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
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.
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
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
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
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