The Royal-Thomian cricket encounter, the cynosure of all-eyes in the country’s schools sports calendar, was officially launched at a news conference worked-off at the BMICH, on Wednesday.
Accordingly, S. Thomas’ College (STC), Mount Lavinia, the current holders of the D. S. Senanayake shield, will be captained by Thevin Eriyagama, while Royal College, Colombo, who will be leading as the host this time, will be led by Thevindu Senaratne.
The Battle of the Blues tally, an annual traditional encounter, presently reads with the school by the sea having 35 wins, including the yesteryear’s equalising win, and as many wins by Royal with 70 draws.
Acting sub-warden of STC Asanka Perera, addressing the conference said, “It’s that time of the year when these schools start buzzing with cricket fever, as we inch closer to the three-days at the SSC, where 22-cricketers will be battling out on the green for the coveted D.S. Senanayake shield. It goes without saying that an event such as this cannot be pulled off without the support of many individuals”.
While thanking a series of partners profusely, the sub-warden also advised the two teams that the game is theirs.
“Don’t let these fancy events take your attention from that. Much festivities and activities surround the Royal-Thomian encounter, but for the 22 of you this is your game to battle out in the middle, according to the rules of the game,” he said.
“In the middle you battle but off the field you come off as friends. To the Thomian captain and the team, just remember playing the game you have practiced playing and don’t let anything distract you. There are no limits in what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. Forget the mistakes, forget failure, forget everything except what you are going to do from now on,” sub-warden Perera said.
He concluded on a light note saying, the shield the match is played for is at rightfully where it should be and it is here to stay.
On the other hand, his counterpart A. Abeyratne, the principal of Royal College, speaking a few words said, “All of you will agree that this is the biggest event in the cricketing calendar of Sri Lanka cricket. This game, between two great schools, has earned its rightful name in the cricketing ‘Hall of Fame’, as the world’s second longest uninterrupted cricket match”.