Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) had a successful cricket season in 2013. They won four championships. This is the first time in the history of the SSC that the club was able to do this. They won the Premier league, Under-23, Colombo District six-a-side and the Premier limited overs which have just been concluded. It was [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

SSC creates history by bagging four 2013 championship titles


Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) had a successful cricket season in 2013. They won four championships. This is the first time in the history of the SSC that the club was able to do this.

They won the Premier league, Under-23, Colombo District six-a-side and the Premier limited overs which have just been concluded. It was the fourth year in succession that SSC reached the limited over finals conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket. They were runners-up on two occasions and then emerged joint champions. In 2013 they hit the jack pot and secured the championship title.

The victorious SSC cricket team

Chamara Kapugedera and Charith Jayampathi guided SSC to be the Premier limited over champions when they steered the side to a 54 runs win over traditional rivals and neighbours NCC in the final played at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

Left-arm pacie Charith who ended with impressive figures of 4 for 49 gave SSC the much needed breakthrough which laid the foundation for their victory. NCC in pursuit of a formidable target of 279 succumbed to a score of 224.

“The success behind the performance is, I believe, is not only the ability of the players but the unity amongst the players and the commitment towards the game and the dialogue the players have with the Cricket Committee. Due to this players have the opportunity of discussing their issues related to cricket as well as in their personal life,” said Samanthe Dodanwela, Chairman of SSC Cricket in an interview with the Sunday Times. Samanthe is a former Trinity College deputy skipper and a Sri Lanka trialist. He is well versed in the game. Currently he is a director at Mercantile Produce Brokers (PVT) Ltd, Galle Road, Colombo 3.

Continuing, Samanthe said; “Like in the good old days we introduced the system of having a post-match discussion after every game while enjoying a drink. This has helped further to bring unity amongst the players. The Cricket Committee also looks in to the welfare of the players. The cricketers who join the club from the outstations, whom we feel will bring honour to the club one day and who also are talented to represent SSC are given accommodation and food in the dormitory which has been put up to facilitate these cricketers.
“Treat all players equally irrespectively of seniority. Teams are picked on form and not seniority. We have always been emphasising that each player should have a goal and that should be to represent the country. Any player with the intention of going overseas to play cricket is not given first choice for selection.

Q: What about remuneration: “Remuneration to players is only on win bonuses. No individual contracts are given unless otherwise it is essential. We have built up a relationship with the players that the team and the club is theirs and being loyal to the club is very important. Dressing room culture is very important where the seniors make the juniors feel at ease with very good advice and guidance. This has developed a bond with members of the team.

In 2013 SSC established two new records in first class cricket in Sri Lanka scoring 787 runs against Tamil Union and Thilina Kandamby’s 340 not out in the same game was the highest team and individual scores in domestic first class cricket.

SSC Chairman of Cricket, Samanthe Dodanwela

I do not intend to talk on individuals. Performance by all players during the entire year was equally good. Having said that, I cannot wait without mentioning the name of Kaushal Silva whose brilliant performance with the bat should not go unnoticed.

Senior players such as Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Thilina Kandamby, Tharanga Paranawithana, Dilhara Fernando, Dammika Prasad, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sachithra Senanayake along with the youngsters Charith Jayampathi, Danushka Gunathilake, Dasun Shanaka, Upul Bandara, Vishwa Wijeratne, Amila Prasad, Kasun Madushanka all performed exceptionally well right throughout the season. Chamara Kapugedara who joined SSC in 2013 blended very well with the rest of the players and delivered when needed. Kapugedera’s his arrival to the club gave SSC an added advantage. The service rendered by Mahela Jayawardena should not be forgotten. I am very thankful to him for obliging to represent whenever SSC required his services despite his involvement with Sri Lanka cricket.

Q: Is there any Financial Assistance offered to players? We are very thankful to Etisalat and Kadurata Umbrella who accepted our invitation to come on board as our main sponsor and clothing sponsor respectively.

As we all know like all other sports in the world cricket too need financial assistance. Cricket is no longer a game which is played for prestige or for the love of it. It is a profession these days. Therefore these sponsorships have enabled us to support youngsters financially and also to recruit new talent.

“I am very thankful to the Head Coach Avishka Gunawardena and Assistant Coach Kapila Weerasinghe for the commitment right throughout the year and spending time with the boys to ensure to be the best club in Sri Lanka.”

In conclusion Samanthe said that a special word of thanks should go to the SSC Cricket Committee consisting of Michael de Zoysa, Priya Paranawithana, Mahinda Halangoda, Priyantha Udayaratne and Coordinator Ashan de Silva who have been always been very supportive and kept a very close contact with the players. Samanthe also thanked the SSC President and his colleagues in the EXCO for their advice.

SSC could not take part in the Singapore Cricket Association organised PayPalTwenty/20 tournament last year as the competition did not take place as scheduled due to a lack of grounds. This year SSC will be making a strong bid to take part in the competition in August, said Samanthe in conclusion. SSC has won this contest on two previous occasions.

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