Battle of the Maroons

The Legendary Cricket Encounter Ananda vs Nalanda

Welcome to Battle of the Maroons - Ananda vs Nalanda

Welcome to the web site of the "Battle of the Maroons", an exclusive website launched in 2010, the year in which this historic cricketing encounter was played for the 81st time.

Nalanda having come into existence as an off shoot of Ananda in 1924, a "Big Match" was initiated between the two brotherly schools with the aim of building relations between students of the two institutions and developing their cricket in the sporting arena. Thus the first Battle of the Maroons was played between Ananda and Nalanda in 1924.

Soon the Big Match began to be played with much pride and fanfare and became the most awaited and cherished event for all those connected with both schools. A fine tradition was built over the decades while the cricketing abilities of both schools grew surpassing other cricket playing schools in the Island. The Battle of the Maroons gradually became a symbol of the brotherhood between Ananda and Nalanda that has been unique in a country where many schools try to outdo their counterparts.

| Read more |

46th Ananda Nalanda One day encounter
The rains spoilt the show
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 12th March 2023

When Ananda Skipper Nethma Samaraweera won the toss and invited Nalanda to take first lease of the SSC wicket in their 46th One Day encounter, on Sunday 12th March, every thing pointed out to a perfect game of One Day cricket in bright sunshine.

The Nalandians scored at a rapid pace starting with an opening partnership of 35 runs in 6 overs between Rusiru Vilochana (46) and Yasiru Samarakoon (18), and at one point were threatening to score 275 or more as their batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking at a rate of 5 runs or more till about the 30th over.

Rusiru Vilochana, who was the first to reach 1000 runs during this school season top scored for Nalanda with a classy innings of 46 with 7 boundaries. he Nalandians scored at a rapid pace starting with an opening partnership of 35 runs in 6 overs between Rusiru Vilochana (46) and Yasiru Samarakoon (18), and at one point were threatening to score 275 or more as their batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking at a rate of 5 runs or more till about the 30th over.

Together with Sadew Samarasinghe, he put on a 56 run partnership for the second wicket which enabled Nalanda to build up a good score, helped by Kushmitha Silva and Sajitha Vithanage who scored 41 and 28 respectively

Nalanda totalled 252 for 8 wickets in their allotted 50 overs and immediately after the innings was concluded the rains started with a slight drizzle and later developed into a heavy shower.

The sun shone brightly after the rain ceased around 3 pm, giving some hope of the match being resumed even for a lesser number of overs to be batted by Ananda. Unfortunately for the fans the rains started belting down again just around 4 pm ruling out any hopes of further play. Thus the match had to be abandoned with only one innings being completed.

Toss won by Ananda
Nalanda 252 for 8 in 50 overs
Rusiru Vilochana 46, Kushmitha Silva 41, Sadew Samarasinghe 33, Sajitha Vithanage 28, Senesh Wijesinghe 20, Chanul Athukorala 19
Ayesh Sashimal 2 for 39

Picture Gallery...
The oldest Nalanda Cricketer walks in to the SSC for the 93rd Big Match
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 10th March 2023

Out of all the visitors and friends who were there to witness the 93rd Battle of the Maroons over the last weekend , at the SSC, there was one person who was very special. Don Charles Suriyarachchi who was one of the stars in Nalanda's 3rd win in the big match series taking 5 wickets for 9 runs in the 1947 encounter was at the SSC grounds to watch the match 76 years after he had played a key role in Nalanda's win.

Suriyarachchi's bowling record in 1947 remains unbroken todate as he is the only bowler from Nalanda to have captured 5 wickets conceding less than 10 runs. He probably is the oldest living Nalanda cricketer and it was such an honour for us in the Joint Organising Committee to meet him, say hello to him and wish him good health.

93rd Battle of the Maroons
... and finally it ended in a draw
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 7th March 2023

Just to say that the 93rd Battle of the Maroons ended in another boring draw would be a gross understatement.

Having won the Maroons encounter in 2022, after 69 years Nalanda were determined to repeat that performance. The Anandians on the other hand had every intention of registering a win themselves, just like less fancied teams have performed better than the rival team at the Big Match, on several past occasions.

When Nalanda were put into bat having lost the toss and rattled 280 runs for 5 wickets before declaring their innings after 61 overs, they were almost reenacting the 2022 match where the score read 289 for 9 when the declaration came.

The star of the show for Nalanda was Eranga Jayakodi who scored 83 runs in 77 balls with 3 sixes and 8 boundaries before being caught by Iruth Gimshan off the bowling of Ayesh Sashimal.

Though the initial breakthrough came very early for Ananda in the 4th over of the match bowled by Kaveesha Mendis, Nalanda worked their way to a commanding total with a combined team effort by Kushmitha Silva who scored 57 with one six and 5 boundaries, Rusiru Vilochana 32 (with five fours) Eranga Jayakodi's 83 and skipper Chanul Athukorala 44 ( five boundaries) and Senesh Wijesinghe 40 ( 2 sixers and 3 fours) who both remained not out at the time the declaration was made

Kaveesha Mendis and Ayesha Sashimal took 2 wickets each for Ananda.

Ananda in their turn also lost an early wicket but that was the only scare for them till the end of day 1 which they finished on 65 for 1, feeling somewhat comfortable with the hope of a respectable total the next day. Day 2, saw Nalanda capturing 3 more early wickets to make Ananda 99 for 4 before a fine rescue act by the young and talented Kithma Sithmal, playing in his first Big Match, scoring a superb 90 runs. He was unfortunate to have missed out on a well deserved century which would have been a rare occurrence for the Maroons big match – a debutant scoring a century. When Kithma departed he had already stroked 10 beautiful boundaries and ensured that his team was saved from any danger of a defeat. .

The only other noteworthy knock for Ananda came from their opening bat Kanchana de Livera who was run out for 44, which had 7 boundary hits.

Ananda were finally allout for 235 runs ( 87 overs) and it was thanks to young Kithma that they were able to avoid a follow on and were looking very comfortable with a draw very much on the cards at that stage..

Janula Indusara and Minod Caldera with 3 wickets each and skipper Chanul Athukorala who took 2 wickets were the best bowlers for Nalanda..

At this stage, hardly any one would have believed Nalanda would go for quick runs to try and pose Ananda a challenging victory target but Nalandians had other ideas. They started scoring at a rapid pace with their 50 coming in 7 overs and showed every intention of throwing down a teasing target that Ananda would try and chase.

This effort was thwarted to some extent by the loss of a few wickets in quick succession and it was Kaveesha Mendis who took 3 wickets for 34 runs who caused the worry for Nalanda.

They finally closed their innings at 121 for 5 (in 25 overs) after Rusiru Vilochna had stroked a fine 38 and Eranga Jayakodi was again among the runs with 21 not out. This meant Ananda had to score 167 runs for a win and though they started positively scoring faster than in their first innings, they had to soon put up the shutters and play safe, after they lost two early wickets. .

The umpires decided it was time to close the show with two overs remaining and Ananda had reached 22 fr 2 by then.

Thus it was another draw but not without hopes during the last two sessions of becoming a much more exciting game than what it really turned out to be.

The match was played in a carnival atmosphere in front of a record crowd with so many spectators' stands having their own special music arrangements. The most important aspect of this 93rd Maroons encounter was the friendly spirit among the two rival schools on and off the field.

Match Awards were presented by representatives of the main sponsors Dialog Axiata plc, Colombo Textiles Pvt Ltd and Sampath Bank plc together with the two Principals.

Best Bowler, Kaveesha Mendia ( Ananda)
Best Batsman, Kithma Sithmal ( Ananda)
Best Fielder, Chanul Athukorala ( Nalanda)
Player of the Match, Eranga Jayakodi ( Nalanda )

Nalanda 1st Innings: 280 for 5 dec (61 overs)
Eranga Jayakodi 83, Kushmitha Silva 57, Chanul Athukorala 44*, Senesh Wijesinghe 40*, Rusiru Vilochana 32, Ayesh Shashimal 2/55, Kaveesha Mendis 2/61

Ananda 1st innings : 235 (87.4 overs)
Kithma Sithmal 90, Kanchana de Livera 44, Janula Indusara 3/44, Minod Caldera 3/53, Chanul Athukorala 2/29

Nalanda 2nd Innings 121 for 5 declared (25 overs )
Rusiru Vilochana 38, Yasiru Samarakoon 29, Eranga Jayakody 21*, Kaveesha Mendis 3/34

Ananda 2nd Innings 22 for 2 (9 overs)
Minod Caldera 2/11

Picture Gallery...
Ananda and Nalanda, friends beyond 93 years
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 2nd March 2023

The month of March heralds a very significant period for boys' schools in Sri Lanka as most of the "Big Match" cricket encounters are worked out during this month.

These traditional Big Matches, are considered as the culmination to the cricket season and the young cricketers who perform well in these encounters very often go on to play club cricket and some of them even gain national honours in later years.

The origin of the Battle of the Maroons dates back to the 1920's and it has been no surprise that this match has always been played in a spirit of brotherhood as Nalanda College had in fact come into existence as a branch school of Ananda College.

Having played 92 games between them, Ananda College has won the encounter and with that the Dr N M Perera Challenge Trophy on 12 occasions. They last won the Big Match in 2003 under the captaincy of Daminda Kularatne.

However it was a very long wait for success at a Big Match for Nalanda. They recorded their 7 th win in the series last year led by Dineth Samaraweera, after a lapse of 69 years. Their previous victory had been way back in 1953, and the Nalandians will be determined to continue that success story while Ananda will certainly fight back to retain the prestigious Dr N M Perera trophy.

The names of Ananda and Nalanda have been synonymous with the game of cricket in Sri Lanka especially after the 1970s from which time so many cricketers from the two schools have represented the country.

The Ananda Nalanda big match has always provided a launching pad for the young cricket stars to showcase their talents and get recognition to play Club Cricket and later step into the national arena.

From its inception more than 9 decades ago this match has been played in the true spirit of good sportsmanship, though being worked out as a very competitive game of cricket.

Our wish is it will remain the same, way beyond this 93rd encounter.

Reminiscences of Nalanda's long serving cricket Gurus of yesteryear
by Athula Jayasekera | 2nd March 2023

Yet another Maroons Battle is scheduled for the first weekend in March this year, with that the maroons will launch "the march madness" as these events are fondly called, and it will be spread throughout the Island including Northern and Uva provinces. After a lapse of 2 years due to the pandemic, the school season this year is flourishing in full bloom with budding cricketers from the school cricket arena show casing their talent at their inter school encounters. Yet the quality of cricket played now and then is totally different. Matches during our college days were started at 12 noon on a Friday and school closed early around 12.10pm when a match was played at the college grounds to facilitate students to watch the match during the last two periods. Students, when they heard the ringing of the third bell announcing the closure of school for the day used to rush to the shaded areas of the picturesque Campbell Place grounds to have a glimpse of their favorite school cricketers.

There were elegant stroke makers, fearsome fast bowlers, flamboyant wicket-keepers and agile fieldsmen, who made the game of school cricket colourful during that era. The standard of school cricket was extremely high then, and Lankan school cricketers were considered to be the best school boy cricketers in the world. Unlike today school season started in January and ended with the traditional big matches. A couple of matches were played during third school term of the previous year too.

A proper systematic coaching programme was in place through a set of disciplined school coaches at schools during the 50's,60's ,70's and even in the 80's. The learnings on basics of cricket were imparted to the budding cricketers at a tender age by these gentlemen coaches. These coaches never interfered with any cricketer's natural talent and they were allowed to prosper on their natural flair for stroke making. The school coaches, masters in charge and the prefects of games of schools were men of honour and repute. It was these gentlemen who moulded the youngsters to become citizens of value and made them lead an exemplary life after leaving their alma-mater. The cricketers in the past too considered it as an honour to be included in the school cricket team.

Nalanda was fortunate to have the services of great cricket coaches and men in charge of school cricket to mould and develop their schoolboys right throughout. Few individuals who had extended long years of service to Nalanda are worth mentioning.

Mr. Gerry Gooneratne Mr Gooneratne was a former all Ceylon cricketer who learned the basics at St. Josephs college Colombo, where he represented the Josephian team and later played for the National team in the 1940's. He joined Nalanda cricketing staff as the Senior cricket coach in the late 1940's and continuously served as the most respected Nalanda coach for 35 long years. His success as a coach was soon proven with the first Nalandian Stanley Jayasinghe donning the Ceylon cap against the Pakistanis in 1950 and three Nalanda school boys getting selected to represent the National side to play against the visiting MCC team led by Len Hutton in 1951, with Stanley Jayasinghe, Carl Obeysekera selected to the playing eleven and Ashley de Silva doing the services of the twelfth man. This of course could be a record -three schoolboys representing a National team. Mr. Gooneratne became the prime mover of Nalanda cricket taking it from just playing cricket as a sport to become giant killers by producing world class cricketing stars. Nalanda continued to turn out cricketers for national duty without a break since then. He was a knowledgeable, respectable and an enthusiastic coach with a knack to identify hidden talent. Mr.Gerry Gooneratne was incomparable and was a keen reader of the game too. This gentleman coach was always against the school boys playing limited overs cricket. Nalanda cricket owes lot to this gentlemen par excellence.

Mr T. Kandasamy Mr. T Kandasamy is honoured as the longest serving Master in charge of cricket at Nalanda and the Prefect of Games. A strict disciplinarian and a gentleman to the finger tips, he taught English, Latin and civics. He was immaculately dressed with full suit during the school hours. Many learned what sportsmanship is, under him. This great gentleman was responsible for making Nalanda cricket team a well disciplined and fighting unit. It is said that Nalanda cricket flourished under his leadership as a team to be reckoned with. He made his students to be enthusiastic irrespective of whether you win or lose, but play by the rules. For him no player was better than the game. Stanley Jayasinghe the Nalanda captain was once dropped from the playing eleven for allowing the team to break the time bar for sleeping the previous day when the team was on tour to Galle to play against Mahinda College. He had set high standards for students during his era. He had a long service at Nalanda for almost a quarter century. It will be very pertinent to name the Nalanda pavilion under Mr. Kandasamy's name, as many had previously suggested especially Mr. Premasara Epasingse and the late Mr Bernie Wijesekera. I hope that the authorities will consider this proposal positively.

