Battle of Blue and White, in memory of Kugan Yogaratnam, on 14 Sep
Posted on: 01/09/2014 (Monday)
The Battle of Blue and White; i.e. Jaffna Hindu vs. Jaffna Hindu cricket match, will be played between JHCOBA Sydney(Open Team) and Jolly Stars Melbourne for the first Kugan Cup on Sunday, 14th September 2014 in Sydney. The Kugan cup cricket match is organized in memory of Yogaratnam Kugan. JHCOBA Sydney (Open Team) will meet Jolly Stars Melbourne at the Jones Park, Burnett Street and Banks Street Corner, Parramatta on Sunday, 14 September at 8.30 AM.
The Battle of Blue and White for Kugan Cup is a joint initiative by JHCOBA Sydney and JHCOBA Victoria. This will be held as an annual event starting from this year and will be played alternately in Sydney and Melbourne. It was named as Kugan Cup in memory of Late.Mr.Yoharatnam Kugan's contribution to sports and other activities at Jaffna Hindu College. This Match will be inaugurated by his brother Eng.Yoharatnam Suthan, who is an active member of JHCOBA sydney.
Late Mr.Yoharatnam Kugan was born on 23 Dec 1956 in Jaffna. He had his primary education at the Jaffna Hindu Tamil Pre-School and secondary schooling at Jaffna Hindu College. Kugan was a popular personality at school. He was captain of Nagalingam house in sports. He was energetic, brilliant, well respected, and a very kind hearted person who has assisted many in need throughout his life. His cricketing skills are exemplary, may it be a professional match or the one played at valavu (local grounds) in the evenings.
Born: 23 Dec 1956 Died: 17th Feb 1987
Kugan’s cricketing life that started when he played for Jaffna Hindu College in the under 16 team was colourful. He played for the 1st eleven cricket team of Jaffna Hindu and was the school cricket captain in 1976. He was an excellent all-rounder and an entertaining batsman. He has scored many half centuries and couple of centuries in school cricket. Kugan was a fast bowler too; he was the opening bowler of the team. His bowling and fielding skills and ability were not second to his batting skills. He was a main wicket taker and top fielder of the team.
There are many lighter-vein moments in his cricketing career. One incident that all his friends still remember is that once Kugan hit the ball towards the cover and was caught behind the wicket, but it was not Kugan alone who left the field, he took the fielder too in an unconscious state. What happened was, the ball hit the forehead of the fielder, knocked him down and bounced and went behind the wicket; Kugan was caught behind the wicket.
A tribute penned by one of Kugan’s best friend Mr.S.Kuasingahm
Kugan-Sports Boy of Jaffna Hindu in 1970’s
I still remember the days that I have spent with Kugan at school during early 70’s at Jaffna Hindu College. Those memories, something that I cannot forget in my life. Memories that bring happiness some times and sadness other times, even in dreams.
Kugan and me were very close friends, studied in the same class for number of years. He was a boy who was in full of sports, but not me. I was a boy, like so many other kids in the school, admire his sporting abilities, watching from outside the fence.
The very first time, me and Kugan, when we felt we were ready for wearing trousers, as soon as passed the GCE O/L, went to the same tailor and asked him to stitch trousers from same material and in same style. Once collected, the very first time both of us went to Gnanam Studio at Clock Tower Rd in the town and took photos wearing black sun-glasses of same style. Sadly I lost that photograph when I left Jaffna in an emergency situation and that picture stays for ever only in my memories.
Jaffna Hindu was playing a cricket match with another Jaffna school, not sure of the name of the school and the year we played, somewhere around 1975. Kugan was captaining the team. Jaffna Hindu did not play very well at the first innings. Second day of the match was a Saturday. JHC had a very bad start again in the second innings. Kugan was a middle order batsman. Front order did not perform at all. Kugan was walking in from the pavilion. We all, the boys, wanted only one from him, not even a victory, but the fireworks. As he walked in, he looked around and then walked straight to the pitch. The boys were screaming ‘WE WANT SIX’, repeatedly. He did not fail to deliver that in his first ball. Then few more and he returned to the pavilion. We all did not bother the loss of the match, but enjoyed his sixes
One late evening, during the heats days of the Jaffna Hindu Sports Day, as usual, Kugan, me, and few other friends, gathered. It would have been only two or three days prior to the sports day. Kugan said he had a feeling that the distance of the 440 track was not correct, when comparing inner and outer tracks. He was so sure of it. But we fooled him and made him to remember that the tracks were set out and marked by a qualified surveyor, who had been doing this for a number of years.
But on the next morning, I was a bit late to school, but prior to the commencement of school, I saw Kugan was at the playground with late Mr Sabalingham, the then principal of the school, looking at the tracks and discussing, along with Sports teachers. I stopped and watched them. Kugan brought his bicycle, he pulled his handkerchief, tied it on one of the wheels, set it to the beginning of the inner track, walking along, counting right up to the end. He did the same to the outer track as well. Mr Sabalingam was patiently watching. There was a difference in distance and Mr Sabalingam ordered the tracks to be corrected with his strong reaction and appreciated Kugan’s guts.
Kugan, a person who cannot simply accept a loss, react unpredictably in times. I am not sure, whether during the very same sports day or the year after, we all expected Kugan to win the 440 track event. He was competing with another boy who was equally tallented, but Kugan was extremely popular among the boys. The race began. Half way through, Kugan was still in the front. Almost at the end line, the other boy took the lead. No one expected, Kugan suddenly stopped and walked out of the track-withdrawing from the competition.
Years after, when I finished University and practicing in Jaffna as an architect, I re-established associating with Kugan. Not as a little old sports boy of Jaffna Hindu, but as a man, who has vision, philosophical arguments, healthy debates, clear thinking, and strong believes. A person made of a number of layers of capabilities and abilities. We shared a lots of thoughts and views.
At that time, he used to meet me at my house once in few weeks, whenever he needs to collect some drawings that he ask me to prepare time to time. He used to take dinner or lunch with me most of the times he visits. That one day, he told me when he was leaving, that he would meet me only after one week. I did not realise that it was the last time we had meal together. Few days after, an early morning, about 5AM, one of our common friend-Thushyanthan, who did lots of sports with Kugan, knocked at the gate and screamed and screamed without a word. We all lost Kuhan forever. But, not the memories and achievements of this great man whom I love a lot.
Congratulations to JHCOBAs Sydney and Victoria for taking the initiative to organize a cricket match in memory of one of our greatest old boy - Inthuvin Min(e)than Kugan Yogaratnam. He will never be forgotten and always be in our heart. Wish you the very best and I am sure this annual event will flourish forever.
Loga Pradhaban - UK
Kajani Subenthiran (UK)
Posted Date: September 02, 2014
Pleased to see the message about organising a cricket match for the memory of Kugan Yogaratnam.
Kugan was one of the best sportsmen that JHC ever had in early 70s. I got to know this information through by husband, Sube.
Wish you all the best for the tournament.
Kajani Subenthiran (Thuraisingam Master’s daughter)