Dialog continues to power Royal-Thomian ‘Battle of the Blues’ | Daily News

Dialog continues to power Royal-Thomian ‘Battle of the Blues’

(from left): Kavindu Madarasinghe, captain, Royal College, S. Rajmohan, co-chairman Royal-Thomian Match Committee, Rev. Marc Billimoria, Warden, S.Thomas’ College, Amali Nanayakkara, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, B. A. Abeyratna, Principal Royal College, Shayam Majeed, Group Chief Corporate Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, Roshan Adams, co-secretary Royal-Thomian Match Committee and Sithara Hapuhinna, captain, S. Thomas’ College.
(from left): Kavindu Madarasinghe, captain, Royal College, S. Rajmohan, co-chairman Royal-Thomian Match Committee, Rev. Marc Billimoria, Warden, S.Thomas’ College, Amali Nanayakkara, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, B. A. Abeyratna, Princ

The 140th ‘Battle of the Blues’ between Royal College, Colombo and S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, for the prestigious D. S. Senanayake Memorial Shield, is scheduled to be played at the SSC grounds from March 7-9 with Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata PLC once again coming forward as the official sponsor.

In this year’s encounter, the boys from Mt. Lavinia will be led by left-handed opening bat and wicket keeper Sithara Hapuhinna, and the lads from Reid Avenue will be under the captaincy of middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper Kavindu Madarasinghe.

The Royal-Thomian has a rich and colourful history of 139 years, and is also the second longest uninterrupted cricket series played in the world; second only to the annual encounter played between St. Peter’s College, Adelaide and Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, Australia, begun just a year earlier.

In 1880, the first match in which only the boys took part was played on the Galle Face Green, the present-day location of the Taj Samudra Hotel. This was the start to the Centenary series.

The playing fields of the ‘Royal-Thomian’ has the distinction of producing cricketers who later became eminent heads of state, with S. Thomas’ producing the father of the nation D. S. Senanayake MP and his son, Dudley Senanayake MP as Prime Ministers of Ceylon, while Royal produced General Sir John Kotelawala MP as Prime Minister and the first Executive President of Sri Lanka, J. R. Jayewardene.

The tally between the two schools at present stands at 35 wins for Royal and 34 wins for S. Thomas’ with the highly debated famous match in 1885, where Royal College was all out for 9 runs with no play on the second day being considered a win by S. Thomas’ and a draw by Royal. After the 2016 heroics by the Royal eleven, the shield at present sits as the crown jewel amongst the silverware in the trophy cabinet at Royal College.

It will be challenged for possession by the Thomian outfit this year. S. Thomas’ College last won the big match in 2007 under skipper Ashan Peiris while Royal College’s last win came under the captaincy of Geeshath Panditharatne in 2016.

In 2015, the 136th edition of the Royal-Thomian, Dialog rekindled a long and successful partnership with Sri Lanka’s blue riband Big Match, The Battle of the Blues. The 139th edition of the Royal-Thomian will be the thirteenth year that the match is sponsored by Dialog. Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata has also made a pledge to contribute Rs. 1,000 for every run scored and Rs. 10,000 for every wicket that falls. Last year’s exciting encounter contributed Rs. 1,018,000 to the ‘Play for a Cause’ pledge.

The proceedings were directed in consultation with the Principal of Royal College and the Warden of S. Thomas’ College to support and empower selected deserving schools.

Since the inception of the ‘Play for a Cause’ pledge, Rs. 3,977,000 worth of cricket gear was donated to ten deserving schools.

 


 

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