DN Mon Jul 28 2003
80th birth anniversary today
by Richard Dwight
Every now and then there
comes along a man, who through his selfless service in the greater cause and
common good, enriches the life within the community and leaves it a better place
for having lived. one such man with intrinsic worth and endearing wide appeal,
was undoubtedly Tamil Union Cricket Club's benefactor in years gone by, the late
Muru, as he was
affectionately spoken of, had the benefit of a good Hindu home, steeped in
tradition and culture, a scion born to name, fame and fortune, who blossomed out
in his formative years to be a holistic product of his alma mater Royal College.
He was an ideal student, who proved to be exemplary in the classroom and a
versatile sportsman with a fine record of being awarded colours in six
disciplines and, ending as captain of the cricket team.
For his brilliance at
Royal he won the coveted Lorenz scholarship, for the best all rounder in 1942.
Continuing in the same vein he went onto captain the cricket team of the Colombo
university, representing it at tennis and table tennis as well.
Always well attired,
endowed with a pleasing countenance and given to sober disciplined ways, he
brought to bear to his work as senior Director at C.W. Mackie and Company,
qualities of virtue that were rare.
This, Muru was held in
high esteem and regard and earned the confidence to serve as director in quite a
few private and public companies, not forgetting that he was also the past
chairman of the Shippers Council of Sri Lanka and the Association of Sippers
Councils of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Indeed a man of proven
administrative ability, and it was no surprise when he was elected to be the
vice president of the board of control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, under the
presidency of the late Minister Gamini Dissanayake, with as well, the
distinction of being selected as manager of the Sri Lanka World Cup Cricket team
to the United Kingdom in 1983.
But by far, for what Muru
would be most remembered, would be the wholesome valid contribution he made in
the cause and furtherance of the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club. He
captained the club's cricket team, was its president for many years and the
patron until his demise in August 1994.
What was most
extraordinary about Muru's long standing association with the club, was that he
displayed rare enthusiasm and loyalty of high degree.
His 80th birth anniversary falls today. It is to such a man as this, that the Tamil Union Cricket Club last Friday, in recognition and appreciation of the manifold services rendered by Tambyah Murugaser paid honour by renaming the 'B' Block of the main pavilion, as the T. Murugaser Block, a most deserving tribute indeed.
DN Fri July 25 2003
Union honours 'Muru' and 'Myla' today
by Richard Dwight
The annual general
meeting of the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club scheduled for this evening
at 7.30 will be marked by the stepping down of President Tryphon Mirando after
his three-year term to be succeeded by M. Ganeshan.
The occasion will also be
significant to be historical where a representative gathering will view the
opening of the newly constructed club's swimming pool and also witness tangible
expression of gratitude and appreciation being made to two club past stalwarts
Thambiah Murugaser and A. Mylvaganam by the opening of a stand and a gate
respectively in their names.
Both Muru and Myla as
they were affectionately referred to were virtually pillars of the Tamil Union
Club who through sheer commitment strove in the cause of the club and for its
betterment at all times. It's most fitting therefore even posthumously though
their memories be perpetuated in the very place they laboured for in love, all
Given to sober
disciplined ways the mild mannered, genial Tambiah Murugaser excelled both in
the classroom and sports field at Royal College where he did well at cricket and
Always well attired and a
pleasant exterior he brought to bear qualities that were noble to his work as
Director at C. W. Mackie & Co. and to his club, Tamil Union he was its
mentor, guide and friend.
He not only played
cricket for his club but held responsible positions in the club being its
president for many years. It is said that whenever the club was in need his
hands dipped into his pockets. Muru also displayed abilities of being a fine
administrator and at one time was the Vice President of the Cricket Board having
had the distinction of being the Manager of the Sri Lanka Cricket team to
Mylva it could be said
that what Satha was to cricket Myla was to hockey, with that bravado air of
nonchalance, which made friend to become popular soon. He picked the game at
Wesley and shone at cricket too, for the college. Almost a pioneer in the cause
of hockey in the island, Myla captained the national as well as the club side
for many years and was a short corner specialist, not forgetting as well his
contribution as a cricketer for Tamil Union.
By his flamboyant you
dare not get onto his wrong side on the field of play or off it, for he could
prove to be belligerent but was quick to forgive and forget, his attitude was
always reconciliatory. The Tamil Union which he served in different ways was his
second home and who knows he may have desire to breathe his last there, and so
he did, when the time came.
