Rugby promoter Malik Samarawickrema calls it a day | Daily News

Rugby promoter Malik Samarawickrema calls it a day

Malik Samarawickrema, Sri Lanka’s leading rugby promoter says he has retired from all rugby promotions and enjoying a peaceful life in Kandy. The 70 year old has been at the forefront of top level rugby in the country for past few decades. Malik says he has retired from all rugby activities and is all out to enjoy a good life over here in Kandy.

It is time to retire from the sport. He was a player, coach and administrator, was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. He was known as “Mr. Rugby”. He is a man who knew how to support the game; it was he who gave the biggest break for Kandy Sports Club Rugby.

Malik as he is popularly known is a product of Royal College, After leaving school where he learnt the rudiments of the game he excelled in the inter-club rugby as a famed scrum half. He went on to play for CR and FC, Colombo Clubs and Sri Lanka President’s XV.. His playing days at Royal College was from 1966 to 1968, his team mates were Jagath Fernando, Haren Malwatte, Javid Yusuf, Maiya Gunasekera, Fred Pereira, Brian Lieversz, C.R de Silva, Nizam Jaimon Dilanjan de Zoysa Punithakumar Jeremy Perera, Mousie. Thurairatnam, Bryan Baptist and Shahul. Mohamed. At CRand FC he had teammates like Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Ronnie Schokman, Mohan Sahayam Ajith Abeyratne Didacus de Almeida Hamzie Hameed Bumpy Jayasekera Tikiri Marambe Irwin Howie Jagath Fernando, Hadji Omar Roy Balasuriya Shiraz Fernando Reggie Bartholomeusz and Kamal Ratnapala.. During his playing days he was a nippy and daring scrum half who gathered the ball from the base and slung out intelligent and well directed passes to his fly half who always was well positioned to get the line moving that resulted in an avalanche of tries for school and club.

Malik later played a key role in rugby promotion and introduced a top international tournament in Kandy which was played for years. Besides his prominent roles in promoting the game through numerous ways including lavish sponsorships, he was one of the best rugby brains in the country. He also served as treasurer vice president, president of Sri Lanka Rugby and also as the Sri Lanka team manager

By the way he has coached Royal College on nine occasions, and helped to win the Bradby eight times, then as CR & FC coach helped them to win the first ever R. Premadasa trophy knockout tournament in 1984 beating CH and FC 16-13 in the final and the inter club sevens championship in 1982. He came to Kandy Sports Club rugby promotion in 1991. Since that time, he has fought tooth-and-nail to drag Kandy Sports Club from out of the darkness into the spotlight and helped Kandy Sports Club in a big way, it was he who made them to become champions in the knock-out for the first time in 1992 and in 1994 as coach to win he first league title. Malik is also a strict disciplinarian who has seen the club win the League 21 times and the Clifford Cup knock outs also 21 times, including a consecutive period of ten years between 1995 and 2005 (the competition was not held in1998) and six consecutive years between 2007 and 2012.

He has also negotiated successful contracts with players, and gave employment and arranged tours So successful was he, that players showed a keen interest in turning out for Kandy SC. Malik was the founder of the Singer/Sri Lankan Airlines International Sevens. He supported and helped the organizers to conduct this tournament for 10 years from 1999 to 2008 gaining IRB status in 2004.

This international Sevens tournament, which was introduced to celebrate 125 years of Kandy Sports Club in1999, was one of the most successful international tournaments to be organized in Sri Lanka. Again in 2004 the club conducted the Rugby World Cup Qualifier for the Asian region. He was Kandy SC’s Patron. Due to his backing today so many ruggerites who played for Kandy SC are doing well in life.

His main aim is to see the game back in action at school and club level, which is most looked forward.

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