Archive for the ‘sportsmanship’ Category


Brian Lara’s Cowdrey Lecture Revealing Reflections

September 5, 2017

George Dobell,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, where the title is “Embarrassed by how West Indies played in the nineties – Lara”

Brian Lara has implored the top sides in world cricket “to ensure that the integrity of the game is upheld” and admitted there were times he was “truly embarrassed” by the behaviour of the West Indies side he represented.

  Michael Holding kicks the stumps in anger Getty Images

Lara, delivering the MCC Spirt of Cricket Cowdrey lecture at Lord’s, not only called on batsmen to “walk” but suggested the leading sides had a responsibility to “show the way and lead the way” in which the game is played.And, despite the outstanding record of the West Indies sides of the 1980s and early 1990s, Lara felt they were occasions when the tactics they employed resulted in them “playing the game in a way it should never, ever be played.” Read the rest of this entry ?


Unruly Cricket Crowds a Slur on Our Country– Indrajit Coomaraswamy

August 29, 2017

Indrajit Coomaraswamy in Sunday Times and elsewhere

Sports lovers, particularly cricket fans, must be highly concerned about the unruly crowd behaviour at recent ODIs. Last week, there was the wholly unbecoming experience of the Sri Lanka cricketers being booed at a home match and then having to remain in their dressing room until they were escorted away from the stadium by the Police. Then there was the unacceptable episode where play had to be suspended because of unruly crowd behaviour. Fortunately, it was possible to complete the game eventually.

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Outstanding Cricket Songs

August 14, 2017

Benjamin Golby  …..

So far as I know, there are two great cricket songs.  Writing on Roy Harper’s ‘When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease’ in (the now defunct) The Word magazine, David Hepworth said that it,  summons the shade of every village cricket pitch we have ever gazed hungrily upon or glimpsed from a passing car… Both John Peel and John Walters wanted this song played after their deaths. There is scarcely an Englishman who wouldn’t wish for the same honour. [1]

Like most reflections on cricket, the song is more than the mechanics and narrative of the game. From depicting everyman’s park cricket match in dear, gentle hues, the lyric strides to the elevated plain of existence and death. The game is not used merely as an allegory though. It would be a dull, unsporting soul who held so. Rather, cricket is recognised as the superb use of existence that it is, as delivered in the second verse,

… as those footsteps trace for the last time out of the act
Well this way of life’s recollection, the hallowed strip in the haze
The fabled men and the noonday sun are much more than just yarns of their days.

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Gonibilla looms over Sri Lanka at the SSC Grounds

August 5, 2017

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Percy! Percy! Gahapan Machaan, Boundary-Boundary!

July 31, 2017



  • Gahapaan machaan –boundary, boundary
  • Walles patau–goni, goni
  • Kavuda Raja! Aloysius Raja!

Winning or losing the cheering support was always there. Read the rest of this entry ?


Radley Claessen: An Appreciation

June 25, 2017

Justin Labrooy

In January this year, Radley Claessen, a founder member and past President of ASLA, passed away peacefully at home after a full and active 85      dley and Brian years. The first twenty seven years of Radley’s life were spent in Colombo.   He distinguished himself at his Alma Mater, Wesley College, where he was Senior Prefect and Captain of a Wesley cricket team which carried all before it in 1952. Radley’s prominence in sport led onto a career in journalism with The Times of Ceylon where he subsequently became Night Editor.  He married Angela in 1954 and the eldest of their children, Desiree, was born in Colombo.  In 1958 the family migrated to Australia, leaving a country undergoing rapid political change to a new life and the challenges of establishing itself in a new environment.

Wesley College Cricket team in 1952 with Radley as Captain      

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Murali’s Newest Milestone

June 9, 2017

Murali is flanked by Ranjit Fernando, Angelo, Malinga and other Sri Lankan cricketers after receiving his Hall of Fame emblem. 

If feasible readers should take in the moment he was inducted and listen to Michael Atherton, Sangakkara and other dignitaries reflect on Murali’s career. As momentous was the interview given by Younis Khan after  he was honoured in England a few days back. One question was this: “who was the most difficult bowler you faced?” … Immediate answer: “murali” … with elaboration following.

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