Mr. Nelson Mendis Mr Nelson Mendis started as Junior coach and master in charge of cricket at his alma mater Dharmasoka college Ambalangoda and then moved to Nalanda. He had two stints at Nalanda as the Junior coach, master in charge of cricket O C Contingent Cadeting and Prefect of Games including performing the role - of being in charge of students' discipline. He taught English language to the middle school students. He instilled discipline in students and inspired them to believe in themselves and the fellow team members. For him the umpire's decision is final and his pupils were taught to respect the umpire's decision at any cost. He was particular about the dress code and demeanor of his students and conducted himself as an example to them. He became a new age coach by closely following the evolving coaching systems to cater to the changing nature of the game. That shows his ability to learn new things even at an older age. He is a classic example to be followed by any retiring sportsman. He and his brother late Mr. Lionel Mendis who too was Nalanda's Master in charge of cricket and junior coach for a few years before he moved to Ananda College for a longer stay, has common set of values now being coined as 'Mendis Values' which includes honesty, fair play, respect etc. Mr. Nelson Mendis still continues his passion for coaching at the CCC school of cricket. He has so far been instrumental in developing more than 25 National players during their young age.

Down the memory lane
by Nanduka Jayasinghe | 2nd March 2023

Though my cricketing career was not that thriving, but it was somewhat interesting and entertaining. I was fortunate to play with some legends like, Late Bandula Warnapura, Late Anura Ranasinghe, Dhammika Samarawickrema and Late Sunil Jayasinghe.

On a quiet relaxing evening with a glass of wine in your hand, reminiscences of the early enjoyable days comes to my mind. Especially about one guy who used to be an opening bowler and a middle order batsman in under 16 team and became one of the greatest wicket keepers in Sri Lanka and played for the national team. He is none other than Late Sunil Jayasinghe.

In 1972 Nalanda 1st eleven cricket team under the captaincy of Nandadeva Perera had an unexpected problem of finding a wicket keeper. During that era a talented under 16 wicket keeper Wimalanatha Perera was not able to attend practices due to GCE (OL) exams and Skipper Nandadeva Perera had to look for an alternate.

Sunil Jayasinghe got a golden opportunity to show his hidden talents, and started keeping wickets during practice sessions. Sunil's immense talent caught the eye of then cricket coach Mr. Gerry Gunaratne, who encouraged Sunil to continue as a wicket keeper. Sunil grabbed this chance of a life time with both hands and practiced hard to improve his wicket keeping. He ended up becoming one of the best wicket keepers at Nalanda by breaking the record of “highest victims by a wicket keeper” during a season.

Sunil didn't end up there, he became a wicket keeper opening batsman in 1973 with my elder brother Nalin Jayasinghe under the captaincy of Dhammika Samarawickrema and showed his batting talents. Sunil ended up by leading Nalanda cricket team in 1974 and played 1st class cricket for Bloomfield Cricket and athletic club and represented Sri Lanka in 1979 world cup as a wicket keeper and middle order batsman.

Leaving all those great memories, he unfortunately departed from life in April 1995 at the age of 39.

93rd Battle, press conference
17 Feb 2023
The Joy was beyond compare !
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 25 Sep 2022

69 years .... that's a long time
Sometimes longer than a person's life time
That is how long we had to wait - to see a Big Match win over Ananda
1953 - was a long time back , - most of us were not even born

A few times we came very close to beat them, but, every time we got close something pushed us afar
A victory so close, but yet so far !
We had completely given up hope , as if winning a big match was out of our scope ?

Then it happened in 2022 ... 10th and 11th July
The joy we had was beyond compare

Ananda won the toss... No worries we wanted to win the match ... not the toss
We worked on our plan, scored quick to close at 289
Chanula, Raveen and Dineth were our stars

When the umpires took off the bails that day
We had sent back 5 Anandians for 69
We were seeing a ray of hope ... was it a win after 69 years ?

On day 2, Vinuja and Raveen were at their best, to skittle the rest... all gone for 130
The plan was working, we sent them in again !
Did not give them any more than 30 runs extra
Vinuja and Raveen sharing the scalps

Ananda tried to delay the agony
With many patrolling the boundary ropes
But 31 was all we needed to shatter their hopes
To end a winless streak

When Raveen stepped out to smash a boundary
A beautiful cover drive changed the course of history
A glorious win for a young team, ably marshalled by Dineth
Who took Nalanda to their zenith

A score board we dreamed to see / and thought would never set eyes in our lifetime , was right before our eyes

31 for 1 and Victory for Nalanda !

A sight we will cherish till, forever, we close our eyes

Well done boys ! You made us proud and the joy was beyond compare !

Best wishes to Raveen De silva and Vinuja Ranpul
15 Aug 2022

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee extends its warm wishes to Raveen De Silva and Vinuja Ranpul, who played vital roles in Nalanda's historic win in the 92nd Battle of the Maroons, on being selected for the Sri Lanka Under 19 tour to England.

Leg Spinning allrounder, Raveen has been bestowed with the honour of captaining the side while Vinuja will play the role of a pace bowler cum batsman.

The Maroons also note with pride that the Team Manager for this tour is former national player Jayantha Seneviratne, another illustrious cricketer from Nalanda, who played for their team from 1968 to 1971.

The tour starts on 16th August 2022 with a practice match and comprises of of two 4 day Test matches and 3 one day internationals.

We extend our best wishes to the entire team for a very successful tour.

Nalanda honours her Crickets stars - for the historic Big Match win after 69 years
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 09 Aug 2022

It was a very special morning for the young Nalanda Cricketers on 9th August, as their alma mater paid a fitting tribute to them for winning the Big Match, the Battle of the Maroons , played against Ananda on 10th and 11th July at the SSC grounds, after a lapse of 69 years.

Mr Thilak Waththuhewa the Nalanda Principal and his support team should be commended for the splendid arrangements that had been made to honour these young stars at a special assembly at the school premises that morning.

Members of the match winning cricket team were escorted in a Royal style procession with so much grandeur, amidst Kandyan dancing by students of the school who displayed their amazing talents when they reached the main area where the function was held They were followed by four palanquin bearers carrying the N M Perera Challenge Trophy that Nalandians won at the Big Match in July.

The Principal, Mr Waththuhewa, an ardent cricket lover who is also the President of Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association welcomed the gathering, paid a glowing tribute to the entire team and also announced that Nalanda had won top honours among the boys' schools at the last Ordinary Level examinations. He then indicated that Susal de Silva who was on national duty for the Chess Olympiad in Chennai at present had won the National Chess championship for 2021.

The ever smiling Roshan Mahanama, one of the greatest cricketers to have been nurtured at Nalanda, delivered a very inspiring speech addressing the young cricket stars. As he usually does, he paid tribute to his late father at the start of his address and when he ended saying that self discipline that you learn through the game of cricket is more important than the greatest of victories, he drove a very strong message across to everyone who listened to his little gem of a speech.

Those who gathered at Nalanda for this event were fortunate to see three stalwarts who played for the team in their last big match victory, way back in 1953, Mr Chandrasiri Weerasinghe, Mr Nalin Perera and Ex DIG Chandra Mendis. It was a very special moment of the event when they were presented with recognition awards and mementos by the Nalanda Principal. They also received a photograph of the 1953 team and the 2022 team in one frame titled “Living Legends of Nalanda.”

The climax that morning was when the victorious Nalanda team captained by Dineth Samaraweera, deputised by Chanul Athukorala, the two Sri Lanka under 19 players Raveen De Silva and Vinuja Ranpul and Sajitha Vithanage, Eranga Jayakody, Lisura Sigera, Rusiru Vilochana, Kushmitha Silva, Minod Caldera, Yasiru Samarakoon, Janula Indusara Risath Jayarathna Sadew Samarasinghe, Nikhil Abeygunasekara and Vinuka Wijesinghe, were presented with Medals, mementos and gift vouchers.

Presentations of Cricket material and cash awards were also made to the two Under 19 national players Raveen De Silva and Vinuja Ranpul by Priyantha Dissanayake and Jayantha Seneviratne representing Old Nalandians, Sports Club and the Nalanda Past Cricketers' Association.

The Principal, Mr Thiak Waththuhewa was presented with a collage of photographs of the historic big match printed and prepared specially for the occasion by Gemunu Peiris of the Joint Big Match Organising Committee Media Team.

Nalanda's cricket coaches Mr Prasanna Dahanayake, Mr Malinga Surappulige and Mr Ruwan Dissanayake and their Master in Charge Mr Kapila Nandakumara were also recognised and appreciated with special mementos.

Another significantly note worthy act by Nalanda is to have also recognised and rewarded their ground-boy Sisira Kumarasena and the lady ground assistant Mrs Margaret, for their efforts in maintaining the ground at Nalanda where so many great cricket stars, past and present alike, have learned their basics of the game.

It was a historic moment the young Nalanda students will remember for a long time, a moment to cherish for a life time for the cricket stars and a tribute to all those who were instrumental in this historic victory that many of us witnessed for the first time in our lives !.

Nalanda won the big match after 69 years.
What a victory! - A once in a lifetime moment!
Article by Athula Jayasekara, published in the Sunday Times on 31st July 2022

While hangovers of many who witnessed the great Nalandian victory two weeks ago may be still lingering in their heads, I thought of penning down my recollections of this comprehensive win. This was a rare chance of seeing Nalanda winning the big match after 69 years. It was the 9-decade old tradition of the Battle of Maroons, that the match between two leading educational institutions Ananda and Nalanda should be played with spectator participation. This year due to circumstances beyond the control of the school authorities, participation was limited to a few. This year's big match was played without crowd participation and only a limited number was restricting it to officials, school children and parents of team members and the teachers. Yet, few cricket loving old boys could not be kept away, they rushed to Maitland Place when Anandians lost early wickets in their second innings sensing a great Nalandian victory.

Nalanda batters did their job well by scoring 289 runs with Chanul Athukorale scoring a magnificent 88 which included 10 hits under the ropes and 3 over it. Ananda batters scored 69 runs losing 5 scalps at the end of first day's play. Ananda resuming their innings the next day lost wickets at regular intervals to muster only 139 runs with all their batsmen back in the pavilion. Ananda batting on for the second time too were losing wickets regularly and when their 5th wicket fell, few die hard cricket fanatic old Nalndians started flocking to SSC. Dineth Samaraweera the Nalanda captain's meticulous field setting and bowling changes made the Anandians struggle and they finally folded up for 180 all out. The two Sri Lanka under 19 bowling stars Raveen de Silva and Vinuja Ranpul completely outclassed the Anandian batting outfit. 31 runs were finally needed to re-write the history of the Battle of Maroons. When Nalandian Raveen de Silva stepped out to execute a stylish drive on the offside towards the extra cover boundary, it became Nalanda's glorious moment of cricket at the encounters of the Battle of Maroons during the last 69 years. Nalanda recorded their 7th victory in the series of 92 encounters.

It was beyond our wildest expectations that Nalanda would ever win a big match in our lifetime. Nalanda had to wait for almost 7 decades to register a win against their traditional rivals Ananda college at the Big Match. This long wait for a win could probably be a record in a school's big match series, not only in Sri Lanka but in the world too. The last Nalandian victory was recorded in 1953 under the stewardship of Nalanda captain W.W. Silva. This interesting match had been a last ball finish with 'Soysa' the last man in supported by the loud cheer 'Ara Soysa Aro' echoing also the Henry Newbolt's poem 'play up play up play the game'smashed one to the ropes to record the last Nalandian victory of the 20th century. The students who had witnessed the last Nalandian Victory are now octogenarians including my uncle, the legendary 'Colvin Karunaratne'.

It was noticeable during most of the past encounters, both sides were playing defensive cricket which resulted in many ending in dabless draws. The last few years Nalanda was playing some positive cricket, and they came close to winning the match, the previous encounter played in 2020 was a classic example of Nalanda losing its grip towards the latter part of the match. The most unforgettable match where Nalanda would have recorded a victory was in 1973, exactly 20 years after their last win. Nalanda's star-studded side, ably led by Dhammika Samrawickrama and deputized by Nalin Jayasinghe was able to get Ananda reeling at 15 runs for 5 wickets in their second innings at around 2.00pm with 4 hours of complete play left. The Nalandian pace duo Palitha Amarasekra and Wasantha Chandrasekera shared the wickets among them, and the best of the Ananda batters were back in the pavilion. It was Nalanda's best chance of winning the Battle of Maroons but rain gods had other ideas, rains came pouring down to the Colombo Oval but not for long. The heavy shower lasted only for 30-40 minutes, when rain ceased to everyone's surprise umpires found the wicket was completely damaged by the spectators who had intervened in the playing area, which resulted in umpires calling it a day by abandoning the match, thus depriving Nalanda of a much deserving win.

Although there was no fun and frolic this time at SSC, entertainment was at the barest minimum with lack of background music in the form of 'Papare Band', yet the grounds and the ambience created was well suited for a Big Match. Congratulations should go to the joint organizing committee co-chaired by Bimal Wijayasinghe representing Ananda and Varuna Ratnaweera representing Nalanda and the two Principals Mr Lal Disanayake and Mr Thilak Wattuhewa for taking a big risk to play this match under the current atmosphere in the country after it being postponed twice this year.

This is a victory that we will not forget for a long time. It was a dream come true for many disappointed Nalandians who have watched the big match in the past so many years. They had virtually given up hope of witnessing a Nalanda win in their lifetime. Nalanda dominated all six sessions of the match, it was like a one-sided game. The winners should be thankful that they had two complete days of play without a single disturbance, with zero spectator intervention. This can be a lesson learnt by the organizers, for the big matches in the future. Let all of us have fun to the maximum but all must make sure that nobody other than the players, reserves and the umpires should be allowed inside the playing area in the matches to come.

