06.08.2021,13:08 191 0

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

Cricket was a European game in its initial stages. Cricket was introduced to Sri Lanka by the British during the period of colonisation. They were seen to be a team of underdogs in the early years, but this team went on to win the World Cup and the ICC Twenty20 World Cup. There have been many cricket legends who were part of this team and this team continues to garner new cricketing talents. Although the current international performance of Sri Lanka has not been up to the standards of the past, they are trying quite hard to regain the glory of the past.

History

The first match on Sri Lankan (then called Ceylon) ground was played by the British. The earliest reported match in Sri Lanka took place on 5 September 1832, this match began the cricket club’s formation in the country. The oldest first-class cricket club i.e. the Colombo Cricket Club was formed in 1863, this started the regular matches of cricket between various regiments of the British. In 1882, Ivo Bligh’s cricket team played an odds match, 18 against 11 in Colombo against the European team. In 1888, England’s team under the captaincy of George Vernon toured Ceylon. In 1890, the Australian team played in Colombo. Elphinstone College, Bombay was the first Indian team to tour Sri Lanka in 1903-04.

In July 1922, a national cricket board to govern and promote the game of cricket was formed as the Ceylon Cricket Association (CCA). The maiden first-class match was played between Rockwood’s Ceylon 11 vs W.E Lucas’ Bombay at nondescripts ground in Colombo. The Bombay team included Indian Test batsman CK Nayudu. Ceylon won that match by 7 wickets. The then Australian and England cricket teams used to play in Ceylon their practice matches.

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

University of Ceylon Cricket Team 1962/63 (source)

History of Test Cricket

After beating Pakistan A team in Ceylon and the Indian team in India, the Ceylon team aimed to tour England in the hope to attain the coveted Test status. This tour included a match at Lord’s against the Marylebone Cricket Club. The Board of Control for Cricket in Ceylon had insufficient funds to go ahead with this tour and private donations were sought, but this wasn’t the only trouble for the team. The team selection was controversial as selectors decided to select each other in the team. This resulted in the tour getting cancelled.

Ceylon was named Sri Lanka on 22 May 1972. The President of the Board of Cricket Control in Pakistan proposed ICC to promote the Sri Lankan team to Test status. Sri Lanka obtained the full-member status of the ICC in 1981, making them the eighth country eligible to play Test cricket.

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Team after winning the Test match against India in Ahmedabad (source)

Sri Lanka played their first Test match in February 1982 against England at Paikiasothy Sarvanamuttu Stadium, Colombo. Bandula Warnapura was the captain of the Sri Lankan team in this match.  England won this match by 7 wickets. The first Test victory for Sri Lanka was in a match against India in 1985. This match was the second match of the 3 match Test series against India. Later, Sri Lanka went on to win the Test series by 1-0. They were inconsistent in their Test performance and were yet to find the perfect rhythm of the game, it took 7 years for this team to win their second Test series. Sri Lanka had their second Test series win against New Zealand in a 2-match series which resulted in a 1-0 win.

It was in 1995 when they won their first Test match on foreign soil against New Zealand, beating them by 241 runs at McLean Park Sports Ground, Napier. Arjuna Ranatunga led this team to their first overseas Test match win and eventually ending the series as the first overseas Test series win.

Sri Lanka holds the world record for highest team score in Test cricket. 952 runs were scored by the Sri Lankan batsmen against India in 1997 during the India tour of Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasurya scored 340 runs off 578 balls, Roshan Mahamuna hit a double century with 225 runs and Aravinda de Silva scored 126 runs in this match. The world record for the highest partnership in Test cricket is held by Sri Lankan batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. These two batsmen put up a partnership of 624 runs against South Africa in 2006. Muttiah Muralitharan is a legend Test bowler in Sri Lankan cricket history. He was praised by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack as the ’Best bowler ever’ in Test cricket in 2002. He holds the world record for the highest number of wickets in Test cricket, along with the most five-wicket and ten-wicket hauls in an innings in Tests.

Though Sri Lanka has many accolades in Test cricket to be praised, since the retirement of the legends of Sri Lankan Test cricket, this team has failed to keep up with their past performance. The current Sri Lankan Test team is yet to find the right talents for Test cricket to carry forward the legacy of Sri Lanka in Test cricket. They are currently ranked 8th in the ICC Test Team Rankings.

ODI History

The first win for Sri Lanka in ODI cricket was against India in Manchester in 1979. This match was a part of the World Cup 1979. This win was a shock for India and other teams in the tournament and craved a path for Sri Lanka in ODI cricket. Bandula Warnapura led this team, with three top-order batsmen scoring a fifty. This win against the Indian team was a boost for Sri Lankan cricket since the opposing team included players such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath.

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

 1996 World Cup winning moment (source)

In 1996, Sri Lanka won the Will’s World Cup by defeating the mighty Australian squad in the final match in Lahore, Pakistan. Australia posted a total of 241 and set a target of 242 for Sri Lanka in the final match, which was achieved in a mere 46.2 overs. Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga anchored the innings for Sri Lanka. It was the all-around performance of Arjun Ranatunga by scoring 47 runs and claiming 3 wickets in the match that made it an easy task for this team.

