Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee solidifies bonds of brotherhood

Disburses pledged amounts to both principals


The BOM Joint Committee presents the installments to the Principal of Ananda Lal Dissanayake and the Principal of Nalanda, Iran Champika Silva


The Battle of the Maroons (BOM) Joint Committee disbursed two installments of the pledged amount to the Principal of Ananda College Lal Dissanayake and the Principal of Nalanda College, Iran Champika Silva of Rs. 2.5 million and Rs. 5.4 million respectively during a ceremony on May 27,2024. 

The BOM Joint Committee embarked on this journey in organising the 94th cricketing encounter between Ananda and Nalanda, the “Saga of a Prideful Legacy and Brotherhood,” which was held from March 2-3, 2024, and the 47th Limited Over Encounter on March 17, 2024 at the Singhalese Sports Club (SSC) Grounds. 

Cherished event 

Over the decades, the Big Match became a cherished event filled with pride and fanfare, establishing a tradition of excellence in cricket that surpassed other schools on the island. It symbolised the brotherhood between Ananda and Nalanda, unique in a country where many schools compete fiercely. Since the 1970s, the Battle of the Maroons has become the most productive school cricket encounter, producing national cricketers of extraordinary talent and intellect, such as Bandula Warnapura of Nalanda, Sri Lanka’s first Test captain, and Arjuna Ranatunga of Ananda, the captain of the 1996 World Cup-winning team. The two schools continue to provide a significant contingent of players to the Sri Lankan National Cricket squad. 

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee this year evolved beyond a cricketing event into a commercial spectacle, introducing the concept of ‘Sportainment’ to maximize audience engagement and brand reach. This year, over 15,000 spectators attended, with a broader audience reached through national and international live feeds. In addition, the High-end entertainment in private tents maintained the excitement throughout the proceedings. The extended social media presence significantly amplified the event’s reach, engaging a broader and more diverse audience for pre and post-main events. Through strategic posts, live updates, interactive content, and post-event highlights, the Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee created a dynamic and engaging online experience that kept fans and participants connected and involved throughout the entire event.

Anticipated event

 The Big Match is an eagerly anticipated event for all, including alumni and current students, who come together for fun and revelry. It is common to see elderly alumni attending to relive old times and reconnect with friends. Importantly this year, the BOM Joint Committee aligned with the Ministry of Education’s guidance to showcase a dedication to excellence, adaptability, continuous improvement and the robustness of the structure. Key aspects of the restructuring initiative included enhancing operational efficiency, communication, resource alignment, and the prime objective of greater revenue generation for both schools. This strategic approach contributed significantly to the overall accomplishment of our joint efforts. Leadership changes brought in fresh perspectives, fostering new ideas and innovative solutions that propelled the initiative forward. Additionally, involving school prefects in the organisation of the match, as is tradition, played a crucial role. This practice not only upheld a valuable tradition but also empowered the future generation by instilling confidence, leadership skills, and a sense of responsibility. The school prefect’s active participation ensured the infusion of youthful energy and innovative thinking, which proved to be vital in enhancing the event’s overall impact and success. 


The Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee presents Rs. 30 million for the benefit of the two schools whilst setting aside an additional Rs. 5 million for the start-up event next year


Rich heritage 

The BOM Joint Committee members were committed to channeling the revenue back to the schools for sports development, particularly cricket. The BOM Joint Committee acknowledges the challenges of change but demonstrates that the restructuring is a positive step toward a stronger, more agile organisation. The dedication, and diligence of previous Joint Committees since the inception in 2009 are acknowledged. The BOM Joint Committee navigated the transition successfully for the greater accomplishments of both schools.


The reminiscence of yesteryear cricketers brought valuable insights and added a significant layer of appreciation and recognition to the event. Their presence not only honoured the rich heritage of the sport but also provided a unique opportunity for current players and fans to connect with the legends of the game. Their wisdom, experience, and anecdotes added depth and historical context, enriching the overall experience for everyone involved. Their engagement was highly appreciated and served as a reminder of the enduring legacy of cricket, inspiring present and future generations to uphold its values and traditions.

 The camaraderie and mutual support between Ananda and Nalanda led to the holistic success of the March events this year, achieving a remarkable fundraising milestone. The Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee offered Rs. 30 million for the benefit of the two schools whilst setting aside an additional Rs. 5 million for the start-up event next year, surpassing the total proceeds through 2009

 The Joint Committee, led by Co-Chairmen  Upali Dharmadasa and Air Chief Marshal (Rtd) Gagan Bulathsinghala, received support from an advisory committee, that included General (Rtd) Kamal Gunaratne, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksha, and National cricket icons Roshan Mahanama and Mahela Jayawardene among many other live wires of both schools. Further, the Ananda Old Boys Association, Old Anandian’s Sports Club, Ananda Cricket Wing, Nalanda Old Boys Association, Nalanda Junior Old Boys Association, Old Nalandian’s Sports Club, and Past Cricketers Association Nalanda joined hands. The commitment, unwavering integrity, and self-sacrifice of all the old boys involved were pivotal to the venture’s success. Each individual’s dedication and willingness to go above and beyond ensured seamless coordination and execution at every stage. 

Collective efforts

Their collective efforts created a strong foundation of trust and collaboration, enabling the Joint Committee to overcome challenges and achieve our goals with remarkable efficiency and effectiveness. This unity and shared sense of purpose were instrumental in driving the venture to its outstanding success surpassed all expectations and left an indelible mark on everyone involved. It was a triumph characterised by meticulous planning, unwavering dedication, and exceptional teamwork. From its conception to execution, was executed with precision and excellence, resulting in an outcome that exceeded even the loftiest of goals. The overwhelming support from sponsors, the enthusiastic participation of players, the staff and volunteers, and the fervent engagement of spectators all contributed to its unparalleled accomplishment.

 This achievement not only solidified the event’s reputation but also set a new standard for excellence in similar endeavors. It served as a testament to what can be accomplished through determination, collaboration, and a shared vision, leaving a lasting legacy that will be celebrated and remembered for years to come. 


General (Rtd) Kamal Gunaratne of the Advisory Committee of BOM making a point at a meeting.

High integrity 

The events included a Vehicle Parade, a Logo Launching ceremony at SSC, a Sponsorship revealing/ticket issue ceremony at the Kingsbury Hotel, the Big Match, and the 50-over match. A joint leadership training workshop for the prefects of both schools was also conducted. At the ceremony, both Principals praised the BOM Joint Committee for their efforts, transparency, high integrity and most importantly effective revenue generation. Further, the Principals acknowledged the pressures and challenges faced and noted that this year, the BOM Joint Committee recorded the highest revenue turnover ever since its 2009 inception. The Co-Chairs confirmed that the remaining balance would be handed over to the schools after auditing the accounts. This year, the BOM Joint Committee has been able to spin the Big Match to an unprecedented pinnacle, thanks to the exceptional, and unparalleled support of the sponsors.


The BOM Joint Committee members addressing the media

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