Tamil Union C & AC

Excellence Since 1899

Our Achievements in The Recent Past and Our Vision for The Future

Our Club is one of the oldest sporting clubs in the country and is now 108 years old. It is rich in history and tradition and despite the world that is changing around us, the Tamil Union is proud to say that it is still a Club, which is proud of its history, and still lives by its traditions.

The Tamil Union was as mentioned earlier, one of the leading Clubs in the country, and was frequented by leading personalities in the country. Over the past three decades the change in attitudes, has unfortunately meant, that the social status of our Club had declined. This decline was greatly accelerated by the 1983 riots, which not only destroyed the very fabric of our society, but also resulted in the physical destruction of the heart of the Club. Our venue was also unfortunately neglected, and sidelined as an international venue for a considerable length of time after 1984.

The present Office bearers and the Office bearers who have preceded us in the last decade or so, have set for ourselves the uphill task of rejuvenating the Club with a view to re-attaining its past glory. With this in mind the Club has framed for itself the goals of becoming Sri Lanka’s leading international venue for both Tests and ODI’s and also transforming itself into a “family Club”. In pursuit of this vision, previous Committees drew up ambitious development plans, which were launched by a document titled “AN APPEAL”, released towards the end of the last millennium.

The Past

In order to achieve our vision, the Club embarked on various projects:

Modernization of Dressing Rooms:
The modernization of the dressing rooms was undertaken in 2002 at a cost of Rs.7.5 Million. In today’s context, this will work out to approximately Rs.15 Million. These dressing rooms are upto international standards, and have come in for praise from visiting teams. They are air-conditioned, and very spacious.
Approximate project cost Rs. 7.5 Million

Construction of Sports Complex:
Apart from cricket and facilities for cricket members, and the bar and tennis, we had no other facilities for members. The committees of approximately a decade ago, debated this at length, and decided that we as a club must prioritize members facilities. We, therefore, demolished the ‘L’ block, which had been constructed at great cost, and extended the former Press Block, to construct the Janashakthi Sports Complex. This Sports Complex today boasts of two badminton courts, 2 squash courts, and a “Power World” gymnasium. In addition, we house the electronic and print media on the upper most floors during matches. The total cost of this project exceeded Rs.15 Million at the time of completion in early 2002. The construction of this sports complex greatly enhanced the facilities we provided our members so much so that it is difficult to even get a booking at the badminton courts. In addition we now have the “Pacific School of Badminton Coaching” conducting regular classes at the Club. The Power World gym too offers generous discounts to our members, and free membership facilities to our cricket squads.
Approximate project cost Rs. 15 Million

Swimming Pool:
Having constructed the Sports Complex, the Committee then set out to complete the onerous task of constructing a 25 metre swimming pool. The Club was short of funds, and realised that it could not continue to tax its benefactors. Despite this, some of our members advanced the money and went ahead with the construction of the swimming pool and adjacent changing rooms.
Approximate project cost Rs. 4 Million

The “Cusinie”:
The success of a Club depends on its catering facilities, and our Club had been battling with the constant changes of caterers who were simply not upto the task. We were fortunate in that we were able to secure the services of “Nirmala Caterers” who overnight improved the standards of the Club kitchen. The Club, for its part, built a large modern kitchen, which provided the requisite facilities to provide wholesome food. The “bites” that we provide are unhesitatingly amongst the best in the Club circuit. In addition to providing bites, the kitchen also undertakes outdoor catering for Club functions as well as private parties for members.
Approximate project cost Rs. 25 Million

Practice nets:
The practice facilities for our teams had been inadequate, and the non-availability of side practice pitches meant that practices were always conducted at the centre wickets. This meant that we could either not hire our grounds as regularly as we would like for matches, or that Club practices started late whenever there was a match.

