Galle Cricket Club (1876-2001)

A brief History of Galle Cricket club will be of interest to cricket enthusiasts. The Galle cricket club was formed about 1875. Colombo Cricket Club, Malay C.C.and Dambulla A.C.C. are the only other Cricket Clubs in Ceylon to be formed prior to 1875.

Cricket was first played in Galle about 1868. As was the custom in those early years, the British Navy and Army carried their cricket gear across the seven seas and helped to propagate the gospel of cricket in addition to colonization. The earliest reported match in Galle is on 15th January 1875 between the Civilians of Galle and “The Garrison” on 7th September 1876 a report appears in the newspapers of a match between K.Company 97th Regt. vs Galle Cricket Club. A match between H.M.S. Audacious vs Galle is reported in January 1875. But it does not say whether it is the Galle Cricket Club.

The Club had as its pioneer, military personnel of British Garrison. Businessmen,Planters and Civil Servants. The most famous of the lot was G. Vandesper a millionaire businessman who later moved to Colombo for business reasons and played for the Colornbo Sports Club now no more. The Ceylonese Cricketers of that period owe a debt of gratitude to him for the encouragement he gave by selecting promising young Ceylonese in what was exclusively in European affair.

FAMOUS PLAYERS

The Galle Cricket Club has produced some famous players ;

  • George Vandesper the famous millionaire businessman, he was known as the GOM of Ceylon Cricket.
  • H.L. Crawford
  • G.S. Saxton
  • C.S.V. Morrison
  • W.H. Jackson
  • M.S. Goonaratne
  • E.M. Karunaratne
  • G.R.A. Fernando
  • D. Gurusinghe
  • J.W. Erskine
  • H.A. Beachoroft a planter
  • A.C. Edwards
  • A. Hettiarachchi
  • R.M.M. De Silva
  • P.H.E. Austin
  • C. Abeysundera
  • D.D. and M.D. Jayasinghe
  • I.D. Abeywardene

Above are some of the greatest players that contributed to standout G.C.C.  from other Cricket Clubs.

Special era's of the Galle Cricket Club

1876 – 1900

This period saw the participation of the G.C.C. With other cricket clubs-Colombo Cricket Club, Colombo Colts Club, Malay Cricket Club, Mc Cleand’s Xl, Royal Dublin Fuisters. The administrative responsibilities of the G.C.C’ soon fell into the hands of the members interested in these games. George Vanderspar’s contribution in the administration of the club is fondly rememberedEven today.

1901 – 1950

In this period “Hand Book of Ceylon Cricket” (1901-first issue) mentions that G.C.C. was judged the 7th place among the other sports clubs, having participated in 5 games and winning 2 of them. “The Hand Book of Ceylon Cricket and Other Field Sports” (1902-first issue) records that Of the 12 sport clubs, the first place goes to the Colombo Colts Club while Galle Cricket Club is placed second.

1951 – 2001

The most significant event of this period was the decision of the G.C.C. to put up its own pavilion. The G.C.C. organized a lottery and collected Rs. 60000/-. The Galle Gymkhana Club on the principle of donating one rupee to every rupee that was collected by the G.C.C., funded Rs. 60000/- With the additional contributions by the members, the completed G.C.C. pavilion was declared open by the Minister of Food and Agriculture. Hon. J.R. Jayewardena on 18th Sep. 1955. The credit of this exercise goes to Dhanapala Hawa who spared no pains to see this plan through.