I've had some fantastic times, I've met some fantastic people. The club has been like an extended family to me. David Howarth - Rodley Cricket Club.
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

The Colombo club Nondescripts CC was founded in 1888. At that time all but one of the cricket clubs in Ceylon were exclusively European and barred Ceylonese from joining. The philosophy of the NCC was 'to cater to all sportsmen, irrespective of caste, creed, politics or nationality.' These principles still guide the club today. Situated in the heart of Sri Lankan cricket - Maitland Place, Colombo 07, next to the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) and Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) – the NCC still retains an intimate, old-world feel with little advertising on the ground.

Brief club history 

The club was founded in 1888 to cater for all Ceylonese men in Colombo, after a meeting chaired by a senior judge, Mr H.L. Wendt. The club’s first ground was in Victoria Park, which is now the site of the town hall, before moving to their current home in Maitland Place in 1910. The move was difficult as the area at that time was extremely marshy, but thanks to the efforts of the club a beautiful ground and pavilion were built which the club still uses today. The club faced some early difficulties as players were lost to the new ethnic-based clubs that emerged in Colombo such as the Tamil Union, Moors and Malays. The foundation of the SSC was particularly disruptive as over half of the NCC’s players left for the new club; yet the NCC survived – as does the friendly rivalry with their neighbours the SSC.

The club has always been a force in Sri Lankan cricket. Between 1900 and 1913 the NCC only lost 48 of 205 matches; this success continued throughout the years with golden periods in the first half of the 20th Century and later in the 1980s. The club’s strength in adversity has also remained; in particular in 1976 when half the 1st XI left for nearby CCC, Ranjit Fernando led a young team to an immediate championship victory. The ground was the venue for all-Ceylon matches throughout the years, and has developed throughout the club’s history, with the addition of swimming pools, indoor nets and new pavilions, yet retains a traditional feel with only minimal advertising.

Many Ceylonese and Sri Lankan internationals played at the NCC, and the club’s contribution to Sri Lankan cricket increased in the 1970s when the NCC established its own school of cricket under Lionel Mendis. The academy is a 'nursery for cricketers but also a training ground for young gentlemen'. Amongst its many graduates is the current Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene. A few of the NCC’s greats include Cecil Horan, Michael Tissera and Kumar Sangakkara. Cecil Horan was the club’s outstanding captain and bowler in the early years of the 20th Century, who took over 2000 wickets for NCC in a twenty year career and many believe he was prevented from captaining Ceylon because of his social status. Later, Micheal Tissera was one of Ceylon’s great batsmen of the 1950s and 1960s, scoring 25 centuries, including two in international matches when he captained his country. The team today has so many internationals it struggles when they are touring, including Kumar Sangakkara, who first joined in 1997.

The club and Taking the Field 

The NCC became part of TTF after club stalwart and former international Ranjit Fernando approached the MCC offering his assistance – and what great assistance this was! During her trip to Sri Lanka in early 2012 Ranjit introduced TTF’s Emma to officials at the NCC but also many others in SL cricket. Emma visited the NCC ground many times during her stay, enjoying some fantastic cricket.

What happened to his rhythm?

What happened to his rhythm?

Ranjit Fernando tells us about a young bowler who found an 'interesting' way of keeping to the letter, if not the spirit, of a new regulation.

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The Spirit of the NCC

The Spirit of the NCC

The Nondescripts Cricket Club Stalwart Ranjit Fernando explains what is behind the meaning 'Nondescripts' and why this makes the club special.

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