Sunday, June 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

A gathering of Sri Lankan legends at the CCC

Update : 23 Mar 2017, 12:06 AM
In the morning, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha met old teammate Roshan Mohanama when Bangladesh were fielding against SLBP's XI at the CCC. Mahanama was a key member of the 1996 World Cup winning side and a brilliant fielder during his playing days. He retired in 1999. But the start of his career's second stage is somewhat related to Bangladesh. He made his debut as an ICC match referee in 2004 in the ODI between the West Indies and Bangladesh in Kingstown, 2004. He retired as match referee last year and is currently enjoying his free time after leaving cricket. A few moments later, Tigers batting coach Thilan Samaraweera joined the group and probably shared some old memories. Just after the game got underway, Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana arrived at the Club House to watch the match. Jayasuriya is the chairman of selectors of SLC while Kaluwitharana is a national selector. Shortly afterwards, Sri Lanka team manager Asanka Gurusinha joined the former opening wicket duo. Seeing these three together, suddenly, this correspondent recalled memories of the fearsome Lankan top-order who caused havoc in the '96 World Cup. View of the CCC ground from one of the stands DHAKA TRIBUNEIronically, the openers of the home side - Kusal Perera and Dilshan Munaweera – formed a left-right combination, just like Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana. They were hitting hard all over the park. One half of the opening pair, Kusal is even considered the new Jayasuriya due to his batting style, which is quite reminiscent of the Lankan legend. As the game progressed, another important member of the '96 World Cup winning side, Chaminda Vaas came to the Club House for a short visit. Vaas is currently Sri Lanka's U-19 coach. However, none of these ex-cricketers seemed keen to talk to the media. The local media labelled Sri Lanka's defeat to Bangladesh in the second and final Test match as the darkest day in its history so perhaps this was the reason why the legends refrained from talking to the media, since chances are high that they'll be asked to give their opinions on the Colombo five-dayer loss. However, Kalinga Indatissa, sitting at the adjacent bar of the Club House, had some interesting words to say when he got to know that this correspondent is a sports journalist from Bangladesh. At first, he congratulated Bangladesh for winning the Test. And light-heartedly, he said, “Your coach Hathurusingha is brilliant. But we unfortunately threw him away seven years ago.” Indatissa informed that he was a SLC lawyer for a long time. When Muttiah Muralitharan’s chucking allegation surfaced down under in 1995, he flew to Australia to deal with the matter. Indatissa was also part of the panel that gave Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva the all clear against match fixing allegations in July, 2001. Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta had claimed that Ranatunga, the then Lankan captain, agreed to under-perform in a Test against India in Lucknow in 1994 and that De Silva had received £10,000 after the game. A big picture of former England speedster Harold Larwood hanging proudly on the walls of the CCC DHAKA TRIBUNEMeanwhile, this venue is the home ground of CCC, the oldest first-class cricket outfit in Sri Lanka. This is one of three cricket venues located at Maitland Crescent in Colombo, the other two being the Sinhalese Sports Club ground and the Nondescripts Cricket Club ground. The CCC is among of the smaller Test cricket grounds in Sri Lanka, and also one of the smallest in the world. The Club House contains some significant pictures. A big picture of former English speedster Harold Larwood bowling is depicted in one of the sides of the wall. Larwood played at the CCC ground in 1928. A famous picture of the English captain of that famous “Bodyline Ashes series”, Douglas Jardine, also hangs on the wall. And so, just like any other cricket ground in Sri Lanka, the CCC ground too continues to maintain its tradition of preserving pieces of history.
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