SSC 125th Anniversary Celebration: Arjuna skips, Mahela shine, SLC donates

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Amongst the most prominent in the Island, Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) celebrated it’s 125th anniversary at Shangri-La hotel Colombo on March 28, In the notable graceful presence of President Ranil Wickramasinghe, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Shammi Silva, present and former players of the club and stakeholders.

Here are the some key takeaways from the mega celebration event:

1. All the clubs with more than 100 years of history, deserves land on 99 years lease: President Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed that he has instructed the Minister of Sports to present a Memorandum to the Cabinet, with a proposal to provide the land belonging to the Sinhala Sports Club on a 99-year lease basis, thereby ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the club’s operations and activities. While acknowledging this, SSC president emphasized that not only his club, but all other clubs with more than hundred years history, like Colts, Gymkhana, Tamil Union and NCC, should also be provided land on a 99-year lease basis.

2. Arjuna Ranatunga skipped celebration event: Former World Cup winning captain skipped his club’s 125th anniversary celebration. Cricket Age understands that Arjuna, did so to protest. According to reliable sources, few weeks prior to the event, Arjuna, an ExCo member of club, had sent a letter to SSC, raising and asking several questions. As he didn’t get reply, he decided to not attend the event. Many of his colleagues even, however, told Cricket Age that it was a wrong decision by their former captain (to skip the event).

3. Mahela Jayawardene Impressed with his organising skills: Another SSC stalwart, who, otherwise, has been accused of allowing the downfall of club’s cricketing growth since taking over Cricket Committee with some bizarre tactics like hijacking top players from other clubs and ignoring discipline criteria in Dhanuska Gunathilika episode, showcased his organising skills and Impressed one and all. Cricket Age understands that Mahela, along with Samantha Dodenwela, handled majority of organising part and turned it a successful celebration event! According to sources, Mahela played a key role in Inviting former England captain Nasser Husain and former International elite umpire Simon Taufel for the anniversary event!

4. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) donated 25 Million to SSC: Country’s Cricket Board President Shammi Silva also graced the celebration event and generously donated 25 Million to SSC, in the acknowledgement of club’s contribution in moving forward Sri Lanka as one of the top cricket playing nation.

5. Few dodgy players agents were seen in the event: In an otherwise remarkable celebration event, many former SSC legends were shocked to see some dodgy players agents among the invitees and felt uncomfortable with their presence!

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N Krishnamurthy