by Mr Nihal Emmanuel – Media Chairman FOC 2015
Pictures by Mr Praneeth Hettiarachchi - Official Photographer/Web Master FOC 2015
The Launching Ceremony of the Festival of Cricket 2015 was held on Friday 29th May,2015 at the Sri Lanka High Commission in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa, the Acting High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom.
The FOC Executives, the representatives from the Sponsors of the Tournament, FOC Past Presidents, Chairman of the current sub-committees and the Representatives from 31 OBAs were present
The Hon. President of FOC 2015 – Mr Upul Ekanayake presented a letter from the FOC 2015 Organising Committee to His Excellency Dr. Chanaka Talpahewa inviting him to be the Chief Guest.
Mr Upul Ekanayake, in welcoming the invited guests, spoke with immense pleasure that the FOC brings to the cricket-loving Sri Lankan community in the United Kingdom, Europe and across the world for the 27th year since its inception in 1989. The passion for this FOC tournament, within a carnival atmosphere, is a joy to observe. FOC has grown from strength to strength and it is a privilege to be working together with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) from this year. On hearing about the FOC for the first time, the ECB extended its support to secure the New Venue in Fairlop, Essex that has many facilities. It gives ample opportunities to organise the tournament on a larger scale than ever before. Matches will be played on 10 pitches, the most so far, in the event's history.
The 67 member Committee of the FOC works as ‘ One Team’ in a family atmosphere to bring about great benefits for it’s success. President Upul feels that this opportunity to lead the FOC has helped him with a happy family life too.
His Excellency Dr Chanaka Talpahewa, in his speech, said that he was inspired by this FOC Tournament and how Cricket has brought the communities closer together.
“Our Sri Lankan nation was born into Cricket. After all, the game of Cricket was introduced to Sri Lanka by the UK”. The standard of cricket will certainly be high, and as a result the emergence of many great players was inevitable. This annual cricketing event is a huge undertaking by the FOC and therefore it has the strong support from all of us. He would like to see the inclusion of Female activities also to accommodate and tap into their skills too.
He added, as for Hon President’s view about his personal life, a Happy marriage could also be due to being away from home for voluntary work such as this!
Bank of Ceylon, represented by Mr Nimal Fernando, CEO of Bank of Ceylon (UK) Ltd and Mr Tarrin Constantine, Director of Constantine Associates handed their sponsorship letters to the FOC Hon. President. Our sponsor since the beginning of this annual event - Sri Lankan Airlines - had no representative on the day. Fairway Holdings represented by Mr Reezan Rameez, handed their sponsorship letter to the Hon. Secretary Mr Samantha Siriwardhana and Tillmax Ltd, represented by Mr Rahaman Hameed , Sales Manager Tillmax Ltd. handed their sponsorship letter to the Hon Treasurer Mr Shanaka Rodrigo.
Festival of Cricket 2015 will be celebrated in Carnival style on Sunday 12th July, 2015 when 31 teams, 7 a-side, of talented Sri Lankan cricketers will play on 10 full size pitches of the new and beautiful venue of the Hainault Recreation Grounds, in Forest Road, Fairlop, Essex IG6 3HX and is easily accessed from Fairlop Central Line tube station , or via the M25, the A12 and the A406 North Circular Road.
The weather forecast is ‘Sunny and warm’, so come along and enjoy the entertainment laid on for you in true Sri Lankan style.
Commercial Charges and Rates for Advertisements, Trade and Business stalls, and the sponsorship Application Forms, are available on http://www.festivalofcricket.org. Businesses can participate in the FoC as a Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsor.
Business/Trade, Old Boys'/Girls' Associations or Charities can hire a marquee for the festival to promote their products and/or services. Organisations and Individuals can Banner advertise at the festival grounds, in the FOC Souvenir and on the FOC website http://www.festivalofcricket.org and on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/festivalofcricket.
This is a unique annual event in the UK Sports and Social Calendar and combined with carnival entertainment for children too, it promises to be a wonderful day where you can join in the fun with all your family and friends whilst watching a brilliant display of Sri Lankan Cricket !
Photography by Praneeth Hettiarachchi
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