Rugby: 'Tanker' Hamid's gift to the sport

Sunday, 9 September 2018 Sport

"He gives one the impression of a Sherman Tank gone out of control, as he wades into the game with bare teethed ferocity." 

These words aptly describe the play of Ibrahim Hamid who was thereafter always referred to as 'Tanker'. 

Hamid played five seasons of rugby for Zahira College, leading the team in his final year. 

The years 1962 and 1963 were special as the Zahira team enjoyed tremendous success. 

He scored the decisive try after barging through ten metres to defeat Lakshman Kaluarachchi's Royalists in 1963. 

That Zahira team also had outstanding players in Abdul Majeed and Mohamed Saleem who represented the country. 

Zahira lost a close game to Trinity at Bogambara. 

The 1962 team led by M.H.M. Fassy had done even better, beating Trinity (10-5) Royal (9-3) St. Anthony's (30-0) and St. Peter's (21-8). 

The only blot on the escutcheon was a 5-0 loss to the Thomians. 

The 1963 Zahira team toured Malaysia and Singapore to play seven matches, winning five of them. 

Hamid's next haven was the CR&FC for which club he played for a short time. 

The Longdon Place Club at that time had a superfluity of talent with the likes of Sari de Silva, Didacus de Almeida, Tikiri Marambe and Ajith Abeyratne. 

Hamid moved on to the Police for whom he played for nine years and led the team in 1971. 

The Police at that time had outstanding players such as the late Daya Jayasundera, Anton Benedict, S. Sivendran, his school-mate Majeed and Bandula Wijesinghe. 

The law-enforcers had the great, good fortune of being coached for two years by Kavan Rambukwella – one of Sri Lanka's rugby legends. 

The Police drew the Clifford Cup final with the Havelocks in 1970, lost to the CR and FC in 1971 but then annexed it in 1972. 

He served as secretary of the SLRFU under Gamini Fernando. 

He was also the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, a member of the Selection Committee and the development Committee. 

Last year, Hamid was awarded the Life-time Achievement Award by the SLRFU for his services to rugby.

The citation reads. "In recognition of your loyal and dedicated service to the game of Rugby. Your legacy is a constant source of inspiration to future generation." 

Hamid retired as a Senior Superintendent of Police in 1996. 

Excellent Pistol-shooting was one of the pre-requisites for his job as Preventive Security Officer to President Jayewardene. 

In that capacity, he toured America, England, France, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Japan. 

Pistol-shooting practices were organised by Ravi Jayewardene at the shooting Range at the Police Training College in Kalutara. 

Hamid's PSD team won the Practical Pistol Shooting event at the Armed Services and Police Practical Pistol Shooting Championships. 

His expertise stood him in good stead as he was invited by the Asian Shooting Federation to officiate as an International Technical officer at the recent Asian Games in Palembang. 

The grenade-throwing incident in Parliament saw the object bouncing off the table next to the one where the president was sitting. 

Hamid, who was nearby, promptly threw himself over the President's body and covered him. 

Later on, the First Citizen sent him a letter of commendation. 

It read. "I have found him extremely efficient and helpful. I can sincerely recommend him for any work that needs a man of his training, experience and loyalty." 

It is pertinent that this PSD officer was placed first in one shot, twenty five seconds shooting from 25 meters. 

Being chairman of the Judges Committee of the National Shooting Sports Federation was also grist to his mill. 

A Vice President of the Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation, Hamid is delighted at the sporting excellence of his sons, Zulki and Zulquarnain. 

A Citing Officer of the Asian Rugby Football Union, Ibrahim Hamid can be seen at any Club or National match in Sri Lanka, going about his duties with his customary Quietness and fastidiousness.

Rugby: 'Tanker' Hamid's gift to the sport