By Steve Brown (In Melbourne) Photos by – Johann J (SNNI)

A large crowd of 1200 spectators attended the recent tsunami relief charity cricket match at Kings Park Upper
Ferntree Gully to witness, the Sri Lankan Invitation XI defeat a Ferntree Gully & District XI by 17 runs. CRICKETERS SHOW COMPASSIONThe
game held under lights, helped to raise $9000 which will put towards the construction of several new homes in the Galle region in Sri
Lanka which was devastated by the Boxing Day disaster.

Stars in the Sri Lankan Invitation XI included Bushranger, David Hussey, Asanka Gurasingha and Athula Samarasekera. Game highlights
included some massive sixes from Hussey and Simon Anning’s brilliant horizontal diving catch to dismiss the “Guru.”

Spinner Alister Lord from the FTGDCA XI was awarded the man of the match trophy for his 4/27. Midway through the game, a power failure threatened to halt the innings until TXU came to the rescue, preventing a blackout, much to the delight of spectators and organisers.

At the completion of the match, players and spectators gathered in the club rooms where a presentation was made to Upper Ferntree Gully Cricket Club President Paul Hayman for hosting the event. A video was shown of the Ferntree Gully & District team playing at the Galle International Stadium in April 2004 followed by Sri Lankan media film footage of the same ground the day after the disaster.
It was at this time that there was absolute silence in the packed room as those present witnessed the shocking aftermath and how lives were changed forever in just 10 minutes. Sanath Kaluperuma, a trustee of the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria, thanked organisers for a wonderful turnout and a simple message was relayed to all
present from the Muralidaran, Vass & Gunasekera Foundation in Sri Lanka, “Whatever we have done for ourselves alone dies with us but what we have done for others remain immortal.”

The FTGDCA would like to publicly thank all players involved, Bayford – Coburg, Tabcorp, Healthguard First Aid, The Callendar Club, Grayson Foods, Club Hotel – Ferntree Gully, Zagames – Boronia, Mayerling Cellars, Knox Tavern, Upper Ferntree Gully & Johnson Park Cricket Clubs and the media for their contributions.