In 2002, Sri Lanka won their maiden title of the Champions Trophy. The final of the Champions Trophy in 2002 was rained out twice. In the first match, Sri Lanka batted first and scored 224 runs in 50 overs, while India batted for just two overs and the match was called off due to the rain. A similar situation was seen in the second final, Sri Lanka scored 222 runs in the first innings and India batted for just 8.4 overs before the match was abandoned. Both teams were declared joint winners in 2002.

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka sharing the Champions Trophy 2002 with India (source)

After winning the 1996 World Cup, Sri Lanka featured in two consecutive World Cup finals of 2007 and 2011 but failed to win the Cup and ended the tournament as runners-up. Sri Lanka currently holds 9th position in the ICC Ranking for ODI teams. The current performance of Sri Lanka in ODI cricket does not do justice to the legacy of Sri Lanka in ODI cricket.

T20I History

The game of cricket has evolved a lot and Twenty20 cricket has played a vital role in the progression of the game. Sri Lanka played their first T20I match against England at Rose Bowl in 2006. This match was a part of the Sri Lanka tour of England, 2006. Sri Lanka batted first and posted a total of 163 runs, England scored 161 runs for 5 wickets and lost the match by 2 runs. Lasith Malinga led the Sri Lankan team in 2014. They topped the Group 1 points table and went on to win the finals against India. They were given a target of 131 runs in 20 overs by the Indian side, Kumar Sangakkara hit a fifty in this match and took the team closer to the World Cup win.

History of Cricket in Sri Lanka

ICC WT20 2007 Winning Sri Lankan Team (source)

Summary

Since the beginning of cricket in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan players have repeatedly proven their skills against their opponents. In the initial phase, the Ceylon team played better than the European teams, while in the modern era of cricket, Sri Lanka has gone on to win a World Cup, Champions Trophy and a Twenty20 World Cup. The cricketing legends such as Sanath Jayasurya, Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga have left a legacy to carry forward for Sri Lankan cricket.

In the ICC Rankings for teams, Sri Lanka ranks 7th in Tests, 9th in ODIs and 9th in the T20I format. In the past few years, the Sri Lanka national cricket team has been facing a void of experienced players in the squad. The recent performance demonstrated by the young national team in the India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 has been undoubtedly impressive.

Liked? Share:
0   voted
Similar articles
Rovman Powell, Andre Russell Fire up Tallawahs as Patriots Stumble Again
Rovman Powell, Andre Russell Fire up Tallawahs as Patriots Stumble Again
Read more

Jamaica Tallawahs maintained the hopes of getting into the knockout of the CPL with a win of 22 runs against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the recent game played at Warner Park. Additionally, Shammah Brooks was the top scorer for the team with 43 runs. However, they were grateful to a six-laden duo cameo […]

Barbados Royals Keep Semifinal Hopes Alive with an Applaudable Team Effort
Barbados Royals Keep Semifinal Hopes Alive with an Applaudable Team Effort
Read more

It was crucial for Barbados Royals to defeat Guyana Amazon Warriors by 45 runs for their second win of the season. Additionally, it also keeps their hopes of reaching the CPL league playoffs alive. The team entered the hero CPL match with merely 13 runs in four innings; Kyle Mayers was recalled into the XI. […]

Alex Hales Reunited with Trevor Bayliss on Sydney Thunder Return
Alex Hales Reunited with Trevor Bayliss on Sydney Thunder Return
Read more

Alex Hales will reconnect with a former coach of England, Trevor Bayliss. This link-up will come for the first time since Hales was banished from the national side during the 2019 Cup. He has secured a deal allowing him to make a return to Sydney Thunder in the BBL cricket. Alex Hales has not been […]

Billings back with Bayliss and Hales at Sydney Thunder
Billings back with Bayliss and Hales at Sydney Thunder
Read more

Sydney Thunder is putting its band together with Sam Billings re-signing for another season of the BBL. This time the player will be under new coach Trevor Bayliss who was formerly the mentor of England. In the previous season, Billings was a prominent edition at Thunder, who was prompted to sign by his former Thunder […]

Josh Philippe 'Feel like I'm hitting the ball better than ever'
Josh Philippe ‘Feel like I’m hitting the ball better than ever’
Read more

Josh Philippe believes that he is batting better than ever ahead of the BBL final at the SCG on Saturday. His excellent form has earned him the title of the Player of the Tournament. However, the player wishes to develop his form into all-format. Moving into the final, Philippe is the second-biggest scorer in the […]

Top 10 Biggest & Longest Sixes in IPL History
Top 10 Biggest & Longest Sixes in IPL History
Read more

Watching the IPL can be a thrilling experience. The fast pace of the game, coupled with some amazing and gigantic sixes being hit by batsmen, is enough to get any cricket fan excited. Let’s be honest here – the majority of us watch the IPL because of the batsmen. The teams have some amazing lineups […]