I will never forget my motherland - Aravinda de Silva | Sunday Observer
Cricketer of Sri Lankan origin represents Bulgaria

I will never forget my motherland - Aravinda de Silva

18 April, 2021

The Youth Observer got to know that one Aravinda de Silva of Sri Lankan origin had represented the Bulgarian national cricket team in the World T20 qualifier matches recently.

Being curious to know whether this was true or false, the Youth Observer contacted him through Whatsapp.

Below is a summarised version of the discussion.

Q: You are Aravinda de Silva? Am I correct?

A: Yes. I am Aravinda de Silva.

Q: But your voice is not that of Sri Lanka cricketing legend Aravinda de Silva?

A: I am not the famous cricketer Aravinda de Silva. But, I am also Aravinda de Silva. Everyone who knows me calls me Ishan Aravinda de Silva.

Q: Did you represent the Bulgarian national cricket team?

A: Yes. I represented their national team.

Q: The famous Aravinda de Silva turned 55 recently. Could you tell me your age?

A: I am 22 years old.

Q: You are a young cricketer. I am curious to know how you came to be named Aravinda? What is the story behind it?

A: My father and mother gave me that name. My father, who lives in the United Kingdom is a great cricket fan. Sri Lanka’s World Cup victory in 1996 and the world-class batsmanship of Aravinda de Silva influenced my parents to give me that name.

Q: What do you think about your parents’ decision?

A: I have nothing against that decision. We know that Aravinda de Silva is one of the legends of world cricket. Every cricket playing country knows about him. I admire him and love to have his name.

Q: Are you related to former national cricketer Aravinda de Silva?

A: Perhaps. But I cannot prove it.

Q: You are in Bulgaria at present. How did you travel to that country?

A: Yes. At this moment I am in Bulgaria. But I am a citizen of the United Kingdom. My family lives there. I came to Bulgaria for studies. I will go back to the United Kingdom after I complete my studies.

Q: Are you studying in a Bulgarian university?

A: Yes. I am a medical student in a Bulgarian University. I hope to practice as a doctor when I return to the UK after completing my studies.

Q: Do you plan to give up your cricketing life?

A: Actually I prefer to be involved in both. But my profession is not cricket. My family also expects me to become a doctor. In this situation I wish to play cricket only as a hobby. One day I will give up competitive cricket.

Q: All right. How did you enter the Bulgarian national cricket team?

A: After I entered Sofia University, I joined the university cricket team. Its name is Sofia Medic team. Seeing my performance, officials of the national cricket board asked me whether I would like to play for the national team. I agreed and began to play for the national team.

Q: In which year will you complete your degree?

A: I hope to complete my medical degree in 2023. I hope to represent the Bulgarian cricket team till then.

Q: After you go back to the United Kingdom do you plan to play cricket in county teams?

A: Yes. I hope to. But county cricket is very competitive. I don’t think I can find a place in a county team. But I may stand a chance in a minor county team.

Q: Don’t you think you have underestimated your skills? If you do not believe in your cricketing abilities, how can you become another Aravinda de Silva?

A: No this is the reality. I have to select my path in life. That is not underestimating my skills. I am trying to select and walk my preferred path in life.

Q: How was your cricketing life during your childhood? Is it true that you played with the sons of famous cricketers.

A: Yes. At that time Michel Vaughn’s and Andrew Flintoff’s sons played cricket with me.

Q: Are you happy about your decision not to become a professional cricketer?

A: Yes. Like I said earlier I never had plans to become a professional cricketer. I have chosen another profession. However, I am happy that I was able to represent the Bulgarian national team.

Q: Which do you prefer, batting or bowling?

A: I am a medium pace bowler and a right-hand batsman. Usually I try to get a higher strike rate by hitting the ball hard. If my team wants my skills as wicketkeeper, I would gladly provide it. Though, I like to be introduced as an all-rounder. However, I am not a great guy like the legendary Aravinda de Silva.

Q: Did you see Sri Lanka national cricketer Aravinda’s batting style during your childhood?

A: I had never watched his batting action live. But I have seen recordings of every great innings he played during his cricketing life. I watch his batting skills whenever I have the time.

Q: All right, Junior Aravinda de Silva, do you plan to come to Sri Lanka one day?

A: Maybe. I like to help my motherland. However, the time is not suitable for me. I left the country when I was a baby and today my lifestyle is different to that in Sri Lanka. Some time ago I came to Elpitiya to help in the health sector as a medical student. One day I will come to Sri Lanka and help my people as much as I can. Although I live in Europe, I love the people of Sri Lanka deeply. They are my true relations.

(WhatsApp interview)