The newly unveiled indoor nets with a state-of-the-art lighting
system and the club’s legendary scoreboard
For over 120 years, the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has played a strategic role in defining Sri Lanka’s cricket landscape. From being the prestigious venue for the first ever Test match played in the country to being recognised as the only Asian venue which witnessed the masterful batmanship of Sir Donald Bradman, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has enjoyed an unparalleled heritage, resplendent with some of the finest moments of cricketing history in Sri Lanka.
The legacy of Tamil Union is also replete with stories of remarkable achievements and victories – one of which is the tremendous undertaking of getting the venue up and running to host the country’s first ever test match against England in 1982. It took a gentleman whose shoes are still too big to fill, cricketing legend C.T.A. Schaffter, who tirelessly worked around the clock to get the country’s first venue designated for an international calibre test match to be ready in a short period of time.
And now, the Tamil Union legacy turns a new chapter, as a new Committee, with Ramesh Schaffter at the helm as the President, takes over at a time when the 120 year old club is ready once again to make significant strides in cricket.
“It’s a privilege to be elected President of the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club,” said Ramesh Schaffter. “As a premier cricket club that has contributed tremendously to the sport, Tamil Union has so much potential to offer. Our goal is to share that vision with the cricketing world, empowering young talent and uplifting the game to greater heights.”
As a step towards consolidating its commitment towards excellence in cricket, The Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club recently unveiled its new indoor nets, initiated by immediate Past President N. Vasanthakumar. The newly built indoor nets equipped with a state-of-the-art lighting system, offer young cricketers the opportunity to train and master their craft be it in batting, bowling or fielding. The new indoor nets were put up at a substantial investment and are expected to encourage the young cricketers of the Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club to master their game as they get ready to give their best for their club and their team. It is also open to others to use to hone their skills.
“Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club has such a rich history in sports. It is on record as the only venue to have supported almost all international matches played in Sri Lanka since 1945; it was also the only venue that could accommodate large crowds at the time. It was also here that Sri Lanka recorded its maiden test victory against India. So much of cricketing history was made here at this venue,” says Tamil Union General Secretary Balan Asirwatham.
Celebrating the achievements of Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club is not just about the past – but also about the future, added Ramesh Schaffter in conclusion. “It is all about fuelling young talent, giving them the opportunity to give their best to the game. With our facilities and our commitment to the game, we believe that we can indeed look forward to getting there. We also believe that the best of cricketing talent from Tamil Union is yet to come.”
Five Tamil Union cricketers have taken part in the recent World Cup – Jeewan Mendis, Dananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, and Isuru Udara; Suranga and Isuru took part in the World Cup 2019 for the first time.
The Club, which has produced Sri Lankan cricketing legends from Mahadevan Sathasivam to Muttiah Muralitharan, Niroshan Bandaratilleke, Upul Chandana, and Rangana Herath, the latest retiree from the game, has always kept its flag flying in the annals of cricket in Sri Lanka as one of the country’s premier cricket clubs.