Royal -Thomian big matches come and go annually, an unbroken chain of 144 years. After almost 3 years of doom and gloom in Sri Lanka the 144th match was a breath of fresh air and hope for the future. From the initial traditional build up to the game in the form of street parades and on to the game at SSC, both the Warden of STC and the Principal of RC gave the school boys leadership and they did even walk the talk by joining the revelry on push cycles. The Heads of the two great institutions did answer the call of their chargers.
The game at the SSC from 16-18 Mar was special this year. From the overall match organization, to impeccable discipline maintained on all three days, the fun and revelry with responsibility and concern for others need to be lauded. Kudos to the School authorities and the Joint Working Committees of old boys for a flawless execution of a difficult task. Managing possibly a crowd of over 15,000 in a mood of revelry on three continuous days is no mean feat, but manage and manage very successfully they did. All present and past Royalist and Thomian’s should be very proud of the outcome.
Let’s not forget what it is all about, the Battle in the middle, the Battle of the Blues. The writer as a Royalist obviously is happy with the end result of the win, however both teams must be congratulated for giving their best for their alma mater. A very special year when the Royal Skipper’s name Dasis Manchanayake is written in stone, a batting display to be remembered combined with astute and gutty leadership on the field. His partner Ramiru Perera definitely was not far behind in his batting prowess and surely a Royal Star for the future. Thomian’s did not achieve these heights in batting but Akash Fernando did strive for 2 days tirelessly and was easily the best bowler on the park. Overall the game was the winner, Thomian fans should not feel despondent, we all won at the game.
All other schools big and small should take a cue from how the 144th big match was conducted, where the game was center stage, the spectators a happy well behaved bunch and a gathering where cast, creed nor religion was at play. A call of the times answered by two great schools and their students present and past alike. The writer has been to Big Matches for 60 plus years, and the 144th was possibly the best overall game attended. It is not the euphoria of a win that has motivated the writer, rather the event for the ages, an absolute master class overall.
Bravo to all who made it happen, we stand in awe.
Lasanthasiri / Kotte