June 15, 2012

Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2012

The myths and realities of the Josephian Mafia

Kanishkaa Balachandran
Harsha de Silva, Colombo, June 14, 2012
Harsha de Silva did not experience victory as a player for St Joseph's, but has tasted it through two of his most famous wards, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Think of Sri Lankan school cricket rivalries, and the first thing that comes to mind is Royal-Thomian annual clash, now 133 years old. Another rivalry, though not as steeped in history, is the Battle of the Saints, between St Joseph's College and St Peter's College. Think of school cricket heroes, and it's hard to forget Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli sharing a world-record 664 for their school Shradashram Vidyamandir, a record which stood nearly 19 years. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera may not have shattered the record books as a pair, but they were fearsome enough to earn the popular nickname 'The Josephian Mafia'.

Both allrounders are pivotal to Sri Lanka's limited-overs teams' success; they're impact players, capable of turning matches around. Darley Road, in bustling Maradana, was where it all began. Both players helped St Joseph's break their jinx in the Battle of the Saints, which lasted nearly 36 years. Harsha de Silva never experienced victory as a player for St Joseph's, but is proud to have tasted it nevertheless through two of his most famous wards, Mathews and Perera.

De Silva, who now coaches the Sri Lanka Women's team, recalls Mathews as a talented teenager who made the Under-19 side at just 15. He remembers spotting Perera's potential in a match against St Joseph's. The young big-hitter had done enough to convince St Joseph's to offer him a scholarship. The 'mafia' was starting to take shape. Contrary to popular perception, the nickname was born only after they started playing for Sri Lanka.

De Silva says the players' character and strengths weren't very different from the present. Being two years senior, Mathews was the 'leader' who Perera sought to emulate. The rivalry, de Silva says, was friendly and productive for the school.

"Being fast bowlers, Angelo and Thisara put a lot of fear in other players. When they bowled it at 120-130 kph, the batsmen found them a handful," de Silva says. "One year we had a record season where we won nine outright wins, and our record was phenomenal mainly because of these guys. Between 2002 and 2010, we won four national championships."

De Silva singles out Perara's temperament during the big games. "When we won the Saints match after 36 years, we were rewarded with a trip to Australia. It was jointly organised by the (St Joseph's) Old Boys in Australia and those here in Sri Lanka. Thisara couldn't make the tour because of a family commitment I think and the Old boys in Australia were really looking forward to meeting him. So when he finally made it to Australia with the national team years later, some of the Old Boys were really happy to finally meet him."

Both players, he says, were rarely up to pranks and mischief, save for one famous incident involving Perera.

"Once, Thisara didn't show up for the second day of a match. Being a Catholic institution, the priests wouldn't tolerate any indiscipline. I think he was suspended for two matches. It was the same year we won the Battle of the Saints and this was a crucial game for us. We were doubtful if he would play the big game. Then, Chaminda Vaas (an alumnus of St Josephs) pleaded with Fr Rector to allow Thisara to play. As the games are played on Friday and Saturday, the team usually stays together from Thursday at the college. Chaminda spoke to the rector at around 5.30pm. One of the Old Boys fetched Thisara from his house and so he was a last minute inclusion and it paid off."

Did they buy Perera's story? "Back then security was tight around the country, and Thisara claimed he was stopped by a cop and was made to turn back because he didn't carry a valid ID card. But, till this day, we've always had our doubts about it," recalls de Silva with a chuckle.

Was de Silva more than just their coach? "I believe so. I knew there was a fine line that either of us wouldn't cross," says de Silva. "But there have been instances where I've advised them on their personal issues. I've seen Thisara especially undergo the hardship of having to travel every day from the outskirts of Colombo. I think he had to wake up at 3.30-4am to get to practice and then head for classes."

While Mathews is being groomed for the Sri Lanka captaincy, de Silva feels that Perara is equally capable of taking on a leadership role. "Everyone sees Thisara as a playful character. But if you speak to him, he has very good ideas and I think he's good captaincy material."

