Rev. Marc Billimoria, S. Thomas’ Warden and V.M.S. Gunatileke, Acting Principal Royal is seen receiving the playing kit sponsorship from Muhamed Saad Kattak, Pakistan Ambassador
The D.S. Senanayake Trophy which the two teams will clash in the 142nd Battle of the Blues encounter
-Pix by Pradeep Dilruckshana
By M. Shamil Amit
The 142nd Battle of the Blues big match between Royal College and S. Thomas’ College, sponsored by Dialog Axiata for the 13th successive year, will be the first in the history of the series to be played out of Colombo with the venue confirmed as Sooriyawewa Stadium in Hambantota.
Adhering to the present rules and regulations set by the health authorities due to the Covid-19 pandemic the match will be played behind closed doors and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will regulate the playing conditions.
The two teams along with coaches, the support staff, umpires and the match officials will follow Bio-Secure Environment (BSE) protocols in line with the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines under the guidance of the Southern Province and Hambantota regional health service sector.
The joint match committee have made arrangements to broadcast the proceedings of both matches on Dialog TV channel 72 and also on the ThePapare.com, with the three-day encounter scheduled to be shown live on May 6, 7 and 8 the limited over ‘Mustangs Trophy’ to be played in a T20 format on May 10.
S. Thomas’ Warden Rev. Marc Billimoria briefing the media commended the efforts of the joint match committee.
“Yes we need to keep the series moving on without interruption and certainly we will go out of the way to keep up the tradition of the second oldest annual match to be played in the world,” he said.
For the first time in its history the playing kit for the two teams will be sponsored by a foreign embassy, with the Pakistani embassy coming forward, and its Ambassador Muhamed Saad Kattak present to hand over the sponsorship at the media conference on Wednesday.
Dialog Axita will continue with the pledge to contribute Rs.1000 for every run scored and Rs. 10,000 for every
The “Play for a Cause pledge” which Dialog Axiata initiated two years ago has become beneficial for the lesser
Last year the encounter’s contribution was Rs. 1,008,000 and the support given to deserving schools in the country under the patronage of S. Thomas’ Warden and the Royal Principal has seen cricket gear worth Rs. 6,151,000 being donated to ten deserving schools so far.
All-rounder Shalin de Mel will lead S. Thomas’ while prolific run-getter Ahan Wickramasinghe will spearhead Royal.
S. Thomas’ are the holders of the trophy having recorded a win in 2019 under the leadership of Sithara Hapuhinna while the last win achieved by Royal was in 2016 under the captaincy of Geeshanth Panditharane.
According to the officials the tally between the schools stands at 35 wins each with the highly debated match in 1885 where Royal was all out for just nine runs and no play on the second day which the Thomians considered a win but the Royalists count as a draw.