Cricket match ends in draw between Sri Lankan Catholic schools
By Antonio Anup Gonsalves
Banner for the 80th "Battle of the Saints" cricket match. Credit: St. Joseph's College via Facebook.
Banner for the 80th "Battle of the Saints" cricket match. Credit: St. Joseph's College via Facebook.

.- The 80th annual “Battle of the Saints”, a cricket match between rival schools in Sri Lanka’s Colombo archdiocese, ended in a draw this weekend.

Cricket, a bat-and-ball game popular in the U.K. and its former colonies, is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka. Each March and April, historically rival secondary schools play games for the “Big Match” season.

St. Peter’s College and St. Joseph’s College, both located in Colombo, played March 7-8 at P. Sara Oval Stadium in the “Battle of the Saints” for the Friar Maurice Legoc Trophy; but the match ended in a draw due to heavy rains which limited play.

“Both renowned institutions have a historical Catholic legacy and are acclaimed for their academic excellence and Christian discipline,” Fr. Gamini Fernando, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Colombo, told CNA Mar 5.

“Sport plays an important role in the formation of students’ mental and physical discipline, and forms them to be responsible citizens of the country,” he added.

In a Feb. 26 news conference ahead of the match, Fr. Trevis Gabriel, rector of St. Joseph’s, said, “we follow the historic tradition that the two school teams play in a friendly manner.”

“It is showing our unity, fellowship, and our oneness to all those around us, because we all belong to one Catholic family,” he said.

Fr. Gabriel added that while each team strives to win the trophy, the larger point is to come together to see a good cricket match, and to display unity and friendship between the schools.

Cricket is played with teams of 11 on an oval field, at the center of which is a “pitch.” Each team takes turn at batting, attempting to score runs, while the other team fields.

The Battle of the Saints is a “limited overs” match: the set of deliveries from the bowler (pitcher) is limited. This match limits the first inning to 60 overs, and each day may have only 105 overs. This special rule is meant to encourage a result in the game, which can often end in a draw.

In the 80 years of the Battle of the Saints, St. Joseph’s has won 20 matches, to the Peterites’ 17, according to The Times of Sri Lanka.

The Battle of the Saints was begun in 1933 by Fr. Maurice Legoc, who rectored both St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s. Many of the national and international Sri Lankan cricketers are alumni of the two schools.

Fr. Fernando commented that the teams “are not exclusively Catholic, having members of different religions. But in play they forget their differences, and concentrate on play.”

He highlighted that this contributes to a national integration of the players and spectators, creating a harmonious interreligious dialogue and unity, spreading Catholic values imbibed in their academic formation.

Fr. Fernando noted that the matches are also relayed live on television and radio, bringing excitement and “uniting the nation.”

Sri Lanka suffered a civil war for nearly 30 years, which ended in 2009. Cricket’s ability to unite Sri Lankans across geographical and religious divides has been important for the nation in recent years.

Tags: Sri Lanka, Big Match, Colombo

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: