Sunday, November 23, 2008

In the International Spotlight...Sri Lanka Cricket


Sri Lanka Cricket, formerly the Board for Cricket Control in Sri Lanka (BCCSL), is the controlling body for cricket in Sri Lanka. It operates the Sri Lankan cricket team and first-class cricket within Sri Lanka.

Domestic competition:
Sri Lanka Cricket oversees the progress and handling of the major domestic competitions: the First-class tournament Premier Trophy, the List A tournament Premier Limited Overs Tournament and the Twenty20 competition Twenty20 Tournament.

In 1938, the first domestic competition was established when 12 teams competed for the Daily News Trophy. The tournament's title was changed to the P Saravanamuttu Trophy in 1950-51 and then the Robert Senanayake Trophy in 1976-77. After Sri Lanka began playing Test cricket in 1982, the inevitable sponsors came on board and the tournament was rebranded as the Lakspray Trophy for the 1988-89 season when, for the first time, it was designated first-class.

Subsequently, the title of P Saravanamuttu Trophy was resurrected from 1990 and since 1998 it has been called the Premier Trophy.

The Sinhalese Sports Club has won the tournament a record 29 times to 2006.

Sri Lanka Cricket oversees the progress and handling of the major domestic competitions: the First-class tournament Premier Trophy, the List A tournament Premier Limited Overs Tournament and the Twenty20 competition Twenty20 Tournament, in which all of the following First-class teams take part:

Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club (Colombo)
Burgher Recreation Club (Colombo)
Chilaw Marians Cricket Club (Colombo)
Colombo Cricket Club (Colombo)
Colts Cricket Club (Colombo)
Galle Cricket Club (Galle)
Moors Sports Club (Colombo)
Nondescripts Cricket Club (Colombo)
Panadura Sports Club (Panadura)
Ragama Cricket Club (Katunayake)
Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club (Moratuwa)
Sinhalese Sports Club (Colombo)
Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club (Colombo)

They also organise and host the Inter-Provincial Tournament, a competition where the above first-class do not take part but rather teams represent four different provinces of Sri Lanka:

Basnahira - Western Province
Kandurata - Central Province
Ruhuna - Southern Province
Wayamba - North Western Province
Uturu-Meda- North Central Province

Premier Limited Overs Tournament:
The first limited overs cricket tournament in Sri Lanka was the Brown's Trophy in 1988-89. Only four teams competed in the inaugural competition: Sinhalese Sports Club (winners); Nondescripts Cricket Club (runners-up); Galle Cricket Club; Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club. The tournament was renamed the Hatna Trophy in 1990-91 and then given its current name Premier Limited Overs Tournament in 1998-99.

The competition to date has been dominated by three teams: Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club has won five times; Sinhalese Sports Club and Nondescripts Cricket Club have won four times each.

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, has an age-old civilisation. It came under European influence and control after Dutch colonists arrived in the 17th century; although the interior hilly region of the island remained independent for over a century with its capital at Kandy. The British East India Company established control of the island in 1796, using war with France as its excuse for commandeering Dutch territory. Ceylon was declared a Crown Colony in 1802, but the island was never to be officially connected with British India. The fall of the kingdom of Kandy in 1815 unified the island under British rule.

As everywhere that the British arrived in numbers, cricket soon followed and it is reasonable to assume that the game was first played on the island by 1800.

Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka in 1972.

Early developments:
The earliest definite mention of cricket in Ceylon was a report in the Colombo Journal on 5 September 1832 which called for the formation of a cricket club. The Colombo Cricket Club was formed soon afterwards and matches began in November 1832 when it played against the 97th Regiment.

In October 1882, Ivo Bligh's team played an odds game in Colombo en route to Australia, where they famously "recovered those Ashes". In 1888-89, an English team led by George Vernon toured Ceylon and India, including an 11-a-side game against All-Ceylon at Kandy. In 1890, the Australian team en route to England played in Colombo.

First-class cricket in Ceylon became restricted to games against visiting touring teams, notably the English and Australian teams who used Ceylon as a stopover on the long voyage to each other's country. Douglas Jardine's infamous "bodyline team" was there in 1932-33. Occasionally, teams representative of Ceylon played matches abroad, especially in India.

From 1953-4 until 1975-6, the Ceylon Cricket Association played a first-class match against Madras (latterly renamed Tamil Nadu) for the Gopalan Trophy. This fixture was played in Colombo roughly every two years, with one further fixture in 1982-3, alternating with the fixture being held in Madras.

Current Contracted Players:

Malinga Bandara
Tillakaratne Dilshan
Dilhara Fernando
Sanath Jayasuriya
Mahela Jayawardene
Prasanna Jayawardene
Chamara Kapugedera
Nuwan Kulasekara
Farveez Maharoof
Lasith Malinga
Muttiah Muralitharan
Kumar Sangakkara
Chamara Silva
Upul Tharanga
Chaminda Vaas
Michael Vandort


*Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

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