Michael de Zoysa: If only he could write his own lines! | Sunday Observer

Michael de Zoysa: If only he could write his own lines!

Michael de Zoysa
Michael de Zoysa

In today’s set-up where corruption, dishonestly, cheating and rouge ways hold sway in sections of Sri Lankan society and some people who boast of culture can only put on a face for the cameras, Michael de Zoysa was a cut above the rest and went to his grave on Wednesday evening like the true professional he was.

Perhaps Michael de Zoyza will be able to give a better account of himself to his Creator than many others who hobnobbed with him and were no match to his integrity.

Michael belonged to a breed that is fast dying out in the country and that he had to put up with or fight against some of the miscreants running the affairs of Sri Lanka Cricket over the years, just showed that he could not be separated from a sport that meant so much to him whether it was in the commentary box behind the mike, managing players or taking care of administrative challenges.

He will be remembered for his professional conduct in handling whatever job he undertook or was given to him although some may not have seen him as their kind of man. Michael had a conscience and a name to live by and was a strong advocate of openness in administration and never held back anything he thought benefitted cricket.

He was fiercely protective of cricket officials he worked for at Sri Lanka Cricket during election run-ups and was never afraid to open out to journalists at Press conferences or on the sidelines at matches and cricketing functions. Subscribing to dirty inside politics where many a pound of flesh is demanded and the for-services-rendered syndrome is the name of the game, was never Michael’s cup of tea.

His name first became synonymous with cricket as somewhat of a junior commentator among the heavyweights that included his late father Lucien de Soyza. But Michael had the kind of professionalism, the Radio Voice, that is now only history, that made him live up to expectations and eventually made him an inseparable pillar of the elite Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) that he served until his death last Sunday as its vice president and ground secretary.

There will be many stories said about Michael and many lines written about him, how he coached and managed players including the Sri Lanka team and the many cricket functions he graced. But Michael de Zoysa leaves behind a kind of legacy that can only be best presented by the man himself.

- Callistus Davy