in which the Thomians played. It was a very exciting match and it was a privilege to be personal present to watch this great Royal victory and Thomian sportsmanship.

  • 1
    1

    Wonderfully written article and as an Old Royalist, and a Thomian in my younger days, I do not give much thought to the roaring Royal win nor the humble Thomian ‘s defeat.
    It was one of the best big matches played in a life time, I was fortunate. Only hope we encourage and coach at least 5-6 of these players to wear the Sri Lankan National colors in the coming years. Only way to respect all those who felt and said “it was good for the game of cricket”

  • 1
    1

    Thank you Krishantha for a truly magnificent article. I think Royalists as well as Thomians will appreciate your piece for a long time.

  • 1
    1

    As a Thomain when I read the article I felt very proud of my school. End of the day, it is not the result that matters but how you play the game. This is why people, come for the royal Thomian from all over the world. This is why the Roy- Tho is different to all other matches. Thank you for a superb article.

  • 1
    1

    Well done very good article. This is why the Royal- Thomian is so special for all of us. The Thomian captain and the team should be complemented for their sportsmanship.

    I wish newspapers carry this article.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you Mr.Cooray for a very good article on behalf of the Royal/ Thomian.

  • 1
    0

    An exceptional game of cricket played in true Royal Thomian spirit for the 137th year.

  • 2
    0

    Priya.

    Plato is very much like you at HEART.

    When I was at Peradeniya,in the midst of those who came from all parts of the country,from varying backgrounds,I had the first taste of reality.
    Since then I ceased to be a snob!
    But Priya,permit me this indulgence.
    Plato, had his first drink[Gal or Pol] I cant remember at the Royal-Thomian!

  • 1
    0

    This guy Priya, unfortunately has not properly undertood the article. I don’t believe that he is either a Royalist or a Thomian. The writer, has hot made any offending remarks about any other school, he has only written an opinion about what happened at the match and lessons everyone can learn from it. If Priya is not interested about it then he should not read the article and post comments.

    This article is an extremely interesting account of what happened at the match and students of both schools should read it.

  • 1
    1

    If I may add one unhealthy practice that STC Mount does is poach cricketers from other schools thus boys who studied from Grade one are left out and they cant achieve their dream of donning the college cap while other schools lose the talent they trained to STC which is unfair.

    One of my classmates from one of the branch schools who captained the U 15 team and great off spinner at that time was not even given a proper chance when he joined Mount and O’L’s and went for practices.

    • 1
      1

      Your attack on St. Thomas’ is unwarranted. St. Thomas’ is a private school and any one can join it at anytime depending on the vacancy. Therefore to say that St. Thomas’ is poaching players from other schools is not correct. Ultimately it is the best eleven who play, and it does not matter when they entered the school, as long as selection is on merit. Captaining a branch school is no qualification.

      If you ask the children, majority of them will say that they like to study either at Royal or St. Thomas’. At Royal number of places are limited and all cannot get in, while at St. Thomas’ people who cannot afford to pay cannot get in. We always believed that if there is no St. Thomas’ there is no Royal and vice versa. St. Thomas’ must give chances to those unfortunate in gaining admission when young.

      At Royal there had been students who came in late and played for the school. One good example is the former chief justice Mohan Peiris who came from St. Joseph’s to Royal at O’level. Also there were several students who had captained the U14 and U17 teams but could not play for the first eleven. There had also been instances where one who had never played in U14 or U16 teams playing for the first eleven.

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        Dr Dr your missing the point big time,your value system seems rather odd where you harp that if you have money then go to St Thomas’s and can play if your good,how about loyalty to the hand that fed you you? what are we teaching the students who are STC ? are we telling them that if you have money you can pull strings ? and winning the big match at all costs is what counts?

        You may not be aware due to your work with the NHS in the UK buts poaching Cricketers were a big black mark on STC in the 90’s and St Sebastians,Prince of Wales,Wesley and possibly Maris Stella were the victimized schools where the students they coached were grabbed by STC to try and win at all costs

        oh in case you didn’t know many were just given free schools to entice them to STC,I have no issue if other students have applied for schols and come but here were have talent scouts hovering at school matches and pick budding cricketers and just plant them in STC which is bad

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    This is an article well worth reading, even for a none Royal/ Thomian person like me. Sportsmanship will only be understood by certain people and they will all appreciate this article.

    I found it very interesting.

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    The Thomain team came back fighting and won the one day encounter. Krishantha Cooray’ s article is a very thought provoking piece and most people will appreciate it. I think this article will have more value next year.

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