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30 August 1998
Moratuwa Sports Club and its debacle
I played 'Sara Trophy' cricket for Moratuwa SC in the late 60's and 70's alongside with other great players and I had the rare distinction of captaining the 'Sara' team successfully.
If I may recall, Moratuwa SC was a strong side then and we beat some of the best Colombo sides and cricket was played with lot of enthusiasm. In retirement from govt. service I am now engaged in BCCSL coaching camps for 'pacemen' coaching youngsters in all parts of the country.
In today's context, Moratuwa Sports Club has nose I dived into a hopeless situation in cricket due to the bungling on the part of its present administrators. I have carefully watched the demotions from year to year in the BCCSL conducted tournaments, helplessly as I play no role in the club administration. As I live far from Moratuwa in Ja-Ela, I am unable to help them out and neither has the present administrators have contacted me for anything.
It was very well off, even after I stopped playing cricket and I am referring to the period of 1983 to 1995, when dynamic Chrisantha de Silva took up the role of president and introducing sponsorship packages to deserving cricketers, brought up the club to greater heights in cricket and its administration.
I am aware of the fact that Moratuwa SC organised 14 International matches at the stadium from 1983 to 1995, not forgetting the inter club six-a side cricket carnival, SAARC countries double-wicket cricket competition, club socials, its Golden Jubilee Anniversary match and dinner dance and what not if I may reminiscence. It is not out of place to give credit to those who deserve and Chrisantha de Silva was fully supported by the then club secretary Willet Fernando, stalwarts Stanley Fonseka, Hyasti Aponso (currently in BCCSL committee), Vernon de Mel, Nihal Thenuwara, Lasantha Rodrigo, past treasurer Maurice Fernando, just to name a few and a host of others who rallied round the club and I must emphasise the fact that Moratuwa SC was a household word not only in Moratuwa, but all over the country where cricket was talked of. Further, cricket improved a lot and Moratuwa SC were in the forefront in BCCSL conducted div. 1 tournaments, and if I am right they ended up runners-up twice or so in the premier division.
Moratuwa SC had a heavy loss in July 1995 when Chrisantha stepped down from the post of president due to pressure of work, but when I met him immediately after his resignation he told me that he would comeback in a couple of years and had wanted one of the senior vice presidents to take over the mantle until then.
Due to short sightedness of some officials, the mantle of leadership of the club was offered on a platter and went into wrong hands and in 1996, the club lost all matches and were demoted to segment 'B' of div.l. In 1997, the club lost all but one match and was demoted from div.l cricket to div.ll losing div. 1 status outright. In 1998 season, the club had to be content with div.II cricket after playing div. 1 cricket for well over 25 years.
Now, I understand from reliable sources that the president and secretary have resigned on 17th August '98 at a committee meeting they convened as the trustees stepped in to take over The Management. The situation cannot be any better if the elected membership of the club doesn't act wisely now and forthwith, and I, as a past cricketer and captain of Moratuwa SC, could suggest is to bring back that Workaholic Chrisantha de Silva as president and give him the best possible team to resurrect and lift the club out of the woods. This I suggest as the most prudent thing that any sane and right thinking member of the club should do now.
As all leaders are prone to, my estimation is that Chrisantha too, will have one or two critics who will no doubt find fault with him for being result oriented, but can these critics do anything better. If they are capable of doing better, would our Moratuwa SC fall into the darkest era of its history of 57 years. Enough is enough. I invite all past cricketers and constitutionally elected members to rally round Chrisantha de Silva and save the pioneer cricket club of Moratuwa from further disaster.
I am made to understand that on September 13th a general meeting is to be held to elect a new president and what better choice we have than Chrisantha.
I wish my club - Moratuwa SC the very best in cricket and a bright future.
Source :: Daily News (https://www.lanka.net)