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Sunday, 27 January 2013

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Grand plans afoot for......:

Thurstan - Isipathana Golden Jubilee cricket match

Thurstan and Isipathana are making elaborate arrangements to stage their golden jubilee 'Big Match' on 22nd and 23rd March, 2013, at the SSC grounds with the blessings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who will grace the occasion. The President is a distinguished old boy of Thurstan College and has already purchased the first ticket to signal a rousing start for the event.

Both schools being established a little more than six decades ago, will meet each other for the 50th occasion with the old boys of both schools eagerly waiting for this historic occasion. Usually this encounter is played as the first of the series of big matches during the end of February. But this year it has been postponed to facilitate old boys and well-wishers who are domiciled in other countries hoping to make their presence at the 'Big Match'.

In a preliminary press briefing held at the BRC pavilion in connection to the event, principals of both schools were eager to make the occasion a memorable one.

The principal of Isipathana College, A.M.K.C. Perera said that it is an important juncture for the two schools in the annals of its history and also for its future endeavours. The matches played in the past between the two schools were free of any major incidents and was played in a peaceful atmosphere and he said that he earnestly hoped that this historic meeting too, will be a peaceful one.

The principal of Thurstan College, Nihal Yapa said that any school staging an event for the 50th time is something unique and this one is no exception and the two schools are looking forward to celebrating it on a grand scale.

Priya Paranavithana who convened the press briefing said that he was proud to be a Thurstanite who had represented the school at the first 'Big Match' in 1964 at the Nomads grounds (where the Nelum Pokuna Theatre is now situated) and thereafter being involved in almost every match in various capacities.

However, he regretted the sparse crowd seen during matches unlike a Royal-Thomian encounter where one could see bigger crowds.

He hoped that the 50th encounter will end the spate of drawn games and produce a result to keep the spectator interest alive.

In the 49 encounters played so far, Thurstan has won five and Isipathana four. Thurstan has produced two Sri Lanka cricketers Amitha de Costa and Hemantha Boteju and a Test player Niroshan Bandaratileka while Isipathana has produced Jayantha Paranathala and Uvais Karnain who represented Sri Lanka prior to the country gaining full Test Status and Test players like Asoka de Silva, Sanjeeva Weerasinghe, Nuwan Zoysa and Suresh Perera.

 

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