Thursday, March 02, 2006

An unforgettable sportsman of Kandy

Sunday Times Oct 5 2003: Sports fans in Kandy in particular and those in the metropolis in general, will not forget that veteran sports personality of the hills, M.E. Marikar, who left us five years ago. His service as a sports journalist of the former Times of Ceylon, the present Sunday Times and the Daily Mirror, was only second to that of his father, H.M. Marikar.Both these sports lovers were known as Mariks in their native Kandy, as well as in Colombo.

Hailing from a respectable and well known family in Kandy, M.E’s contribution to the field of sports was noteworthy. M.E's father, too, was known in sports circles as he skippered the Kingswood cricket team and was the goalie in the soccer team.

Son M.E's career as a sports writer spanned over four decades since his days at the Times of Ceylon. An alumni of St. Sylvester's, M.E’s name will remain in the annals of the school's sporting events as he captained both the football and hockey teams. In the heydays of Sylvesterine boxing, M.E. was a good boxer and was also in the school Cadet Corps.

Having left college, M.E. continued his cricketing prowess at club level, representing the Kandy Lake Club, Moors Sports Club, the Government Services XI, the Sinha Regiment and even playing against visiting foreign teams.

Cricket fans will recall his pace bowling for The Times and The Ceylon Press XI, where he also delighted the crowds, hitting the bowlers with gay abandon, batting in the middle order.
Soccer fans will recall his skilful playing for the Greenfield Sports Club, Kandy YMMA, Young Stars SC, Sinha Regiment Kandy, Saunders, Govt. Services and Times of Ceylon teams.

It is said that Presidents J. R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa admired this super sportsman and the latter had offered him a lift when M.E. was walking home. The late M.E. Marikar was helpful to all and sundry, especially to his sports colleagues. May God grant him Jennathul Firdous.

by Len Ranjith Mahaarachchi


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