De Silva also busts the myth that he was ever nicknamed 'The Godfather' with peals of laughter. No, we're not talking guns, Brando or Sicily here.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Mulyanidham on (September 7, 2012, 21:27 GMT)

5caHI WHAT IS THE JOKE? Sanga was 33 , but he informed to we need young cancapty for our team but 34 age Dilshan is less young sanga.Why you have give chance to Tharanga. he was good player oid & test . but Selection committee only not given to him Test. foolish cricket. many youngust are there . Lahiru. Chandimal. Nuwan preedp. Banuka. Schitra . than what happan to them.please get some example from india. they are givan chance. riana. v, koli. aswin also in w. c /but our cricket .?kk- ksa (0)

Posted by Sithum Samaraweera on (July 25, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Wow, This is one sensational article to be honest. I cannot agree more on the info provided. I Remember going to battle of the blues(Royal-Thomian) also known as Royal-Thora. I use to go their with the intention of scoring few girls phone numbers. But the passion towards cricket by those school boys keeps us going solely focused towards cricket.It was really good to part of. I m assuming all the battles are of the same intensity.

Posted by gihan gamlath on (July 6, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Great Riaz, as you said this is not a comparisum of schools or valuving one about the others. We all know the contribution from most of the schools to the Sri Lankan Cricket. These artical is about two future heros of Sri Lanken cricket, hope some body will write about Ananda-Nalanda as well. I am from a village school and in that case for all the cricketers are from my school. The jelousy about Anjelo and Perera is seems to be racially based. While wishing both of then best of luck pray somebody will write about Annad-nalanda as well to i will enjoy that too

Posted by kevin on (July 4, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Good for St Josephs to have two players in the national team together.Anand-Nalanda can list two teams with substitutes who have played for Sri Lanka at Test Level.Crowing is for the sissies!

Schools are irrelevant nurseries, its for the country you must play.

Posted by Kenneth De Silva on (July 2, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Very nice story...now can you tell me, how many Peterites made the first official test team for Sri Lanka.

thank you, Ken

Posted by Jayawardana on (June 22, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Dear pradip chelliah - Hope you stand corrected now. Roshan Mahanama and Asanka Gurusinghe were selected to represent SL from school XI. In fact when Gurusinghe represented SL, he was in year 13th (weeket keeping in PAK tour) and just 18 years old.These two were the 'most outstanding schoolboy cricketer' award winner from 1983,1984,1985. Mahanama won it twice and Gura once. They were a tremendous players for SL thereonwards and played for SL for 13/12 years consecutively. Gura was SL's 'concrete' one down batsmen. another duo who are still there are Mahela and Thilan who were captaining both schools at the same time. Mahela went on to represent SL in 1997 and Thilan little later. We wish Anjelo and Thisara well but they have a long way to go and all the best to them

Posted by RIYAZ on (June 21, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

I loved my Almamatar Zahira College which also produced talented cricketers like Namiz,Irfan (toy),Rasif, Amanulla(cricket & soccer) but unfortunately they couldnt make it to the national team. Fortunately Amanulla lead the national soccer team. I can remember when toy visited us from France he said he is sad when he is watching young men like Sanga playing because he couldn't make it to the national team. When you are reading an article you should concentrate what the article says. As someone said it is about two guys played for school at the same time and now they are playing for the national team that is what mafia is. One such mafia i can remember was Guru and Roshan.

Posted by Vip on (June 21, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

Dear Pradip Chelliah,

Let me tell you a combination of three layers who represented same college team and proceeded to represent the country at the same time. They are Roshan Mahanma, Asanka Gurusinghe and Gamini Wickramasinghe who played fot the same Nalanda team and represented Sri lanka in Test Cricket in late 80's and early 90's. A particular series which come to my mind in which all three participated in playing XI was 1992 Kiwi's tour in Sri Lanka. Gamini Wickramasinghe i think is the least known but was a very capable wicket keeper batsman. Another probable world record from Great Nalanda.

