By: Nalin Jayetileke
The historic `Royal- Thomian` known as the Battle of the Blues had been played uninterruptedly even during the two World Wars and local insurgencies. Lots of the two schools cricketing fraternity had worries if the match would be played this year as the country was badly hit by the Corona Pandemic. However, the Ritch tradition of these two schools could not be interrupted this time around too, as the uninterrupted status of the annual encounter will be intact when S. Thomas’ under the captaincy of Shalin de Mel and Royal under the captaincy of Ahan Wickramasinghe take to the SSC grounds this morning for their 142nd Royal- Thomian Big Match.
Due to the historic value and the stature it holds as the biggest Cricket Big match Sri Lanka has had over a period of over 141 years (Uninterrupted) , the organizers of the two schools have worked had to see that the match is played so that there is not brake of tradition. In the process, they have had to postpone the event twice (May and September) this year due to the Covid 19 pandemic. After the inaugural match was played in 1880, it is the first time the match is played in October.
The Thomian are one of the youngest teams in recent history. There are as many as seven freshers with the four colursmen against the Royal team that have as many as six players from the last Big Match and three others who played First XI cricket last season. According to the news from S. Thomas’, it is said that the present Thomian outfit is the youngest team since 1999 where some of them have played only in an Under-15/17 levels.
The Thomians will heavily rely on skipper De Mel, and rest of the 3 experienced players and if the rest of the new entities to the side can play alongside them, though on paper, Ahan Wickramsinghe’s Royal team having a formidable outfit with the entire batting line up having played First XI cricket, the Thomians could apply some pressure to the Royal Boys.
The Royalist are expected to come with its all guns firing, given the experience the team possesses and will try to apply pressure on the Thomians from the word go.
The match will be played behind closed doors.
Royal College : Ahan Wickramsinghe (Captain), Kavindu Pathiratne (V. Capt.), Prashan Silva, Isiwara Dissanayake, Gishan Balasuriya, Sadisha Rajapaksha, Dasis Manchanayake, Sonal Amarasekara, Sehan Herath, Sineth Jayawardena, Dan Poddiwela.
S. Thomas’ College: Shalin De Mel (Captain), Ryan Fernando (V. Capt.), Yasiru Rodrigo, Caniston Gunarathnam, Anuk Palihawadena, Romesh Mendis, Nathan Caldera, Thenuka Liyanage, Mahith Perera, Rajindu Tilakaratne, Senesh Hettiarachchi.
thesundayreader.lk news team would like to take this opportunity to wish both teams all the very best!