A publication would be available this month in time for the Royal-Thomian match this year which covers the 140 encounters. The publication is compiled by Shantilal Wijesundere, an old Thomian, who did a similar publication covering the Mustangs Trophy encounters.
The book uses the material collected for the first 125 matches which were painstakingly collected by a Committee of old boys of both schools, and then Wijesundere, adds the next 15 matches up to and including the one played in 2019. The first 125 years has only score sheets but some accounts published of famous matches are incorporated in articles which have been included. In relation to the first 125 matches, the compiler has presented the score sheets in a more reader friendly manner. He has set the bowling analysis next to the scores to provide more symmetry. The last fifteen matches, the complier covers in a more detailed manner providing the first names of players and providing a brief description of the performances to evoke memories of the excitement generated and the outstanding achievements.
The book also contains some interesting trivia which has never been collected in one place before. The research” which has gone into the book has been stupendous. The compiler has seen it as an act of love and the amount of labour, time and application which produced this work will no doubt be rewarded by the value it brings to the old boys of both institutions.
The book has messages from the Principals of the two Colleges and a thumbnail sketch of the histories of the institutions, which no doubt will place the traditions built up over the years in a national perspective. The two institutions have produced many national leaders some of whose names figure in the encounters reported.
CHANDRA SCHAFFTER the well known business magnate, cricket administrator, Double International and Thomian stalwart, (1947-49) who read the script says: “I have perused your book particularly the latter part where you write about families, performances and the like. In my view, it is a tremendous work of love more than anything else. You have gone to great trouble, and in your usual meticulous way, you have produced information that many of us who are either Royalists or Thomians, and love the game, would love to have and read. Since S. S. Perera’s book - the Janashakthi Book of Sri Lanka Cricket - was published in 1999 I think, there has been nothing worthwhile on cricket history. True what you have written is only about the Royal- Thomian series, but to a large number of cricket lovers, that is all that matters.”
VIJAYA MALALASEKERA who played with great distinction for Royal (1962-63), a centurion in the series, former Chairman of the interim Committee for the Board of Control for Cricket, and present Chairman of the, Advisory Committee of Cricket at Royal College says of the book: “I have perused your manuscript which is to be published in time for the next Royal-Thomian match in March 2020. You have covered all 140 encounters including the 125 which were the subject matter of a publication by a Committee of old boys of both schools. I know also that you did an earlier publication on the Mustangs Trophy encounters. The last fifteen matches which you cover gives more facts and providing the first names of players and providing a brief description of the performances, adds so much to the memories of these encounters. The interesting trivia which you have given is fascinating and the depth of your research is commendable. As an old boy of Royal the value of your book to me and my former teammates and those who represented our College before and after is incapable of measurement. It is a book which will be a necessary addition to the collections of sports literature in Sri Lanka and elsewhere too.”
The sale proceeds will be utilized by the two Colleges for their sports activities. This limited issue will be on sale tomorrow (Thursday) at the two Colleges at Rs. 2000/- and could be purchased from the General Manager STC OBA Mt. Lavinia and from the Royal College Union office.