Posted by Gihan on (June 20, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

A very good read. The article I meant. Most comments following the article are just pathetic and displays the inability to comprehend what the article is about. The school cricket system in SL was great but bow I think is deteriorating. Simply because the T20 style approach by the school cricket teams are just killing talent at a younger age. Special credit to all the great institutions for extending scholarships to the cricketers from lesser known schools. Ex; Thisara Perera from St. Anthony's wattala, Dinesh Chandimal from Dharmasoka Ambalangoda, Jeevan Mendis from Susamyawardena, etc cos that surely have helped their careers. How ever at the end,...it all boils down to the individual players brilliance and committment towards excellence. About, Angelo Mathews,..he certainly is great player and has immense potential and a very calm player under pressure, which is a rare talent not seen recently on any other players. The last was may be Russel Arnold after Arjuna Ranatunga.

Posted by Panduka Jayamanne on (June 20, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

This article is purely elaborating the merits of two young Josephian cricketers who played together for the same college team and their current electrifying performances at the national level. Interestingly, it also represents reminiscing of their coach and a bit of banter. Without exception, the century plus school cricket system has produced outstanding products. In that respect every school has contributed to the national interests at large. Here the limelight is on Angelo and Thisara, so lets be gracious and not deny them that.

Posted by pradip chelliah on (June 20, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

For all who have mentioned about the battle of the marrons please note, yes you school has produced many cricketers to the international arena. but what you have to keep in mind is that these two young men from st josephs played in the same time same outfit and they have carried on to the national team. correct me if i am wrong have any two batsmen or bowler (like scachin and kambli) played in the same time have gone on to play for srilanka. this is what its meant by the mafia. Please correct me if i am wrong....

Posted by Sen on (June 20, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

kanishka Excellent article; as someone mentioned before, I am not sure if you are a Sri Lankan,(If you are, my apologies also) but in any case you have felt the cricketing pulse of Sri Lanka, which is school cricket.

Posted by P.M.Pulle on (June 19, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

All school cricket in SL is intense and of a high quality. My father coached St Josephs and Trinity in the 50s and 60s and I saw my first Joe/Peter encounter in 1954 when I was 7 I am now 65 and met up with the 1970 reunion of Old Joes in SL from Australia. You only have to see any rural ground in SL to see cricket being played.

Posted by wickee on (June 18, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Did anybody notice that a little known school called Nalanda, which is situated close to Great St. Joseph's produced three members of '96 World Champion team namely Mahanama, Gurusinghe and Dharmasena (which probably is a record though nobody called it Nalandian Mafia). This is a comment by an Old Nalandian who believes that school does not matter but sheer talent does.

Posted by JKS on (June 18, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

@Ranga..If you think St.Anthony's Kandy(Murali'salma mater) is a "Small unheard school"..I dont think you know much about Lankan school cricket mate..It is one of the leading Schools in the country and probabaly only second to Trinity when it comes to the hill capital in terms of history..Excells in both cricket and Rugby..Btw i'm a old Royalist in that neutral aspect

Posted by Chandra Prince on (June 16, 2012, 18:57 GMT)

It make me happy to think about all those wonderful cricketing schools in Sri Lanka. All those thousands of cricket mad schho boys! I used to be one...For those who are interested, I have to point out that St. Joseph's has won most number of their inter-school cricket encounters against each of their inter-school cricketing rivals. I find that quite remarkable! St Joseph's has won most games over Royal, St. Thomas, St. Benedicts, St. Peters, Wesley, Trinity and St Anthony's in the number of games played over the years and that is since 1896.

Posted by Chandra Prince on (June 16, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

Now I live in Seattle. But I still recall those good old days of being a schoolboy in Sri Lanka. I was attending St. Joes. We lived near Mount-Laviania. I always followed my older brother. We took the train every morning to Maradana station and walked rest of the distance to school. At the beginning of the year when the inter-school cricket matches were played I had no other interest but cricket! I was cricket mad. I listened to BBC or Radio Australia. Like my school mates I followed test cricket. I remember my mom made blue-white and blue flag for me to take tyo ckricker games. On the train I would meet, Royalists and Thomians, Anadians and Nalandians, Peteriters, Benadictians and many other schools boys, just like me─cricket crazy!

