Galle – Where Passion Meets Beauty

Galle International Cricket Stadium: distinctive, historic and picturesque

In 2014, one of the most dominant sides in Test cricket, South Africa were touring Sri Lanka, and the series commenced at Sri Lanka’s fortress, the Galle International Cricket Stadium.

‘Machan, shall we go for the Galle Test match. It has been a while since I saw Sanga bat’, I said to my friend, longing to see the legend bat one last time before his retirement.

Our plans were temporarily put on hold by the Proteas, who batted for two days while rattling a mammoth score. Sri Lanka were 30 for no loss at stumps on the second day.

‘Let’s go early morning tomorrow’, said my friend, convinced that Tharanga was not going to survive the early swing for too long.

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Wandering and Wondering in Dunedin

Endangered and elusive: Beautiful, quirky yellow-eyed penguins found only on the south-east coast of New Zealand

Endangered and elusive: Beautiful, quirky yellow-eyed penguins found only on the south-east coast of New Zealand

In the first thriller of the 2015 cricket World Cup, Afghanistan were so near to creating history but still so far, due to three missed run-outs. My cricket travel partner, Jagath and I were lucky to be there at the University Oval, Dunedin to enjoy a pulsating game of cricket, amidst unprecedented hospitality of the host city. Where else would you get sweets and drinking water delivered to your seat for free?

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Corridor to International Cricket

Best of Corridor Cricket at St Joseph’s College, Colombo in the early 1970s (© Ranjan Mellawa)

Best of Corridor Cricket at St Joseph’s College, Colombo in the early 1970s (© Ranjan Mellawa)

Defying the playing ban, many played “Corridor Cricket” in small groups. Hitting a paper ball or a cotton-filled chalk duster with two palms pressed together in a corridor was quite popular.

A countrywide change in school hours took effect in the early 1970s. Accordingly, St Joseph’s College, Colombo, where I gathered my virtue and knowledge, advanced its closing time from 3.15 to 1.30 in the afternoon. The revised school hours reduced the one-hour break for lunch to half an hour. Students were not expected to run around and play any sport during the break, but “Book Cricket” was our innovative option. Two people played it, flipping pages of a textbook at random, and based on the last digit of the right-hand-side (even-numbered) page. Last digits of 2, 4, and 6, counted as runs scored; 0 would be a wicket, and 8, a no-ball. For the toss, both the players opened a page and the one whose last digit was greater won.

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A Memorable Moment

Jonathan Trott congratulating Rahul Dravid after the latter’s final ODI innings on 16 September 2011

Jonathan Trott congratulating Rahul Dravid after the latter’s final ODI innings on 16 September 2011

In sport, there are winners and losers. But for a genuine fan, what matters most is how you play the game. Click To Tweet

In sport, there are winners and losers. But for a genuine fan, what matters most is how you play the game. Sport can be elevated to higher levels when the participants start to measure their success against the respect they get from their teammates as well as the opponents. Cricket is supposedly a Gentleman’s Game. Is it now? Despite various initiatives by the custodians to uphold the spirit of the game, acts in line with that theme are few and far between around the world.

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