Royal skipper 2009-10 Bhanuka Rajapakse re-tells

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Being the longest running cricket game in history, the Royal-Thomian Cricket encounter really needs no introduction. It is a long anticipated event in the school calendar and comes with a multitude of traditions, memories and a gust of the true royalist spirit.

It is truly an event where solidarity for victory and true sportsmanship is embedded in every royalist (regardless of whether one played the sport). Therefore, being able to represent and subsequently captain my team was truly an honor and a humbling experience.

In retrospect, my love for the game was fostered at the age of eleven, when much like all of my class mates the sole purpose of the school day was to take to the field for a game of cricket. And needless to say, we were all superstars in our own light, with our most competitive matches being those where we represented our house. Our heroes were our house captains and being selected to represent the school being our one and only goal.

For me, that experience came at the age of fifteen  when I was asked to represent the school  first XI team. The journey that led me from that day, to the 131st Battle  is one filled with an array of fond memories, daunting challenges and the support of truly amazing individuals I am privileged to call my friends. The 131st Royal-Thomian encounter was indeed a memorable event as it coincided with the 175th Anniversary of Royal College. To have been called to captain my team therefore was a monumental task, and I am truly grateful to have had led a team of remarkable cricketers. It was a nerve-wrecking game indeed, and ended in victory to the Thomians who played on with nothing short of the true Thomian grit.

As the 136th battle draws nearer I am reminded of the events that passed, the team huddles, the pep talks and the euphoria that floods a stadium when the team enters the field. To the Royalists and Thomians playing at the 136th battle, I wish you the best of luck and urge all of you to simply play up, play up and play the game!

Bhanuka Rajapakse Captained Royal in the year 2009-10, played in the 1st XI when he was 15. Represented the under 19 Sri Lanka side and currently in the SL pool