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Murali Cup an effort to develop cross cultural friendships in Sri Lanka

By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor

Cricket is still a widely popular sport in the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka. Each region of Sri Lanka has its own version of history during and after the civil war ended. In1996 Sri Lanka’s stunning win over Australia in the Wills cricket world Cup finals prompted the Sri Lankan fans to set aside ethnic differences to cheer and clap on the streets of Sri Lanka as the islanders seized the win in Lahore, Pakistan.


Entertainment at the  Kilinochchi Central College grounds during the Murali T 20 Cup

Muttiah Muralitharan, the indomitable spinner became a global cricketing star in Sri Lanka’s first ever cricket World Cup victory. Even though the Civil war in Sri Lanka had a dramatic effect on the entire nation, the passion for cricket among Northern and Southern people of the country grew in popularity and served as a means to unite a country that was so torn apart by the brutal three decade old conflict. Today, more than four years after the civil war ended in Sri Lanka the Murali Harmony Cup tournament, named after the legendary cricketer, is one of the greatest inter-country cricketing competitions from the post war era that was held for the second time in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.

The Tournament encourages talented school cricketers in rural areas and in war –affected  North and Eastern Provinces  to showcase  their  talents and  develop cross cultural  friendships. This year’s   tournament saw Twelve Under-19 teams and eight women's teams competing in thirty four Twenty20 matches. The Sri Lankan Security forces present in the Northern Province, the Foundation of Goodness a charity organization from the South of the Island and various local and international private companies played an important role in organizing and supporting the tournament.

                                    

                                     Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara                         Charlie Austin  Murali Cup Organizing Committee                            

 

The five-day Murali Harmony T 20 Cup 2013 cricketing tournament was inaugurated by Sir Ian Botham, a former England cricketing all-rounder as the Chief Guest and Mahela Jayawardene, a former Sri Lankan cricket captain as the Guest of Honor on 1st November 2013 in Kilinochchi. The Kilinochchi Central College grounds, St Patrick's College grounds in Jaffna, Oddusudan Maha Vidyalaya (MV) grounds Vavuniya Central College grounds, Mankulam MV grounds were the five venues in the Northern province of the island where the five day tournament was held. 

Special Guest Seated Colonal Ajith Wickramasekara, Kilinochchi  Security Forces, Brigadier Athula Balagamage Brigadier General Staff Security Force Headquarters Kilinochchi,  Brigadier Manoj Mudannayake Commander Forward Maintenance Regional Security Center Kilinochchi

 

The passion for cricket in the former war torn  Killinochchi district easily matches those of other provinces in the country. The legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara was the chief guest at the tournament held in Kilinochchi Central College grounds  on 3rd  November 2013 when the  Kilinochchi Combine cricketers from the Northern Province played against Seenigama cricketers from the Southern province of the Island. The ground was packed with excited fans from Kilinochchi wanting to support their home side.


Kilinochchi Combine cricket team

 

Defending champions St Peter’s College of Colombo retained this year’s Murali Harmony T 20 Cup with a four wicket win over Trinity College of Kandy.  The Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan presented this year’s Murali Harmony T 20 Cup tournament to Kavinda de Tissera of St Peters College captain on 5th November 2013 at the Kilinochchi Central College. For the first time in decades, the 2012 and this year s, tournament connected more than 300 young cricketers across the country overcoming its ethnic differences through inter-country cricket competition.


Entertainment at the  Kilinochchi Central College grounds during the Murali T 20 Cup

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Nov/Dec 2017 Edition

 
 
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