|Sunday, 2 June 2002|
Moratuwa Sports Club forges ahead with new pavilion
by PELHAM JURIANSZ
Moratuwa Sports Club (MSC), one of the pioneer sports clubs in the country, will be constructing a new pavilion at the De Soysa Stadium which is undergoing some major changes, because of the enthusiasm of this cricket crazy town.
The foundation stone laying ceremony for the new building took place yesterday at 9.30 a.m. amidst a distinguished gathering including ministers.
Moratuwa has been the home of cricket for well over a century, in fact since 1876, when the great philanthropist Charles Henry de Soysa, founded Prince of Wales College and as a tribute, the stadium is named aftrer him.
Many well known names in the cricketing world have emerged from Moratuwa. There are famous names that have emerged at Moratuwa Sports Club like, D. H. L. de Silva, C. Hubert de Mel, D. T. S. Peiris, A. C. W. Peiris, J. B. C. Rodrigo, Rolly Fernando, G. P. de Silva, C. E. L. de Silva, K. W. Dharmapala, J. A. F. Fernando, F. W. Fernando, Leonard de Mel, Eric Fernando, Annesley de Mel, Leslie Mendis, Collin Fonseka, D. Mahindapala, Nisal Senaratne, D. D. Jayasinghe, H. I. Fernando, Stanley Fonseka, Lloyd Peiris, Frank Pieris, C. Dissanayake, Austin Ratnayake, P. H. S. Mendis, Bertram de Silva, Wilmot Mendis, Linden Fernando, Bandula Premachandra, Herbert Fonseka, Arjuna Dias, Suranjith Mendis, U. D. L. Wimalaratne, Sylvester Dias, Tudor Meegoda, Sarath Fernando, S. Illangaratnam, Ransiri Pieris, Bandula de Silva, Daya Sirisena, D. P. de Silva, Tissa de Soysa, Jayantha Wickremasooriya, Manik de Silva, Lantra Fernando, Hemal Mendis, Roger Wijesuriya, Jayantha Perera, Hemal Fernando, Archdeacon of Galle, Rev. Patrick Fernando, Vernon de Mel, Maurice Fernando, Renfred Peiris, Villet Fernando and Prasanna Fernando, to name a few.
One of the needs of the Moratuwa Sports Club that was formed in 1941 is that they do not have a well equipped pavilion at the ground. They have thus invested in the construction of a new pavilion with the help of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka(BCCSL).
The two-storey building will house a gymnasium which will enable not only the cricketers but also the basketballers to exercise. The total cost of the project as it stands today is approximately Rs. 6.2 million for which the BCCSL has given a grant of 3.5 million. The general committee of Moratuwa Sports Club headed by Patron, Upali Dharmadasa and his brother, Jayantha of the Nawaloka Group have initiated this project and shouldered the responsibility of raising the balance of approximately Rs. 3 million.
All members numbering around 100 are requested to contribute towards this worthwhile project.
Cricket, the "king of sports" has been in Moratuwa for well over a century so it is envisaged that this pavilion will enable the cricket crazy public of this city south of Colombo to enjoy the game in comfort.
The club started playing cricket from the inception and soon became joint champions with NCC for the "Daily News Trophy" in 1957 and was promoted to the Sara League.
During the last season The Moratuwa Sports Club once again became Sara champions in the newly structured tourney. Earlier that season, they won the Division 1 one day tournament. The club produced players like Lucky Rogers Fernando, former Best Outstation Cricketer of the Year from Moratu Vidyalaya. The team included Mangala Jayasena from St.John's Panadura as his deputy, Nisal Fernando, former Thomian and SSC cricketer, Dhammika Rajapakse, Ashan Ranaweera, Chaminda Haturusinghe to name a few.
Not only is Moratuwa famous for men's cricket but also for women's cricket. They have at least four members representing Sri Lanka in the Women's Cricket Association team of Sri Lanka.
Produced by Lake House