February 14, 2010

Sri Lankan cricket

The bedrock of Sri Lankan cricket

Jamie Alter

Writing in the Sunday Observer, Rohan Wijesinghe salutes Dr Churchill Hector Gunasekere who paved the way for Sri Lanka as a cricketing nation. In 1920, a solitary cable to Dr CH from Dr John Rockwood which read "contact the Marleybone Cricket Club and request a game in Colombo" may well have paved Sri Lanka to eventual stardom in Lahore eight decades later.

Our cricketers could shed their insecurities and uncertainties riding on the doctors accomplishments at Cambridge University and Middlesex, he being the first Ceylonese to play county cricket, the first Ceylonese to date to have played in a championship winning county side, first Ceylonese to be honoured with a membership of the utterly prestigious MCC and the first Ceylonese to add a hard to grab county to his cricket coffin. In addition to his ability with bat and scalpel he was perpetually hobnobbing with the English nobility and gentry, all within the easy ambit of his aristocratic stride, haughtily stubborn jawline and dark brooding eyes, besides his great sense of style and ceremony.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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