Congratulations Nalanda Team 2022! You relieved us , you made us proud, you made our dreams come true. A big thank you to the captain, Dineth Samaraweera and the boys and the coaching staff headed by ex Nalandian cricketer Malinga Surappulige. I sincerely hope at least half of this winning side will don the National Cap in the very near future.

92nd Battle of the Maroons 2022
Nalanda beats Ananda convincingly to break 69 year hoodoo
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 12 Jul 2022

Bring on the bugles, blow the trumpets, bang the drums, get ready for merrymaking and to raise the roof, were the thoughts of Nalanda supporters as their team inched closer to a historic win in the 92nd Battle of the Maroons at the SSC grounds by afternoon on 11th July 2022.

This Big match which was postponed, several times from March to April, from April to May and then to June was almost a non starter even on 10th July as Sri Lanka went through one of her most troubled circumstances on the previous day, Saturday 09th July.

The fact that the organisers had decided to play the match without spectator participation except for the Academic and Non academic staff, parents of the players, prefects and students of the two schools was proving to be a very prudent move in the circumstances.

However as everything pointed towards a result in a series which had not produced one for the last 2 decades, the requests to witness the match in person started to grow and the organisers had to allow the cricket lovers who rushed to the SSC to watch Nalanda rewrite the records after 69 years, convincingly beating Ananda by 9 wickets.

Ananda skippper Nethma Karunarathne, the first schoolboy to score 1000 runs during the season this year, invited Nalanda to take first lease of the SSC wicket, having won the toss.. Nalanda openers, Rusiru Vilochana and Yasiru Samarakoon stuck well to their task and laid a good foundation with a 50 run partnership for the first wicket. They ended up at 98 for 3 at lunch and were helped with two solid knocks by Raveen de Silva who scored 40 and Vice captain Chanul Athukorala who top scored for them with 88. Nalanda Skipper Dineth Samaraweera who also contributed with a valuable 33 runs declared their innings closed at 289 for 9 in 62 overs when Athukorala got out trying to score at a faster pace. Shakthi Udara with 5 for 90 and Pulindu Kiriella with 3 for 56 were the leading wicket takers for Ananda.

Nalanda pacies Vinuja Ranpul and skipper Dineth Samaraweera soon put pressure on Ananda with regular breakthroughs and they recovered to some extent through Iruth Gimshan and Pulindu Kiriella to end the first day at 69 for 5 wickets having been 16 for 4 and then 35 for 5 at one stage.

Nalandians came in for the second day's play with a historic victory very much in their thoughts and were able to bowl out Ananda for 139 in the first innings. Iruth Gimshan top scored for Ananda with 70 not out and Shakthi Udara chipped in with 21 runs. For Nalanda, the best bowling performance came from right arm pacie Vinuja Ranpul who bagged 4 wickets for 33 runs and he was well supported by Raveen de Silva with 3 for 33.

Having enforced the follow on, Nalandians again kept pegging away at Ananda, claiming wickets at regular intervals Opener Lakshitha Gunaratne scored 32 and Hansaja Jayasinghe put up some resistance with a knock of 48 runs for them. It was almost a repetition of the last Big Match in 2020 (as the Maroons encounter could not be played in 2021) when Hansaja took up the lone challenge in saving Ananda from defeat with a solid unbeaten knock of 89 runs, having faced a follow on, that year too.

Anandians were finally bowled out for 180 in 58 overs in the second innings with Raveen de Silva claiming 4 wickets for 83 runs and Vinuja capturing 2 for 40.Incidentally both of them are already in the Sri Lanka Under 19 team and have great potential as future stars.

Thus, Nalanda was left with a target of 31 runs for victory which they achieved in 5.1 overs for the loss of one wicket. Raveen de Silva top scored with 15 not out and when he stroked a beautiful off drive through extra cover to the boundary, Nalanda re wrote the record books with a resounding 9 wicket win in the Battle of the Maroons after going through a barren period of 69 years without success.

Nalanda's last win in this big match series was way back in 1953 under the captaincy of W W Silva when they beat the Ananda outfit led by Henry Seneviratne. So it was a wait for almost 7 decades for Nalandians to savour the sweet success of their 7th win in the big match series of 92 encounters and most Nalanda supporters had not even been born when they won a big match last time.

Dialog Axiata was the main sponsor of the match with Perri Allen being the clothing partner The match was telecast live on Dialog TV and and provided a very important opportunity for players of the two teams who had to wait such a long time to play this big match due to several disruptions and postponements.

Best Fielder, Nushal Dharmaratne (Ananda)
Best Batsman, Chanul Athukorale ( Nalanda)
Best Bowler, Vinuja Ranpul (Nalanda)
Player of the match, Raveen De Silva (Nalanda)

Match scores
Toss won by Ananda
Nalanda 1st innings 289 for 9 declared (62 overs)
Chanul Athukorala 88
Raveen de Silva 40
Shakthi Udara 5 for 90
Pulindu Kiriella 3 for 56

Ananada 1st Innining , 139 all out (42.4 overs)
Iruth Gimshan 70 not out
Shakthi Udara 21
Vinuja Ranpul 4 for 33
Raveen de Silva 3 for 33

Ananda 2nd innings 180 all out (58 overs)
Hansaja Jayasinghe 48
Lakshitha Gunaratne 32
Raveen de Silva 4 for 83
Vinuja Ranpul 2 for 40

Nalanda 2nd innings 31 for 1 wicket ( 5.1 overs)
Raveen de silva 15 not out
Result - Nalanda won by 9 wickets

Picture Gallery...
Traditional "Mal poojawa" to invoke blessings for 2021 BoM

Mahela Jayawardena inducted in to ICC Hall of Fame
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 14th Nov 2021

The Battle of the Maroons Organising Committee takes pride in the fact that former Nalanda Cricket captain Mahela Jayawardena has been inducted into the prestigious ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, an honour bestowed upon by Cricket's governing body, on “only the very best players for their contribution to Cricket.

Mahela, who showed signs of great talents from his early days at Nalanda later blossomed into one of the greatest batsmen and tacticians ever to play the game who set new standards in all three versions of the game, playing 652 times for Sri Lanka in a career spanning 18 years.

A technically elegant batsman who was a treat to watch when in form, Mahela made his international debut for Sri Lanka against India in a historic Test match in 1997, and contributed 66 runs in Sri Lanka's world record total of 952 runs for 6 wickets.

Since that memorable Test match, Mahela has amassed a total of 11,814 runs in Test Cricket while also becoming the first Sri Lankan to score 10,000 runs in Tests.

His epic score of 374 against South Africa in 2006 at the S S C , while sharing a world record partnership of 624 runs with Kumar Sangakkara, still remains the highest ever by a Sri Lankan batsman in Test Cricket. It is also the fourth highest individual score of all-time by a batsman in Test Cricket.

Mahela has scored 34 Test Centuries (only 5 have scored more ) and 7 Double Centuries during his career and only 3 other batsmen have scored more double centuries in the entire history of the game.

Mahela's performances in the shorter version of the game has not been second to any of his deeds in the Test arena. He has scored 12,650 runs in 448 One Day Internationals and 1493 in 55 Twenty 20 Internationals

He was a key member of the Sri Lanka teams that reached 4 ICC World Cup finals, two in the one day version and three in the Twenty 20 versions and was instrumental in Sri Lanka's Twenty 20 World cup Championship win in 2014 against India.

His classic centuries in the One Day International World Cup semi final against New Zealand in 2007 and in the final against India in 2011 will be remembered for a long time to come by all Sri Lankan cricket lovers. He holds the unique record of being the only player, thus far, to have scored a hundred in both a World Cup final and a World Cup semi-final.

In fielding, Mahela has held 205 catches in Test Cricket and holds the unbroken record of holding 218 catches in one Day Internationals.

Across all three formats of the game, no player, other than a wicket keeper has taken more international catches than Mahela who has grabbed a total of 440 catches for Sri Lanka in Tests, ODI's and T 20's.

Mahela is known to have been an astute captain who has always got the best out of his players, by carefully analysing the situation of the game and his leadership skills and tactical brilliance has been amply rewarded in many of the coaching assignments he has undertaken so far.

It is therefore no surprise that he is ranked among the most successful captains of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Mahela who was named as Captain of the year by ICC in 2006 also received the Spirit of Cricket award from ICC in 2013, which was a true reflection of how he conducted the affairs of the team he was in charge of, both on and off the field

As the latest inductee into the ICC's Cricket Hall of Fame ( November 2021) , we wish Mahela Jayawardena many more years of invaluable service to the game of cricket in general and more so for Sri Lanka cricket.

The legendary Bandula Warnapura passes away
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 18th Oct 2021

Born on 01st March 1953, Bandula Warnapura was educated at Nalanda College , Colombo where his cricketing skills begun to blossom from a very early stage in his life and he even had the honour of playing for the senior team while still in the age category below 14 years.

He played for Nalanda from 1968 to 1972 and captained the College team in 1971 maintaining an unbeaten record and also leading the team to win the first ever 50 over schools cricket tournament organised by the Maharaja Organisation.

In 1972 Bandula played a brilliant chance-less knock of 118 not out in what was his last innings in a Big Match with Ananda, thus breaking a batting record that had stood for 44 years.

He was chosen as the Best allrounder in 1970 and the Best Schoolboy cricketer in 1972

Bandula toured India in 1969-70 with the Ceylon Schools Cricket team and his fine batting performances enabled him to amass 448 runs during that tour.

He opened batting for the Board Presidents team against Malaysia in 1974 where he scored a career best 294 and followed it up with a 154 run knock against Pakistan under 25 team.

He was a stylish right handed batsman who went on to gain national recognition and play for the country in the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1975.

He also has the distinction of leading Sri Lanka to their first ever One Day Inetrantional victory against India in the 1979 World Cup.

Having established himself as a reliable opening batsman with a solid technique he had the unique honour of leading Sri Lanka when the nation became a fully fledged Test playing country in 1982

Bandula has played 4 Test Matches and 12 One Day International for Sri Lanka during his international cricketing career spanning from 1975 to 1982.

The BoM joint organising committee wishes the legendary Bandula Warnapura, who passed away on 18th October 2021, eternal bliss of Nirvana.

Battle of the Maroons Committee continues to contribute towards development of Sports at Ananda & Nalanda
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 23rd Sep 2020

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee presented Rs 1.5 million each to the Principals of Ananda and Nalanda, from the proceeds of the 91st Battle of the Maroons at a simple ceremony held at the Language Auditorium of Nalanda College on 23rd September 2020

Principal of Nalanda College Mr Thilak Waththuhewa and Deputy Principal of Ananda College Mr Randika Perera were presented with cheques for same by Mr Manjula Wijemanna and Mr Mohan Gunadasa , the Co-Chairmen of the BoM Joint Organising Committee.

Both Mr Waththuhewa and Mr Perera commended the efforts of the Joint Organising Committee at this function for which some teachers from the two schools as well as the senior prefects also participated.

Mr Manjula Wijemanna and Mr Mohan Gunadasa spoke in great appreciation of their committee members who had been working tirelessly and extending their fullest support in organisng the big match over the past several years.

Past joint committee chairmen Old Anandian Mr. Lal Hewagama and Old Nalandian Mr. Sidath Waidyasekera and several members of the BoM Joint Organising Committee were also present at this occasion.

The Joint Organising Committee takes pride in the fact that they have been able to continue with their contributions towards the development of sports activities of the two schools this year too, despite the setbacks they had to face amidst the COVID 19 pandemic, which resulted in cancellation of the One Day Encounter, which was scheduled to be played on 15th March 2020

Picture Gallery...
46th One day Encounter postponed

Due to the prevailing Coronavirus threat and Emergency School Vacation declared by the Ministry of Education, Principal's of both schools together with Battle of the Maroon's Joint Organizing Committee has decided to postpone the Limited Over's Cricket encounter which was scheduled to be held on 15th March 2020.

91st Battle of the Maroons
Nalanda scores a record 307/ 4 but Ananda's 5th wicket pair thwarts their victory bid
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 10 Mar 2020

In a match that Nalanda fans expected their team to present them with a long awaited win after 67 years, the fifth wicket pair of Ananda , Hansaja Jayasinghe who scored 89 not out and Dasun Tharuka, dashed their hopes by putting on a partnership of 111 runs for the fifth wicket.

Thus the 91st Battle of the Maroons ended in the 17th consecutive draw in the series, but not without some outstanding individual performances from both sides.

After Ananda skipper, Kanishka Ranthilakage, won the toss and invited Nalanda to bat first Raveen de Silva stroked a brilliant century in helping his team amass 307 runs for 4 wickets, which is the highest total by a Nalanda team in the 90 year history of the match.

Rashan Dissanayake with 77 not out, Chamindu Wijesinghe 56 , Ranindu de Silva 28 and skipper Aviska Perera 26 were the other main scorers for Nalanda who took only 54 overs to rattle 307 runs before declaring the innings immediately Raveen de Silva reached his century, the 16th for Nalanda in the series.

Ananda in reply were in a bad way at the end of the first day having lost 6 wickets for only 79 runs and hopes were high in the Nalanda camp as they took the field on day two amidst a large gathering of spectators, who were expecting a result in this game after a long lapse.

Ananda were bowled out for 150 before lunch on day two with Nethma Karunarathne top scoring for them with 59 runs and Hansaja Jayasinghe chipping in with 26. Jithesh Waasala who took 5 wickets for 63 runs and Raveen de Silvawith 2 for 28 bowled best for Nalanda enabling them to enforce the follow on.

