Coach of several Sri Lankan players rode a bike and showed how to bat | Sunday Observer

Coach of several Sri Lankan players rode a bike and showed how to bat

8 January, 2023

Pinnaduwage Premadasa Silva, (popularly known as PP Silva) who has completed 50 years as a cricket coach says that he wants batsmen to hit the ball as hard as possible and not worry about winning when occupying the crease.

But the two strokes he wanted the batsmen to concentrate more on was the forward defence and the leg-glance to score the runs.

“My intention was always to make good players especially batsmen on how to hit the ball hard and not worry about winning,” said Silva.

PP Silva reached the age of 80 years on December 30, 2022 and was felicitated by the Old boys of Sri Sumangala College Panadura and friends. They first held a Buddhist blessing or Pooja at the Galawetimodara Temple in the morning to celebrate his 80th birthday. Then in the evening they held a function at the Ramadia Hotel with limited invitees to felicitate his coaching career that had surpassed fifty years.

Premadasa Silva first played and later captained Sri Sumangala College cricket team. His highest score was 110 runs not out when playing against Vidyartha College Kandy. Later, he joined the Air Force and stayed there for five years. He played for Air Force in the division two cricket tournament for the Donovan Andree Trophy.

He took up to coaching at Sri Sumangala after leaving school with the main intention of uplifting their standard of cricket. Silva had followed coaching courses conducted by Frank Tyson and Laddie Outschoorn with the intention of learning more methods on how to uplift the standard of a player.

Silva did all this for the love of the game and wanted to see the College team reach higher levels. He coached on a voluntary basis and did his travelling on a bicycle. He was always there on time and one player who reached national level under his guidance was Ravin Wickremaratne who started off as an off spinner and was selected to the Schools team that toured England.

After that there were players like Indika Gallage, Kithruwan Vithanaga, Perera and Don Anurasiri who played Test cricket for Sri Lanka.

His son Kaushal Silva who represented S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia was also a member of the Sri Lanka team.

His cycling to coach did not stop even when he was employed at Lake House and was always on night duty.

He would go for his coaching in the morning and after a short break for lunch he was back at the ground. After that later in the evening he would get ready to go for duty in the night.

Only God knows how he rested during the day and all those who followed him were grateful for his coaching stint.

Presently, Silva has his own academy called Panadura Cricket Academy that was established in 2004 with nearly a hundred boys attending practices on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Initially Don Anurasiri impressed me most out of the players who I have coached,” noted Silva.

“Most of the boys who I have coached did well in the division one cricket tournaments conducted by the Cricket Board. Lionel Fernando is a significant name in the top division,” added Silva.

Now Silva does most of his coaching seated on a chair as he cannot stand for too long. He had a fall on the ground and his back hit a root of a tree that had curved upwards from the ground level. With this injury his physical application was drastically reduced. He even walks with a slight hunch back.

Nevertheless, his coaching has not stopped as he can still show the different strokes to be played with the bat. At the age of 80 years he is now physically not strong and fit as he used to be.