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2009: Re-enactment of the Golden Jubilee Joe-Pete Cricket Match

Posted on 05 November 2013 by admin

This article has been extracted from St. Peter's College OBU Website.

The Golden Jubilee Joe Pete Cricket Re Match – Report

It started with an idea in 2007, and went on to become a reality in 2009. It was the 1984 Joe-Pete 50th Encounter re-match, with participation from players of the original two squads that took the field at the P. Sara Stadium all those years ago.

On Wednesday 4th March 2009 at the Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) grounds, SPC led by Senarath Seneviratne and SJC led by Rajkumar Sabanayagam (in the absence of Jivaka Candappa),came together after 25 years to partake in this long awaited encounter. This re-match event had the blessing of both Schools in Colombo, and was featured in the programme as one of the key events in run up to the main 75th Joe-Pete Cricket encounter (played on 6th & 7th March 09 at P. Sara Stadium) celebrations. Therefore the 50th encounter players were only too happy to contribute and make this happen.

A very high percentage of the original players graced the field to partake in this unique event. Players flew in from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Hong Kong, UAE, and UK to join their team mates based in Sri Lanka to help make this event a success, A small organising committee from the start was set up to plan this event. After two years of numerous emails, phone calls (between Hong Kong, UK and Sri Lanka) and ad hoc rendezvous in Colombo, we made it! This whole event was self funded by the players of the two respective squads. Also the SPC team took this opportunity and made a donation of over LKR 550k to the SPC Cricket Foundation, through personal and souvenir advertisement means. This was a brilliant effort considering the collective cost (shared by SJC & SPC), to stage the CCC re-match event was LKR 450k.

As this event got closer, the competitiveness between the ‘Saints’ came out in many forms. For many who had not held a bat or ball for the last 25yrs, suddenly fitness and practises were top of the agenda. Brisk walks, road runs, visits to the gym, and hiring personal trainers run up to this event became the norm. Also the banter on emails and phone calls to the tune of, ‘we are going to give you a hiding’…….’our fast bowlers’ pace is still in the 90 mph range’…….’our batsman’s timing is still like Tendulkar’s’…….’we will show no mercy on the day’…….and many more ‘sledging’ remarks from both sides created a fascinating build up. Hey none of us wanted to lose this match (just imagine after the build ups if the result was not favourable, and to live with it for the rest of ones life?!?) Especially since we didn’t anticipate doing this again, after another 25 years in 2034! From the Peterite camp the build up in Colombo was brilliant. Some of us met for the first time after many years, at a party hosted by our Skipper at the CCC on 1st March. Our Skip thought it would be a good idea to do this when all our overseas based players reached Colombo, so that some of us could recognise each other by our different shapes, sizes and some with trendy bald hair cuts. Then we had a couple of practise sessions at the SPC grounds on 2nd and 3rd March. It was wonderful to see the same styles and mannerisms in action.

Also one of the highlights that made us all burst out with laughter, when our veteran Murugesh (grounds man of 33 years) had the cheek to say, and ‘if only we had practised so hard 25 years ago’. After two evenings of solid willow versus leather sessions, tactics and formats were discussed, and we were ready! Our skipper even imposed a curfew that night! I guess even after 25 years he was still in charge! So any grand plans of late night escapades some of us had, prior to this all important clash was put on hold in case we were spotted and reported to the team management. There was a lot at stake, and we had a mission to accomplish! So the stage was set for the 4th March at the CCC for this 30 over’s per side clash. With a papare band playing outside, popular music, and steel bands providing entertainment inside the pavilion helped to create a ‘big match’ atmosphere for the players and spectators.

From our event coordinators Romesh Kenny, Rohitha Thilakaratne and Prasadini Dekker to helper’s, players, umpires (provided by Sri Lanka Cricket) and scorer’s (provided by Sri Lanka Umpire Association) arrived early. Friends, family and invitees followed soon after. A re-match souvenir was also produced, thanks to individuals and Companies buying advertisements, which were also part of the donation made to the SPC Cricket Foundation. The Joe’s likewise donated their share to SJC. At 8am prompt official photographer Ajith Perera was there to capture us all in white, with our respective coach’s. Then he rushed off to his studio got it developed and framed as a memento, to be presented to the players at the end of the day. Now that is service! Further to this we were also lucky to have the camera clicking services of Ricardo Dekker all day. Many cool action shots were taken by him, including the attached photos.

The all important toss was won by Senarath our Skipper and without hesitation opted to bat first. Then just prior to the Umpire shouting ‘play’, both teams lined up together for a two minute silence in memory, of our fellow players and masters who were part of both squads, but no longer on this earth. After a good start SPC were suddenly 47 for 6, but recovered well to get 147 for 9 in 30 over’s. After a long lunch break with both teams mingling with each other and with family and friends, we went back in to the field of play. Our skipper’s motivational speech was, ‘right then lads some of us put in a lot of effort to organise this event, so nothing short of an SPC win is expected!’ So that is exactly what we did folks. After a great display on the field we won. SJC ended up at 143 for 8 in 30 over’s. SPC won by 4 runs.

We Won! We had to. It was a great feeling! What a match! (See attached the Daily News article). Our Josephian brothers came to the party from the very beginning, and helped to make this event great. They tell me their pre, during, and post Match experiences on and off the field was thoroughly enjoyable too. This was the main thing when we embarked on such a feat. That shows our friendship between both schools after many years continue to be extremely solid. (Also noted in Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel’s speech). In fact amazing is the word that comes to mind. Reflecting after the event one can only feel very proud, that we pulled off something of this magnitude, and unique which went on to become an overwhelming success! When the sun eventually set on that glorious day at the CCC, more music, dancing, and a free bar kept us all going until late.

During the presentation ceremony very touching speeches by Rev Fr. Travis Gabriel (SPC Rector), chief guests Dr HIK Fernando (SPC Coach 1984), Fairlie Dalpathado (SJC Coach 1984), Senarath (SPC Captain), Rajkumar (SJC Captain), and a job well done by MC Nandi Anthony rounded off a superb day! Yours truly too contributed with a few words.


The teams, SJC…….Rajkumar Sabanayagam, Dharshana Muthumuni, Mohan Ratnayake, Rukshan Soza, Brian Rajadurai, Suresh Mirando, Ajith Allirajah, Harin De Silva Wijeyaratne, Rohitha Thilakaratne, Chula De Alwis, Shehan Fernando, Nandi Anthony. (Coach: Fairlie Dalpathado). (Absent: Jivaka Candappa, Jonathan Alles, Rohan Weerakkody).

SPC…….Senarath Seneviratne, Heshan De Silva, Shafeek Rahim, Rohan Paulpillai, Riyaz Farcy, Royce Buultjens, Ranmore Martinesz, Hareen Marcelline, Dilrukshan Fonseka, David Joachim, Sudath Kuruppu, Dr Rukshan Bellana, Nishantha De Silva, Suharshie Fernando.

(Coach: Dr HIK Fernando). (Absent: Sean Nugera, Suresh Sebastian).

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