In their second essay, Ananda again lost wickets regularly until the 5th wicket pair of Hansaja Jayasinghe and Dasun Tharuka came together with the score at 76 for 4 wickets and put on a 111 run partnership

Both of them batted with so much confidence to dash any hopes of Nalandians would have had in winning the match and by the time the allotted 90 overs for the day was completed, the interest shifted to see whether Hansaja Jayasinghe would also reach the three figure mark. He finally finished with 89 not out thus saving the game for Ananda who ended the day with a score of 225 for 7 wickets. Raveen de Silva and Avishka Perera took 2 wickets each in Ananda’s second innings

The match awards were presented by Mr Supun Weerasinghe, Director/Group Chief Executive Officer at Dialog Axiata PLC together with the two Principals Mr S M Keerthiratne of Ananda and Mr Thilak Waththuhewa of Nalanda and the Co Chairmen of the Battle of the Maroons Organising Committee Bimal Wijesinghe and Mohan Gunadasa.

Best Fielder, Ranindu de Silva - Nalanda
Best Batsman, Hansaja Jayasinghe - Ananda
Best Bowler, Jithesh Waasala - Nalanda
Man of the match, Raveen de Silva - Nalanda

Nalanda 1st Innining , 307/04 decleard 54 overs (Ananda won the toss)
Raveen de Silva 100 Not out
Rashan Dissanayake 77 Not out
Chamindu Wijesinghe 56
Avishka Perera 26
Ranindu de Sliva 28
Deneth Nishshanka 34/2

Ananda 1st Innining, 150 all out, 51 overs
Nethma Karunarathne 59
Hansaja Jayasinghe 26
Jithesh Waasala 63/5
Raveen de Silva 28/2

Ananda 2nd Innining, 225/07 , 69 overs
Kanishka Ranthilakage 37
Nethma Karunarathne 20
Dasun Tharuka 29
Hansaja Jayasinghe 89 Not out
Raveen de Silva 65/2
Avishka Perera 16/2

Picture Gallery...
91st Battle, press conference
26 Feb 2020
Tribute to a legendary Cricket Coach, Mr Nelson Mendis
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 24 Jan 2020

When I heard that the past cricketers of Nalanda were planning a felicitation for Mr Nelson Mendis, my mind went back for over 5 decades to the first day I met Mr Mendis.

That was the first time I turned up at the Nalanda grounds for cricket with the dream of joining the junior team. We had more than 60 or so youngsters who came that day, eagerly wanting to become "future cricketers". Immaculately dressed in a white T shirt that was tucked into a white slack, Mr Mendis walked in to the college ground carrying a few leather balls with him.

He lined us up and threw a ball up in the air and called each one of us to take turns and catch it. He did this till every one tried the catch and having observed the way the catch was taken by each of us he separated us into two groups. He repeated this act and moved some boys from one group to another based on his observations. He then told the boys who had missed the catch or did not take the catch in the conventional way cricketers used to take high catches in that era, that they could come for practices again during the following year and told the others to continue coming for practices.

Having been picked to the group that was asked to continue, I got selected to represent the Junior team of Nalanda that year and was fortunate to be under the watchful guidance and coaching of Mr Mendis as a ten year old and the lessons I learned from him during that time still remain etched in my mind todate.

For many of us, playing leather ball cricket was a totally new adventure but Mr Mendis was able to generate so much of interest and enthusiasm among the team of youngsters, we ended up as All Island Junior Champions in Cricket during that year.

In fact we later learned that it was the third consecutive year that Nalanda won the junior championship, since Mr Mendis had taken over as master in charge of cricket.

Our team was captained that year by Ananda Jayaweera and had Yohan Gunasekara as his deputy, and Yohan is one of the many national cricketers who had been coached at the start of his cricketing career by Mr Mendis.

Having won the national championship, Mr Mendis' treat to the team was to take the entire team at his expense to watch the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai" at the Majestic Cinema, where the Majestic City is located today. As 10 year old kids it was a very interesting experience for us and there he explained to us the story line of the film in the most simple way in English, developing another skill in all of us, the art of communicating in English.

The life lessons that Mr Mendis taught us from that young age, the good qualities that he nurtured in us through the game of cricket like fair-play, honesty, courage, determination and patience and more importantly the discipline he instilled in all his students has been the hallmark of this exemplary teacher, who recently completed six decades of great service to the country.

As someone who was fortunate to have been guided and inspired by his teachings as a youngster, my sincere wish is for good health and strength for Mr Nelson Mendis to be able to continue imparting his knowledge on this great game of cricket and nurturing many more disciplined future sri lankans, in the years to come.

Related Articles ..
Nalandians' Felicitate Their Guru Nelson Mendis
by Athula Jayasekera | 19 Jan 2020

45th One Day Encounter
Nalanda College wins 45th Encounter

Best Fielder, Jayodh Kaldera - Nalanda
Best Batsman, Kalana Wijesiri - Ananda
Best Bowler, Sudeepa Anjulugaha - Ananda
Man of the match, Raveen De Silva - Nalanda

Ananda, 197/all out 48 overs
Adheesha Perera 22
Daminda Reshan 23
Kalana Wijesiri 46
Nadeesha Karunaratne 43
Dinethe Samaraweera 25/2
Lakshitha Rasanjana 53/3
Raveen De Silva 50/4

Nalanda, 141/5, 33.1 overs
Avishka Perera 26
Jayodh Kaldera 38 not out
Chamindu Wijesinghe 29
Sudeepa Anjulugaha 28/5

Nalanda won by 16 runs by DLS method
Picture Gallery...

90th Battle of the Maroons
Ends in a draw with brilliant individual performances

The 90th Battle of the Maroons cricket encounter between Ananda and Nalanda ended in a draw despite some brilliant performances by members of both teams.

Nalanda skipper won the toss and elected to bat after a colourful opening ceremony in the presence of Sri Lanka’s first Test Cricket captain, Bandula Warnapura, our world cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga and several Sri Lankan cricket greats of the past hailing from the two schools including Lalith Kaluperuma, Asanka Gurusinghe, Gamini Wickremasinghe, Dhammika Ranatunga, Hemantha Devapriya, Susantha Karunaratne and Sanjeewa Ranatunga.

Nalanda who were favourites going into this match having performed very well during the school season, put up a formidable score of 269 for 7 wickets before they declared their innings.

Their total was set up mainly by a superb knock of 120 runs by opener Avishka Perera who scored these runs off 134 deliveries with 17 fours. Raveen de Silva was the second highest scorer for Nalanda with 36 runs and for Ananda , Chamika Gunasekara and Saviru Bandara captured 2 wickets each for 46 runs and 66 runs.

Ananda in reply found themselves in a spot of bother at th eend of the first day at 52 for four with Dineth Samaraweera claiming three wickets for 22 runs.

But on the second day Ananda fought back with Moditha Ranatunga (64) and Janidu Jayawardene (63 n.o.) scoring well compiled half centuries to recover to 232 all out having been 55 for 5 at one stage, at which stage Nalandians had high hopes of a long awaited victory in the series.

Dineth Samaraweera ended up with figures of 4 for 63 while Chamindu Wijesinghe captured 3 Ananda wickets for 58 runs.

Nalanda in their second innings scored 216 for 5 wickets at close of play with their skipper Lakshitha Rasanjana scoring 87 and Chamindu Wijesinghe supporting him well with a knock of 64 runs and adding 109 for the third wicket.

It was a match that had an unprecedented crowd enjoying the carnival atmosphere throughout the two days which featured exemplary spectator behaviour with almost no invasions of the field, even though the cricketers came up with some excellent performances including a Big Match century, which is a rare achievement.

The match awards were presented by Mr Supun Weerasinghe of Dialog Axiata together with the two Principals Mr S M Keerthiratne of Ananda and Mr Thilak Waththuhewa of Nalanda and the Co Chairmen of the Battle of the Maroons Organising Committee Manjula Wijemanna and Mohan Gunadasa.

Best Fielder, Kamesh Nirmal - Ananda
Best Batsman, Avishka Perera - Nalanda
Best Bowler, Dineth Samaraweera - Nalanda
Man of the match, Avishka Perera - Nalanda

Nalanda 1st Innining (Toss), 269/07 decleard 72.1 overs
Avishka Perera 120
Raveen de Silva 36
Chamindu Wijesinghe 27
Dilhara Polgampola 22
Chamika Gunasekara 46/2
Saviru Bandara 66/2

Ananda 1st Innining, 232 all out, 60.2 overs
Moditha Ranatunga 64
Kalana Wijesiri 39
Janindu Jayawardena 63
Chamindu Wijesinghe 58/3
Dineth Samaraweera 64/3
Ranindu De Silva 16/2

Nalanda 2nd Innining, 216/05 , 41.2 overs
Avishka Perera 20
Lakshitha Rasanjana 86
Chamindu Wijesinghe 64
Moksha Sankalpa 20

Picture Gallery...
90th Battle of the Maroons
Was it the runs you scored or the wickets you captured that mattered
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 1 Mar 2019

"For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name , He marks not that you won or lost but how you played the game." - Grantland Rice

Yes, even on this 90th occasion it will not matter how many runs you scored, how many wickets you captured, how many catches you held or even whether you were an Anandian or whether you hailed from Nalanda as long as you played this game in its true spirit as a gentleman.

The way this noble game is played has changed so much during these past years, due to commercialisation and media exposure, especially live television coverage of matches, it is near impossible to expect the game to be played the way it ought to be.

During those days in the past -

Were there heroics like jumping in the air and doing a “sword fight” with the bat by batsmen on reaching a significant score.

Did a bowler have to show the dressing room to a batsman, the moment his wicket was captured?

Didn't a fielder usually know whether a catch he took was cleanly held or whether the ball touched the ground before he grabbed it.

Didn't we have batsmen who knew for sure when the ball touched his bat when it passed him on the way to the wicket keeper and walked out without any referrals?

Didn't we have players giving more credit to their team members than taking the honours themselves and appreciating and thanking every one who helped them, when they were praised on the victory podium.

Lets pause a moment to reflect upon all the good qualities we witnessed on the playing field in the years gone by.

Just like how we should conduct ourselves, and treat our opponents in a game of cricket - even in the game of life, we will, one day be judged by the way we treat the world, how ethical we are in our actions, how respectful we are in treating those we interact with irrespective of their social standing or status in life.

Let the "Battle of the Maroons" be a shining example in promoting these good qualities in our future generations as we celebrate the important 90th milestone in this journey.

Ananada- Nalanda 90 not out
by Athula Jayasekera | 23 Feb 2019

On 2nd March 2019, the Cricketers of Sri Lanka's two premier educational institutions walk in to the middle of a Colombo's leading cricket ground for the 90th time. Hey.. It is the 'Battle of the Maroons', once again! During the two days the City of Colombo will witness the glamour of Maroon and Gold and Maroon and Silver colours. The big match fever has already started with the 'Battle of the Brothers' taking place in the last weekend of February. The ambiance of the ground and the electric atmosphere it presents will enthral any spectator, old boy, parent and student. The Battle of the Maroons is said to be having the highest number of 'Papare' bands, the raucous rhythms of these bands, makes everyone at the grounds dance. The fun atmosphere and the loud music entices any onlooker at least to step to the beat of 'Papare'. The big match fun has evolved over times.

|Read more |

Kumar Dharmasena wins ICC Umpire of the Year award for the second time

Kumar Dharmasena who played for Nalanda from 1986 and captained their side in 1990 won the prestigious ICC Umpire of the year award for a second time on 20th January 2018

Kumar who was an integral part of the victorious Sri Lankan world cup team of 1996, was selected as one of the twenty umpires to stand in matches during the 2015 Cricket World Cup of which he umpired in the final. Thus he holds the unique record of being the first to play in and to umpire a final of a World Cup Cricket match. He also officiated in the final of the 2016 ICC World Twenty 20.

The BoM Joint Committee wishes Kumar continued success as he remains "close to the game" which he loves so much.

Sad passing away of Mithra Wettimuni

BoM Joint Organising Committee wishes to express its profound grief at the demise of Mithra Wettimuni who played for Ananda from 1967 onwards and captained their team in 1970.

As a brilliant right-hand bat and an off-spin bowler at Ananda he also proved to be a shrewd captain, leading the Ceylon Schools team on its very successful cricket tour to India in 1969-70.

Mithra Wettimuni went on to play for Sri Lanka later and won the nations 22nd Test cap in 1983 and is well remembered for opening the batting for Sri Lanka with his brother Sidath in the Test series in New Zealand that year.

The BoM joint organising committee extends its deepest condolences to his family.

Battle of the Maroons, 44th One Day encounter
Nalanda records a second successive win
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 18 March 2018

It was a challenging task that Nalanda had to overcome in recording their second successive win in the 44th One Day encounter with Ananda at the SSC grounds on Sunday 18th March

Having decided to field after winning the toss, Nalanda bowlers threatened to run through the Ananda batting claiming 3 wickets for 57 runs after the Ananda openers had made a somewhat steady start with a partnership of 29 runs.

It was at this stage that Ananda skipper Ashel Sigera took control of things and shared two good partnerships, 49 runs for the fourth wicket with Dushan Hettige who scored 33 runs and 78 for the fifth wicket with Lahiru Hiranya who scored 38.

Sigera was out in the 49th over when he was stumped for a well compiled 87 and by that time he had made sure Ananda reached a formidable total of 244 all out, a score that many thought was not possible even well past the half way stage in their innings.

Skipper Lakshitha Manasinghe bowled best for Nalanda for figures of 3 for 48 while Chamindu Wijesinghe and Kaveesh Madurapperuma bagged two wickets each for 31 runs and 40 runs.

Nalanda openers, Ranindu de Silva (36) and Avishka Perera (21) started off at a rapid pace and put on 63 runs for the first wicket before another two wickets fell in quick succession to make them 66 for 3.

Their Vice-captain Suhanga Wijewardena who joined Dilhara Polgampola then put on a match winning partnership of 95 runs for the 4th wicket between them, scoring 68 and 37 respectively.

When Suhanga was out with the score at 196 Nalanda looked much confident of victory which they achieved with ease in the 44th over, with some sensible batting by Chamindu Wijesinghe and Raveen De Silva who remained unbeaten on 48 and 19 respectively.

