Ageless Wonder: A Mylvaganam-BY DENNIS DE ROSAYRO
A Mylvaganam was Ceylon’s ageless wonder, making his international debut versus Afghanistan in 1947 and had the rare distinction of being the only Ceylon player selected to play with the Indians in an exhibition match in Colombo in 1947.
Throughout his distinguished career of over three decades, Mylvaganam played in the pivotal role of Centre Half barring his two farewell Test matches against the Indian Olympic team in 1960, where he captained the team and played as a Right Full Back.
He was Ceylon’s best short corner specialist and feared by his opponents, as he could change the outcome of a match within seconds.
He was crafty and the ‘heart and soul’ of the team he played for.
It was amazing at the age of 37 how he played and withstood the might of the Indians on the 1960 tour, playing in all 14 matches. As Right Half, I played alongside him in 11 matches and indeed it was more than a learning experience.
He captained the Government Services at the first National championships in 1956 until 1960 when he retired; but in 1958 he led an ageing Government Services team to beat Mercantile HA who had eight Internationals 2-0.
He was the backbone of the formidable Tamil Union C&AC which won 11 championships from 1946 to 1960.
He umpired several National championships and internationally he umpired in three Tests vs Pakistan in 1962 and vs India in 1967.
In 1977, he was recognised by the world hockey body FIH as an International Umpire and was chairman of the Selection Committee from 1962 to 1964 and Selector in 1961 and 1965.
It was fitting that he ended his illustrious career as captain against the visiting Indian Olympic team of 1960.
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