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Guy de Alwis – Fearless and forthright

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Former wicketkeeper batsman’s eighth death anniversary today

by Rex Clementine

Today falls the eighth death anniversary of one of Sri Lankan cricket’s early heroes – Guy De Alwis. A swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman, De Alwis made his Test debut in 1983 in Christchurch along with six other players after the national team had been depleted following the rebel tour to South Africa.

De Alwis was a regular member of the side in 1980s and his finest moment with the bat came in the 1983 World Cup when he posted back to back half-centuries, needless to say in double quick time.

As a schoolboy, De Alwis represented S. Thomas’ College and made an immediate impression making a half-century in his first Royal-Thomian encounter following in the footsteps of another fine Thomian wicket-keeper batsman – Ajit Jayasekara.

Post retirement he was heavily involved in coaching and then took over as Chairman of Selectors in 2002. His tenure as Chief Selector was one of the most successful ones in our cricket as De Alwis provided opportunities for many young players.

With De Alwis, no one owned permanent positions or slots in the side. Consistency was the currency for selection. He regularly rested seniors for dead rubbers and wasn’t afraid to shuffle the batting order with the backing of coach Dav Whatmore. His ways of challenging the seniors brought the best out them.

Not that De Alwis was against seniors. He was instrumental in bringing back forgotten players like Hashan Tillakaratne and Aravinda de Silva into the ODI outfit and both players proved to be huge assets as Sri Lanka finished the 2003 World Cup as losing semi-finalists. Six months prior to that, Sri Lanka were joint winners in the Champions Trophy after the final against India was a washout.

In modern day cricket, being a selector is a tough ask as you are constantly under pressure due to numerous requests by politicians to accommodate various players. With De Alwis it was no exception but the fearless man he is, Guy always maintained the integrity of office. He did not bow down to pressure and eventually politicians had their way removing him as Chairman of Selectors.

But Guy’s guts and fearlessness was appreciated by many. He was far-sighted, innovative and honest; attributes that those who wish to be selectors need to have. His death eight years ago at the age of 52 was a massive blow for the game. Cricket lost a dear friend.



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Sri Lanka Cricket appoints Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe to promote women’s cricket

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Sri Lanka Cricket announced the appointment of Olympic Silver Medalist  Susanthika Jayasinghe as the ‘Consultant—Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket.”

Jayasinghe, one of the most decorated athletes produced by Sri Lanka and the only female athlete to win an Olympic medal for her country and the only Asian woman athlete to have won an Olympic medal in sprint events, will use her story of grit and determination to inspire the present and future generations of women cricketers in Sri Lanka.

Her appointment took effect on February 1, 2023.

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Sri Lanka leave out injured Hasini Perera for T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera during the T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have left out experienced campaigner Hasini Perera from their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup after she suffered an injury. Perera, who was named in the original squad, was forced out after injuring her finger during a practice session.

She has been replaced by Sathya Sandeepani, whose only appearance for the national side came in the 2020 T20 World Cup encounter against runners-up India. Apart from the forced change, the Asian side have also made a couple of changes to their squad from the one that reached the Asia Cup final last October.

Rashmi Silva and Madushika Methtananda, two players who didn’t get an opportunity in the Asia Cup, have been left out of the squad for the World Cup in favour of Vishmi Gunaratne and Ama Kanchana. 17-year-old Vishmi made her debut in both T20Is and ODIs last year for Sri Lanka and the experienced Ama Kanchana, who made her T20I debut almost 10 years ago, has been recalled for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.

Chamari Athapaththu will lead the 15-member squad once again. Sri Lanka are in Group A alongside New Zealand, Bangladesh, hosts South Africa and defending champions Australia. They begin their campaign on the opening night (February 10) against South Africa at Newlands.

Squad:

Chamari Athapaththu (C), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Tharika Sewwandi, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sathya Sandeepani.

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President’s Mahara and Sri Parakrama NS Kobeigane declared joint champions

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The captains of the two schools Mihilsara Oshan (President’s College) and Adeesha Lakshan (Sri Parakrama NS) are seen with the trophy here.

Under 13 Division III Cricket Final

President’s College Mahara and Sri Parakrama National School Kobeigane were declared joint champions of the Under 13 Division III cricket tournament after the final between the two schools ended in a no-decision at Ananda Sastralaya ground Kotte yesterday. In reply to President’s 183 runs, Sri Parakrama National School were 133 for five wickets when rain prevented further play.

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