2022 heralds in the 150th Anniversary of the Colombo Malay Cricket Club. The formation of the club is a historic event in the annals of Sri Lanka cricket, when in 1872 the Rifle Green parade ground of the Ceylon Rifle Regiment (CRR) also known as the Malay Regiment was presented to the Regimental side of the Rifle Regiment as their cricket ground for their enthusiasm and mastery of the game of cricket. Being the early days of Cricket in Sri Lanka, gave birth to the first Sri Lanka cricket club. A historic encounter between the cricketers of the Ceylon Rifle Regiment (Malay Regiment) and a British Regimental side on the 23rd of March 1872 led to the gifting of the Rifle Green ground with which the Colombo Malay Cricket Club was formed. The disbanding of the Ceylon Rifle Regiment commenced in 1871 and was completed in 1873 by the then Governor Sir William Gregory. These soldiers were subsequently absorbed into the Police force, the Fire Brigade, Town Guards and other administrative services of the state and the estate sector. This was the beginning of a long journey in cricket and today the game of Cricket has a special place in the heart of all Sri Lankans. The game that has gained Sri Lanka international fame. Sir William Gregory in his autobiography referring to the disbandment of the CRR says “I regret to lose a band of excellent cricketers”.
Many elaborate arrangements have been made throughout the year to Commemorate this very special occasion. A milestone. The first Sri Lankan cricket club to celebrate such a feat. The club played a pivotal role in laying the foundation of the game in the country, the cradle of cricket in Sri Lanka. When the game was once competitively played by only the Europeans, closely following the CMCC other clubs were formed and joined to initiate the Sri Lankan brand of cricket. In 1920 the CMCC were declared club champions which were predominantly led by the European clubs. The club shouldered responsibility in striving to develop a formal cricket administration in the country which resulted in the formation of the first cricket assembly in Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Cricket Association in July 1922. Dr. John Rockwood the first President of the CCA a close ally of the CMCC in his message in the CMCC Jubilee Book says “The Malay Cricket Club is the first Ceylonese Cricket Combination to be able to celebrate its Jubilee, being therefore the oldest Ceylonese Cricket Club existing and I am sure than pleased to see how much they are like that famous advertising figure so well-known for its spritely, jaunty air and still going strong. May they long flourish as gaily and buoyantly as now!”
With the gaining of independence, the historic inaugural meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in Ceylon, was held at the CMCC pavilion at the Rifle Green on the 25th of June 1948. The CMCC has held controlling member status in the SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket) since the very inception of formal cricket administration. CMCC were among the first 12 cricket clubs competing in the first official First-Class tournament for the Daily News Trophy in 1938. The club was the first Sri Lankan club to make a cricket tour overseas in 1907. Toured Bombay, India and has made 04 overseas tours since then. With the Rifle Green requisitioned in lieu of the World War in 1939 and subsequently making way for the expansion of the Slave Island Police Station in 1954 the state granted the Padang ground down Kew Road Colombo 02 in 1959, where the Club stands now. The club now participates in the SLC Governors Cup and the under 23 tournaments. The CMCC is also a controlling club of the Colombo Hockey Association and is a venue for many sporting events from various sectors.