Posted by Sujan on (June 16, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

@Harshan Peerez, You are mistaken bro..... Throughout Thisara's schooling time I was in next class to him. And I can tell you he came to our school in latter part of grade 9. I can clearly remember him from grade 10 onwards. So he played 4 or 5 big matches for us.

Posted by HarryH on (June 16, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

don't forget the jaffana schools Central, St Johns,St Patrikcs, Hartley etc and they also have big matches

Jaffana schools produced great cricketers but never represented Sri Lanka. A few that comes to mind are V.T.Mahalingam, Kanagayagam, Balasingham(also played for St Thomas) Nadarajasundram, Deivendra all had talent to represent Sri Lanka but never made it for obvious reasons. Hope one day a Jaffana school cricketer will make it to the test team.

Posted by Randy on (June 16, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

Great to see these two guys makign strides in Int'l cricket.. Sri Lankan school sports are extremely well orgenized and across the spectrum probably among the best in the world. Although Kingswood aren't huge on cricket Dharmaraja - Kingswood encounter which is the original battle of the maroons is 107 years old and has produced a host of national cricketers and even a national leader in Sir D.B.Jayathilake from the Rajans side

Posted by prianta on (June 16, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

N Dawson: College or Vidyalaya, they are both schools in Colombo. You seem to like the word College- perhaps living in the colonial past. Can you tell us the difference between College and Vidyalaya, please? This is an open forum and what Dharshana was saying was that, while the article bragged about 9 wins in a season a by St Joseph's "College", Ananda had 13 wins in a season and did not get a mention. A school boy - Chandimal- getting 1700 runs in a season is worthy of mention since this article is about school cricket in SL, and a reason to be proud as a Sri Lankan, assuming you are a Sri Lankan.

Posted by Ricardo De Fonseka on (June 16, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

We need more Thomian boys in the team

Posted by jjs on (June 16, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

I have played with these guys, been coached by De Silva and also lead these two talented youngsters. One thing common with Harsha De silva / Angelo Mathews / Thisara Perera - all these guys are very hard working and thats the reason for their success. We are mostly proud of them as Sri Lankan’s and Joe’s!!!

Hats off to Chandimal as well…. I am sure Banuka Rajapakse will also bring Sri Lanka lot of pride in the future

Posted by Rohan Mark Jay on (June 16, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

I am old enough to remember the Joe-Pete big match rivalry in the late 1980s. As I was living in Sri Lanka at the time. I attended the 1987, 1988 and 1989 Big Match contests. At the Khettarama stadium now renamed Premadasa Stadium. Were 4 innings squeezed into 2 days. As you may expect there were many draws even if the weather was good. At the time Harsha De Silva was a fast bowler for St Joseph's college I recall. The Josephians had a very good team in the late 1980s. St Peters had a better team than them yet due to stage fright St. Peter's almost lost the big match of 1987.Were in a losing draw in 1988.However the 1989 big match was lit up by great hundred from JayaweeraBandara who I thought would play for SL. Who would have thought a little know guy called Chaminda vaas was 12th man carrying drinks for StJosephs in 1989 would become Sri Lanka's premier bowler in the 1990s. He did make his big match debut in 1990 which I did not attend.The cricket played was some of the best I saw.

Posted by Ranga on (June 16, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

But none of these top schools produced any players like Jayasuriya and Murali. One broke all the records in ODI (fastest fifty, fastest 100, fatsest 150, most sixes etc. while the other is the best test bowler ever. nuff said. Both came from small unheard of schools.

Posted by Helaputhra on (June 16, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Kanishkaa, you have struck a vein of pure gold with this great article. The sheer emotion, enthusiasm and pervasiveness of Sri Lankan school cricket can be seen by the comments here.

Posted by Bharatha on (June 16, 2012, 1:49 GMT)

Superb article about my high school ..! Pure Catholic environment with lot of discipline helps these guys to perform well ..St'Joseph's college is the best school in Srilanka with young cricketing bloods ...!!

Posted by Ian Daniels on (June 16, 2012, 1:05 GMT)

Vandort, Ian Daniels, Murray Ferdidandez, Peter Hamer, Angelo, Trevin Mathews, Roscoe , Melder, We have produced many cricket players.

