Jun 11, 7 years ago

Keeping the spirit of sportsmanship alive…

Keeping the spirit of sportsmanship alive…

Anandians as well as Nalandians ” – Captain of the 96′ World Cup Cricket Champion Team, Arjuna Ranatunga. Compile from the speech given by Chief Guest and former Anandian as well as Captain of the Cricket Team that won the 1996 Wills Cricket World Cup, Arjuna Ranatunga at the inauguration of the inter-college six-member cricket tournament organised by the 2000 batch of Ananda and Nalanda past pupils.

I see both Ananda and Nalanda College as one school united by a bond between brotherhood. That is how we learn to think in school. It is also the greatest strength of both schools. Actually, at the time that we play cricket in school, Ananda did not even have its own cricket grounds. We used the Nalanda cricket grounds for practices . We would allocate different days of the week for practices and play with great unity and brotherhood. The ‘Big Match’s’ of those days was conducted in a very pleasing manner. The two teams that took part in those matches even ate at the same table. So strong was the bond between the two schools as well as between the players who play at the match.

However, today, the two teams are seated and served at different tables. I even mentioned this to the principal of our school, suggesting that both teams be seated together as before. Some may consider these to be minor things. However I know from experience that it is small changes in these that change the course of history. It is from such small instances that the bonds of brotherhood and mutual affection are strengthened. A great example is how players from both Ananda and Nalanda had the opportunity to play for the National Cricket Team. These bonds between brotherhood went so far as to help in securing the World Cup for Sri Lanka. This is true not just of cricket but also of crucial moments in our country’s journey, when Nalandians stood by Anandians, creating a wall of strength as they display their love and loyalty for their race and religion. This is the heritage that both schools should carry forward.

The brotherhood of the two schools should never be marred by a sport such as cricket. However, by recent reports, It appears that this bonds has been greatly weakened in present times. This is something that brings sorrow to us all. It is because of this that we need to engrave this message in the hearts of the students of both schools. We shouldn’t make decisions that drive them further apart. Especially the principals, Old Boys’ Associations and School Development Associations should come forward to create this pleasant environment. Both our schools were begun with the goal of creating brave and patriotic citizens through an education based on Buddhist principles and values. The acceptance of Anandians and Nalandians in society is nothing to be surprised about. That is our pride and our strength. Throughout history there have been great men from bothAnanda and Nalanda. It should be. So In future as well. As past Anandians we should do everything within our ability to create a conducive environment for this.

I see this effort of the 2000 Ananda batch of a commendable effort at a time of needs. We should all give our unstinted support towards such efforts. Over the past 15-20 years it has been my experience when touring various countries, that every time we needed assistance. There would always be an Anandian or at least a Nalandian, close by. At each of those instances I have been modestly proud . When looking at the field of sports. There have been many Anandians and Nalandians who brought glory to our country, especially in cricket. They have been the schools that gave Sri Lanka’s national team the majority of its players. In the past, the goal of each of these players was bringing glory of one’s country before a self.

We followed the examples of those who went before us. However, as all of you know, today all this has been drowned in money. The ‘sale’ of the sport of cricket has created an environment where cricketers cannot act with thoughts of their country. Personal success and maintaining their position in the team has taken priority over victory for the country. To act as a united team has become a difficult thing today. Rather than the concept of country before a self, the concept of money before country has arisen. Even in the past we had countless opportunities to use cricket to earn money. But all we wanted to do was bringing glory of our country, not to earn as much as we could. Undoubtedly winning and losing is part of cricket. You also can’t win every game.

Still, It is a pity to use these as an excuse to lose the valuable opportunities given to us. Sri Lankan fans are not only intelligent but also able to face both victories as well as losses. We should all to work towards fulfilling their hopes and bringing glory to our country. Representing one’s country is a rare and precious opportunity and this call of duty to the country should be taken to heart. Every player should realise that their place in life is due to their country. Whatever the situation, We should at least try to guide the children who come out of our schools. This is not only for the school or country but also as an example to future generations. Our population is looking very closely at Anandian and Nalandian players. We should lay the foundation for our players to become exemplary individuals, right from the beginning at school. Ananda and Nalanda Colleges were instituted for the benefit of the future of the country and its citizens.

Whatever happen we need to produce good countrymen that possesses to love and loyalty for their nation, race and religion. At every opportunity every one of us should support these efforts in every possible way. By doing. So I believe that we will be fulfilling a national responsibility.

© sportsinfo staff | Triomedia PPL

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