Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

08 September 2016

The 2016 Murali Harmony Cup to launch on 20th September in Kilinochchi

The 2016 Murali Harmony Cup will be launched on 20th September, organisers confirmed on Thursday.

The Murali Cup is a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, the spirit of fair play and service to disadvantaged rural communities in post-war Sri Lanka.

The tournament is organised by former Sri Lanka cricketer Muthiah Muralidaran’s charity the Foundation of Goodness with assistance from the Sri Lanka Army.

The 5-day event featuring U19 schoolboys and U23 women cricketers is being played at five grounds across Northern Sri Lanka in the towns of Jaffna, Oddusuddan, Mankulam and Kilinochchi.

This year’s tournament is the fifth edition since the inaugural event in 2012, and includes a total of 24 teams meaning a total of 360 cricketers, most from disadvantaged rural schools from across the island.

“It is a proud moment for me to see the 5th consecutive edition of the Murali Harmony Cup take place in the North as it continues to foster friendship and unity between communities from all across the island,” tournament founder Muralidaran told the media.

“I wish all the players the best and hope they will enjoy the new experiences that this tournament will bring.”

The tournament is funded exclusively by sponsorship and private donations with Arinma Holdings being the main sponsors of this year’s tournament.

“Arinma Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, is proud to be associated with such a noble venture, one which has seen the participation of thousands of enthusiastic cricketers in a tournament that bridges all racial, ethnic and social divide,” said Ashan Malalasekera, Chairman of Arinma Holdings. “Along with an increase in participation, this very special 5th Edition, has seen a tremendous development of peace building, reconciliation and friendship in the North and South that has brought about a strong social harmony in our nation.”

Other key sponsorship partners include Fortune, Tokyo Cement, MAS, Access, Sri Lanka Sports Association of Queensland (SLSAQ) and Subway.

Sri Lankan cricket legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena have once again played a key role in ensuring that this year’s tournament goes ahead.

“It is tremendous to the see the tournament, which was launched in 2011 as a just a one off, has gone on to been so successful and establish itself as an annual fixture in the Sri Lanka cricket calendar,” Sangakkara said.

“It has helped me personally to understand that behind the competitive spirit, fellow cricket players from all walks of life both young and old and of different skill levels share the same passion for a sport which can bring us together to achieve greater things as a community, both on and off the pitch.”

Jayawardena added: “It is important to ensure that the youth of the country from all areas get a chance to develop their talent and potential. The Murali Harmony Cup is a tournament that I am very proud to be a part of as it showcases some of the best talent we have in the island while also promoting goodwill and harmony. “

 

About the Murali Harmony Cup

The 2016 Murali Harmony Cup is being played at five grounds across Northern Sri Lanka in the towns of Jaffna, Oddusuddan, Mankulam and Kilinochchi from 21st to 25th September.  It is a reconciliation and community-building T20 cricket tournament featuring U19 schoolboys and U23 women cricketers designed to promote unity, goodwill, teamwork, the spirit of fair play and service to disadvantaged rural communities.  16 boys’ teams and 8 ladies’ teams from across Sri Lanka are playing two matches every day at each ground, with the finals taking place on 25th September at the Kilinochchi Central cricket grounds.

 

 

Quotes from Tournament Officials, Players and Sponsors

 

Muthiah Muralidaran

It is a proud moment for me to see the 5th consecutive edition of the Murali Harmony Cup take place in the North. When we first introduced this tournament, it was with the hope of giving teams from all across Sri Lanka the opportunity to play in harmony and gain new experiences. Five years later the participation has grown from the initial 20 in to 24 teams and I can see how friendships have blossomed between players from different teams and the tournament has become very appealing with many teams from different regions wanting to participate each year as we attempt to accommodate as many as we can, while also showcasing the hidden talents of rural cricketers. My heartfelt thanks to the organising committee for all their effort over the years as well as to Kumar & Mahela for their unstinting support.

 

Kumar Sangakkara

Reconciliation through sport is something that I truly believe in. It has helped me personally to understand that behind the competitive spirit, fellow cricket players from all walks of life both young and old and of different skill levels share the same passion for a sport which can bring us together to achieve greater things as a community, both on and off the pitch. The Murali Harmony Cup is something that I am extremely happy to be part of and support as it focuses on the aspect of reconciliation. It is tremendous to the see the tournament, which was launched in 2011 as a just a one off, has gone on to been so successful and establish itself as an annual fixture in the Sri Lanka cricket calendar. Last year, for the first time, we conducted a workshop alongside the tournament and it was very encouraging to see the enthusiasm among the players. I am extremely proud to be supporting the 2016 Murali Harmony Cup, I wish the tournament every success and also would like to thank the organising committee and sponsors for making this happen.

 

 Mahela Jayawardena

This year we have seen a number of young players join the ranks of the national squad and make their mark felt by delivering some outstanding performances. It is important to ensure that the youth of the country from all areas get a chance to develop their talent and potential. The Murali Harmony Cup is a tournament that I am very proud to be a part of as it showcases some of the best talent we have in the island while also promoting goodwill and harmony. When I was playing cricket in school I was fortunate to have been part of a school and team that got the opportunity to play against teams across the country and also travel around the island and meet other children of my age who shared my love for the game. However I understood that this opportunity would not be available to everyone, and when I was approached by Murali to support a tournament he was setting up I was extremely happy to lend my weight to make it happen. To see that the tournament continues to flourish and provide the opportunity for young boys and girls to interact with other children of their age and learn the lessons of sport, not just winning but also things like teamwork, practice and leadership, is indeed encouraging. I wish the participants all the best and hope they have a memorable time while thanking all who have contributed to make this possible

 

Ashan Malalasekera – Chairman, Arinma Holdings

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate good wishes to conduct a very successful 5th edition of the Murali Harmony Cup 2016. Along with an increase in participation, this very special 5th Edition, has seen a tremendous development of peace building, reconciliation and friendship in the North and South that has brought about a strong social harmony in our nation.

Arinma Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, is proud to be associated with such a Nobel venture, one which has seen the participation of thousands of enthusiastic cricketers in a tournament that bridges all racial, ethnic and social divide. The tournament established by our Sri Lankan hero and cricket legend Muthiah Muralidaran, continues to inspire us all, in BUILDING a Brighter, United and Prosperous Sri Lanka.

Therefore I am delighted to be associated with this one of a kind event, as the principle sponsor and wish all the participating teams the best of luck.

 

Tokyo Cement

Tokyo Cement Group recognises the lasting bond only Cricket can create, and continues to encourage and affiliate themselves with the game. Tokyo Cement’s passion for cricket is what prompts them to sponsor the Murali Harmony Cup 2016, and recognises the contribution it makes to unearth and polish raw talent from every corner of Sri Lanka into sparkling sportsmen and women who shine their light on the game and the nation.

 

Fortune

Fortune is delighted to be involved in the Murali Harmony Cup for the 4th consecutive year. The successive results of the past years inspired us to be a part of this great event once again. We hope all participants will have a wonderful five days of playing cricket and in the process foster new bonds with other communities that will bring us all together and unite us as one nation.

 

 

 

Media Notes:

 

For all the latest news and information on the Murali Cup 2016, please visit – www.themuralicup.com.

 For further information please contact:

Media Coordinator: Swanthri Jayawardena (Tel: +94 777 707601)

Email: info@themuralicup.com

Ends.