Thus Nalanda clinched their second consecutive win in the series and was presented the P de S Kularatne Memorial Challenge Trophy while the match awards went to the following players for their outstanding performances.

The match awards were presented to the following players by Mr Asanga Priyadarshana - Head of Business - Mobile Telecommunications, Dialog Axiata PLC together with the two Principals Mr S M Keerthiratne and Mr Thilak Wattuhewa and the Co Chairmen of the joint organising committee, Mr Manjula Wijemanna and Mr Mohan Gunadasa

Best Fielder,Hasindu Shamika - Ananda
Best Bowler, Lakshitha Rasanjana - Nalanda
Best Batsman, Ashel Sigera - Ananda
Man of the Match, Suhanga Wijewardena - Nalanda

89th Battle of the Maroons
A match that had brilliant individual performances
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 04 March 2018

Anandian Kamesh Nirmal after his brilliant century at the 89th Big Match

The 89th Battle of the Maroons ended in another draw but provided some brilliant individual performances by players from both Ananda and Nalanda, in a game that promised to be a close tussle by the end of the first day.

Having won the toss, Nalanda Skipper Lakshitha Manasinghe invited Ananda to take first lease of the SSC wicket and his pace bowlers Suhanga Wijewardana and Chaminda Wijesinghe, soon had the Ananda batsmen in trouble during the post lunch session sending them reeling to a total of 67 for 6 wickets at the break.

Ananda had to rely heavily on a superb knock of 58 by Lahiru Attanayake (with 7 fours and a six) and Daminda Reshan who scored 24 while sharing a 51 run partnership between them, to reach a somewhat respectable score of 141. Chamika Gunasekera was the only other batsman for Ananda with a noteworthy contribution to the total with an unbeaten 18 runs.

Nalanda’s pacemen Suhanga Wijewardene and Chaminda Wijesinghe bagged 6 wickets for 52 runs and 4 wickets for 33 runs thus demolishing the entire Ananda batting line up between them.

Nalanda in reply soon found themselves too in trouble having lost their first wicket in the second over of the innings but found some solidarity with Avishka Perera (24) and Dilhara Polgampola (23) putting on 41 runs for the second wicket before another two wickets fell in quick succession.

Their skipper Lakshitha Manasinghe then batted with a positive approach to end the first day with an unbeaten 32 taking the Nalanda total to 107 for 5 wickets at close of play.

He continued with his good form on the second day and shared a partnership of 67 runs for the sixth wicket with Ravin de Silva, before being stumped off the bowling of the rival skipper Asel Sigera for a well compiled 72 runs with 8 fours and one six.

Asel Sigera and Gishan Vishwajith claimed three wickets each for Ananda whileShamal Hirushan chipped in with two wickets to bowl out Nalanda for 213 which gave them a lead of 72 runs.

Ananda commenced3 their second innings after lunch on day two and they progressed to 85 for 3 with opener Kanishka Ranthilakage scoring 25 and Dushan Hettige making 23.

Skipper Asel Sigera and Kamesh Nirmal then produced a magnificent partnership of 75 runs for the fourth wicket to guide Ananda to safety from any ideas that Nalanda bowlers had in forcing a win.

Asel Sigera fell short of a well deserved half century being dismissed for 46 with five fours and a six and Lahiru Hiranya then joined Nirmal to put up another useful stand of 74 for the fifth wicket.

Kamesh Nimal ( the younger brother of current Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal) continued with his brilliant form to reach a well compiled unbeaten 100 runs which included 13 boundaries and the match was concluded soon thereafter with no possibility of a result with the Ananda score at 252 for 7 wickets in their second innings.

The match awards were presented to the following players by Mr Upali Gajanayake - Group Chief Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC together with the two Principals Mr S M Keerthiratne and Mr Thilak Wattuhewa and the Co Chairmen of the joint organising committee, Mr Manjula Wijemanna and Mr Mohan Gunadasa

Best Fielder, Lahiru Attanayake - Ananda
Best Batsman, Kamesh Nirmal - Ananda
Best Bowler, Suhanga Wijewardhena - Nalanda
Man of the match, Lakshitha Manasinghe - Nalanda

Picture Gallery...
89th Battle, press conference
26 Feb 2018
The 89th Battle

Wishes from the BoM Committee to Dinesh Chandimal, Chandika Hathurusinghe and Asanka Gurusinghe
31 Jan 2018

The Battle of the Maroons joint organising committee congratulates Dinesh Chandimal ( Ananda skipper of the 80th Maroons Battle) on his inspiring leadership to put the Sri Lanka team back on the winning track together with our new coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, also a product of Ananda College, and team manager Asanka Gurusinghe , the Nalanda captain of the 1985 encounter.

It was great to see Sri Lankans dominating the last three matches and winning the TriNation tournament in Bangladesh on Saturday ( 27th Jan) in grand style.

As Sri Lankans get ready to take on the challenges of a Test series ahead of them, the BoM committee wishes all three of them and their young team all the very best for many more successes in the future.

Battle of the Maroons, contributes to the development of Sports at Ananda & Nalanda
19 Nov 2017

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee recently presented Rs 1 million each to the Principals of Ananda and Nalanda, from the profits made at the 88th Maroons Battle ( of 2017). Past joint committee chairmen Old Anandian Mr. Lal Hewagama and Old Nalandian Mr. Sanjeewa Perera presented the cheques to the two principals at the Ananda College premises.

The Joint Organising Committee takes pride in the fact that they have been able to contribute more than Rs 10 million each from the profits made at their Big match since the joint committee undertook organising the match. The newly elected Joint committee chairmen for the next term Mr. Manjula Wijemanna from Ananda College and Mr. Mohan Gunadasa from Nalanda College, together with other committee members also graced the occasion. The 89th Battle of the Maroons encounter is scheduled to be held on 03rd and 04th March at the SSC grounds.

BoM Committee wishes Dinesh Chandimal

The Battle of the Maroons Committee wishes Dinesh Chandimal a very successful tenure as captain of Sri Lanka Cricket.

We wish him well as he takes on the important task of reviving Test cricket in Sri Lanka to its past glory.

Our wishes also go out to Angelo Matthews, for greater success as he continues to serve Sri Lanka cricket with his brilliant performances.

Nalanda clinches an exciting win in a last ball thriller
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 19 March 2017

It was a cliff hanger and a roller coaster of a game which brought every spectator to the edge of their seats in a nail biting finish to an incredibly closely fought match.

What ever terms you use to describe the 43rd One Day encounter between Ananda and Nalanda , ( played on Sunday 19th March at the SSC grounds) it turned out to be one of those rare occasions when all 3 results of a match becomes possible depending on the outcome of the last delivery.

When Ananda's batting star, Sammu Ashan was entrusted the task of bowling the last over of the match, with only 5 runs to defend out of a total of 257 that Ananda made, he did not show any reluctance to take up that challenge.

And how well he took up the task and tightened the grip on the Nalanda pair for the 9th wicket, giving away only 4 singles in the first 5 balls and Nalanda's Kasun Sandaruwan had the task of scoring 2 runs to win off the last ball.

Kasun's mighty swing off that last delivery did not connect well, but it was good enough for the batsmen to scamper for a single and more importantly, come back for the winning run as well, while the Ananda fielders tried their best to prevent it.

Thus, brought a well fought out victory for Nalanda in this 43rd one day encounter after 7 years in a match that took so many turns throughout the day after Ananda won the toss and put on an imposing total of 257 runs.

For Ananda Sammu Ashan scored a well compiled 96 runs with 5 massive sixes while Asel Sigera with 42, skipper Kavishka Anjula with 38 and Kavindu Gimhan who scored 31 were the other main contributors. Kalana Perera, Malinga Amarasinghe and Asel Kulatunga shared the bowling honours for Nalanda with 2 wickets each.

Nalandians in reply kept scoring at a brisk rate but the Ananda bowlers didn't allow any of the batsmen to take the game completely away from them at any stage. Malinga Amarasinghe top scored for Nalanda with 67, while skipper Dasun Seneviratne 32 and Avishka Perera 25 were the other two main scorers apart from Kasun Sandaruwan who ultimately became their hero with a match winning score of 57 not out Sammu Ashan and Asel Sigera bagged two wickets each for Ananda.

When the winning runs were scored by Nalanda, a large number of spectators swarmed the arena but considering the tight finish and the tense moments that this match went through, it was certainly the friendly atmosphere and the brotherly spirit in which the game was played that enabled the spectators to witness one of the most exciting finishes in this series.

Match Summary

Ananda College - 257/8 (50) , Sammu Ashan 96, Asel Sigera 42, Kavishka Anjula 38, Kavindu Gimhan 31, Kalana Perera 2/45, Malinga Amarasinghe 2/62, Asel Kulatunga 2/45

Nalanda College - 258/8 (50) Malinga Amarasinghe 67, Kasun Sandaruwan 57*, Dasun Senevirathna 32, Avishka Perera 25, Sammu Ashan 2/49, Asel Sigera 2/5

Picture Gallery...
Ananda and Nalanda, share honours in the 88th Maroons encounter
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 06 March 2017

The match ended in a draw, but not without the suspense that remained in the minds of the spectators well past lunch on the second day, as Ananda tried their best to make inroads in to the Nalanda second innings having declared with just 46 runs ahead in their first innings.

When Ananda skipper Kavishka Anjula won the toss and put Nalanda into bat, everything that he planned worked to perfection as Nalandians were bowled out for 144 in their first innings

The skipper Kavishka Anjula himself took 3 wickets for 37 runs and was ably supported by Chamika Gunasekera (2/23) and Supun Waragoda (2/26) as they bundled out Nalanda for 144.

Only Suhanga Wijewardena 37, Madushan Hasaranga 31 and Avishka Perera 26 made notable contributions to the Nalanda total.

Ananda in reply was 160 for 5 wickets at the end of day one with Shammu Asan unbeaten on 60 and Dushan Hettige with 37 and Kavishka Anjula with 25 having helped them put up some quick runs to overtake the Nalanda score.

Day 2 saw Ananda losing 3 wickets as they piled on another 30 runs and closed their innings at 190 for 8 with a lead of 46 runs.

Kalana Perera and Asela Kulathunga bowled best for Nalanda claiming 3 wickets each for 35 runs and 47 runs. Malinga Amarasinghe also chipped in with 2 wickets for 31 runs.

Nalanda's chances of saving the match looked in doubt when they lost two wickets even before the first innings deficit was wiped out, but two defiant partnerships of 90 runs and 111 runs that Lakshitha Rasanjana shared with Suhanga Wijewardana and Kasun Sandaruwan , enabled them to come out with their heads held high at the end of the match

They scored a formidable 280 for 4 wickets before the match came to an end with Lakshitha Rasanjana emerging as the star of the 88th Battle of the Maroons with an unbeaten knock of 113 runs that comprised 11 fours and a six.

Kasun Sandaruwan scored an unbeaten 50 with five fours while Suhanga Wijewardana and skipper Dasun Seneviratne contributed with scores of 44 and 39 in their second innings.

It was commendable to see only 3 spectators rushing to the middle to congratulate Lakshitha Rasanjana even after he reached such an important milestone of a Big Match century. This too was done with the minimum disruption to the proceedings of the match, quite contrary to what usually happens on such occasions.

While he helped Nalanda to come out strong in this 88th Maroons battle, the sportsmanship and camaraderie that was amply demonstrated both on and off the field helped making the ties of brotherhood between Ananda and Nalanda even stronger.


Nalanda College 1st innings - Nalanda 144 all out in 51.5 overs: Suhanga Wijewardana 37, Madushan Hasaranga 31, Avishka Perera 26 , Kasun Sandaruwna 19, Kavishka Anjula 3/37, Chamikara Gunasekara 2/23, Supun Waragoda 2/26.

Ananda College 1st innings - 190/8 declared in 47 overs: Shammu Ashan 67, Dushan Hettige 37, Kamesh Nirmal 28, Kavishka Anjula 25, Kalana Perera 3/35, Asel Kulathunga 3/47, Malinga Amarasinghe 2/47

Nalanda College 2nd Innings - 280/4 86 overs: Lakshitha Rasanjana 113*, Kasun Sandaruwan 50*, Dasun Seneviratne 39, Malinga Amarasinghe 21, Suhanga Wijewardana 44, Kavishka Anjula 2/30, Sammu Ashan 1/36

Best Fielder, Asel Kulatnga - Nalanda
Best Bowler, Avishka Anjula - Ananda
Best Batsman, Laskhitha Rasanjana - Nalanda
Man of the match, Laskhitha Rasanjana - Nalanda

Picture Gallery...
88th Battle Day one
4 Mar 2017

Nalanda all out for 144 runs. Suhanga Wijewardena 37 runs. Kavishka Anjula 3 wickets for 37 runs.

Ananda 160 for 5 wickets with Shammu Ashan not out 60.

For Nalanda Asela Kulatunga 3 wickets for 43 runs.

Asanka Gurusinghe appointed as Sri Lanka's Cricket Manager
3 Mar 2017

Maroons take pride in the fact that Asanka Gurusinghe, has recently been appointed Sri Lanka's Cricket Manager and are confident that his managerial skills will be a source of strength for Sri Lanka's future in cricket.

Gursinghe is well known as a technically accomplished No. 3 batsman and is described as the rock on which the Sri Lankan batting was founded for 11 years.

He is fondly remembered by all Sri Lankans for his match winning partnership with Aravinda de Silva, which brought glory to Sri Lanka in the world cup finals in 1996.

The maroons also remember him as the Nalanda Captain of 1985 who scored a stylish century in their big match that year.

The Battle of the Maroons Joint committee wishes Asanka Gurusinghe, another brilliant performance as Sri Lanka Cricket Manager.

Ananda and Nalanda conduct a very successful joint vehicle parade
by Sidath Waidyasekara | 1 March 2017

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee was formed in 2009 with a view to reviving the enthusiasm and interest of the Ananda Nalanda match and since then this event has been organised with great success and fanfare. This is the 9th occasion the joint organising committee has been entrusted with this huge task which they have been very successfully handling over the years.

