Murali Harmony Cup 2013

For the second year running the Foundation of Goodness along with Red Dot Tours was proud to organize yet another successful Murali Harmony Cup tournament across five venues in the North of Sri Lanka. Last year for the inaugural Murali Harmony Cup the Foundation of Goodness developed school grounds in Mankulam, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Oddusuddan and Jaffna. This year it was a delight to play at the same venues once more and see how they were flourishing, especially as some grounds now have brand new concrete practice wickets thanks to an on-going project in connection with Muthiah Muralidaran, Sri Lanka Cricket and FoG well-wishers.

“This tournament plays an important role in developing the infrastructure for cricket, children in these areas need facilities if they are to improve their playing. To have teams from around the island coming up here also means that they can make friends and understand more about each other so we must continue the work we do in to the future,” said Muthiah Muralidaran.

Along with the aim to develop cricket across the island, the Murali Harmony Cup (MHC) is also about reconciliation and unity, to which end it brings together teams from across the island to interact, compete and make friends over the course of the tournament.

"It's all about these kids getting together, and having fun. They have open minds, and you can see the love that the people in the North have for the game, and we should be there to foster that," said Mahela Jayawardena.

The teams participating this year included 12 Under19 boys’ teams and 6 Under 25 Ladies teams from around the island. The boys teams included Jaffna Combined, Mannar/ Vavuniya Combined, Kilinochchi Combined, Mullaitivu Combined teams from the North, Trinco/ Batti Combined team from the East, the Anuradhapura Central College team from the North Central Province, Trinity College from the Central Province, the Uva Province combined team, St. Sebastians Katuneriya and St. Peters College from the Western Province and Cricket Seenigama and Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda teams from the South.

The first day of the Murali Harmony Cup (1st November) coincided with the start of Sir Ian Botham’s Big Sri Lanka Walk and Sir Ian himself conducted the coin toss at Kilinochchi before the games began. Sri Lankan cricketing hero Mahela Jayawardena was also present on the 1st and over saw the coin toss for the day’s second match at Mankulam. Following his lead Kumar Sangakkara also showed his support by attending a second year of the Murali Cup and spending two days visiting different venues and encouraging the teams. The great Muthiah Muralidaran himself arrived for the finals where after four long hard days of competition St. Peters College, Trinity College, Shakthi Ladies and Seenigama Ladies battled for the championship trophy.

For the second year running St. Peters College emerged as the champions, battling it out on the last day against Trinity College in a very close match that came down to the last over and had the onlookers on their feet in excitement. The ladies final between Shakthi Ladies from Anuradhapura and the Seenigama Ladies from the South ended in a cherished win for the Shakthi Ladies who had made it to the final last year too, only to lose out to the Army Ladies. This year though they demonstrated how their game had improved and took home the trophy. Demonstrating the true spirit of the Murali Harmony Cup, the girls linked hands with the Seenigama rivals who were magnanimous in their own defeat, and partied together for the rest of the day, dancing around the field together with iconic Sri Lankan Cricket mascot, Uncle Percy during the boys final.

"You see the potential of cricket in an event like the Murali Cup," Sanga reflects. "You see the boys from the North and East on the field, you see the dancers, you see the security forces, you see people from Colombo and the locals who have come to watch and support their teams. You see teachers, elders and community leaders - they are all here because of cricket. There's no talk of politics and no talk of anything other than watching this wonderful spectacle of sport. These children are sharing each other's experiences, sharing their effort out on the field, and putting on a display that all of us will enjoy."

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our sponsors without whom this event would not have been possible, Fortune Oil, MAS, Sri Lanka Insurance, Aquafresh, KIA, ICC, Red Dot Tours, British High Commission, Austin Management, Hirdaramani Group, The Walawwa, Janet Sun Protection: Cricket Sun Block, The Ministry of Crab, CA Sports, The Cricket Shop, Maxxport, SS (Sareen Sports Industries) and SF Stanford as well as LuvEssence who have pledged a 12 month scholarship to the most outstanding player of the tournament. We would also like to acknowledge the Sri Lanka Army who played an immense role in facilitating the event. We also cannot forget to send out the great big thank you to Murali, Sanga and Mahela who were so enthusiastic to be a part of this event as well as all our friends, well-wishers, supporters and spectators who came together to make this event one to always remember.

Murali Harmony Cup 2013 - Photo Galllery












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