World Cup legends of 1996 to reunite

Nostalgia and classical Sri Lankan cricket will take the NCC Grounds by storm on 12th January, as for the first time; the ‘1996 Cricket World Cup Champions’ will reunite to play a match together.

The 20-20 match which will be a public fundraiser for the ‘Nana Diriya’ programme which is a beneficiary of Baby Cheramy’s Big Heart Project.

’96 team member, Big Heart Honourary Project Ambassador and one of the main driving forces behind this event, Roshan Mahanama, said: “It’s wonderful reuniting with the team again after almost 17 years. This promises to be a spectacle but beyond that, it is a great gesture by everyone in the team for volunteering to come to Sri Lanka and play this match for this noble cause. They inspired the nation in 1996 and once again they’re reuniting for Sri Lanka, and for the future of our children. It’s going to be something special.”

Further he added “I am humbled to champion a cause that will help build a generation of children in Sri Lanka, who will be exposed to the benefits of education. The Big Heart Project, is an initiative that will help propel the future of many young children and I invite all Sri Lankan’s to gather and support us as we bat on to win Sri Lanka’s children their education.”

Taking to the field on the day will be ’96 Captain Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Asanka Gurusinghe, Hashan Tillakaratne, Roshan Mahanama, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Upul Chandana, Chaminda Vaas, Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Ravindra Pushpakumara and Muttiah Muralitharan.

They will play against a team of legendary Sri Lankan national cricketers. Tickets will be sold to the general public at Rs. 50/- and all proceeds from the event including sponsorships and sale of memorabilia, will go towards the Big Heart Project and in support of the ‘Nana Diriya’ programme.

Mr. Husein Esufally, Chief Executive Officer, Hemas Holdings PLC, commenting on the event, said “I am pleased that ‘Baby Cheramy’ has initiated a project of this nature to celebrate the brand’s 50 years, in a socially responsible manner. The objective of the Big Heart project is to promote education among children who are at risk of dropping out from school due to poverty. We are honoured that almost everyone from the ’96 team is giving their own time voluntarily to be a part of this event and the Big Heart Project. Hemas is proud to bring this spectacle to the cricket fans of Sri Lanka, but more importantly, we are glad the team could reunite to support education in the country”.

The Big Heart Project is being conducted in partnership with the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs.

Commissioner of the Department of Probation & Childcare Services, Mrs. Yamuna Perera, speaking about the event, said: “To see our legends supporting the ‘Nana Diriya’ programme in this way, gives us much hope. Baby Cheramy’s Big Heart Project has been a great strength to us on our mission to provide every child in this country, a normal childhood, a good education and a bright future, and I believe this event takes us a step closer to achieving these goals.”

The special 20-20 exhibition match takes place on the 12th of January, at 10 am at the NCC Grounds, and is open to all members of the public. The ticket costs only Rs. 50 and it is now available at NCC Grounds. For those who want to contribute to the cause; a dedicated bank account is available for Nena Diriya programme through ‘Sevana Sarana Foster Parent Scheme’ (Account No: 174-1-001-1-9026268 at People’s Bank, Nugegoda branch).  (Courtesy