The ‘BIG MATCHES’ are Back!
Cricket has always been Sri Lanka’s favourite reason for celebration. The month of March which, we at call #MarchMadness heralds the schools cricket big match season.
Relentless rivalry, age-old traditions, colourful celebrations and the never-ending banter amongst players, old-boys and fans sets the tone for a phenomenal passage in the tiny island. In the middle of all this there is much-practiced, multi-skilled cricket.
As the cricket players invoked with warrior status battle for victory with great camaraderie, the atmosphere in the stands amongst the old boys, present boys, well-wishers is always electrified by very-merry papare bands playing toe-tapping, hip shaking and arm waving baila music.
Before all this, flamboyant cycle and vehicle parades light up the roads muddling the traffic rules a bit and school buildings get dressed-up in massive flags for the occasion. Fans the world-over prepare to descend on the motherland in time for the festivities or plan their match-parties to follow the game and atmosphere live on ThePapare.com.
The 55th ‘Battle of the Brothers’ played between Thurstan College, Colombo and Isipathana College, Colombo kicks-off the ‘Big Matches’ in the final weekend of February.
The blue-ribbon of all big matches is the Royal-Thomian which will mark its 139th encounter this year, the second oldest, uninterrupted cricket match in the world. The much-famed ‘Battle of the Blues’ will as usual be played during the second weekend of March.
In Colombo, the 84th ‘Battle of the Saints’ between two of the most prestigious catholic schools, St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College will be an exciting fixture along with the 89th ‘Battle of the Maroons’ which is being played by two Buddhist institutions, Ananda College and Nalanda College in the first weekend of March.
The 118th ‘Southern Battle of the Blues’ between St. Servatius’ College, Matara and St. Servatius’ College, Matara and the 113th ‘Lovers Quarrel’ between Richmond College, Galle and Mahinda College, Galle takes centerstage in the Southern part of the island while the oldest match in the hill capital, the ‘Battle of the Maroons’ takes place between Dharmaraja College and Kingswood College for the 112th time.
The oldest big match up in the northern part of Sri Lanka will be in Jaffna when St. John’s College and Jaffna Central College will battle it out for the 112nd ‘Battle of the North’.
Trinity College, Kandy and St Anthony’s College, Katugasthota will celebrate their 101st cricket encounter during the second weekend in the upcountry.
The cricket-crazy towns of Moratuwa and Kurunegala will witness the ‘Battle of the Golds’ between St. Sebastian’s College and Prince of Wales’ College for the 68th year and the’ Battle of the Rocks’ between Maliyadeva College and St. Anne’s College for the 35th year respectively.
From the town of Kalutara, the 60th ‘Battle of the Mangoosteens’ will take place amongst Kaluatara Maha Vidyalaya and Tissa Maha Vidyalaya while the talent-mine of Sri Lanka Cricket – Ambalangoda will host their reputed ‘Big Match’ between Dharmasoka College and Sri Devananda College in Moratuwa in early April.
The newer big matches are being played by DS Senanayake College vs Mahanama College (12th Battle of Gold), Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya vs Rahula Vidyalaya, Matara (7th Battle of the Golden Lions) and Hindu College, Colombo vs Hindu College, Jaffna (12th Battle of the Hindus).
Big Match Fixtures – 2018
|Match Date||Big Match||Venue|
|23/24 February||Piliyandala Central vs Taxila Horana – 17th Raigam-Salpita Korale||Moratuwa Stadium|
|23/24 February||Mahajana vs Skandavarodaya – 18th Battle of Heroes||Mahajana Grounds|
|23/24 February||Isipathana vs Thurstan – 55th Battle of Brothers||SSC Grounds|
|2/3 March||St Joseph’s vs St Peter’s – 84th Battle of Saints||P.Sara Oval|
|3/4 March||Ananda vs Nalanda – 89th Battle of Maroons||SSC Grounds|
|8/9/10 March||Royal vs S. Thomas’ -139th Battle of the Blues||SSC Grounds|
|8/9/10 March||Jaffna Central vs St John’s – 112th Battle of North||Jaffna Central Grounds|
|9/10 March||Trinity vs St.Anthony’s – 101th Battle of Blues (Kandy)||Asgiriya Stadium|
|9/10 March||Maliyadeva vs St. Anne’s – 35th Battle of the Rocks||Welegedara Stadium|
|9/10 March||Kalutara Vidyalaya vs Tissa Central – 60th Battle of Mangoosteen||Surrey Grounds|
|9/10 March||St.Sebastian’s vs Prince of Wales – 68th Battle of Golds||Moratuwa Stadium|
|9/10 March||St. Sylvester’s vs Vidyartha – 58th Battle of Babes||Pallekelle Stadium|
|9/10 March||Colombo Hindu vs Jaffna Hindu – 9th Battle of the Hindus||Jaffna Hindu Grounds|
|16/17 March||DS Senanayake vs Mahanama – 12th Battle of Gold||P. Sara Oval|
|16/17 March||Sri Sumangala vs Moratu Vidyalaya – 66th Battle of the Golds||Moratuwa Stadium|
|16/17 March||Richmond vs Mahinda – 113th Lovers Quarrel||Galle Stadium|
|16/17 March||Dharmaraja vs Kingswood – 112th Battle of Maroons (Kandy)||Pallekelle Stadium|
|23/24 March||Lumbini vs Bandaranayake – 5th Battle of the Ever Green||P. Sara Oval|
|23/24/25 March||St.Servatius’ vs St.Thomas’ – 118th Battle of Blues (South)||Uyanwatta|
|30/31 March||Dharmapala vs Rahula Matara – 7th Battle of the Golden Lions||Uyanwatta|
|1/2 April||Sri Devananda vs Dharmasoka – 51st Battle of Blues||Moratuwa|
|7/8 April||St. John’s vs Ananda Shastralaya – 22nd Battle of Sri Jayawardenapura||R. Premadasa|
Limited Over Fixtures – 2018
|Match Date||Big Match||Venue|
|24th February||Loyola vs Christ King – 1st One Day Encounter||P. Sara Oval|
|04th March||Thurstan vs Isipathana – 38th One Day Encounter||P. Sara Oval|
|11th March||St.Sebastian’s vs Prince of Wales – 33rd One Day Encounter||Moratuwa Stadium|
|11th March||Maliyadeva vs St.Anne’s – 35th Battle of the Rocks||Welegedara stadium|
|17th March||Royal vs S. Thomas’ – 43rd One Day Encounter||SSC Grounds|
|17th March||Trinity vs St.Anthony’s – Sir Bernard Aluwihare Trophy||Katugasthota|
|17th March||St. Sylvester’s vs Vidyartha||Asgiriya Stadium|
|18th March||Ananda vs Nalanda – 44th One Day Encounter||SSC Grounds|
|24th March||St.Joseph’s vs St Peter’s – 44th One Day Encounter||SSC Grounds|
|24th March||Richmond vs Mahinda – One Day Encounter||Galle Stadium|
|24th March||DS Senanayake vs Mahanama -12th One Day Encounter||R.Premadasa stadium|
|25th March||Kalutara Vidyalaya vs Tissa Central – 10th One Day Encounter||Panadura Grounds|
|25th March||Dharmaraja vs Kingswood – 28th Hill Country One Day Encounter||Pallekelle Stadium|
|1st April||Dharmapala vs Rahula Matara – 7th Battle of the Golden Lions||Uyanwatta|
|4th April||Lumbini vs Bandaranayake – 5th Battle of the Ever Green||R.Premadasa stadium|