Work on the construction of the practice pitches started approximately three years ago, thanks to a generous contribution from Sri Lanka Cricket and also our Past President Mr M Ganesan. The construction work has taken much longer than anticipated, but is now nearing completion. The practice pitches that we now have are among the most modern in the country and have come in for high praise. Imitation is the best form of flattery they say, and it gives us great pride that two other institutions have already commenced construction of practice pitches, which are identical to ours.
Approximate project cost Rs. 3.5 Million

Seating Capacity:
A part of our vision is to become an international venue, and this has meant we have to increase the available seating capacity. Our venue currently accommodates around 3500 people, which a further capacity of 2000 available in the open stands. Considering the numbers attending today’s international matches, our ground should easily be able to host test matches. However, the hosting of a One Day International match is another question. Bearing this in mind we have embarked on the construction of upper tiers above the current Sathi Coomaraswamy stand, partly funded by the Coomaraswamy family. Construction work has already started and it is anticipated that it will be completed by the end of September. The Chanmugam family has also agreed to partly fund the construction of the stand above the Sathasivam Stand. Work on the Dr. Ranjan Chanmugam stand too has already commenced. Sri Lanka Cricket too has agreed to assist with the construction. This will increase our seating capacity by around 500.
Approximate project cost Rs. 4 Million

Air-conditioning of the VIP Areas:
One of the major complaints with regard to viewing international matches at our Club has been the excessive heat in the pavilion areas. The South Africa vs. Sri Lanka Test was played in August 2006 and the Club undertook the arduous task of air-conditioning the VIP areas. This was done in a record time of 4 days, with the contractor’s working day and night. Two separate areas the one seating board officials and VVIP guests, and the other seating player’s wives and other VIP guests were air-conditioned much to the delight of the Sri Lanka Cricket officials who were present at the match. The Cricket Board officials were in fact so impressed with the Club, that they subsequently reimbursed us the cost of partitioning and air-conditioning. They also took the opportunity to fix a false ceiling to the larger part of the main pavilion that considerably reduced the heat in the area.
Approximate project cost Rs. 3.5 Million

International Cricket:
as stated earlier the Club was neglected as an international venue from 1984 due to the vagaries of politics in Sri Lanka Cricket. We were glad to be recognised once again in 2002, when the Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka Test match was played at the Club. In this match Aravinda De Silva stroked his way to a magnificent double hundred and Sri Lanka easily won the match. In the following year New Zealand played a match and once again Sri Lanka won. In 1999 Australia played Pakistan but because the former were unwilling to tour Pakistan owing to the security situation in that country, the Pakistan Cricket Board turned to Sri Lanka, and once again Tamil Union came to the rescue. Sri Lanka’s first ever-neutral test match was played at the Tamil Union and more over the Tamil Union undertook the entire arrangement for the match including the hotel arrangements the security arrangements etc. etc. The arrangements were successful and the Pakistan Board was ever grateful to us for having made all the arrangements and saved the day for them.

In 2005, the Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka match was played at our venue followed by the South Africa vs. Sri Lanka match the following year. However, all these were too few and far between.

This year, the 2nd Test Match vs. Bangladesh was played at our grounds. After many, years, a One Day International is being played at the P Sara Oval vs. Bangladesh . We hope that this is only a beginning and that the Club will once again become a compulsory international venue in Sri Lanka.

The ambitious ventures mentioned above were all part of the Master Plan which the Club has decided upon a few years ago. Despite the locations being changed, it was all in keeping with our overall plan.

our vision for the future

The Club has made great stride over the last decade. If we are to retain our status as an international venue, we must continue to improve, just as in the commercial world we cannot remain static. We have to plan for the future and build on what we have achieved in the past. With this in mind we have ambitious plans:

Long Room:
The “Long Room” has been a dream of the Cub for many years. The plan is to connect the two dressing rooms over the Murugesar and Tryphon R Mirando Stands “C” blocks, and to build a spectator viewing area, together with a modern restaurant. This will considerably change the face of the Club. Sri Lanka Cricket undertook to fund this project 15 years ago, but the politics at the Cricket Board meant that this did not happen. We are unable to fund a project of this magnitude ourselves and look to outside sponsors to assist us.
Approximate project cost Rs.50 Million

Stands above E to G block and H to J block:
With the construction of the Ranjan Chanmugam and Sathi Coomaraswamy stands, the areas available to further increase our accommodation are from block E to J. These are two separate blocks and we plan to construct an upstair stand on each of these.
Approximate project cost Rs.30 Million each

Indoor Cricket Nets:
With the construction of the practice pitches our next target is the indoor cricket nets. We require to construct an indoor net consisting of six nets, with the press block and the print media being housed above. Currently the electronic and print media are housed in the Sports Complex. However, international cricket has been moving in the direction of separating the print and electronic media.