Posted by Bandara on (June 16, 2012, 1:03 GMT)

Who is think saying Ananda is a vidyalaya its a great College. The leading buddhist school in the country. He probably wished he was an Anandian. These are all great schools.

Posted by Devinda Dayson on (June 16, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

The two greatest cricket schools since test cricket are Ananda and Nalanda. But credit to the Joes and Petes for fielding very competitive teams over the past few years.

Posted by dingo on (June 15, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

SL school cricket is very intense and has great heritage in it. Ananda vs Nalanda is another such encounter.

Posted by Renuke on (June 15, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

Whether it is Joe-Pete, Royal-St. Thomas, Trinity-St. Anthony's or Ananda-Nalanda, our school cricket system has produced a majority of our star players. Just look at the SL team for the past 20 years.....from Bandula Warnapura to Dinesh Chandimal....I am sure that at least 80% of the national cricketers also excelled when they played for their schools. The school doesn't really matter...now we are seeing more and more outstation schools producing super-stars for SL (Lasith Malinga is the best example), which is really heartening to see. (BTW, I am an old Anandian.)

Posted by N Dawson on (June 15, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

why are people talking about Chandimal or the 13 wins. Is it,because of lack of attention Ananda College is getting. Dharshana please comment about Ananda college when they talk about Chandimal or Ananda. Till then please reserve your comments. This is conversation about colleges not Vidyalayas like Ananda.

Posted by Thomas Thurairatnam on (June 15, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

The Sri Lankan School Cricket standards were discussed even in the 60s and 70s. Visiting junior teams from England and Australia and their officials were often surprised at the skill and guile of the opposition. It is true that atmosphere, competition and annual, traditional big matches contributed to the general health of the game at that level and no doubt helped Sri Lanka's ultimate rise to the international arena. It's a fascinating saga that somebody should write a book about!

Posted by shakir on (June 15, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

SL always produced some good all-round cricketers. Jayasuriya, Aravinda , Aronald , Chandana etc, but After Jayasuriya these two are much better all-round cricketers, better then Dilshan for me.

Posted by NC rox on (June 15, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Ananda - Nalanda big match is the best.Mahela ,Chandimal , Samaraweera ,Arjuna ,Marvan to name some. Both schools have produced lot more players than Royal and Thora. But I think St Joseph,St Peters,St Sebastians,Trinity,Price of Wales College and other Catholic schools give their players the best training. I wouldnt be suprised if most of the players in future come from Catholic Schools in Colombo suburbs.

Posted by Kandamby on (June 15, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

What about the Battle of the Maroons article. The two schools that have produced more national players than any other schools in Sri Lanka Ananda and Nalanda. Greats like Ranatunga, Wettimuny, Atapattu, Samaraweera , Chandimal from Ananda and Warnapura, Gurusinghe, Mahanama, Dharmasena and Mahela from Nalanda.These two schools are unrivaled.The Maroons mafia for Mahela,Thilan and Chandimal.

Posted by Richard on (June 15, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

Having lived in SL for 12 years, I've always thought the 'old boy' network very corrosive. It holds SL back in many ways, especially in the commercial sector. But I do see how playing in front of such large crowds can help groom international cricketers. Anyway, as a cricket nut, I'm just glad to be based in a country where cricket is taken seriously, at all levels.

Posted by Harshan Peerez on (June 15, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

Dear All, one thing i have to mention here..Thisara started playing cricket when he was studied @ his first school St.Anthonys College,Wattala. he educated there until his Ordinary Level's. then after only he shifted to St.Josephs Collage,Maradana for his Advanced Level. So you guys should call him as a Semi Josephian Mafia..

Thank You Harshan Peerez

Posted by Thora on (June 15, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

Very well written. Thanks to the author for touching on school cricket, and the comments posted make it just more interesting. Once again a big Thank You for mentioning the Roy-Tho, well but I guess it's just inevitable to avoid the 'Biggest' names in the scene.

