of the Blues" the grandeur among schools
Gamini Perera - Sunday
Observer Mar 10 2002
Like all good things the 123rd "Battle
of the Blues" ended yesterday amidst a scene of colour, music and dance.
Eye filling were the colourful banners and
the impressive Mustangs and Colts tents amidst the cheering by schoolboys, who
really elevated yet another Royal-Thomian to a plane of not only solemnity of
the occasion, but did also conform to accepted norms of the big occasion.
Melifluous samba music welcomed the huge
crowd which thronged the picturesque SSC grounds at Maitland Place hours before
the big’un commenced.
This Royal-Thomian was once again a show
piece of cricket spiced with fervour and grandeur. The invocation of the song
and dance tribes of the schoolboys of both colleges lifted the whole ambience to
a different level.
The singers injected much depth and feeling
into rendering meaningful compositions, all stereo typed for the occasion.
It had been sometime since I went for a
Royal-Thomian, the last being during my days with the Ceylon Observer.
On test along with the cricket were some
exciting young players and Sri Lanka will know more about them as the years
roll-by and when they begin to represent the country. Not all but some of them.
As perfect gentlemen of the game, the Thomians and the Royalists have always
played the game hard and had never run a foul of the ethics of the great game of
The Royal-Thomian ‘Big Match’ had been
played for 123 years, and those players have played the game in such good spirit
that there hadn’t been anything other than true sportsmen. Hence, this
year’s young cricketers have a lot to live upto. Without any doubt every match
has been entertaining and enthralling.
We are all aware that both the Thomians and
Royalists have an excellent record. In all a reputed past. That’s why this
encounter of the ‘Blues’ has gone well in the sands of time. Such a record
has, however, not been built up without recourse to some questionable pitch
preparation and accusations now abound in the international arena of cricket.
The pitch at the SSC has had no horrors of
break-in, where the spinning ball bites like a cobra.
It is interesting to see that the calibre of
cricket of the Thomians and the Royalists are up here at the SSC.
The two teams have always exhibited a
cavalier brand of cricket, which has never failed to be entertaining.
But, one principle will always follow these
big ‘un of cricket camaraderies. The side going in as ‘underdogs’ will at
sometime emerge the worthy winners.
So here, I am at the Press Box covering the
final day’s play of this prestigious battle.
Of the 122 matches played so far, the two
teams share the same amount of victories - 32 each, with 58 ending in