|Why does CCS Ltd. only punch on Lemonade?
First term 1st XI matches should not be a tourney
Term I (January to March) is generally the First XI cricket season for practically every school.
As far as this writer will remember, every school played about eight matches the most before figuring in their traditional big match.
I would recollect St. Josephs College Colombo play matches against St. Benedicts, Royal, Wesley, S. Thomas MTL, Trinity and St. Anthonys Katugastota before taking on St. Peters College, Bambalapitiya in their annual Battle of the Saints which is played for the Rev. Fr. M. J. Legoc Memorial Trophy (which was shelved by the winning team). Then, St. Josephs did not play any third term matches, but it was in about the late fifties that they played against Prince of Wales and Richmond. But there too all the First XI matches were played on a friendly basis and not as a tournament.
But the pattern had been changed from the recent past where the first term First XI matches have been played as a tournament for a trophy offered by a sponsor and conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association. As a result, almost every participating school plays about 15 matches and the champions are decided on the highest points obtained.
Many ask if this system of playing the traditional First XI matches on a tournament basis is justified. They also say that several schools play against weak teams while other teams come up against strong opposition.
It will be beneficial to the schools playing First XI cricket to continue playing their matches on the traditional friendly basis other than on a tournament. Also most of the schools play their big matches for a trophy and that system must be permitted to prevail.
Any sponsor if there is, could get together with the (SLSCA) and conduct a separate cricket tournament among the schools preferably in three divisions Div I, II and III.
We also find that Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd., has done wonders for school cricket by sponsoring tournaments. The firm has clearly punched on their product "Lemonade" by offering the Lemonade Trophy for all divisions in cricket. But why hasnt the firm punched on its other products like Ginger Beer, Necto, Cream Soda, Ginger Ale, Soda etc. Why not offer the Lemonade trophy to the Division I champs, Ginger Beer Trophy to Division II champs and so on.
Earlier, schools played cricket on a tournament basis in the Under 17, Under 15, Under 13 groups and subsequently in the Under 11 group. All tournaments were conducted by the SLSCA. Why not continue with this system even now?
Schools big matches played during the first term have been for challenge trophies offered by the schools or some old boys. Big matches also serve as a family outing where old boys meet their school friends and their families. But last year, in a big match, some of the organisers had decided to play it on a limited overs basis by permitting a maximum of 60 overs (each team) in the first innings with the purpose of bringing about a decision. But unfortunately nothing of the sort happened as it only spoilt the big match spirit by that foolish decision. - (R.L.F.)
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