Roy Dias fascinated by young breed
Lucky Rogers Cricket Academy, Colombo won the International Invitation under 14 cricket tournament organised by the CCC School of Cricket for the seventh year in succession.
They won the ‘Nelson Mendis’ challenge trophy by beating the strong MCA ‘A’ Criket Academy in the final played at the Thurstan College ground recently.
In a glittering awards presentation ceremony held at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, former Sri Lankan cricketer and vice captain and national coach of Nepal Roy Dias was the chief guest and gave away the awards to the winners. Roy Dias’ wife, Tharanga also graced the occasion.
Roy Dias in his address congratulated the CCC School of Cricket for organizing such a valuable tournament for the young cricketers as well as for players from Asia and wished the organisers more strength and success. He also appealed to the youngsters to be committed and dedicated to the game and advised them to learn to work harder at a young age. Nelson Mendis, Chairman of the CCC School of Cricket speaking at the ceremony, paid a glowing tribute to Roy Dias for his contribution to Sri Lanka cricket. Mendis also complimented Dias for his role as a coach of the Nepal team and wished that he would one day have an opportunity to coach Sri Lanka. Nelson Mendis also attributed the success of Dias to his humble attitude and great gentleman qualities which he has in abundance.
Veteran coach Mendis had a surprise when present vice captain of the Sri Lanka team, Mahela Jayawardena walked on stage and presented a trophy to him courtesy of his colleagues on the Committee of Management, coaches, parents and students in appreciation of the outstanding services to cricket and completing 50 uninterrupted summers as a coach which began way back in 1960 at his Alma Mater, Dharmasoka College. The entire audience gave him a standing ovation as it certainly was a very emotional moment.
The tournament had 116 matches with 630 players participating and 42 teams of which seven were foreign. Matches were played at 10 venues over 11 days.
The following awards were presented to the winners, courtesy the main sponsor D. Samson and Sons and co-sponsor Wadsco Time W.A. De Silva Watch Manufactures, Ratmalana.
Best batsman – Risitha Upamal (Leeds CA), best bowler – Janith Dias (CCC School of Cricket ‘A’), Best fielder and wicket keeper – Chenuka Bandara (Kekirwa Cricket School). Player of the final and series –Tharuka Fernando of Lucky Rogers CA.
A special award for the best disciplined team of the tournament was awarded to the MCA ‘B’ team by the Professional Cricket Umpires, who assigned the umpires for the entire tournament.
By Bruce Maurice