No big names but CCC wins the prize | Sunday Observer

No big names but CCC wins the prize

The champion CCC team comprising Ashan Priyanjan (captain), Lasith Abeyratna (vice captain), Minod Bahanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Madawa Warnapura, Dilshan Munaweera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Malidu Madauranga, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Madusanka, Manelka de Silva, Yuran Nimesh, Heshan Hettiarachchi, Vihan Gunasekara, Yasaruwan Herath, Ron Chandraguptha and Sonal Gamage with Tharanga Dhammika (coach) and Sanjaya Gangodawila (assistant coach)
The champion CCC team comprising Ashan Priyanjan (captain), Lasith Abeyratna (vice captain), Minod Bahanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Madawa Warnapura, Dilshan Munaweera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Malidu Madauranga, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Madusanka, Manelka de Silva, Yuran Nimesh, Heshan Hettiarachchi, Vihan Gunasekara, Yasaruwan Herath, Ron Chandraguptha and Sonal Gamage with Tharanga Dhammika (coach) and Sanjaya Gangodawila (assistant coach)

Without any big names Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) re-crowned themselves as the Premier League inter-club champs last week to break a 12-year hoodoo after last winning the trophy in the 2006-7 season under left arm spinner Nisitha Rupasinghe.

The jubilant CCC head coach Tharanga Dhammika the former Nalandian paceman said that apart from Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan and Vishwa Fernando (currently in South Africa) the team had no big names and were encouraged by their sheer commitment against all odds.

“It was a superb all-round team effort,” said Dhammika who is into his fourth season with the club.

The first time CCC won the domestic title was in the 1979-80 season under Michael Tissera followed by Roger Wijesuriya’s team of 1984-85 winning the prize for the second time.

In the 1987/88 season under the leadership of Owen Mottau CCC regained the trophy.

CCC won the Premier one-day title in 2016 and last year took the T-20 runners-up title.

“All credit should go to all the players, supporting staff, ground staff and our club officials headed by president Shammi Silva.

“The coach can’t do everything from behind. We can guide the players and they have to play their part out in middle and that means a lot of responsibility for the players,” said Dhammika who was assisted by Sanjaya Gangodawila.

He said the fitness levels of the players was very important to maintain a well-balanced side.

Malinda Pushpakumara was CCC’s main wicket taker with 63 scalps which included all 10 wickets in an innings against Saracens.

“When skipper Ashan Priyanjan and Mithun Bhanuka were playing in the Sri Lanka A team we had some young players like Wanidu Hasaranga to come good and we also had Lahiru Gamage,” said Dhammika.

CCC started off on a losing note against SSC but the players learnt from their mistakes and went on to post four victories subsequently.

“We had a good vision to win the title. When we lost the first game we never gave up. We understood our weakness and corrected it and then moved forward,” said Dhammika who counts 15 years in First Class coaching and a man able to get the best out of players.

At Nalanda, Dhammika played alongside players in the mould of Mahela Jayawardena and coached the school team before taking up a stint at Bloomfield.

He is not a coach who plays politics and favours any particular player and that was his success at CCC.

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