Building harmony and reconciliation | Daily News

Building harmony and reconciliation

The 2016 boys’ champs Mahinda College - Galle team


Mahinda College, Galle and Nittambuwa Girls won the Championship at the Murali Harmony Cup held in the North for the fifth time. Nittambuwa girls won the Championship for the second time which would eliminate them automatically from the Championship.

The Murali Harmony Cup started with a bang with former Sri Lankan skipper and star batsman Kumar Sangakkara opening the ceremony in style with a flowing speech commending the organisers of the tournament for the successful manner in which they have attracted over 24 teams (16 boys teams and 8 girls teams) with increasing interest in the tournament where the organisers have gone out of their way in helping the rural cricketer come to the fore and display his talent which has increased the popularity of the tournament.

This initiative started by the Foundation of Goodness in collaboration with past greats Muthiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara has grown from strength to strength and increased by leaps and bounds. Coach of St. Joseph’s Roger Wijesuriya was thrilled with the manner in which the tournament has helped those at the grass root level.

One problem with the tournament is that the Sri Lanka Cricket was not sanctioning the tournament and this was a hindrance. Sangakkara said that there is too much politics in sports and that one would be amazed at the manner in which Sri Lankans have a culture of belittling others where each one thinks that he is better than the other. He also said that there is so much of social media being used to throw mud at each other but this doesn’t apply to the Murali Harmony Cup of course where one is overwhelmed by the manner in which teams have a sense of camaraderie and oneness and also the very unusual manner in which the matches are played is something to behold as the teams play with a sense of dedication and purpose coached by the best in the island.

This tournament was started by the Foundation of Goodness and was initiated in the South by Muthiah Muralitharan and subsequently was shifted to the North as the tournament grew in size and was sponsored by more companies. The organisers were of the opinion that taking the tournament to the North augurs well for the game and gave the teams more exposure and the chance to overcome the fears that lesser teams have with the teams of the so called elite sides that they fear at times. It is rather sad that the lesser teams seem to undergo when they face the stronger sides.

Sangakkara is very much involved with the promotion of the game and is a livewire along with cricketers of the caliber of Muralitharan and Jawawardene and having a corporate sense he is an inspiration to the young folk in the game. Being a national treasure he is an instant draw with the juniors.

At the press conference Jayawardene said that Nalanda would probably go on and win the tournament but they did not.

“It is a rare opportunity,” emphasized the media manager. The Colombo schools think that they are elite and the final objective is to respect each other. This tournament had one team from the South, a Seenigama team and a team from Jaffna. the matches were limited to two venues and Matale. Most of the cricketing talent was from the South and since there was a lack of exposure it is now five venues in four towns.

The geographical location is not a barrier. The theme is to be “United in the Spirit of cricket”. And this has been strongly emphasized. More than that it should take something out of them and create inter-rivalry. It is a rare opportunity,” emphasised the media manager.

Former Sri Lankan skipper Michael Tissera is of the opinion that this is a fantastic tournament. He was enjoying the matches and the tournament has grown from strength to strength.

How do you think that we could improve the tournament? It is nice to see teams from all the over the country.

He was last here two years ago. 

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