MUSCAT – The Embassy of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lankan expatriate community in the Sultanate of Oman organised the 75th Independence Day Cricket Trophy-2023, as a part of the yearlong special commemorative events of celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka.
The Cricket Tournament was held at the Oman Cricket (OC) grounds – Al Amerat on Friday, April 28, 2023 from 7.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. The team representing St. Anthony’s College, Wattala won the 75th Independence Day Cricket Trophy-2023 while Richmond College- Mahinda College, Galle combined team won the runner-up trophy.
The Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman will have a series of commemorative events to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka from February 2023 to January 2024. The 75th Independence Day commemorations officially commenced with the Flag Hoisting ceremony at the Embassy on Saturday, February 04, 2023.
The Cricket Tournament was organised with the aim of revamping the splendorous memories of Sri Lankan expatriates’ school life in Sri Lanka. The event commenced with the playing of the National Anthems by the students from Sri Lankan School, Muscat School and unveiling of the 75th Independence Day Trophy by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Sultanate of Oman A.L. Sabarullah Khan.
Twelve teams participated in the tournament representing 16 Schools in Sri Lanka. Past students representing Richmond College- Mahinda College, Galle, D.S Senanayake College, Colombo, Al Hasniya Maha Vidyalaya- Al Manar National School, Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya, St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, Zahira College, Matale, Maliyadeva College, Kurunagala, Rahula College, Matara, Joe-Pete, Colombo, St. Thomas College, Ananda College, Colombo, Central College Akkaraipaththu- Zahira Kalmunai had participated. Twelve teams were divided into 04 groups and the first round was a league within the groups. Top teams from each group qualified for the semi-finals. The first semi-final was between Al Hasniya Maha Vidyalaya- Al Manar National School and Richmond College- Mahinda College. Maliyadeva College, Kurunagala vs St. Anthony’s College, Wattala was the second semi-final.
During the tournament, a fun cricket match was also organised for the female Sri Lankan cricket players in the Sultanate. It was not only just cricket matches, as a beautiful enjoyable day for kids, with Sri Lankan cultural show by the Sri Lankan School Muscat students in the Sultanate unfolding at the Oman Cricket Stadium alongside the matches. Fun games for kids, spot quizzes for audiences, a lucky draw for all Sri Lankans visited, a special live band performance, and stalls with Sri Lankan food and Sri Lankan Tea were also arranged and showcased at the ground parallel to the cricket matches making it an exclusively live Sri Lankan Day at the Al – Amerat Cricket grounds in the Sultanate.
The Embassy conveys its sincere gratitude to the Chairman of Oman Cricket H.E. Pankaj Khimji and Former national cricket player and test captain of Sri Lanka, Dulip Mendis, who is the current head coach of the national cricket team of the Sultanate of Oman, and also the Chief Development Officer of Oman Cricket, for making available the prestigious Oman Cricket grounds for the event. This event would not have been possible without the support extended by the OC management, including Lakshitha Iroshan Dayarathne and Anoop Cholath Kandy.
The event was broadcasted live on YouTube, which had thousands of views from Sri Lankan community members around the world. International commentators Pranav Mehta International Umpire Navaneetha Krishnan, and Ravindra Rajagopal added value through their live commentary of the event. The umpiring and scoring duties were done by Freddie Lonappan, Samir Sattar Parker, Sagir Vengitta, Kapil Venkatachalam, Venugopal Unnithan and Liyanage Ramesh Fernando. The technical support on sounds and live broadcasting were managed by Extreme Manager Ranjan Sagara, Audio Operator Charith Chamara, Assistant Tec. Mohan Dissanayake, DJ Eranga and Technical Director Jude Quinston Pillai, Assistant Camera Operator Kuruwitage Danushka, Anthony Jacob respectively. The photography was managed by V.K Shafeer.
The Embassy also extends its heartfelt gratitude to the tournament’s Executive and Operational Organizing Committees who made it happen in a fabulous manner. The Executive committee included the CEO of the BPOS, a Sri Lankan pioneer banker residing in Oman for about 48 years, Anselm Perera and Frances Perera, while Janaka Hewage, Lalindra Fernando, Nishantha Perera and Janete Daang were in the operational committee. The BPOS Global LLC in the Sultanate of Oman was the Event Manager for this tournament and tremendous effort was exerted by them for the success of the tournament.
Vodafone in the Sultanate sponsored the tournament as the Event Partner, while the National Life & General Insurance Co, Khimji Ramdas and Aitken Spence were the Gold Partner. OIG, Lulu Hypermarket, NBO, Al Bahja Group, Al Omaniya Financials, Al Ansari Group, Bank of Ceylon, Modern Shipping, Al Diyafah, Pocari, Oasis Water, Colombo Café, AMM Sports, MHD, Sheraton, Woodland, Hormuz Grand Hotel, Mumtaz Mahal, Stessan Tea, KIMS Health and Oman Foodstuff- Al Mudhish were the Associate Partners whose generous sponsorship have made a tremendous impact on the successful conclusion of the event.
Over 1000 Sri Lankans residing in the Sultanate and cricket fans were accumulated at the Oman International Cricket stadium to exhale the Sri Lankan School Big Match Fever of their younger ages in the Sri Lankan history books.