Dialog Axiata powers 90th annual Ananda-Nalanda ‘Battle of the Maroons’ | Daily News

Dialog Axiata powers 90th annual Ananda-Nalanda ‘Battle of the Maroons’

Kamesh Nirmal, Captain Ananda College, Manjula Wijemanne, co-chairman, Match Organising Commitee, Asanga Priyadarshana, CEO Dialog Finance, SM Keerthiratne, Principal Ananda College, Thilak Wattuhewa,  Principal, Nalanda College, Upali Gajanayaka, Group Chief Officer Programme Management and Tele-Infrastructure, Dialog Axiata PLC, Chinthana Jayasekera, General Manager  Group Business Development, Dialog Axiata PLC, Mohan Gunadasa, Co-Chairmen, Match Organising Committee, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Captain, Naland
Kamesh Nirmal, Captain Ananda College, Manjula Wijemanne, co-chairman, Match Organising Commitee, Asanga Priyadarshana, CEO Dialog Finance, SM Keerthiratne, Principal Ananda College, Thilak Wattuhewa, Principal, Nalanda College, Upali Gajanayaka, Group C

Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata Group, has extended their sponsorship for the second consecutive year to the 90th Battle of the Maroons, annual cricketing encounter between Ananda College, Colombo and Nalanda College, Colombo, played for the Dr. N M Perera Memorial Challenge Trophy.

The 90th edition of the ‘Battle of the Maroons’ organised by the joint committee comprising leading personalities of past students from the two schools, is scheduled to be played at the SSC ground on today and tomorrow, while the One Day encounter between the two schools, played for the Kularatne Trophy will go head to head at the same venue on 17 March.

The well co-coordinated efforts of the joint organising committee over the past decade has ensured that the ‘Battle of the Maroons’ is now worked out with much fanfare amidst a carnival atmosphere and many attractions for entertainment for all family members of past students, while the game has continued to be played with the rich traditions and at the highest standards that this encounter is well known for.

The two schools have the distinction of having produced several players to the National team. Sri Lanka’s first Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura donned the cricket cap for Nalanda College in 1968, while Arjuna Ranatunga, who led the Sri Lankans in the famous World Cup winning team in 1996 hails from Ananda College.

Ananda College and Nalanda College, the two premier Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka have so far produced over 55 national cricketers to have represented Sri Lanka in international cricket - including 6 of them - Bandula Warnapura, Arjuna Ranatunga, Roshan Mahanama, Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene and Dinesh Chandimal - having had the honour of leading the Sri Lankan team.

The first half century, the first century and also the first double century for Sri Lanka in Test cricket were scored by three Anandians - Arjuna Ranatunga (1982), Sidath Wettimuny (1982) and Brendon Kuruppu (1986). Brendon Kuruppu incidentally is the only wicket keeper in the history of Test cricket to score a double hundred on debut.

Mahela Jayawardene the former Sri Lanka skipper hailing from Nalanda holds the unique honour of becoming the first Sri Lankan to complete 10,000 runs in Tests and One Day International cricket.

Dinesh Chandimal who led Sri Lanka to series wins in all 3 forms of the game against Bangladesh, has the honour of being the first Sri Lankan to score twin half centuries in his debut Test match.

Apart from such brilliant players – Ananda and Nalanda have also gifted the country with excellent cricket administrators, elite cricket umpires, respected match referees, leading sports media personnel and very importantly talented commentators with brilliant oratorical skills – especially Sinhala commentators such as the late Karunaratne Abeysekara, Premasara Epasinghe and Palitha Perera who were instrumental in popularising the game to this extent through the length and breadth of the country.

 


 

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