I have long been confused with this particular aspect of Sri Lankan adolescent/post adolescent annual rituals. During Big Match season we generally tend to see an uprising of sorts from boys school all over screaming in enraged defiance at their opposition and at the world in general for no particular reason other than that two school teams will be playing a cricket match a week or two later.
Most of them wouldn't even know any of the players in a team but will usually have a rough grasp of which team is favored to win since this is an important factor in determining the level of defiance in your roar and levels of virtual testosterone in air humping movements made on top of moving pickup trucks.
The whole deal as a matter of fact, is nothing about the cricket. the big Match is just a chance for some legitimate skullduggery, some legitimate jumping into girls schools and some license to feel like alpha males for a little while at least. Everyone's a little tolerant of these things come big match season yeah? Principles are in a boys-will-be-boys mood, the girls are coy, the teachers wear grim faces yet undergo tremendous stress to keep amused smiles from breaking out. Pedestrians are annoyed, yet secretly wish they could prance around without a care just like the objects of their annoyance.
And they All contribute, knowing full well that the money goes to nothing more than an alcohol, papare band, and smoking material fund that will probably contribute next to nothing to whatever cause they claim to be collecting it for, and that claim usually goes something like 'for the big match', which is very vague and that’s the way everybody likes it. see no evil and the rest of it.
And the girls. I think the number of girls at big matches would outnumber the boys if there weren't already so many boys inside the place already. It's like they actually enjoy being amidst a rowdy bunch of hooting males drinking and smoking everything drinkable and smokable regardless of legality and screaming and fighting and pushing and taking their shirts off at a moments notice. The attention factor must draw them to it. Because i suppose there is nothing more gratifying for a woman than to be ogled at by a hundred guys at the same time. Which is roughly the proportion of males to females at most big matches. And the alcohol and intoxicant content would ensure that pretty soon any woman seen on the grounds would have her own fair share of oglement. We're very politically correct that way.
Not that I've done a statistical analysis of these things, I've never been trucking or jumped into a girl’s school mainly 'cos the school i went to didn’t have an operational big match. But crazy rumors and stories circulated telling of a of a big match that once existed which was abolished due to some chap 'from the other school' dying, as in being stabbed to death, of course, our guys say we did the killing. Versions may differ. There is a bit of an ugly side to the whole thing, sure. But isn't there an ugly side to everything?
The chap sitting next to me sums it up best, big matches are not really about the cricket, once you leave school they are mostly about catching up with your old mates and having a slice of that carefree life you used to enjoy. Not really about enraged fans screaming for a win and more about a bunch of males with a rowdy license meeting for a good old booze up and a smoke up and a screaming fest with constant ogling action thrown in. It's the atmosphere. The cricket is only what holds it all together.