It was in 1994 former Rajans cricketer turned rugby player Indrajith Bandaranayake led Kandy Sports Club to their very first league win after being in existence for over a century, during which time they were without any trophy.
Under Nigel Ratwatte in 2022, Kandy SC were awarded the Nippon Paint Inter Club League champions after the league came to a full stop due to the current situation in the country. This was the 22nd time Kandy SC won the league, having lost only 5 times in their 27 years of appearance after 1994.
Kandy SC stamped their class with a clean sheet winning 8 out of 8 and ending on 45 points. Havies won 7 – losing only to Kandy – and were second with 40 points. The decision to award the league title to Kandy SC was made at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Rugby Council emergency meeting.
Understandably second placed Havies objected to this decision, as in their opinion, they had a chance of coming on top if they played Kandy SC in their last game at home and won. Unfortunately, the Park Club will now have to wait for yet another year to have a go at the trophy. Air Force were awarded the Plate championship.
Kandy SCs success is due to their continued professionalism and high level of discipline among players. Nigel Ratwatte led from the front and showcased top class leadership qualities.
They were coached by Fazil Marija with Buddhika Thalagampola supporting him. Kapila Silva is their Team Manager.
Former Royal scrum half Malik Samarawickrema is the architect of Kandy SC’s success for almost three decades. He settled down in the Up Country in 1992, and the same year won the Clifford Cup knock out tournament for the first time.
Kandy SC teamed up with Cargills Ltd as their premier sponsor for this year, and are assured the partnership will continue in tandem for a few more years.
Squad: J.R. Charles Praveen, Lasitha Madhuranga Attanagoda, Yakoob Ali, Malitha Rashmika, S. Monishan, Milan Weerasinghe, Damith Dissanayake, Kavishka Bandara, Heshan Silva, K.G.T.R. Bandara, W.C.S. Soysa, Tharindu Chathuranga, Sanushka Abeywickrama, Bawantha Udangamuwa, Tharaka de Silva, Roshan Weeraratne, Srinath Sooriyabandara, Heshan Jansen, Nigel Ratwatte, Asiri Senevirathne, T.P.L.S. Ranaweera, Tharinda Ratwatte, Oshan Perera, Lavanga Perera, H.C.S. Perera, Dansha Dayan, Dinal Ekanayake, N.K.B.B. Priyarathna, Kavindu Perera, Diluksha Dange, Nimesh Premathilaka, Rumesh Premathilaka, Sahan Wijesinghe, Shehan Pathirana, Bawantha Dharmapala
By Special Correspondent