A renewal of tradition and values
Old Peterites host cricket quadrangular on Aug 27- 28

Bernard Wijethunga, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, (third from left) briefing the media on the Old Boys’ Quadrangular Tournament at St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya. Also in the picture from left are: Sohan Perumal of St. Joseph’s OBSC, Harin Gunawardena, President, St. Peter’s OBSC, Shirley Wickramasinghe, President, St. Anthony’s OBU, Colombo Branch and the Secretary of the Organizing Committee, Malik Mendis.

(Pix by Nishan S. Priyantha)

by Dhammika Ratnaweera

Old Peterites will host the 38th Limited Over Cricket Tournament, among the four leading Roman Catholic schools viz. Old Boys of St. Benedict’s, Kotahena, St. Joseph’s, Colombo, St. Anthony’s, Kandy and St Peter’s, Bambalapitiya, which will be staged from August 27-28. The tournament takes place at three venues, namely, the BRC ground, St. Peter’s ground and St Joseph’s ground.

Bernard Wijethunga, Chairman of the Organising Committee said: " This tournament has been conducted with a view to promoting a commonalty in sports and camaraderie between the Old Boys of the four schools. This social event goes beyond merry making. While the get-together will allow the old boys of the four schools to reminiscence the past in their youthful years, it is a renewal of the traditions and values in which they were brought up.

"In other words, the moral environment, in which lads of the four schools were fashioned with the emphasis on integrity and social responsibility, is sought to be handed over to new generations as something worthy of emulation ".

The tournament is hosted on a rotated system among the four schools on an yearly basis. The idea of staging such a tournament, inaugurated in 1963, was first mooted by the Old Bens SC, when they organised a sports festival to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Club. The other three schools eagerly latched on to the idea.

This is now an annual event, which, however, could not be staged in 1970, 1978 and 1989 due to unavoidable circumstances.

The event costs Rs.100,000, with each school contributing Rs.25,000. Many of the past students of these schools give generously towards making it a success. Apart from the Old Boys, there are many sponsors and well-wishers who unstintingly support the quadrangular tournament, which incidentally is divided into two sections – the main quadrangular tournament and the Over 40 Veterans’ tournament.

Harin Gunawardena, President of St. Peter’s Old Boys Union said: " This tournament has given to Sri Lanka cricket some of the most outstanding cricketers At present, in the national test arena there are three great stalwarts - spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan (St. Anthony’s, Kandy), main strike bowler Chaminda Vaas (St. Joseph’s) and all-rounder Russel Arnold (St. Peter’s), not forgetting Ranjit Fernando of St Benedict’s, the former wicket keeper who is on the prestigious international panel of television broadcasters.

There are other names that conjure cricket’s romanticism in names like Roy Dias, Rumesh Ratnayake, Amal Silva, all of St. Peter’s and Ashley Silva (wicket keeper) of St. Joseph’s.

The inaugural quadrangular in 1963 hosted by the Old Bens was won by the Old Anthonians led by the great all rounder, the late Harry Jayasundara. The Silver Jubilee of this quadrangular held in 1990 was won by the Old Peterites, led by this year’s Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Bernard Wijethunga.

The Veterans Over 40 tournament was inaugurated in 2002 with the Old Peterites captained by former national master batsman Roy Dias .

Last year, the Old Anthonians won the main quadrangular tournament and the Old Bens annexed the Veterans (Over 40) tournament.

Quadrangular main tournament

The matches will played on turf wickets 50 overs per side with most students who left school recently participating. Sri Lankan players Chaminda Vaas (Old Joes) and Russel Arnold (Old Peterites) are expected to take part.

The semi-finals of this year’s tournament will take place on August 27. Old Peterites will meet Old Anthonians at St Peter’s ground, while Old Bens will meet Old Joes at Darley Road. Both matches commence at 10 am. The final will be played at the same venue on August 28. The final day’s proceedings will commence at 9 am with hoisting of the national flag by the Rector of St Peter’s College, Rev Fr Felician Perera, followed by the four College flags being hoisted by the Presidents of the four schools sports clubs and the quadrangular flag will be unfurled by the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Bernard Wijetunga.

Former national and Thomian captain Anura Tennakoon will be the final game adjudicator .

Veteran’s (Over 40) tournament

This tournament will be played with 25 overs given per side. The first day matches will be played on August 27 at the BRC ground. Old Bens will meet Old Joes in the first session starting at 9.30 a.m, while in the second session Old Peterites will meet Old Anthonians, the match commencing at 2.p.m.

The final will be played at St. Joseph’s ground on August 28 with former national player Jerry Woutersz named as match adjudicator.

The Chief Guest for the finals will be Dion Walles, the former Peterite captain, who captained the champion side of 1946/47 and his opposing rival in those year, Josephian captain Neil Weerasinghe as Guest of Honour. The Awards ceremony will be after the finals of the Quadrangular tourney with special trophies for the best fielder, best batsman, best bowler and man of the match.



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