References courtesy of SENAKA WEERARATNA
Royal College – Big Match Day 2017= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvffxmpUwbo
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe @ Royal – Thomian big match= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cBLT6-cX4U
Royal vs Thomas big match celebration = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4teKZhSqU4 ……………….
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the annual 138th Battle of the Blues at the SSC grounds = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4amOb_D3IM
Royal Thomian 2016 (Big Match) – Final Moments = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kwlJXRFuD4#t=519.045136 AND
Senaka Weeraratna: “Re-visiting Vijay Malalasekera’s classic century”
Vijay Malalasekera’s century was a water shed event. It is not the century but the manner in which he acquired it that sets it apart from other centuries made in the big match. He set the entire Oval grounds ablaze in his 112 runs not out innings that had 20 fours and one six. It was a huge privilege to watch Malalasekera compile the runs in an astonishing batting performance. He entered folk lore with that century. No other century scored by a school boy cricketer carried such power and excitement at a critical moment of the game when Royal was three wickets down for 39 runs and looking at a batting collapse like in several other previous encounters, when Malalasekera walked into bat.
What happened thereafter through an amazing display of stroke play and power hitting brought the spectators to their feet and even the rival school could not but appreciate this superlative performance. Enough has been written on this century and manner of execution. As the saying goes the rest is history.
Malalasekera walked on clouds with this century. He became a legend. He was the most sought after young schoolboy cricketer by eligible school girls and young women in town. Even the highest ranked families wanted a piece of Malalasekera. He was the talk of the town in polite circles. Name dropping was a pastime then as well. To be able to show even an acquaintance with Vijay Malalasekera raised one’s status among peers. One upmanship is a common idiosyncrasy.
No schoolboy century touched the national psyche as much as that done by Malalasekera’s century. Royalists both young and old walked with their heads held high proud as ever over this unique century.
It is sad that Malalasekera decided to leave school in the very year that he won legendary status when he had two more years to complete his time in school. He would have undoubtedly become the captain the very next year had he remained in school and perhaps prevented the ignominy and shame of defeat in the big match in 1964.
I was in class 4c (1963) when Malalasekera came to bid goodbye to our class master Mr. Sumith Liyanage (gentleman teacher and cricket enthusiast). I can still remember that scene.
Had Malalasekera chosen to remain in Sri Lanka and try his luck with the fortunes here however uncertain he may have earned a cap in the national team and even led it as the captain of the Ceylon team. This is all speculative. As Shakespeare said ‘ Destiny shapes our ends’ so the desserts Malalasekera earned at Cambridge were the substitute for what he sacrificed in the country of his birth. …..Senaka Weeraratna