ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 40

Paddy field, cradle of our cricket

By G.A.D. Sirimal, Boralesgamuwa

Tracing footsteps down memory lane,
Fifty years back in my boyhood days.
I could yet picture, many friends at play
Cricket, lovely cricket, come sun or rain.

Nestled in the valley where the mountains rise
There lies the village where the sweet birds cry,
Mahaveli snakes her way, with majestic poise
Near the ‘Salem Bridge’ spread the fields bathed in sunlight.

Harvesting over and school holidays begin
The abandoned paddy fields beckon to start our spin
Lads prepare the pitch, sweat pouring down their chins
Inter-village matches, the whole village to action springs.

‘Willie’ invariably is the Captain of the team,
Not because of his ability to courageously lead
But as his parents own this stretch of paddy fields,
Else, we lose the fields which we helplessly need.

‘Bakala Soma’ is the keeper, sharp-eyed,
‘Lord Alfred’, the opener who earnestly tries,
To get the wickets with googly flights,
And ‘Ekmon’ the cheat, an unreliable guy.
Cat-eyed ‘Lattu’ fields in the muddy spot,
When play is over he is clothed in mud.
Although the pitch is uneven and full of ruts,
We are masters in scoring plenty of runs.

Inter-village matches are full of thrills,
With Dekinda serving us manioc with kurumba to drink,
Rambukpitiya gives us rice, sambol and Kiri Hodi mix
Karahandungala, bread, parippu and water to drink.

We, in our turn serve Kos (Jak), coconut scraped,
Julis Condostara’s “Lunumiris" gives an added taste
Parents too join in, though they hate
Our playing cricket throughout the holidays.

Only catches and wickets are taken as ‘Outs’
Woe be unto the umpire for "LBW outs”.
‘Oka Hora-Hora Umpire’ the crowds will shout
He would be at the mercy of the angered crowds.

When play is over and the day is done,
There are no enemies but all are friends,
To the Mahaveli we plunge, naked for fun,
How sadly we part, awaiting the rise of the next day sun.

Top to the page

Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.