Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 January 2012





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Kandy Youth CC celebrates Silver Jubilee this year

CRICKET: Kandy Youth Cricket Club, one of the leading cricket playing clubs in the Kandy District, if not Central Province, will celebrates their silver jubilee this year on a grand scale.

This club was founded twenty five years ago by Malcolm Perera with the objective of giving the cricketers in the Kandy area an opportunity of playing top grade cricket. Helping in his endeavours were Mr. Banduwala, Dr. R. Mahendra, Janaka Pathirana, Anton Perera, Roland Perera, Hafiz Marikar and a few others.

According to Malcolm Perera, the club was started without a ‘red cent’ in the coffers and a few donors helped and the club was run mainly on the funds collected as subscription while Malcolm Perera and Dr. Mahendra – an outstanding sportsmen, produced by the University of Peradeniya dipped deep into their pockets initially to play the cricket matches.

In the first year, they became champions in the Division III Cricket Tournament and the following year they participated in the Division II Cricket Tournament and earned a promotion to Division I - the Sara Trophy Cricket Tournament.

Their road to success was not a ‘bed of roses’ as the cost of playing the game was very high in the eighties and the club was very fortunate in having Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police Bodhi Liyanage as its President and he was able to marshal the support form various quarters and keep the club going.

Sumathipala helps

Malcolm Perera said that most of the cricketers were not employed and they had to be looked after. It was an era in which the Cricket Board did not give any financial assistance to the clubs as they, themselves did not have funds to run their operations. It was after Thilanga Sumathipala became the President of Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka that this situation was changed and the clubs benefited much from his foresight.

It was not necessary for Malcolm Perera to take this bold step of organising another cricket playing club in Kandy.

There was another cricket club playing Sara Trophy Cricket at that time. It was Kandy Cricket Club which was financed by a leading firm in Kandy who looked after the financial side of it and also provided employment to some of the cricketers and even provided transport for matches. Malcolm Perera who captained and coached Kandy Cricket Club could have stuck to it and had an easy life, but those were not his objectives.

He said that there were a large number of cricketers in Kandy who had left school but could not continue their cricket. Thus it was with the idea of playing them and finding them employment that he started this club.

It may surprise many that former Sri Lanka Cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara and national cricketer Kaushalya Weeraratne played for Kandy Youths in the under 23 tournament before they went over to Colombo to continue their cricket.

Kandy Youths Cricket Club at one time played at top level club cricket alongside the elite clubs SSC, NCC, Bloomfield, CCC, BRC, Moors before financial difficulties pushed them out of the big company. In 1995 they finished runners-up in the Sara Trophy limited over tournament. Some of the other outstanding products of the club are Ishak Sahabdeen who played for Sri Lanka and Upali Kodituwakku who represented Sri Lanka ‘A’.

The Kandy Youths also had a brief ‘marriage’ with rugby when the former Minister of Sports Lakshman Kiriella helped them to play in the Inter-club ‘A’ Division Rugby Tournament and they stunned the local rugby world when they defeated the more fancied CR & FC at Longdon Place. But after two seasons they had to give up club rugby due to financial constraints.


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