It is not known when Cricket was introduced to Ceylon (Sri Lanka now) by the English although the maritime provinces were occupied since 1796, by the British. The oldest records about Cricket mentions that it was in 1832 that a cricket match was first played. Contrary to the belief it is Kandy District that took up to cricket in a big way and not Colombo. The Athletic, Boating, Cricket and Dancing (ABCD) Club in Kandy were the pioneers of Cricket . In those pioneering years Cricket was played by the Europeans and it was a little while before the locals started playing.
Rev. Joseph Brooke H. Bailey M.A. (Edin.) an excellent cricketer, who came to Colombo as Assistant to Head Master of the Colombo Academy (now Royal College) and was instrumental in introducing Cricket to Royal and Schools in Ceylon. During his time 1835 – 1838 he did much to make cricket popular and the first encounter between schools is recorded as the Royal Thomian match of 1879.
The earliest record of a Richmond cricket match is recorded in the year 1888 of a match which was played with the Galle Central School—later known as All Saints’. This was one year before the Royal-Thomian encounter which is regarded as the first inter collegiate match. However since both Richmond and Central School had masters playing in their teams it was not regarded as school cricket. However cricket has been at Richmond even before, although not at competitive level.
Having learnt the rudiments from the masters, and given their natural abilities blessed with the basic ingredients required to be a natural cricketer, it was not long before the pupils got into their own. By the year 1900 a decision has been made to drop masters from school teams and D. L. Wirasinha had the distinction of being the first captain of Richmond College.
It is interesting to trace how the game developed on the Hill. Before Mr. Darrell’s time, the boys had very little playground space. A bit of flat land, very much smaller than what it is today, existed between the Principal’s Bungalow and the Boarding House. By cutting down the high ground and filling the sloping terrain towards the Science Hall—now the Kindergarten—Mr. Darrell provided about an acre of flat land for Cricket. This ground was also used as a parade ground for the Cadets. This was known as the Senior pitch. This area was reserved for 1st Eleven members and near aspirants to the team. Little boys were not allowed anywhere near this area. In 1926, this ground was further enlarged to mark the Diamond Jubilee (60).