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