Chandra Schaffter: Double international who shone as player and administrator-BY DENNIS DE ROSAYRO

Chandra Schaffter: Double international who shone as player and administrator-BY DENNIS DE ROSAYRO

Chandra Schaffter

Chandra Schaffter


As one of the speediest and fittest players, Chandra Schaffter shone as a Right Extreme at the highest level. He knew that the shortest distance between one point to the other was a straight line and with his acumen would keep the defence guessing.

With an array of deceptive passes and accurate hits from various areas, from the right side line, usually foxed the opponents, enabling his forwards with ample time to plan their moves and score goals.

He is a double international in hockey and cricket, managing the hockey team to India in 1971 and cricket teams to India in 1982, England in 1991 and 2002, and Dubai in 1999 and 2002, as well as Asia Test Championship in Pakistan in 2002.

From 1954 to 1956, he was a regular member of the Ceylon cricket team both at home and abroad as an opening fast bowler. His best figures were 3/28 and 3/71 against Madras CA in Madras for the Gopalan Trophy which Ceylon won. He also played in 1954, against Len Hutton’s team, which was on its way to Australia, and was highly commended by the visiting team and press. He was also selected to play against Peter May’s team in 1958 at the SSC but never got on the field due to bad weather.

He represented the Mercantile HA at the 1st National Championships in 1956 and also from 1958 to 1963, and the 1st ever Mercantile HA tour of South India in 1956.

He captained the Colombo HA at the 2nd National championships

Chandra joined the Tamil Union C&AC, a club widely known as the premier club for cricket and hockey, in 1959 as a teenage schoolboy from S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, with a reputation of captaining the cricket team, vice-captain of the hockey team, colours in Soccer and Fives, played tennis and swam; easily selected as the Best All Round Sportsman.

With these amazing achievements, he was straightway selected to play for the national cricket team captained by Ceylon’s ‘Don Bradman’ M Sathasivam and the hockey team captained by one of Ceylon’s best ever A. Mylvaganam. What a baptism for any young sportsman.

Tamil Union reigned supreme in tournaments conducted by the Ceylon Hockey Association and later by the Colombo HA. They won the ‘Andriesz Shield’ League in 1949, 51, 54, 57 to 59 and 61/62 and the ‘Pioneer Cup (K/O), in 1951/52, 54, 58, 60 and 62/63, winning 15 championships. The Tamil Union vs Burgher RC encounters were classics, where the BRC also won 10 championships and attracted large crowds. In fact in Ceylon’s first ever tour abroad to South India in 1953, the team was captained by A. Mylvaganam and had six more including Chandra, while the BRC had six including Ernie Kelaart (vice-captain). Hugh Aldons could not make the tour due to leave difficulties.

During and after a distinguished sports career, Chandra devoted much time to resources to sports.

He was Hony Secretary of the Ceylon Hockey Federation from 1959/60 to 1963/64 and Selector from 1960/61 to 1963, 1968/69 and 1973/75 (Chairman of Selectors). He was a regular opening bowler and useful bat in an unbroken period from 1951 to 1966. He captained the 2nd Division Donovan Andree team when Tamil Union were demoted, won this trophy and gained promotion.

The first Sri Lankan president of the Mercantile Cricket Association, he had a great deal to do with establishing their present headquarters. Chandra Schaffter was at one time a Vice-President of the Cricket Board and the Olympic Council. He resigned from all sporting offices in 1973 or so, in protest against the Sports Act which he described as the “Nationalisation of Sport”.

He was also made Honorary Life Member of the Tamil Union in 1986 and in 2021, Chandra was invited to be the Patron of the Tamil Union. His contribution for the past 72 years at the Tamil Union A&AC cannot be replicated.


Chandra TA Schaffter (born 1930)
Position: Right Extreme
Clubs: Tamil Union C&AC,

Mercantile HA

1953 Ceylon HA tour of Madras and Bangalore

1955 vs Pakistan
1955 vs Madras

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