Queen Elizabeth and the Sri Lankan Cricketers, June 1975

Mevan Pieris

I thought it would be interesting for people to see a photograph taken at Buckingham Palace just before the Prudential World Cup matches began in June 1975. Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, hosted for tea all eight teams which participated. This photograph, which is only the right section of the full photograph (selected as all the Sri Lankans are in it), was taken on the flight of steps of the rear of the palace, overlooking a garden.

On that memorable morn, each team arrived at the palace in a long bus, and all had to line-up in single file in a long hall within the palace, the floor of which was covered by a thick Royal Blue carpet, and the walls displayed large portraits of Royalty of the past. The gilded furniture provided an awesome environment, which my eye had not beheld before. The long hall turned sharply to its left at its end, and a little distance away at the entrance to a large reception hall, stood Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, to greet everyone individually, and the gracious queen had a word for all

Soon after the photograph was taken, all the teams were driven to the Lords Cricket Grounds, where His Royal Highness, the Duke, extended his lavish hospitality with champagne served in the historic Long Room of Lords, followed by a lunch.

The Great Queen and the Duke have left us all, but happy memories remain. May their Souls Rest in Peace.

In the photograph that I have forwarded, the entire Sri Lankan team have been identified.

Front row Standing – 2nd from left, Prince Charles (now King Charles III), Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Philip, ??, Pakistan team Manager, KMT Perera (Sri Lanka team Manager), Anura Tennekoon standing with clasped hands and with the Sri Lankan blazer and crest in full view, ?? ,  Anura Ranasinghe ……….

2nd and third rows diffused –  Standing immediately behind the tall European gentleman gazing at the Queen, is Denis Chanmugam, and to his right is Mevan Pieris with the Sri Lankan Crest on blazer visible, and to Mevan’s right standing just above the cricketer in white suit is Ajit de Silva and on his right is Lalith Kaluperuma and third person to Lalith’s right is Bandula Warnapura, and immediately in front of him and to the left of Anura Ranasinghe is Ranjit Fernando. To the right of Bandula is Duleep Mendis and next to him is DS de Silva, and standing behind and to DS de Silva’s right is Sunil Wettimuny.

Last row – Standing in last row, vertically above the Duke is Michael Tissera, and on his right is Tony Opatha and next to him is David Heyn.


ADDITIONAL PIX from the Thuppahi Stock:


Back Row: Bandula Warnapura, Anura Ranasinghe,  Denis Chanmugam, Tony Opatha, DLS de Silva, Ajit de Silva, Duleep Mendis

Front Row: DS De Silva, Mevan Pieris, Ranjit Fernando, Anura Tennekoon, KMT Perera,  Michael Tissera, David Heyn, Sunil Wettimuny …. in a rare photo kindly supplied by David Heyn

NOTE these accounts and photographs from the lead-up to the 1975 Tour of England and then from the Prudential Cup matches

Some of the Squad and their aides with the bus taking them to Radella for training in suitable climes …



 Anura Tennekoon & Clive Lloyd at the Toss in Manchester in June 1975

Tamil demonstrators at the Oval during the match against the Aussies, 11 June 1975 …. and the leaflet distributed by the Tamil activists



















But Thomson was a greater danger danger to the Sri Lankan cricketers than the Tamil activists: both Sunil Wettimuny and Duleep Mendis had to be carried off … hurt:

Sunil Wettimuny hit …. and incapacitated …. and then later Duleep Mendis hit and carried off by Mevan Pieris and Denis Chanmugan (fellow Thomians) ….





 CROSSCURRENTS where Alfred James provides all the Prudential Cup match details and Roberts displays the protest leaflet circulated by the Tamil radicals


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