The recent entry in THUPPAHI on Lindsay Hassett has underlined certain strands within the history of Sri Lanka in the 1930s to 1950 through the background scenery displayed by the photographs deployed therein.
Arjuna Ranatunga’s timely recollections and assessments of Sri Lanka’s cricketing triumph at the Final of the 1996 World Cup at Lahore on March 1996 add up to a master class – balanced, wide-ranging, revelatory and judicious within the space limits of a news-item.
Arjuna Ranatunga, in The Island, 7 March 2021, where the title runs thus: “Our fans were our biggest strength,” ….. with the highlights being the intervention of The Editor, Thuppahi
During one of my visits to South Africa, I came across an interesting saying — ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.’
This sentence is so true. As we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of us winning the World Cup, we owe the success to our wonderful team spirit. I treat each of the other 13 members of the World Cup-winning squad not as teammates, but as brothers. They mean so much to me. And I know they will do anything for me. This was the secret of our success.
Sanjeewa Jayaweera, in The Sunday Island,7 March 2021, where the title reads thus: “Chaminda Vass was an All-time Hero for Sri Lanka” …. with highlighting added by The Editor, Thuppahi
Fast bowling is an arduous task and is doubly so in the Asian subcontinent, where docile pitches and energy-sapping heat takes their toll on those brave enough to take up the challenge. One must have a big heart, a great deal of determination and lots of skill to succeed as a fast bowler. Chaminda Vaas (CV) had plenty of these and a few more.
Ajit Jayasekera — Email Memo to Michael Roberts, 15 February 2021
When we went to Australia for the Tri Nations tournament with England and Australia in December 2002/January 2003, the team was captained by Sanath Jayasuriya and the Coach was Dav Whatmore. We were after a rather disastrous tour of South Africa, where we were roundly beaten in both formats of the game and started this tournament in similar disastrous manner getting smashed by both England and Australia in the opening games.
The semi final was over around ten pm at Eden Garden in Calcutta. Unruly crowd behaviour when all was lost for India ended in the Match Referee Clive Lloyd awarding the game to Sri Lanka on that Tuesday night, the 14 th of March.1996. I managed to get through to Cricket Board ‘s President Ana Punchihewa in the players dressing room, to convey congratulations and retired to bed truly happy !
We had qualified to play Australia in the Wills World Cup final, at Lahore on Friday 17 th. Just after midnight I had a knock on the door. Bernard Wijetunge and Channa Wijemanne, two of the Directors of our Travel subsidiary had woken me up for a reason. “Boss we must do a charter for the Final.”
CALCUTTA, INDIA – MARCH 13: Sri Lanka captain and batsman Arjuna Ranatunga picks up some runs during his innings of 35 runs during the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup semi final against India at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on March 13, 1996. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Allsport/Getty Images)
One day in 1996 our doorbell rang at Woodlark Grove in the suburb of Glenalta in Adelaide . …. And there was Joe Hoad with two paintings he had composed in celebration of Sri Lanka’s triumph at the World Cup earlier in the year. These products had not been commissioned. They were self-inspired and emanated from his profound joy at the manner in which a little island nation – one that was not unlike his own birthplace of Barbados – had tamed a powerful cricketing force that was a bullyboy in the cricketing politics of the 1990s.
This photograph taken there and then in our back garden marks the moment of the gifting ….. appropriately within an Australian backdrop of the bushfire danger kind. But, unlike that landscape, the paintings are unique. To my mind they are heirlooms. In conjunction with Verite Research and Shamara Wettimuny, I have approached the National Library Services Board in Colombo with the suggestion that they should be placed within its portals in public display with a suitable plaque.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.