COLOMBO : Two leading Buddhist schools Ananda and Nalanda Colleges will meet in their 94th annual Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter which scheduled to be held on March 2-3 at SSC grounds.
Battle of the Maroons joint organising committee headed by co chairman former SLC chairman Upali Dharmadasa (Ananda) and Former Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala (Nalanda) once again expected to organise this encounter in a big way with the presence of both old boys and present students.
Principal of Ananda College Lal Dissanayake said this time Nalanda College celebrate centenary year while Ananda the 137-year-old school once again get together to build up the friendship through this big match.
Iran Champika Silva the Nalanda College Principal said we are going to continue our traditions and hope to continue good discipline though out this big match. I wanted to remember those who gave their maximum effort to make this a success and wishing both teams all the best.
The inaugural big match was held in 1924 while up to date two schools are able to maintain their traditions said co chairman of the Joint organising committee Air Chief Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala.
The most significant feature of this year’s encounter is the relaunch of the Battle of the Maroons official logo after a period of 15 years. The new logo was launched at the press conference at the SSC Board Room while former National cricketers produced by two schools Arjuna Ranatunga, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Dharmasena, Mahela Jayawardena, Charith Senanayake, Brendon Kuruppu, Nishantha Ranathunga, Shantha Kalawitigoda, Ishara Amarasinghe were present at this occasion. Defence Secretary Rt Major General Kamal Gunaratne and Ranjith Pandithage and several distinguished Ananda and Nalanda College old boys were present at the occasion.
Former Sri Lanka World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga said from those days two school teams build up good friendship. The coaches like late Lionel Mendis and Nelson Mendis gave good lessons beyond cricket and we wish both teams for success, added Arjuna Ranatunga.
Roshan Mahanama the former Sri Lanka skipper said I always support both schools while senior players late Bandula Warnapura, Jayantha Seneviratne and Lalith Kaluperuma always encouraged me to build up my cricket career. Mahela Jayawardena the former Sri Lanka captain said from under 13, I myself with Avishka Gunawardena and Tilan Samaraweera played together and later represented the National team and we had good memories from this both schools. Kumar Dharmasena and Charith Senanayake also spoke on this occasion.
Two present captains Iruth Gimshan of Ananda and Sajitha Vithanage of Nalanda also graced this occasion.