There are over 150 eminent past students, 250 Prefects and Teachers of the two schools who jointly work to achieve this gigantic task. From the inception many new features have been added every year to the event and this year we expect a crowd of over 15,000 per day.

During the past vehicle parades to coincide with the match, were organised separately by students and old boys of the two schools on their own. In view of certain disturbing events among Sri Lankan school boys in the recent past the Police department was not in favour of granting permission for such vehicle parades this time. It was against this background that the Joint Organising committee was able to obtain approval from the Police Department for a joint vehicle parade, for the first time in the history, with the participation of both schools subsequent to a meeting we had with the Senior DIG Colombo and several senior police personnel, with regard to orgainising the match.

This historic event was held on Saturday 25th February. Old Boys of Nalanda lined up with their cars along Sri Dhamma Mawatha and reached Ananda Mawatha through Temple Road. The Anandians lined up along Ananda Mawatha then joined with the Nalanda crowd and the parade commenced around 8.30 am. Having taken the route through Kularatna Mawatha, Punchi Borella, Borella Junction, Ward Place, Eye Hospital Round about, Union Place and Slave Island Junction all of them reached the Galle Face Green. With more than 250 vehicles participating in the event not a single violation of traffic rules nor any type of misbehaviour was reported. There was a large crowd that gathered to witness this parade and every one was very happy to see the unity among the two greatest Buddhist institutes in Sri Lanka.

Upon reaching the Galle Face Green the participants were treated with some fabulous music which all of them enjoyed. Co-Chairmen of the BoM joint committee Lal Hewagama and Sanjeewa Perera addressed the gathering and pledged that this will be made an annual event in the future. The Principal of Ananda College, S.M. Keerthiratne also graced the occasion and everyone was appreciative of his participation and the contribution he made towards the success of the parade by taking a firm and courageous stand at a time the unity of Ananda and Nalanda had been placed at stake.

The BoM Joint organising committee feels that a lot of credit in organising this event on a grand scale should go to the Head Prefect,Pasindu Herath and the Prefects Guild of Ananda College. Their untiring efforts with their presence along the entire route, helping in controlling the traffic and helping people along the way was truly commendable.

The BoM joint committee notes with much sadness that prefects and students of Nalanda College were denied of this great experience. The Principal of Nalanda College did not seem to have recognised the importance of this exercise to strengthen the brotherhood among the two groups of students. It is rather unfortunate that they did not have the opportunity of being a part of this historic event and gaining valuable exposure on how diverse forces can combine as one team to achieve a common goal.

Picture Gallery...

Ananda & Nalanda CheerMaroons Brotherhood Parade
The 88th Battle
Lal Hewagama, Co-Chairmen, Battle of the Maroons Joint Organiz...

Lal Hewagama, Co-Chairmen, Battle of the Maroons Joint Organizing Committee #Ananda #Nalanda #BOM88 #cheermaroons #battle #cheer #countdown #srilanka #bigmatch #Papare #88THBIGMATCH

Posted by Battle of the Maroons on Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sanjeewa Perera, Co-Chairmen, Battle of the Maroons Joint Orga...

Sanjeewa Perera, Co-Chairmen, Battle of the Maroons Joint Organizing Committee #Ananda #Nalanda #BOM88 #cheermaroons #battle #cheer #countdown #srilanka #bigmatch #Papare #88THBIGMATCH

Posted by Battle of the Maroons on Saturday, February 11, 2017

Pasindu Herath - Head Prefect, Ananda College

Pasindu Herath - Head Prefect, Ananda College #Ananda #Nalanda #BOM88 #cheermaroons #battle #cheer #countdown #srilanka #bigmatch #Papare #88THBIGMATCH

Posted by Battle of the Maroons on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lusith Jayaweera - Head Prefect, Nalanda College

Lusith Jayaweera - Head Prefect, Nalanda College #Ananda #Nalanda #BOM88 #cheermaroons #battle #cheer #countdown #srilanka #bigmatch #Papare #88THBIGMATCH

Posted by Battle of the Maroons on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Leadership Development workshop for Ananda Nalanda prefects
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 14 Feb 2017

The Battle of the Maroons Joint organising Committee recently organised a very interesting leadership development workshop for students of the two Colleges at the DIMO Training Centre with the kind assistance of DIMO Managing Director Mr Ranjith Pandithage , himself an alumni of Ananda College.

The program was held at the state of the art auditorium of DIMO Ltd and about 250 prefects from the two schools who were present were enthralled by the delivery of two well known corporate trainers, Mr Deepal Sooriyarachchi an alumni of Ananda and Mr Dhammika Kalapuge an alumni of Nalanda, who are well reputed for their excellent presentations to many diverse forums.

Representing the BoM organising committee at this program, were Mr Jayantha Wickramasinghe President of Ananda OBA , Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala Executive President of Nalanda OBA, Lal Hewagama Co Chairman Ananda College and Sidath Widyasekera, former Co Chairman Nalanda College of the Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee. Ananda's Deputy Principal Mr Sarath Gunathilake and the Masters in Charge of Prefects for the two schools also graced the occasion.

The prefects were very appreciative of the initiative taken by the BoM Joint committee to arrange this program, and expressed their profound thanks to the two trainers at the end of the session.

Most of them commented that this was a unique life changing experience that would mould their characters and inspire them to do something to change the world and that the brotherhood that was further enhanced through this interactive session will certainly lead to Ananda and Nalanda continuing a lasting bond.

The BoM joint organising committee that has thus made a remarkable start to the 88th encounter, are most grateful to Mr Deepal Sooriyarachchi and Mr Dhammika Kalapuge and also to Mr Ranjith Pandithage for their assistance and Ananda OBA President Mr. Jayantha Wicramasinghe for taking the initiative and arranging sponsors to successfully conduct this program.
Picture Gallery...

The 42nd One Day encounter
Ananda wins comfortably despite a brave effort by Nalanda
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 20 Mar 2016

In a match that saw fortunes swinging from one side to another during a major part of the day, Ananda finally won the 42nd One Day encounter, with a convincing margin of 38 runs, thus registering their 6th successive win in this series.

Having been put into bat, Ananda had an early scare at 5 runs for the loss of 2 wickets and then slipped to 30 for 3 before some sensible batting by Sammu Ashan who scored 54 runs and put on a 76 run partnership for the 4th wicket with Asel Sigera who contributed with 30 runs, steadied their innings.

However they slumped to 171 runs for 8 wickets around the 35th over and Nalanda were sensing a victory target in the region of 200 to 225.

Ananda's vice captain Kavishka Anjula did not want to give in that easily and stroked a superb unbeaten 100, his century coming in the penultimate ball of their innings, having shared a 96 run stand for the 9th wicket with Dinuka Gimhana who scored 30 runs.

Nalanda's Kalana Perera with 2 for 35 and Umeshka Dilshan who had figures of 2 for 43 were the best bowlers for Nalanda.

Ananda finally ended up with a formidable score of 271 and Nalanda were equal to the task and were proceeding steadily at 171 for 2 at one stage with opener Nimnaka Ratnayake and Lakshitha Rasanjana sharing a second wicket partnership of 134 runs while both scoring 71 runs each.

Having lost 4 wickets thereafter at regular intervals and faced with an imminent defeat, Nalanda achieved some respectability through the batting of Suhanga Wijewardhane who scored 37 runs while Ashel Sigera took 3 wickets for 33 runs and Dileepa Jayalath captured 2 for 42 to bowl Nalanda out for 233 in the 49th over.

Kavishka Anjula the Ananda Vice Captain was adjudged the Man of the Match while the Best Batsman's award went to Lakshitha Rasanjana of Nalanda.

The Best Bowler award was won by Asel Sigera of Ananda and the Best Fielder of the match was Kasun Sandaruwan of Nalanda.

Ananda Nalanda 42nd One Day encounter postponed
10 Mar 2016

The 42nd One Day Encounter between Ananda and Nalanda will not be played on Sunday 13th March as scheduled earlier, as a mark of respect for the late Mahanayaka of Asigiriya Chapter, Most Venerable Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thero whose last rights will be performed on that day.

The new date for the one day match will be Sunday 20th March for which all tickets purchased for 13th March will be valid.

"Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee" wishes the supreme bliss of nirvana for the late Mayhanayake Thero.

Our warm wishes to Dinesh Chandimal
08 Mar 2016

Maroons take great pleasure in congratulating and extending our warm wishes to Dinesh Chandimal , who captained Ananda in 2009, on his appointment as Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka T20 World Cup team.

The Spirit of brotherhood wins as the 87th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 07 Mar 2016

It was another draw, but the spirit of brotherhood that was displayed on and off the field was certainly the winner at the 87th Battle of the Maroons, which was worked out at the SSC on 5th and 6th March.

Ananda skipper Nisal Fransisco won the toss and had no hesitation in inviting Nalanda to take first lease of the wicket expecting to take advantage of the life that the pitch would provide his bowlers.

Nalanda batsmen took up the challenge and prevented any major collapses, and were finally bowled out for 197 with opener Nimnaka Ratnayake top scoring with 44 runs before he was caught at mid wicket having mistimed a shot towards the square leg area. Malinga Amarasinghe and Lakshitha Rasanjana also made useful contributions of 37 runs and 35 runs respectively.

Supun Waragoda claimed 4 wickets for 13 runs for Ananda while Sammu Ashan and Dileepa Jayalath took 2 wickets each.

When Ananda batted, skipper Nisal Fransisco and Rahal Avishka held the Nalanda bowers at bay to end the first day on 55 for the loss of one wicket.

Resuming on day two Ananda batsmen clearly showed their intentions, as they rattled up 216 for 4 wickets before closing their innings. Rahal Avishka top scored for Ananda with 84 runs before being stumped by Kasun Sandaruwan off the bowling of Kavindu Bandara.

Asel Sigera and Kaveeshka Anjula were unbeaten on 41 and 44 respectively when Ananda skipper made the declaration.

Nalanda, already with a deficit of 19 runs, had a real real scare in their second innings when they lost 5 wickets for 42 runs with Sammu Ashan bagging the first 3 wickets to fall.

However they managed to force a draw in this 87th encounter with skipper Dasun Seneviratne scoring 25 and Suhanga Wijewardana remaining unbeaten on 40 when the match ended with the Nalanda score at 109 for 6. It was off spinner Supun Waragoda who claimed the other 3 Nalanda wickets to fall and his match performance of 7 wickets for 41 runs earned him the Man of the Match award.

Rahal Avishka and Sammu Ashan (both from Ananda) were adjudged the Best Batsman and Best Bowler respectively while the Best Fielder's award went to Nalanda's Lakshitha Rasanjana.

In a match that attracted so much interest with Ananda trying hard to force a win only to be thwarted by the resolute batting by the Nalandians, there was one feature that won the hearts of the spectators – the sportsmanship in which the game was played while the camaraderie in all the stands at the SSC was at it's best.

41st limited overs match
16 Mar 2015

The 41st limited overs match was concluded successfully on 16th at SSC.Ananda won the encounter by 05 wickets.
Nalanda - 150/8(42)
Kasun Sandaruwan - 41, Ravin Dissanayake - 30, Dilan Suraweera 22*, Sammu Ashan - 40/4
Ananda - 151/5 (33.2)
Senal Koralage - 23, Sammu Ashan - 50, Sahan Arachichige 45, Senura Perera - 2/2

Best Fielder Nipun Hagalla - Ananda
Best Bowler Sammu Ashan - Nalanda
Best Batsman Sahan Arachichige - Ananda
Man of the Match Shammu Ashan - Ananda

86th Battle ended in a draw
08 Mar 2015

Nalanda 1st Innining 239 all out for 84.2 overs, and the second day results as follows
Malinga Amarasinghe 29, Kavindu Bandara 50 , Dilan Suraweera 24
Kavishka Anjula 88/4, Dilantha Sandakan 45/4

Ananda 2nd Inninings 268 with 4 wickets in 48.2 overs
Lakkana Jayasekara 30, Senal Korale 32, Nilsal Fransisco 112 , Shammu Ashan 78

Best Fielder Sanath Aarachichige - Ananda
Best Bowler Ayantha De Silva - Nalanda
Best Batsman Nisal Fransiscu - Ananda
Man of the Match Shammu Ashan - Ananda

86th Battle of the Maroons First Day
07 Mar 2015

The 86th Battle of the Maroons inaugurated with the participation of two principals, teachers , students and the joint commitee officials of both schools. Nalanda won the toss and invited Ananda to bat. And at the end of the day the score card was as follows.
Ananda 245/9w declaired ,51 overs and 03 balls
Nisal Fransisco 53,Shummi Ashan 114, Nipun Chamika 24
Ayantha De Silva 32/5, Malik Peris 34/2
Nalanda 112/3w, 42 overs
Senura Perera 23,Ruwan Dasanka 53
Kanishka Anjana 55/2

Fifty Years Ago - When Ananda won after 24 years
by Ananda Sumanadasa | 23 February 2015

Played at the Colombo Oval on March 19th and 20th this was the 36th Battle of the Maroons. Anura Gamini Perera, one of the best batsmen in school cricket that year captained Ananda, and Shantha Peiris a fine all-rounder captained Nalanda. Going by the 1965 seasonÕs performance, Ananda had the edge over Nalanda having won three matches and lost one, while Nalanda had won one match and lost four.

