Annual cricket match in Sri Lanka running for 141 years postponed due to COVID-19

The match was even played through the years of the world wars.

(Photo by Jason O’Brien – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

The new wave of the coronavirus has halted a cricket match that has been played for 141 years in Sri Lanka. Interestingly, the match was even played when the world went through world wars or when the country was going through a civil war. This is a match which is scheduled every year between the best schools in the country. 

The match which is played annually between Royal and St Thomas’s was scheduled to be played in the next month. However, the match has been postponed indefinitely for now. This piece of news came after it was revealed by a school organizer that four of the players were tested positive for COVID-19. 

The 2021 edition of the competition, which has become the longest-running sporting event, was set to be played over three days. Unlike each year, this edition was going to be played behind closed doors. The historic event gets a lot of attention from the fans of cricket in the country. It is generally a chance to witness young good talents playing against each other. 

Some famous Sri Lanka cricketers have featured in this rivalry

News18 reported on the announcement which was quoted as saying, “What would have been the 142nd Royal-Thomian big-match is not likely to be held this year because of the latest Covid wave.” Interestingly, even during the first world war (1914-1918) and the second world war (1939-1945), the matches continued to be played annually. 

The culture and the rivalry between these two schools are often compared to an iconic English public school rivalry. There is an encounter between Eton and Harrow which has been played since 1805, adding to the rich history of more than 200 years. Duleep Mendis, who led Sri Lanka to their first Test win, and another former captain, Ranjan Madugalle, are among the top players to have taken part.

The Island nation was hit by an upsurge in the COVID-19 cases after the country’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations on April 14. The number of daily infections has since risen five-fold to nearly 1,000 and the government has closed all schools and banned public functions. Sri Lanka has reported more than 1,00,000 cases and 647 deaths.

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