Uyanwatte may not be available for school matches in March 2013
A dispute has arisen between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Matara
District Cricket Association (MDCA) regarding the schools first XI
matches scheduled to be played at Uyanwatte, Matara during March 2013 as
it clashes with the Bangladesh National team's visit to Matara.
Nishantha Ranathunga Secretary SLC revealed that the Bangladesh
national team would be playing a three day warm up match at the
Uyanwatte Cricket Grounds in March 2013. This was revealed at a meeting
of the MDCA which was attended by SLC Chairman Upali Dharmadasa and
Secretary Nishantha Ranathunga held at the H K Dharmadasa pavilion,
Matara on November 24.
March is the most important month in the school first XI calendar as
the annual schools cricket tournament ends and the traditional big
matches are played during this month. In March 2013 the Uyanwatte
Stadium owned and maintained by the Matara Municipal Council has been
reserved by St Thomas’ College Matara – 1/2, 6/7, 11/12, 20/21/22/23/24
and 31st, St Servatius College - 4/5, 18/19 and 29th, Rahula College -
8th and 9th, Divisional Secretariat - 3rd, 10th,27th and 28th, Leeds
International School – 13th and 14th
As at 14/12/2012 the ground was available on the 17th, 25th, 26th and
30th March 2013.
If a three day international match is to be played, the Uyanwatte
stadium would have to be closed for at least twelve (12) days and would
be possible only by cancelling some of the scheduled first XI matches.
It is the officials of the MDCA that would benefit mainly if the
Bangladesh team play at Uyanwatte but cancellation of theses school
fixtures would be detrimental to cricket in the district.
The public of Matara obtained a court order restraining the closure
of the Uyanwatte ground prior to the Twenty 20 world cup.( Uyanwatte was
the practice venue for the teams that participated in the women’s
T20.) Any disruption to school fixtures especially the 113th big match
between St Servatius and St Thomas’ Colleges Matara scheduled for 22nd
23rd and 24th March 2013 may result in school authorities and Old Boys
Associations seeking relief through the courts.
It is evident that the MDCA has given priority to filling its coffers
rather than assist school cricket.
The MDCA should have declined the offer of hosting a three day warm
up game in March 2013 as they were fully aware of the non availability
of the grounds and the pulse of the ratepayers. It would be prudent if
the MDCA, SLC and the Matara Municipal Council take note of above.