Posted by surath on (June 15, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

This is a really nice article. I might be wrong, but this is the first time I'm seeing a Sri Lankan school mentioned on a cricinfo article. This is because of the positive impact made by these two promising cricketers..Well done

Posted by Ambrose Nadar on (June 15, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Oh1 there is nothing like a Royal - Thomian annual cricket match.India - Pak matches pale in comparison.Even the English Public schools Harrow - Eaton & the Universities Cambridge - Oxford are nothing compared to the days of the matches.The Old Crock rallies, Flags of all sizes in Blue Black & Blue (Thoras) & Blue Gold & Blue who had to be hanged in "Kadju Pulong" tree!!!!.That song,"Glory,Glory,Alleluiah........with stanzas like,"Duck all the Royalists in the Thomian swimming pool", "Hang all the Royalists in the Kadju pulong tree."Sheer Ecstasy.

Posted by Senaratne on (June 15, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

No disrespect to Thisara or Mathews or the others from St. Joseph's but anyone by any chance have heard about something called the "Battle of the Maroons", a tiny little big match played between two tiny little schools in front of only a few thousands of spectators, called Ananda and Nalanda for a small numbers of years close to about 100 which has produced heap loads of national cricketers, a whole bunch of captains including the present one, the one who took us to World Cup glory, our first test captain, a few match referees and one of the world's most technically correct batsmen....you know just to name a few small tiny little minute feats achieved by products of these two schools :)

Posted by Krish on (June 15, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

In fact Harsh De Silva was my coach too when I was playing for college and I was happy to play along side Angelo in the same team. When it was my last year then joined a small boy to join the squad. Then he was in grade 9 while most of us we were in grade 13. He managed scare all of us with his in/out swings. He managed to bat along to in some important matches too. Thisara has been the hard hitter through out since I knew Thisara through college matches and being a wicket taking bowler at important occasions. While St.Joseph's has produced 2 best all rounders in the current SL line up there are few more knocking on the doors as well, Roshane Silva, Dimuth Karunarathne, Rajeewa Weerasinghe, Roscoe Thatil. While remembering the lights of Chaminda Vaas, Ian Daniels, Ashley De Silva who represented Sri Lanka. Trevin Mathews the brother of Angelo was also one of the leading performers for St.Joseph's college in the past and it was unfortunate he couldn't represent Sri Lanka....

Posted by Bharjes on (June 15, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

In terms of pace then, Angelo really has not evolved a lot from his school days then unlike Thisara Perera.

Posted by Chris on (June 15, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Yeah, in Australia no-one really cares about school cricket. Most of the top guys don't join the team, no-one knows about the cricket matches to come and watch and a lot of the organised matches somehow get cancelled. Though of course if you go to a rich private school or city school, its different and kids get to train at places like the SCG and so on. But for 95% of Australian schools, there's practically no school cricket.

Posted by Narina on (June 15, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

agree with Lord Emsworth..Sri Lankan School cricket system is better than anyther country..I have played school cricket (div 1) in Sri Lanka and when later I came to England and play for schools here , I felt a huge difference..There is no competition here and no school cricketer plays matches infront of 10,000-15,000+(in big match) crowds like in Sri Lanka. Also the school cricket system is not properly organised and no one takes it that seriously.

Posted by Dharshana on (June 15, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

9 outright wins in good..But 13 is unbelievable..Chandimal scored a record 1700 runs(thats a record too - The previous was 1600 by Athapattu , another Anadian) for Ananda college in 2009 and won 13 outright wins for us..That is the national record. BTW I m proud of Mathews & Tissara too !

Posted by Lord Emsworth on (June 15, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

How very touching to see a non Sri Lankan journalist highlighting something (School cricket) that is so dear to Sri Lankans (I'm assuming you are non S'Lankan Kanishkaa but if you are I apologize) I have always said that SL's success in world cricket is because of their school cricket system. Other countries like India,Bangla,Pakistan, England etc also have School cricket but Sri Lanka's school cricket is streets ahead in atmosphere, rivarly, intensivity and sheer chutzpah. Nothing beats it. There are more crowds to see school cricket than there are to watch Sri lankanTest cricket or SL club cricket.

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