Preamble: This foreword was written in early March 2011 for the book Rags to Riches (Colombo, Godage, 2011) launched by the Island newspaper, with Kumar Sangakkara as Keynote Speaker, later that month. The book reproduced a series of Q and A interviews serialised by the Island in the lead-up to the World Cup. This is an invaluable collection of memoirs and called for a prodiguous amount of work by Clementine. The book can be purchased by credit card from http://www.vijithayapa.com and at both Godage and Yapa bookshops.
In fashioning essays on Sri Lanka’s cricket history during the last decade I have often elicited information as well as opinions from individuals who were at the centre of significant episodes. This is standard methodology for journalistic reportage. In effect, we are all indulging in a form of oral history. Its resonances were brought home to me recently by Kumari Jayawardena’s enthusiastic reaction to the recorded interview with her father A. P. de Zoysa in 1967 that was a product of the Roberts Oral History Project, 1965-1969. Though her enthusiasm was partly conditioned by the impact of her father’s voice coming alive once again, Kumari was also intrigued by specific pieces of information provided by A. P. de Zoysa with reference to his electoral candidature for Colombo South in the 1936 general elections. So, we are speaking here of empirical detail that may have otherwise disappeared into the dust-heap of lost history if I had not embarked on such a venture with the assistance of the Asia Foundation and the approval of Professor Karl Goonewardena. Read the rest of this entry ?