Harindra Dunuwille: A man of many facets and achievements | Sunday Observer

Harindra Dunuwille: A man of many facets and achievements

Harindra Dunuwille
Harindra Dunuwille

Tikiribanda Harindranatha “Harindra” Dunuwille (born 29 September 1946) was a top class cricketer for Trinity College, the Kandy schools, Kandy Sports Club, OTSC and Central Province.

He led the Central Province schools team and was Combined Schools vice captain besides being a member of the Kandy Municipal Council, Mayor and later Deputy Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs (1989–93).

Harendra as he was known to many people, was one of the finest cricketers to come out of Trinity College in the 1960s. He started his cricket at the age of nine and played in the Under-12 team under Saliya Godagama for three years from 1955 to 1957 and was selected to play in the Under 14 and 16 teams.

In 1962 while he was in the Under-16 side, he was invited by the then First XI coach Percy Madugalle to play in the team. He replaced Lalith Thalakada, who had not attended practices and it was Harindra’s first game for the senior side against Kingswood College.

From 1963 to 1966, Harindra was a regular member of the side that he captained in 1966 which was rated as one of the best sides Trinity produced at that time. Himendra Ranaweera as his deputy, Glen Vanlangenburg, Nihal Marambe, Ajith Abeyratne and Chandra Amunugama were some of the other members of the team.

One of his finest seasons was in 1965 when he bagged 49 wickets as a right arm spinner and became the second best Trinitian next to HC Inman who had taken 61 wickets in the 1910s. That year, Harindra won the best bowling prize at Trinity and some of his bowling figures were in 1964 when he took 5/27 and 5/63 vs Wesley, 5/51 vs S. Thomas’ and 5/40 vs Royal. In 1965 he took 7/31 vs Ananda, 5/67 vs Royal, 6/76 vs St. Joseph’s and in 1966 took 6/6 vs Kingswood and 6/39 vs St. Joseph’s.

In 1966 as a steady right hand bat Harindra scored two unbeaten centuries, 129 vs Kingswood and 120 vs Royal. In his very first year he won his colours and the coveted Lion in 1966 and also took home the highest award at Trinity, the Ryde Gold Medal which is presented to the best all-round student.

In 1966 he led the Central Province schools team in the Zonal tournament and was vice captain to Anura Tennakoon in the Sri Lanka schools team. In the same year as a schoolboy Harindra played for the country under HIK Fernando who got the opportunity to lead as the regular skipper Michael Tissera was injured.

Harindra had a colourful career both on and off the field. His memorable match was in 1966, when the Sri Lanka schools team led by Anura Tennakoon with Harindra as the deputy, entered the final of the Pentangular tourney, in the country’s Premier cricket tournament for the Robert Senanayake Trophy. The final was against the Government Services XI which had players like TB Kehelgamuwa, BG Reid, BF Ahlip, DP de Silva, Anuruddha Polonnowita and Daya Sahabandu to name a few.

On the way to the final they played against the strong Rest XI in the semi-final which had players of the calibre of Russell Hamer, BWR Thomas, S. Fernando, R. de Silva and Norton Fredericks.

The schools side won by 20 runs with one and half hours to spare. The Schools XI scored 157 and 217 to which the Rest XI replied with 142 and 212.

After leaving school in 1967 Harindra played for SSC for one season before playing for Law College for three years and later for Kandy Cricket Club and Central Province. He also played for Old Trinitians SC in the late 1980s and later became the president of the Kandy District Cricket Association.

During his term of office, several Test matches were played in Kandy along with a World Cup match and Harindra introduced several tournaments among them the All Island Schools Under-15 championship for the Dr. CDL Fernando Trophy, limited overs, six a-side, double wicket and a triangular.

Harindra was well supported in his committee by the late ZM Jauffer, late Dr. MS Uduwella, late Aubrey Kuruppu, Deva Amunugama, Malcolm Perera, Hafiz Marikar, D. Vartharaja, Sunil Wickremanayake, AS Ekanayake, Lakshman Nugawella and Janaka Pathirana to name a few.

Harindra was also a live-wire when the late Gamini Dissanayake re-developed the Asgiriya ground to a stadium and was in the Committee with his good friends HM Halimdeen, Kavan Rambukwella and the then principal of Trinity Dr. WG Wickremasinghe.

Harindra was one of the vice presidents of the Board of Control for Cricket when Sri Lanka won the World Cup. As the Kandy Mayor he formed the first Sports Committee of the Municipal Council and this writer (Hafiz Marikar) had the privilege of being the first Chairman of that committee and promoted sports in a big way through the Playgrounds and Community Centres.

Harindra is one of the founder members of the Old Trinitians SC and never held anything back to give the club the much needed boost.

Starting a successful legal practice in Kandy, he went on to become the president of the Kandy Bar Association and the vice president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. Today, Harindra has retired from all sports activities and is now a lawyer with good practice.