Ananda winning the toss decided to bat first on a wicket that looked full of runs. The players were greeted at the middle by two experienced umpires Lucky Mayo and M Hamer. Nalanda opened the bowling with their two left-arm pacemen Anura de Silva and A Ponnamperuma both bowling round the wicket. AG Perera and A Sumanadasa started the innings comfortably with the former in his typical style belting a couple of fours in next to no time. However, with the score at 19 Perera fell to a full-blooded pull shot which was smartly taken by Amaraweera who flung himself to his left. Then three more batsmen Ð Laksman de Silva, Sumanadasa and Duminda Siriwardene Ð were back in the pavilion within a space of half an hour. The ideal batting wicket played as expected with no surprises. It was the batsmen who surprised all, playing well below expectations. Struggling at 28 for 4 in 50 minutes Ananda had only themselves to blame for the disastrous start. The Ananda dressing room was not a happy one. The early damage was done by Ponnamperuma and Vas Gunawardena and Anura de Silva. At this stage Ananda pinned their hopes on left-hander GC Perera and Tilak de Silva, who hit a century against St. BenedictÕs the previous year, to rescue the shambles of an innings. And rescue they did. Both batsmen batted with purpose and sound judgment punishing the loose ball to move the score to 91 for 4 at lunch.

|Read more |

The pride of Maroons
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 30 Jan 2015

Arjuna Ranatunga appointed as Ports & Shipping Minister and Gamini Jayawickrama Perera as Minister of Food Security

Our world cup winning Cricket Captain, Arjuna Ranatunga who represented the Ananda team in the Maroons Battle from 1980-1982, was recently appointed as the Minister of Ports & Shipping while Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, who captained the Nalanda team in the 31st Maroons Battle in 1960, was bestowed with the responsibility of being the Minister of Food Security in the new Cabinet of Ministers.

Battle of the Maroons, Joint Organising Committee of Ananda and Nalanda considers this a proud moment for the two schools and wishes them the best of success in these new roles.

Total of Rs 20 million for sports development at Ananda & Nalanda from the Battle of the Maroons
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 29 Dec 2014

The Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee recently presented Rs 1.5 million each to the Principals of Ananda and Nalanda, from the profits made at the 85th Maroons Battle ( of 2014.)

Lal Hewagama, Sidath Waidyasekera, Jayasiri Ittepana, Mohan Gunadasa, Manjula Wijemanne, Samiru Muthugama and Bimal Wijesinghe represented the Joint Organising Committee at a simple ceremony organised at Ananda College, to hand over the cheques to the two principals.

The Joint Organising Committee takes pride in the fact that they have been able to contribute Rs 20 million so far to the two schools ( Rs 10 million each) from profits made at their Big match since the joint committee undertook organising the match in 2009.

|Read more |

Thank you for the memories ... Mahela
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 16 Aug 2014

You have been a great ambassador for the game of cricket - a true sportsman in word and deed.

Though winning matches have always brought joy and pride to our nation, you have shown truly remarkable qualities in accepting victory and defeat alike.

You will remain etched in our minds for your graceful artistry in batting which has made it look a very simple task and for your tactical acumen in leadership and motivational skills that has brought glory to Sri Lanka many a time.

The records you have set are too many to list but the highest test score of 374 you made against South Africa and your world record partnership with your friend Kumar Sangakkara would stand tall for a long time.

Sri Lanka will not forget the way you led the team to the world cup final in 2007 and your historic century in the 2011 world cup finals. Though we had to end as runners up, on both occasions you and your team won the hearts of the cricket world with the exemplary mannerism and conduct off the field, the same way you played the game to its true spirit on the field.

You have truly lived up to the resolution you made as a 15 year old lad, "that one day you will do your best to bring pride and glory to Sri Lanka"

We as Nalandians are more proud of you for The Spirit of Cricket Award you won from ICC, than any of your other awards, because that personifies the real character of Mahela we know.

Thank you Mahela, for the beautiful memories which will certainly linger on ...

40th One Day Encounter

Taking first lease of the wicket Ananda scored 242 for 08 wickets at the end of their 50 overs in the 40th limited overs match. Sahan Arachchige top scored with 89 runs and Pasindu Thitmadura gave him good support with a knock of 38 to help them put up a formidable total for Ananda.

In reply Nalanda had scored 16 runs for the loss of 02 wickets by the end of 06 overs when the match was interrupted by rain. As the rain continued till late evening , the 40th one day encounter had to be abandoned without a decision.

| Awards Ceremony |

| Picture Gallery |

85th Battle ended in a draw

Ananda were all out for 170 runs on day one of the 85th Battle of the Maroons. Sahan Arachichige was the highest scorer for them with 40 runs while Lakkana Jayasekera contributed with 36 runs. Nalanda's opening bowler Anuththara Madawa captured 4 Ananda Wickets for 32 runs. The match had to be stopped due to bad weather immediately after Nalanda started batting.

On the second day Nalanda scored 248 for 5 wickets in reply to Ananda's total of 170. Senura Amarasinghe scored 62 runs and Pramud Hettiwatta scored 46 while Malinga Amarasinghe who top scored for Nalanda with 90 not out had to miss out on a possible "Big Match century" as the match had to be stopped after Tea due to bad light and rain. Thus the 85th Battle of the Maroons ended in a draw with rain and bad light interrupting play on both days.

| Picture Gallery |

The Maroons are great ...
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 03rd Apr 2014

Way back in 1970's I bought a "pin-on badge" at a Big Match between Ananda and Nalanda and the inscription on that said "Ananda - Nalanda , Maroons are Great" - with the crests of the two schools printed in Maroon on a white back ground. There were no other colours on this badge. No gold , no silver only Maroon lettering on a white background.

Todate every time I visit the Big Match this badge has been one priced possession I carry with pride. But why ? Why are the Maroons of Ananda and Nalanda great ?

They are great because it does not matter to them whether they are from one school or the other as long as they could respect each other in true sportsmanship on and off the field. - because they believe that what matters more is the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood than who wins or loses when they meet each other in their legendary cricket encounter year after year, now dating back over 8 decades.

Maroons are great because it does not matter to them whether your position as a leader will be at stake as long as you fight for the rights of your team mates, like how the great Arjuna Ranatunga did in 1995 when our spin king Muttiah Muralitharan was penalised wrongly for his bowling action.

They are great because they value being honest irrespective of whether you win or lose a game or miss a milestone like how the great Mahela Jayawardena walked out 9 runs short of a Test century, though at a crucial stage of a match against New Zealand, when he knew he had been caught behind.

Maroons are great because they know that - when the time comes for the scorer to write against their names, he will not consider whether they were laced with Gold or lined with Silver as long as they have played the game in true sportsmanship of the Maroons.

Long live the spirit of true Maroons ...

Workshop for Cricketers from Ananda and Nalanda
by Varuna Ratnaweera & Prabhath Karriapperuma | 31st Mar 2014

In keeping with the tradition of having a familiarisation workshop on new laws of the game, the Sub Committee for Technical Affairs of the Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee conducted an interesting workshop on 26th March for players from Ananda and Nalanda.

The Masters in Charge and the Prefects of Games from both schools were present at this workshop conducted by Mr Sena Nandiweera, a premier umpire in Sri Lanka, who briefed the participants about new rules of the game and also stressed on the spirit of sportsmanship that should prevail throughout the game.

This workshop provided an ideal training ground for all the young cricket stars who are anxiously waiting for their turn to take part in the most important match in their school cricket career.

The Technical Committee wishes to express its appreciation to all participants who were present on this important occasion.

Battle of the Maroons, contributes to the development of Sports at Ananda & Nalanda

The joint organising committee has allocate Rs 2.5 million to each school, out of the profits of the 84th Maroons Battle and the payments were presented to the two Principals at a simple ceremony held at Ananda College on 11th of October.

| Read more |

The 39th limited Overs match

The 39th limited overs match was concluded successfully on 05th May at R premadasa stadium.Ananda won the encounter.

| Picture Gallery |

Ananda - Nalanda 39th One day match on 05th May at R Premadasa Intl. Stadium
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 30th Apr 2013

Ananda College, Colombo, established on November 1, 1886, by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott hass been a symbol of buddhism within and beyond the borders of Sri Lanka since its inception.

In the early 1920's a few class rooms of Ananda, were set up at the far end of their play ground to house the primary section. The founding father of Nalanda - Mr P de S Kularatne - had the intention of turning this unit into a separate educational entity and thus transferred a set of "bright sparks" to these new classes. A few years from then saw the birth of a new educational entity which was named Nalanda with Mr Gunapala Malalasekera as its first Principal.Thus Nalanda sprung in to existence as a part of Ananda - like when a father builds another house for a younger brother in a family to stay in - Ananda and Nalanda are just two components of one family.

Today, as two giants in the educational sphere in the country, Ananda and Nalanda have produced a vast array of illustrious sons whom we can all be proud of as Sri Lankans.

It was in 1924 that they started the rich tradition of a friendly cricketing encounter - now called "the Battle of the Maroons", just to signify the competitive nature in which the game is played - though its more of a "cricket festival" of the maroons than a "battle".

In 1975, the year that the first Cricket World Cup was played, Ananda and Nalanda commenced a series of One Day encounters.That first encounter saw the two teams captained by Sidath Wettimuni and the late Anura Ranasinghe, who was also a member of the Inaugural World Cup team of Sri Lanka.That match ended in a close finish Ananda emerging winners by just 3 runs having restricted Nalanda to 192 for 9 wickets after scoring 195 runs in their turn.

The series of one day matches between the two schools have produced two centurions, Ananda's Marvan Atapattu scoring 118 in 1989 and Nalanda's Gihan Rupasinghe , 101 in 2006.

Ananda has won the One Day encounter on 22 occasions while Nalanda has 14 wins to her credit with 2 matches having ended without decisions due to bad weather.

Led by Thushara Samarakoon and Lahiru Jayakody respectively Ananda and Nalanda will battle it out for the P de S Kularatne Trophy, in their 39th One Day encounter on Sunday 05th May at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium commencing at 9.30 am.

Two records for Nalanda in the 84th Maroons Battle
The highest total and the best partnership
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 06 Mar 2013

When the Nalanda batsmen knocked 298 for 5 wickets and declared their innings immediately after their star performer Pramud Hettiwatte reached his century in the 84th Maroons Battle, they had surpassed the highest total in the series by Nalanda - 290 runs scored in 1954.

Thus they broke a record that had stood the test of time for almost six decades with a splendid batting display, boosted by 4 noteworthy knocks. Opener Woshantha de Silva scoring a quick fire 37, Malinga Amarasinghe scoring a patient 60 runs before Avishka de Silva was partnered by Pramud Hettiwatte in an unbeaten partnership of 167 runs

That partnership is also the highest for Nalanda in this series , eclipsing the 160 run stand between Carl Obaysekeara and Ashley de Silva way back in 1950. Avishka de Silva was 77 not out while Pramud Hettiwatte who stroked the ball to all corners of the field remained unbeaten on 102, with 12 boundaries to his credit, when Nalanda decided to declare with 5 wickets down.

Pramud's innings was a treat to watch as he mixed caution with aggression and helped Nalanda to this record total with his partner Avishka.

| Read more |

84th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw
Pramud Hettiwatte and Dhanuka Pathirana shines with centuries and Nalanda scores their highest ever
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 05 Mar 2013

It was as far back as 1954 that Nalanda had reached the 290 run mark in a Big Match against Ananda. And 290 was Nalanda's highest total in this series until they came in to the 84th Maroons Battle, with a not so impressive batting record during the season.

Having been put into bat by the Ananda skipper, Thushara Samarakoon, their chances did not look that great having lost 3 early wickets including their skipper, Lahiru Jayakodi, but opener Woshantha Silva with a hard hit 37 runs and Malinga Amarasinghe with a patient 60 runs added some respectability to the scorecard.

Nalanda rattled a score of 298 and declared their innings with only 5 wickets down, in an attempt to grab the advantage of a wicket or two before close of play.

It was all due to a solid batting display during the fifth wicket partnership of 167 runs between Pramud Hettiwatte who joined Avishka De Silva with the score at 131, that enabled Nalanda to take their total past the highest score in the series.

| Read more |

Beyond the boundary lines
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 01st Mar 2013

As the month of March begins, the bands are ready with their drums tuned, the trumpets have been polished and the catchy beats have been practiced.

Gold Silver and Maroon flags keep flying high.
Ananda and Nalanda are laced with huge school flags. Wrist bands, head bands, pin on badges and many other souvenirs become available to the students. The clamour to buy them is unbelievable as many a junior boy wants to show their support for the "big heroes" on the cricket field.

The prefects of the two schools play a friendly cricket match, the masters and teachers match their skills, not only in a game of cricket but at netball too.

The big day is about to dawn. Strategic battle plans go on the drawing boards with guidance from the respective masters. There is a refreshing breeze in the air as the two schools that have produced the most number of international cricket stars in Sri Lanka and 6 national cricket captains get ready for their annual encounter.

| Read more |

Dinesh Chandimal named as Sri Lanka captain of the T20 team
13th Feb 2013

Another outstanding cricketer from Ananda College, Dinesh Chandimal, who captained his team in the Battle of the Maroons just 4 years ago was yesterday named as Sri Lanka captain of the T20 team.

He has also been appointed Sri Lanka's Vice Captain in Tests and one-day internationals until the end of January 2014 according to a statement issued by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on 14th February.

A proud moment for Ananada and Nalanda on the eve of the 84th Battle of the Maroons.

Battle of the Maroons, contributes to the development of Sports at Ananda & Nalanda
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 01st Feb 2013

Since 2008 when the Battle of the Maroons was played at the SSC Grounds for the 80th time, this friendly cricketing encounter between Sri Lanka's two leading Buddhist educational institutions has experienced a new beginning where there has been a revival of the spectator enthusiasm with the introduction of a carnival atmosphere.

| Read more |

The 38th limited Overs match
by Manjula Fernando | 12 March 2012

The 38th limited overs match was concluded successfully on 11th at SSC.Ananda won the encounter.
Ananda - 232/10(49.1)
Thushara Samarakoon - 71, Venuka Asahan - 45*, Kusal Dias - 40/3
Nalanda - 211/10 (45.1)
Lahiru Jayakody - 82,Ishan Rangana - 43, Pasindu Madhushan - 36/2
Ananda won by 21 runs.

| Picture Gallery |

The 83rd Battle of the Maroons
by Manjula Fernando | 05 March 2012

The 83rd Battle of the Maroons was ended in a draw at SSC.

| See the Highlights |

HE the President - the most distinguished old Nalandian, being presented with the first ticket of the 83rd Battle of the Maroons

| Read more |

HE signs the Special Big Match plaque

H E the President, the most distinguished Nalandian, was the first to sign the commemorative plaque of the 83rd Battle of the Maroons at a special ceremony held at Nalanda College.

| Read more |

83rd Battle of the Maroons - Ananda vs Nalanda – the memories are great...
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 29th Feb 2012

As we approach the beginning of March the excitement is gradually building to the Big Match season, the time when the future stars of Sri Lanka cricket show case their talent to the rest of the country.

