Staff and students from St Albans School have returned from a 16-day Sri Lanka cricket tour, with the first XI enjoying an unbeaten run, playing at world-renowned international stadia, while the second XI also secured a significant win.
The tour saw 29 students and five staff travel throughout the island, from Colombo to Kandy, Dambullah, Kurunegala, and Galle, taking in breathtaking heritage sites and playing a number of local schools and academies.
Martin Langston, Director of Physical Education at St Albans School, and member of the tour, says the standard of Sri Lankan cricket was exceptionally high: “Conditions allow for a 365-day cricket season, meaning the Sri Lankans’ knowledge of the game and ability is exceptional.
“Some of the boys were fortunate enough to play at international stadia,” he continued, “and for both teams to see victories, in tough conditions, is a great achievement for everyone – particularly since some of the Sri Lankan schools have more than 4,000 students to select teams from!”
One of the cricketing highlights was a 2nd XI match against at the MCC-funded Sri Sumangala College ground, more colloquially known as ‘Lords’, against the Foundation of Goodness, a charity set up by Sri Lankan cricketing legends to help those affected by the 2004 Tsunami.
On rest days between matches, the tour watched a One Day International (ODI) between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which proved to be lively both on and off the field, and visited some stunning cultural sites, with highlights including: the Cave of Dambullah, a 1,500 year-old world heritage site with 600 stone-carved Buddhist statues; the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy; and a 1,200 step climb to reach the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.