Nationalised Services Cricket Association Awards ceremony
Vinodhan John honoured
by Revata S. Silva

Vinodhan John, the stocky right-arm ‘pacie, who opened bowling for Sri Lanka in the eighties, was felicitated for having continuously played for over two decades in the Nationalised Services Cricket Tournament at the 12th Nationalised Services Cricket Association (NSCA) Annual Awards Ceremony held at the Shalika Reception Hall in Colombo last Friday (10).

John, who played six tests and claimed 28 wickets (average 21.92)during 1983-84 when the country’s cricket struggled to recover from the setback following the infamous ‘rebel’ tour to apartheid South Africa, represented Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for over twenty years in this major nationalised services sector cricket tourney.

A bowler who made a memorable debut in 1983, John had two illustrious ‘scalps’, under his belt in the First Test against New Zealand at Lancaster Park. They were that of opener Glenn Turner, a prolific run-getter, and the great Richard Hadlee, New Zealand skipper and all-rounder par excellence. John’s Test career, which spanned a period marked by a ‘drought’ of international games, came to an abrupt end with the Lankans’ famous inaugural Lords Test, in which he took four for 98, including England’s highest scorer of the match Alan Lamb (107).

Last Friday he received his award from the Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Sripathi Sooriyarachchi. Along with John, another 27 players were felicitated for the same feat.

NSCA, established in 1967, produced players of the calibre of Anura Tennakoon (Wellawatta Spinning and Weaving Mills), Aravinda de Silva (Petroleum), Bandula Warnapura (Wellawatta Spinning and Weaving Mills), Champaka Ramanayake (Ceylon Gas), Don Anurasiri (Ceylon Timber), Guy de Alwis (Petroleum), Jayananda Warnaweera (Ceylon Timber), Norton Fredrick (Ceylon Transport Board) and Sanath Jayasuriya (Petroleum).

Vinodhan John Bede Jeyarajasingham, 45, took 34 ODI wickets (48.67) in 45 matches in five years from 1982-87 before bidding adieu in a Reliance World Cup match against England in 1987, which Sri Lanka lost by eight wickets.

There are 35 member clubs at present registered with the NSCA and its General Secretary Sripal Silva told The Island that Deputy Minister Sooriyarachchi promised the Association a new sports complex at the NSCA grounds at Ratmalana.

Other national representatives who have played in the NSCA tournament over the past years are: Anusha Samaranayake, Athula Samarasekara, Chaminda Mendis, D.P. de Silva, D.S. de Silva, Gamini Perera, Jayantha Seneviratne, Keerthi Gunaratne, Lionel Fernando, M. Devaraj, Nihal Soysa, Roshan Gunaratne, S. Illangaratnam, Sunil Jayasinghe, Sylvester Dias, V. Mahendran and Yohan Gunasekara.

Hence, a total number of 27 national players have figured in the NSCA tournament.

The following were awarded, along with John and former national player S. Illangaratnam, for over two decades of continuous representation in the NSCA cricket: M.I. Kitchilan, Christy Fernando, Raj Abeysekara, Channa Weerasinghe, Upali Senaratne, W.A.C. Upashantha, Sunil Perera, Nihal Jayatissa, Priyan Wijewardena, Srilal Perera, Prabath Senanayake, Renuka Perera, Deepal Madurapperuma, Lalith Sagara, V.P. de Alwis, Ranjith Sugathadasa, N.L. de Silva, N.T.A. Jayawickrema, S. Paranawithana, Upali Jayasiri, Sripal Silva, P.A.K. Gomes, W.V.H.P. Perera, M.C. Fernando, Palitha Batuwanthudawa and Tennyson Ponweera.

The following were the results of the finals of the last years’ 12th NSCA Tournament:

Division I- League- SL Ports bt. Ceylon Petroleum, K/O- SL Ports bt. SL Land Reclamation and Development, Six-a-side- SL Land Reclamation and Development bt. SL Ports.

Division II- League- People’s Bank bt. State Engineering, K/O- State Engineering bt. People’s Bank, Six-a-side- Ceylon Petroleum bt Employees’ Trust Fund.

Veterans- League- NSB bt. Bank of Ceylon, K/O- SL Transport Board bt. Petroleum, Six-a-side- NSB bt. Bank of Ceylon.

Soft Ball- Men’s- Industrial Development Board ‘A’ bt. Industrial Development Board ‘B’, Women’s- Bank of Ceylon bt. NSB.


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