They keep dreaming about this day for months and months. Whether it be the players, the students or the prefects of the schools, this really is a big occasion for them , an occasion they look forward to from the beginning of the year while being keen partners of all the school matches in the season. It is the time for them to be clad immaculately in their cricketing attire or their white uniforms as the case may be and represent their respective colleges with pride – something any schoolboy would remember for the rest of their lives.

| Read more |

Ananda and Nalanda – a nursery for many great cricketers
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 18th Feb 2012

The first weekend in March will see the 'giants' in Sri Lanka Cricket gather at the SSC grounds. While the young cricket stars from Ananda and Nalanda take the field to match their skills in the 83rd Battle of the Maroons, the stalwarts from yesteryears will be there reminiscing the good olden days when they strolled down the ground to create many memorable moments for followers of the game in Sri Lanka. .

Ananda and Nalanda, together have not only produced the highest number of international cricket stars for Sri Lanka, they have also gifted us with excellent Cricket Administrators, elite Cricket umpires, respected match referees, leading sports media personnel and very importantly talented commentators with brilliant oratorical skills who were instrumental in popularising the game to this extent through the lengths and breadths of the country. .

| Read more |

Maroons Nite 2012 - The Gala dinner dance

The inaugural dinner dance organized by the battle of the maroons joint organizing committee together with old Anandian’s sports club and old Nalandians sports club, was a huge success..

| Read more |

Sri Lanka Telecom - Gold Sponsor of the 83rd Ananda Nalanda Battle of the Maroons
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 04th Jan 2012

Sri Lanka Telecom announced their Gold sponsorship of the 83rd Battle of the Maroons at a press conference that the “Battle of the Maroons Joint Organising Committee” held at the Atrium Lounge – Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Wednesday 4th January.

| Read more |

Do you know the correct way to play Cricket ?
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 01st Dec 2011

If you think you know a lot about cricket just because you can handle a bat with elegance or bowl some good yorkers or googlies that will put the opposing batsmen in a fix – you are certainly missing some very important things that this noble game can teach you.

The Joint Committee set up to organise the 'Battle of the Maroons 2012' – the traditional Big Match between Ananda and Nalanda which will take its 83rd step on 3rd and 4th March next year, organised what one could call a unique programme, hitherto not thought of by any other school in Sri Lanka on Monday 14th November at the Language Centre Hall at Nalanda College.

This was a Personality Development Programme for about 70 young cricketers in all, 35 from each school, that included the entire squads of both the first XI and second XI teams for a knowledge gathering exercise.

| Read more |

The 83rd Battle of the Maroons planning kick off
by Manjula Fernando | 02nd Oct 2011

The inaugural planning meeting for the 83rd battle of the maroons was held on 30th September. The joint committee for the next term will be, headed by Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga (Ananda) and Mr. Sidath Waidyasekara (Nalanda).

The 82nd Battle funds distribution to Schools
by Manjula Fernando | 09th June 2011

A ceremony was held at Nalanda College , language lab on 08th June 2011 to distribute the profit earned from the 82nd battle of the maroons to two schools Ananda and Nalanda.

| Read more |

The 37th limited Overs match
by Manjula Fernando | 13 March 2011

The 37th limited overs match was concluded successfully on 13th at SSC.Ananda won the encounter.

| Awards Ceremony |

| Picture Gallery |

Galaxy of stars at the SSC
Nalanda Past cricketers pay tribute to their coaches
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 08th March 2011

Last Saturday and Sunday ( 5th and 6th March) saw a galaxy of cricketing greats gathering at the SSC, not only those who were on the turf for the 82nd Battle of the Maroons, but those from all walks of life that were there to witness this fascinating cricket fiesta.

And a prelude to this great gathering took place on Wednesday - 2nd March - evening at the SSC pavilion when the Past Cricketers’ Association of Nalanda College (NPCA), felicitated their former coaches and masters in charge who in their prime days had been the mentors behind the great cricketers that Nalanda had produced.

| Read more |

The 82nd Battle of the Maroons
by Manjula Fernando | 06 March 2011

The 82nd Battle of the Maroons was ended in a draw on 06th at SSC.

| See the Highlights |

Ananda Nalanda - A Friendly Battle
by Athula Jayasekera | 03rd March 2011

It started in 1924 as a friendly game between two brothers, in a cricket match - and from the very next year it became an annual encounter which has now blossomed into a much sought after Big Match among the Sri Lankan cricketing public “the Battle of the Maroons”. This is the 82nd time these two leading educational institutions meet on a green surface to bring out the best in them . During this long history of 81 years hardly any one would remember any rivalry between them . Although they are called Traditional Rivals there is no rivalry shown other than when in the middle of the ground and battling it out to get the best of the cherry.

During this period many great men have played this match and hundreds of thousands of people have watched this encounter thus making it an event with lots of traditions and historical values. This much awaited match is played during the weekend on a Saturday and Sunday in the month of March , unless the Full Moon Poya falls on one of these days . Match dates are pre fixed and under no circumstances will these dates be changed . The 82nd Battle takes place on the 5th and 6th of march 2011, on which day the Sri lankan cricket team meets Australians in a hotly contested world cup league match . This is the month of Big Matches.

| Read more |

Ananda and Nalanda–A symbol of Sri Lankan Cricket
by Nalin Abeysekera | 03rd March 2011

Last Sunday I saw a significantly small article written at one of the leading Sunday national news paper in English on annual battle between Ananda and Nalanda. This is very common in last decades. But again we can observe more articles (especially in English) which went for pages written on other big matches played in Sri Lanka. But I think there is a symbolic importance in the big mach between Ananda Vs Nalanda than any other schools in Sri Lanka. Simply they are the only 2 schools produced more test cricketers to the nation! But traditionally cricket and English go inline and there was a myth that if you know English then only you can play cricket.

| Read more |

How Bandula Warnapura broke the batting record
by Lalith Mallawarachchi | 02nd March 2011

Daltan Wakwella’s article on ‘How P.M Jayathilake scored 111 ’ dragged my memories to my schooldays in 1972 to Bandula Warnapura’s record braking knock of 118 (not out). As Dalten has mentioned by then many players have attempted to pass this magic score of 111(not out) by PM without much success, closest being Carl Obeysekara who got out for 111.

Bandula captained Nalanda in 1971 and had an illustrious career as a school boy cricketer being a member of the Sri Lankan School cricket team who toured India and later captaining the schools team in the successful series with the visiting Australian School cricket team. By the Big Match day in March 1972 every cricket enthusiast’s attention was drawn to Bandula who has already had a successful season with a number of centuries for Nalanda under the captaincy of Nandadeva Perera.

Those days as school boys the only page we used to read in the English news papers was the last page and on that Friday the Daily News ran it’s sports page head line as "Warnapura against might of Ananda". Ananda in that season had the most number of wins and were favourites to become the best School Cricket team of the year.

| Read more |

Cricket match without boundary lines
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 01st March 2011

The 10th Cricket World cup is here and what better times for us Sri Lankans to reminisce the glory of our triumph in 1996 and savour the good things that this noble game of cricket teaches us.

While joining the millions of Sri Lankans who fervently hope that we would repeat the feat, a sincere wish that goes across my mind is - that our team will remind the world the true spirit in which this game should be played.

Amidst all the euphoria of the world cup that is taking centre stage, we in Sri Lanka will get a rare opportunity of witnessing another great cricketing encounter that has enlivened this spirit and continued in all its splendour year after year for over 8 decades – when Ananda takes on Nalanda in their 82nd Maroons encounter at the SSC on 5th and 6th of March.

Way back in the early 1920's a few class rooms for Ananda College were set up at the far end of their play ground to house their primary section. The founding father of Nalanda - Mr P de S Kularatne - had the intention of turning this unit into a separate educational entity and thus transferred a set of “bright sparks” to these new classes. A few years from then saw the birth of a new educational entity which was named Nalanda with Mr Gunapala Malalasekera as its first Principal.

Thus Nalanda sprung in to existence as a part of Ananda – like when a father builds another house for a younger brother in a family to stay in – Ananda and Nalanda are just two components of one family.

As two giants in the educational sphere in the country today, Ananda and Nalanda have produced a vast array of illustrious sons whom we can all be proud of as Sri Lankans and most importantly the brotherly spirit that continues to exist among the two schools is something that is unique in any part of the world.

| Read more |

The 82nd Battle to use the RF ID Technology
by Manjula Fernando | 24th January 2011

The 82nd Battle of the Maroons , the Maroons celebration of the year will be held on 05th and 06th March and the One day match will be played on 13th of March at the SSC. This will be an event for the whole family where entertainment will be provided for everyone irrespective of ther age. The joint committee has also taken steps to show the Sri lanka – Australia day-night match telecast on giant screens where all of us can enjoy the world cup match under the stars.The 82nd Battle of the Maroons , the Maroons celebration of the year will be held on 05th and 06th March and the One day match will be played on 13th of March at the SSC. This will be an event for the whole family where entertainment will be provided for everyone irrespective of ther age. The joint committee has also taken steps to show the Sri lanka – Australia day-night match telecast on giant screens where all of us can enjoy the world cup match under the stars.

Last year the IT Team of the joint committee, successfully used RF ID technology for selected tents (Brothers and Family). This year this innovative technology will be used for all the tents, where an RF ID card will be issued instead of standard tear off tickets. The SSC will be covered with a wireless network and the spectators' in/out times will be recorded on a real-time basis. This will help the organizing committee to stream-line the ticketing process and get statistics on ticket sales on a live updated basis.

Spectators will have a choice of the following Tents to decide where they want to match from -
Ananda Maroons
Family 01 for Primary school Parents
Family 02 for Upper school Parents

Unlike last time , each tent will have separate entrances and exits, and the tents will be provided with the best of entertainment. The “Brothers” Ticket holders will have the privilege of moving around and visiting any of the above tents at anytime.

The 82nd Battle of the Maroons planning underway
by Manjula Fernando | 03rd December 2010

A simple ceremony was held at Ananda College , Centenary hall on 02nd December 2010 to distribute the profit earned from the 81st battle of the maroons to two schools Ananda and Nalanda.

| Read more |

The 36th limited Overs match
by Manjula Fernando | 15 March 2010

The 36th limited overs match was concluded successfully on 14th at SSC. Ananda won the match with total of 207 runs while Nalanda was all out for 169.

| See the Highlights |

The 81st Battle of the Maroons
by Manjula Fernando | 08 March 2010

The 81st Battle of the Maroons was concluded successfully on 07th at SSC.

| See the Highlights |

The 81st Battle of the Maroons to create the history in Sri Lankan sports, by introducing RF ID Technology
by Manjula Fernando | 05 March 2010

The 81st Battle of the Maroons will create the history in Sri Lankan sports, by introducing RF ID (Radio Frequency Identification Device), Technology to track the Spectators.

The Spectators would be given an RF ID card as opposed to the conventional tear off tickets. The cards are to be brought closer to the Proximity Reader as and when the spectators in-Gated and out-Gated. The Gates are equipped with the Readers and there will be a Display, to monitor spectator In and Out movements.

This would streamline the ticketing process as opposed to a third person checking the tickets manually as in conventional process.

The System was fully designed and implemented by the Battle of the Maroons Joint Committee IT team.

Battle of the Maroons going strong!
Ananda and Nalanda meet for the 81st time in cricket
by Athula Jayasekera | 05 March 2010

The traditional cricket encounter between the two leading Buddhist institutions Ananda and Nalanda will be played this weekend. This is the 81st occasion they battle it out for cricketing supremacy.
Over the years these two schools have developed a unique tradition in this series while the game of cricket is played according to the highest standards in the world. This was quite evident when the Sri Lankan Cricket team won the spirit of cricket award twice under the proud captaincy of Mahela Jayawardena who learned the basics of the game, its finer points and values in his younger days at Nalanda. Cricketers produced by these two schools have always been maintaining high standards at any level of the game.

| Read more |

Cricket - the way it should be played
by Varuna Ratnaweera | 02 March 2010
The 81st Battle of the Maroons, Press Conference & Web Launch
by Manjula Fernando | 26 Feb 2010

The 81st Battle of the Maroons Press Conference and the Web Launch was held at SSC on 25th, with the participation of principal sponsors, Sri lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Telecom/Mobitel.

Mrs. Leisha De Silva Chandrasena the Chairperson of Sri lanka Telecom, Mr. Suren J Amarasekara, CEO/Sri Lanka Telecom/Mobitel and Mrs. Vijitha Ratnayake, Deputy Chief Corporate Officer, Sri Lanka Telecom participated together with the Big match Joint committee Chairmen Mr.Upali Dharmadasa, Mr.Ravi Ahangama, Ananda College Principal Mr L.M.D.Dharmasena , Nalanda College Deputy Principal Sarath Gunathilake and the two captains Matheesha Perera and Dinuk Jayasinghe.

| Read more |

The first Ticket sold at the auspicious time
by Manjula Fernando | 19 Feb 2010

The first Ticket for the 81stBattle of the Maroons was sold to Big Match Joint Committee Co-Chairman Mr. Upali Dharmadasa. This was done at the Nalanda college, Language center at an auspicious time on 18th of February. Representatives from both schools, including members of the Joint Organising committee, Principals, Prefects and other well wishers were present on this occasion.

| Read more |

How P.M Jayathilake scored 111 in 1928
by Dalton Wakwella | 24 Feb 2010