Joes, Peterites set off big match sparks | Sunday Observer

Joes, Peterites set off big match sparks

The two captains Johanne de Zilwa (St. Joseph’s College) and Shannon Fernando (St. Peter’s College).
The two captains Johanne de Zilwa (St. Joseph’s College) and Shannon Fernando (St. Peter’s College).

Traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College will herald the start of the inter-school big match cricket season when they feature in their 86th Battle of the Saints contest on March 6 and 7 at the P Sara Oval.

From the 85 past encounters, as many as 63 matches have ended in draws raising questions on whether it has contributed to a drastic drop in spectator interest. Over the last 20 years, as many as 16 matches have ended in draws.

Organisers of the match said their hands were tied to make any more drastic changes to open out the contest after restricting the encounter to 60 overs a side in the first innings.

Both teams are well balanced which means the series could produce yet another draw unless something sensational happens which has always been the expectation that does not materialise.

The 85th encounter was launched last Tuesday under the sponsorship of Dialog for the fifth successive year with the patronage of the rector of St. Joseph’s College Fr. Ranjith Andradi and the rector of St. Peter’s College Fr Rohitha Rodrigo.

Also present at the launch were the two captains Johanne de Zilwa (St. Joseph’s College) and Shannon Fernando (St. Peter’s College). The two teams will play for the Fr. Maurice Le Goc trophy.

Speaking at the launch of the match the rector of St. Joseph’s College Fr. Ranjith Andradi said that what was most important was that both teams play good cricket irrespective of what happens by way of the outcome and gave his blessings for the contest to both schools.

Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo the rector of St Peter’s College said that the annual cricket encounter between the two schools hold a rich history and tradition which has to be upheld in keeping with the spirit of sportsmanship displayed throughout its 85 years.

Former Joes captain of 1981 Nirmalal Perera and ex-skipper of St. Peter’s College in 1994 Damian Perera will grace the occasion as chief guests.

Captain of the St. Joseph’s College team of 1970 Hector Perera and Rory Inman the ex-player of St. Peter’s will grace the occasion as as the guests of honour.

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