Kandy remembers Sri Lanka’s Test cricket architect | Sunday Observer

Kandy remembers Sri Lanka’s Test cricket architect

25 October, 2020
Gamin Dissanayake
Gamin Dissanayake

Kandy yesterday paused to remember the man who pioneered Sri Lanka’s case to attain international Test cricket status, Gamin Dissanayake as well as two others who were also sportsmen in Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi and Dr. Gamini Wijesekara whose lives were cut short when they were assassinated in an LTTE bomb explosion in Colombo on October 24, 1994.

Gamini Dissanayake was educated at Trinity College and was a master in promoting cricket. It was he who argued Sri Lanka’s case for admittance to the ICC as a full member at its meeting at Lord’s in August 1981 which saw Sri Lanka granted Test status.

He was elected President of the Board of Control for Cricket now known as Sri Lanka Cricket in 1981 and helped the game in a big way. It was under his guidance the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation was formed and he was the first chairperson of the Board of trustees. In 1994 once again he was nominated by the Kandy DCA and became the head of the Cricket Board at the election of office bearers that was conducted in the most gentlemanly way and told journalists covering the event that he well appreciated the role they played for the welfare of cricket.

During his tenure Sri Lanka recorded her maiden victory in Test cricket against India at the P. Sara Stadium on September 14, 1985 and followed it up by beating Pakistan in the second Test at the CCC ground in March 1986.

The late Minister Dissanayake also transformed the historic Trinity College ground at Asgiriya to a Test venue. For the benefit of the cricketers he invited Les Lenham and Garfield Sobers as coaches in the early 1980s along with Dr. Rudi Webster, the famous Sports Psychologist to address the first Test team on motivation, concentration and pressure leadership.

Weerasinghe Mallimarachchci another product of Kandy too was an MP and Minister who hailed from a very humble family and educated at Cimas College Kandy where he learnt to play football, the game he loved.

He started his club football in Kandy and gave of his best to the game. He was one time president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka and at the time of his death he was in its Committee.

Dr. Gamini Wijesekera too started his life in Kandy as a schoolboy where he excelled in cricket for St. Sylvester’s. He was also at Trinity College and Ananda College. At the time of his death, he was the vice president of the Cricket Board.