Forgotten Senarath Alwis has a message for Sri Lanka Cricket | Sunday Observer

Forgotten Senarath Alwis has a message for Sri Lanka Cricket

Senarath Alwis
Senarath Alwis

Forgotten cricket coach Senarath Alwis who discovered some of Bangladesh’s top players, contends he has a formula to lift the fortunes of the Sri Lanka youth team ahead of the 2022 Under-19 World Cup.

Sri Lanka ended in the ninth place at the last Under-19 World Cup and has never been able to rise in the ranks since ending runners-up to India in 2000 while Bangladesh pulled off the biggest shock to win the showpiece last year.

“We have had enough of so many experts saying this and that and how to field an Under-19 team,” said Alwis.

“You don’t need any experts, just pick on some 16 or 17 year old schoolboys who have the potential and place them in teams that play in the Tier A and B Premier League. By the time the next World Cup is on us these players would have matured with confidence by playing against the hardcore club players.”

Alwis along with Carlton Bernadus, Malcolm Perera and Charlie Warnakulasuriya formed an elite coaching team in Bangladesh from 2000 to 2002.

Alwis discovered Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal as a 11-year old player, but his biggest catch was unearthing the former captain and fast bowler Mashrafee Mortaza.

“He was 16 years when I first saw him jump into a bathing pool from a tree top and I realized this guy has some athleticism in him,” said Alwis.

“He was playing cricket but his potential was not brought into focus. I only had to do something to make him bowl to a line and length and the rest is now history.”

Senarath was an unsung coach and never wanted to hug the limelight as some coaches do when he coached Royal College junior teams.