Article courtesy the 133rd Battle of the Blues Souvenir – Archives Section
Once again the Royal – Thomian encounter comes along and with it comes the customary merriment, good cheer and high spirits (maybe for the last time) since Ceylon goes dry in October. Monotony is the key word here. We will once again go through the same rituals – the toss, the cricket (boring and entertaining), the cheering, jeering and the final hangover. As usual the players will be in the limelight. But what about those unseen, unmentioned people without whose efforts the big match would not be the same. We tend to pass them off as (I quote from a Beatle song):
“All those lonely people
where do they all come from”
But they do matter all the same. Has one ever stopped to think about the precision and detail – the painstaking efforts of the score – board staff in totting up each necessary figure after almost every ball.Their’s is an effort that very often goes unappreciated. The commentators, scorers, ground staff in no small way go to make the Royal – Thomian what it is.
Spirit in small also lends to the big match atmosphere. Thank God there are people who bring their own along. How else could we hear the quick witted rhetoric that emanates from the mustangs and elsewhere.
The big match is a colorful event. Decorations will not suffice. Its here that we need those members of the opposite sex, who come attired in their minis, maxis, micros and what not. They may not know the game but they add colour and gaiety to the occasion.
Stewards, tent secretaries, caterers, the members of the joint Committees, the members of the radio clubs, the editors of the Souvenirs, its sponsors etc. all deserve a big Thank You. Its them, not the players who are indispensable.
But sadly enough a disheartening tendency has crept in during the last few years. Ironically enough it comes from those pseudo – moralistic heads of the O.B.U. (our equivalent to the House of Lords) who have banned carnatic music, such an essential big match sound, the pulse of the proceedings, from the ground. The atmosphere will never be the same without it. Does the big match belong to Royalists and Thomians (young and old) or only to those over 45?
The Royal – Thomian belongs to the young and the old, the drunk and the sober, the players and spectators alike, from those who have wielded willow to those who are or were not so fortunate, to those who wear coat and old school tie to them who wear skirt and nothing very much else. It belongs to whoever feels, appreciates and realise the significance and importance of this grand event. We need the contribution of all of them….