Category Archives: cricket for amity

We Farewell Beverley Juriansz of Panadura and Woodend

Down the way where the nights are gay

And the sun shines daily on the mountain top

I took a trip on a sailing ship

And when I reached Australia I made a stop

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The Politics in and around Cricket. In Praise of Rangana Aiyya


Rip Van Winkle, in The Sunday Times, 8 October 2017, where the title is “400 wickets”

My dear Rangana Aiyya,
I thought I must write to you to congratulate you, because you have reached the magic number of four hundred test wickets – far more than all other Sri Lankan except for the legendary Murali. This came as a pleasant surprise, as did Sri Lanka snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan.

Nowadays, seeing a Sri Lankan team win a cricket match is as rare as holding a provincial council or local government election, so I suppose when it does happen we should all be very happy about this and we are indeed. However, I am a bit sad about it as well and I will try to explain why. Continue reading

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Pioneering Cricketing Women in Ceylon, 1948

The Ceylon and England Women’s teams pictured together at the Colombo Oval on 1 November 1948 — image from Roberts, Essaying Cricket, 2006, … with refinements by Lukie Pereira [who, as it happens, was present and saw his cousin Beverley take a brilliant one handed catch on the boundary ropes]

The Cylon Team as as follows: Miss O’ Tuner (captain), Ms Enid Gilly Fernando (vc), Mrs C.hutton, Ms S.Gaddum. Phyllis de Silva, Shirley Thomas, Marienne Adihetty, Beverley Roberts, Binthan Noordeen, Pat Weinman and, Leela Abeykoon... Reseves being Mrs DH Swan, Mrs EG Joseph, … with the three marked in purple being schoolgirls from St. John’s Pandaura where the cricket coach was Gilbert C. Roberts, a cricketer of considerable competence with first-class experiience in both Barbados and Ceylon.

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Reconciliation via Cricket and Charity? The Political Ground is a Waterlogged Minefield

Michael Roberts

It is possible that Velupillai Pirapaharan remains a revered leader and symbol of the nationalist drive for Thamililam among some Tamils residing within the island f Sri Lanka today – even though they are circumspect in expressing such thoughts in public. Indeed, it is possible that some Tamils in the island worship him as a deity in the manner espoused in some quarters abroad by Tamils of the diaspora (see image below).

So, how does one measure the political reverberations of the well-meaning efforts towards reconciliation and the bridging of the Tamil-Sinhala divide delineated in several essays presented recently[1] in THUPPAHI?

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Cricketing Amity, September 2002: Janashakthi XI vs Jaffna District Cricket XI

During the ceasefire period after Eelam War III some leading members of the cricketing world in Colombo reached out in reconciliatory mood to Jaffna by organising a high-profile cricket match.[i]

Enthusiastic Jaffna Fans mob Murali

Chandra Schaffter: The Jaffna Match, 1 September 2002

With Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister in 2001, a ceasefire agreement was negotiated with the LTTE and the A9 was opened after many years. Janashakthi took the opportunity to open its Jaffna branch in August Because of our association with cricket, we felt that the best way would be to stage a cricket match which would bring the enthusiastic cricket fans in Jaffna out of their homes.  It was a major rush but my son Ramesh,who was adept at such events, began organizing the match as well as the  opening of the branch.  I had just returned to Sri Lanka after managing the cricket team in the UK and I had agreed with a team of about 15 of the cricketers to go up to Jaffna in a special bus and play a match – not so much for cricket per se but in order to create an impression in Jaffna.

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Cricketing Outreach: Building Amity among Lanka’s Ethnic Groups?

Michael Roberts

 A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya in London about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan.[1]

 Murali Harmony Cup launched 2012  Ian Botham with Murali

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Kumar Sangakkara’s Reconciliatory Outreach across the Ethnic Divide: A Bibliography

IN TEMPORAL ORDER

 

Michael Roberts, “Sangakkaras visit St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna,” 12 April 2011, https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/sangakkaras-visit-st-patricks-college-jaffna/

Kumar Sangakkara’s 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in full,” 5 July 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/srilanka/8618261/Kumar-Sangakkaras-2011-MCC-Spirit-of-Cricket-Cowdrey-Lecture-in-full.html

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