(By Srian Obeyesekere)
It is with profound sadness that Sri Lanka Cricket website records the demise of Mr. Mazher Fazleali on January 20. Fazleali was a colossus to the game of cricket both as a player and administrator. A top order batsman at Royal College, Colombo from 1960 to 1965 his overflowing passion for the game of cricket saw him serve as an administrator as well. He was the Treasurer of the then Board of Control for Cricket from the early 1970s to the early 1980s.
As much as he reveled in the game with the bat at Royal College, Mazher Fazleali’s love for the game spurred him on to imparting his knowledge of the game as a top administrator. So much so that he is prided with having been a founder member of the Colombo District Cricket Association which has been the lending atom to spreading the game in knitting and harnessing latent talent in the city metropolis over the years under the purview of Sri Lanka Cricket. He was vice president of the CDCA from 2002 to 2016 and rose to becoming its president from 2017 to 21. Indeed, Mazher Fazleali has left a lasting impact to what he loved and cherished for the game to nourish. As his daughter Fatema reminisced of her late father, “My dad remained involved with the game of cricket through the CDCA to the end and thoroughly enjoyed the role he played there.”
A soft spoken and gentle man, Mazher Fazleali, who was 75 years at the time of his demise, never failed to lend a helping hand to those in need. Hailing from a family of cricketers, his passion for the game remained to the last as his daughter Fatema fondly recalled going on to note that it was a passion he passed down to his children ‘who have thanks to dad have picked up the game.’
“Mazher was an astute administrator who strongly enforced accountability and transparency in all what we did at Colombo DCA. His calm and uncontroversial management style and visionary advice and guidance helped CDCA to remain as the most vibrant District Cricket Association under the umbrella of Sri Lanka Cricket” claimed Bandula Dissanayake who served as the Secretary of CDCA under Mr. Fazleali and subsequently succeeded him in the post of President.
Mr. Fazleali in addition to his cricket administration involvements was also an active member of Colombo Capri Club and Toastmasters Club. We pray that Allah may shower his blessings and grant Mr. Fazleali Jannatul Firdous.