DN Tue July 29 2003
Comment by Dr. Elmo
The Australians could
well be termed the cry babes of cricket. After the Caribbean tour where they
played Four Test and Seven One-Day Internationals, they finished the tour and
started the all too familiar cry that the tour was too long, too much cricket
with a result of burn out and too tiring etc.
Mind you this was after
they won the Test series 3-1 and the One-Day Series 4-3. When they were winning,
there were no rumblings or grumblings. But when the Windies thrashed them in the
remaining three one-dayers, the cry babe act began. If the complaint that they
were playing too much cricket was to be accepted, then how come that they agreed
to play off season. Should they not have used the off season to nurse their
tired limbs and recover from burn out?
Instead they agree to
play off season against lowly placed Bangladesh, beat them easily and now that
the going is good no complaints.
The Aussie cricketers are
wanting to have the cake and eat it. Skipper Stephen Waugh who is the most
capped, most successful captain and who is now second in the list of Test
century makers with 32, with Sunil Gavaskar in the lead with 34, has gone on
record saying that the two new Test venues - Cairns and Darwin are as good as
the best in Australia.
that is well and good.
But the Aussies must not
engage to please and play off season. True they have to honour their
engagements, but to take Test countries to the outskirts or the woods of cricket
should not be the idea. And the Sri Lankans should not have agreed to play their
Two Test matches next year in Cairns and Darwin.
By bowing down to the
Aussies, the Sri Lankans have dropped esteem. Now that the Lankans have fallen
prey to the Aussies, there is no going back. It is the thousands of Sri Lankan
cricket fans in Melbourne and Sydney who will miss seeing and cheering their
On the last tour when
skipper Sanath Jayasuriya skipped the friendly in Melbourne the thousands of
Lankans fans who crowded the MCG felt very bad and were thoroughly disappointed.
Not all Lankans living in normal Test playing venues in Australia can make it to
Cairns and Darwin to watch the Lankans.
and Myla deserve it
The Tamil Union must be
congratulated for deciding to honour their past stalwarts T. Murugaser and A.
Mylvaganam, by having a gate and a stand in their honour. Both were top class
sportsmen. Muru a cricketer and 'Myla' a hockey player who had no peer as a
short corner specialist.
I had the good fortune of
playing under Murugaser as a schoolboy when he captained the TU Daily News team
in the late fifties.
A game I well remember
was against the Bloomfielders at the then Colombo Oval. Bloomfield batting first
made 141 with yours truly bowling leg spinners and googlies to capture 6 for 53.
Tamil Union were in a bad way at 41 for 7, when Homer Titus joined 'Muru' to
begin the rescue act. Titus made 41. Then Muru was involved in another good
stand with S. Coomaraswamy (not Sathi) a former Zahirian to bring the TU an
Murugaser played a
captain's knock to remain unbeaten on 100 and lead his team to a memorable
victory. After that game the Daily News ran the headline: Murugaser's century
was match-winner. Muru later went on to serve the Cricket Board where his
services were well received. When Muru went as manager with the 1983 World Cup
Sri Lankan team to England I had the opportunity to cover the tour for the Times
of Ceylon. The simple personality that he was, when I used to remind him about
that century he used to smile and say: Yes. I remember that century that helped
the side win the game'.
Myla was one if not the
greatest short corner specialist the game has seen here or in Asia. No defenders
rushing to stall the hit or the opposing goal keeper would relish when 'Myla'
was taking the short corner. He hit it with such tremendous power that the ball
rocketed into the board with the speed of lightning.
A game I well remember
was the one between the Old Bens who were new to the big league - the Andriesz
Shield - and the Tamil Union at the Army ground, Galle Face. The Bens conceded
several short corners in their enthusiasm and it was a treat to watch Mylvaganam
converting them with ease with drives that beat the onrushing defenders and goal
keeper giving them no chance.
And this was when 'Myla'
was in the twilight of his illustrious career. I was then doing the hockey
rounds for the Times of Ceylon and the hockey critic at that time was former
Features Editor of the Times, Subbiah Muttiah, who wrote the then popular column
- 'Corner Flag'.
He wrote reams about
Mylvaganam's prowess with the curved wand.