The Minister of State for Urban Development, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa hailed the rich contribution of the Malay community during the ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the Colombo Malay Cricket Club (CMCC ) at the Padang complex on Slave Island.
Guest of honor at the 150th anniversary dedication ceremony of the inauguration of a first day cover by the Philatelic Bureau to mark this momentous occasion, Dr. Godahewa highlighted the role played by the Malay community in various fields and to the rich diversity it brings to the culture of the nation.
“The Malay community is, I believe, one of the most peaceful and friendliest communities in our Sri Lankan brotherhood. I have never heard of anyone complaining about this community even during the bad times we had when our brothers were divided and started fighting against each other and eventually even led to war. I think that now that peace has returned, we must all strive to maintain this brotherhood and to be a Sri Lankan nation where everyone is allowed to maintain their dignity and their place in society without any discrimination. It has always been my wish and I am sure it is your wish as well,” he said addressing a distinguished gathering including Indonesian Ambassador His Excellency Dewi Gustina Tobing, Malaysian High Commissioner Son Excellency Tan Yang Thai, Vice Minister of Posts (Development) Thusitha Hulangamuwa. , Director of Philatelic Office Shantha Kumara Meegama, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Sri Lanka Cricket Ashley de Silva and President of Sri Lanka Rugby Rizly Illyas.
“Your community has contributed to this country in many ways. You have had important personalities in different fields such as politics, arts, education, sports, business and the military. I’m sure that will continue. Your children will also be important citizens of this country and I take this opportunity to congratulate you all for what you are doing for this country and wish you all the best for your future generations,” said Dr Godahewa who canceled a pre-meeting. -arranged. visit to Badulla to attend this event.
The celebrations continued throughout the day with a series of sporting events to commemorate the historical significance of the event.
The oldest cricket club in Sri Lanka, CMCC was founded in 1872 after a historic cricket match was played between an all-Malay Ceylon Rifle Regiment team and a British regimental team on March 23, 1872. Hence, the British government offered the Rifle Green Parade. in 1872 which led to the founding of the CMCC.
Matches of cricket, sepak takraw and netball were played to mark the historic occasion with CMCC pitted against army and police teams.
According to a senior member of CMCC, the importance of playing a cricket match against the army was due to the historic match in 1872. The first match of sepak takraw in Sri Lanka was played in Padang in 1985. Playing a match of netball against the police was because the IGP (Inspector General of Police) MWF Abeykoon solemnly declared the Padang court open in 1961.
Army won the 10-point cricket match by 66 after posting 156 for 7. Lakshan Edirisinghe broke a 14-ball 43 (6×6 1×4), Bishan Mendis cracked an 18-ball 37 (4×6 4×4) and skipper Pathum Dilshan hit an 11-ball 24 (4×4 1×6). Southpaws Edirisinghe and Mendis also shared a second wicket of 43. CMCC was managed 90 for 5 in response with Abishek Jayasuriya claiming 2 for 13.
Army also overwhelmed CMCC in the sepak takraw clash winning the best of three games 2-0 with the score 15-8 16-14.
CMCC took part in a thrilling 11-11 draw in the netball game against the police after leading 5-4 at half time. Skipper Nauchali Rajapakse (goalkeeper) a former national player, national pooler Malsha Ratnayake (goal attack) and Sri Lankan U21 player Dilani Perera (centre) have been outstanding for CMCC. Skipper Dilki Emansha (Wing Defence), Rashmi Obeysekera (Goal Defence), Sumangala Sudarshani (Wing Attack), Lakshani Anuruddika (Center) and Eshani Madushika (Goal Keeper) excelled for the police.