Josephians celebrate “Night of the Stars”

Posted on 15 October 2014 by admin

Five of the modern cricketing protagonist from the most pioneer catholic school in Sri Lanka; St. Joseph’s College will be appreciated with awards of excellence on a starry and entertaining night on 15th October at Water’s Edge, Grand Ballroom starting from 7.30pm onwards.

In the recent past, St. Joseph’s College has been the leading institution to pump national cricketers and championship-winning outfits. Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne are the current crop of Josephians playing for Sri Lanka and they are fondly referred to as the ‘Josephian Mafia’ due to trail-blazing achievements of some of them.

Five Josephian are to be felicitated on Wednesday night in a glittering ceremony. Angelo Mathews, Chaminda Vaas, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunarathne and Sadeera Samarawickrama will be decorated in an event entitled the ‘Joes Night of the Stars’ which will be hosted by the SJC Sports Council together with the Cricket Committee with the sponsorship of Sri Lanka Insurance.

The current Sri Lanka Test & ODI Captain Angelo Mathews was the Josephian 1st XI skipper in the 2005/06 season and before that he represented College in 5 successful seasons. He led many Josephian teams from the age category of 13 and since then, he has been one of the best modern cricket captains and one of the brightest stars to have been produced by the blue and white College by the Beira lake in Colombo. Today, Sri Lanka looks at their young captain to take them into the future.

Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas has one of the longest names in world cricket and his name spoke no less to the elongated achievements he has accomplished as a cricketer. By far the best left-arm fast bowler ever to have played the sport of cricket in Sri Lanka has represented St. Joseph’s College in the early 1990’s. Vaas is regarded as the weapon that turned test cricket around, bringing Sri Lanka its first series win overseas 1-0 against New Zealand with the left-armer returning figures of 16 wickets in the two matches. A long servant of Sri Lanka Cricket Chaminda Vaas is heralded as the fast-bowling god-father of the island nation.

The belligerent Thisara Perera is a match winner and Sri Lanka often relies on him to salvage slow run rates. Perera is regarded as one of the most dangerous fast-bowling all-rounders currently in the world and he has paired up superbly with his senior pro, Mathews to validate the ‘Josephian Mafia’ nick name. The all-rounder played a pivotal role in helping his College break the hoodoo in the Battle of the Saints against St. Peter’s College that lasted more than 36 years. Perera was the chief destroyer of the Peterite batting during that memorable 2008 big match.

One of the latest editions to the Sri Lanka Test team, Dimuth Karunaratne was another key member of the top-class Josephian 1st XI teams in the period of 2005-2008 alongside Mathews and Thisara. Left-handed opening batsman joined St. Joseph’s College from a scholarship at the tender age of 14 and since his inclusion to the premier catholic school; he was the top run-maker in the school level.

Newest rising star of Josephian cricket, Sadeera Samarawickrama won the Bata-Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2014 for his tremendous achievement for Sri Lanka under 19s and for his alma-mater. He became the 2nd Josephian cricketer to have won this prestigious award after Rohan Weerakkody who won it in 1987. Talented wicket-keeper batsman has the potential and ability to make it into the Lankan team in the near future.

In view of all this, the proud Josephian fraternity come together in an evening of celebration and fellowship to pay homage to their most famous sons.

As a past Josephian cricketer, I have witnessed all these five players perform in my 20-years of life. As a kid, Chaminda Vaas was my bowling hero as he was a genuine wicket-taker with the new ball. I still remember how Dimuth Karunaratne and Thisara Perera smashed 130 runs for the 6th wicket in the 2006 big match. They were striking the ball with tremendous ease and both left-handers went on to score 131 and 92 respectively as SJC took major honours in that Battle of the Saints. Angelo’s gutsy unbeaten century in the 2005 big match showcased his fighting batting attributes which he has been showing for the last couple of years in national colours. Finally, Sadeera was my own team mate and he played a gem of an innings in the 2013 big match where he stylishly stroked a classic century.

Josephian cricket Vice-Captain in 1993/94, Vinod Sivapragasam, exclusively shared his views with www.thepapare.com on these stars and on the mega-awards night, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra and I'm quite certain our guys from college just did that. We are proud of you Brothers! Let's salute our heroes who are keeping the 'Blue & White' flag flying high.”

Josephian 1st XI Captain in 2006/07, Rajeewa Weerasinghe expressed his thoughts with www.thepapare.com on his former team mates and on this gala night which will be a night to remember, “It is a great honour, privilege and a personal achievement for me to play with these 5 great cricketers. I have played with all five of them in different levels of cricket and they truly deserved to be acknowledged. This is the first Josephian awards night where all these 5 players will be recognized. I’m looking forward for a wonderful night.”

Exciting entertainment acts have also been planned to please the supporters of St. Joseph’s College cricket and stay tuned on www.thepapare.com for the live webcast of the awards night and for an exclusive coverage of the event. Finally, I quote my favourite phrase of the Josephian College anthem, “Harmonizing, strong and clear, White and Blue our mystic colours, ‘til the mountains disappear.”

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