Royal out to retain Lemonade Trophy
By Shamseer Jaleel
Royal College Colombo will be all out to win the Elephant Lemonade Trophy where the side is packed with seven colouresmen they open the Inter School cricket season on 4 October when they host Isipathana at Reid Avenue. The Reid Avenue School who enjoyed one of the best seasons last year under the leadership of Rochana Wijeratne who led the school where they had four outright wins and seven first innings wins. They outclassed some top school sides and ended as the Elephant Lemonade Trophy League Champions. Royal also won the double when they won in rugby football under Sri Lankan player Rajith Jayasundera.

Royal has produced some classy players who went on to represent the senior national team. Ranjan Madugalle is one of them who is the most senior International Match Referee recognized all over the world today. Last year’s player Pradeepan who won a scholarship to the MRF in India is undergoing training under the former Australian pacemen Dennis Lille.

This year the Reid Avenue school led by third year colorseman Tharaka Kottehewa who bats at number seven is also a deadly medium fast bowler who opens the attack for the side. Tharaka who scored 350 runs in the last season took 45 wickets with his best of 12 for 77 against Wesley where he ripped through the defence of Wesley batsmen.

He represented Sri Lanka at the Under 17 Tri nation Tournament involving India and Bangladesh. In the recently concluded series against the visiting Pakistan side Tharaka played a vital role. His deputy will be another third year player Navin Dias who scored 400 runs last season who bats at number 4 is the first change bowler who has a genuine pace. He scored 87 in the one day match last year against St Thomas. He got international exposure when he represented the national side at the Tri Nation Series involving India and Bangladesh.

The Reid Avenue school is very lucky to have an experienced player in the calibre of Ganganath Ratnayake who is in his 5th year who amassed more than 800 runs and took 51 wickets with his off spinners. He cracked an unbeaten century against Dharmaraja where he scored 126 and his best bowling was against the Cambrians where he took 6 for 30. Ganganath toured Malaysia and Bangladesh for the under 15 and under 17 Asian Cup tournaments. The hard hitting batsman also toured with the under 15 side for the World Cup which was held in England.

The side is coached by one of the veterans in the field of Cricket who is also a former national player Roger Wijesuriya. He coached St Peter’s, St Benedict’s and the Colombo Cricket Club(C C C ). The left arm leggie who played for Sri Lanka in 1979-1992 represented the national side at the second World Cup in 1979 when he was only a school boy along with former Royalist Sudath Pasqual and Ranjan Madugalle. He is also one of the national selectors.

Royal Squad
Tharaka Kottehewa (Capt) Navin Dias (Vice Capt), Ganganath Ratnayake, Heshan Morawaka, Danushka Edisuriya, Dimithri Siriwardena, Janith Jayawardena (Wicket Keeper), Sukitha Senaratne, Samith Nandamulege, Warun Wijewardena,Chathuranga Somapala, Dumindu Tennekoon, Charith Fernando, Kausalya Jayakody, Roshan De Silva and Nadun Punchihewa.

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