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