This can be done by undertaking the construction of indoor nets at the other end of the grounds near the score board end. The area has been demarcated, and we are awaiting the funding to commence construction. The press block must be constructed in such a manner that it is air-conditioned with all modern facilities including Internet, and email connectivity.
Approximate project cost Rs. 30 Million

Modernisation of scoreboard:
Our scoreboard is undoubtedly the most picturesque in the world. It was also one of its kind in Asia, and the Chepauk Stadium in Madras copied our design when they constructed theirs. Today, however it is badly in need of reconstruction. The work of reconstruction should be undertaken in such a manner that the aesthetics of the ivy surrounding the scoreboard remain intact. Estimates have been obtained for this project.
Approximate project cost Rs.7.5 Million

Flood lights:
If we are to become a venue on a permanent basis for One Day International cricket, flood lights area a must. This will probably be the culmination of our achievements.
Approximate project cost Rs.100 Million (approx.)

One part of our vision to become Sri Lanka’s leading international venue whilst the other part is to improve the facilities for our members and to remain a family club. The bar is the focal point of any Club and the current bar does not meet with today’s requirements. The decision has already been made to shift the bar to the current M Sathasivam stand and to reconstruct a modern bar in this area once construction of the Dr. Ranjan Chanmugam stand is completed. This modern bar will have a reserved area for members to view matches and will be a fully air-conditioned bar with a modern lounge as well as a billiards table and other restaurant facilities. Plans are being drawn up and we are looking for sponsors in this regard.
Approximate project cost Rs.10 M.

We are primarily a cricket club. On the cricketing front, the Club has been one of Sri Lanka’s leading clubs over the past decades. We have produced many international cricketers such as S. Saravanamuttu, John Pulle, George Hubert, Sathi Coomarasamy, V Kasipillai, Chandra Schaffter, Anton Sethupathy, B.W.R. Thomas, Neil Chanmugam, M. Devaraj and of course the incomparable M. Sathasivam. In the recent past we have had Muttiah Muralitharan, the world’s greatest ever bowler., Champaka Ramanayake Sri Lanka’s former opening bowler, and current fast bowling coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe Sri Lanka’s former opening batsman and current A team coach, Upul Chandana Sri Lanka player and Niroshan Bandarathilleke to name a few. The Tamil Union despite its name is today a Club, which apart from a couple of players consists mainly of our brethren from the majority community.
Cricket is an area we had unfortunately neglected in the recent past, with all efforts being focused on development projects. The Club has re-vitalized the Cricket Committee and we have recently secured the services of Brendon Kuruppu, Sri Lanka’s former Wicket keeper/Opening batsman, as our coach. He has bought a considerable degree of experience and value to our team which we are sure will greatly uplift the standards of our cricket. We have also probably for the first time in Club history obtained the services of a sports specialist who has already commenced giving our cricketers lectures on nutrition, diet, fitness and psychology. In addition, a structured fitness program is also being prepared.

Our vision in the cricketing area is to produce two national players at any given time and three Sri Lanka “A” Team players. We have with this vision in mind contracted key players who would form an integral part of our team and also have the talent and mental fitness to make the grade in the longer term. With the longer-term view in mind we have also attracted younger players with the potential to reach the top. Our cricket budget is funded by the Cricket Board to some extent with the Club funding the balance. We do however have an annual shortfall of
Approximately Rs.1.5 Million.

It is only you who can help make the dreams come true.