Nimal, Lanka’s cricketing stalwart, dies in tragic accident

Rex Clementine: “SLC baggage master PD Nimal dies in accident,” in The Island, 18 June 2014


Last year as Kumar Sangakkara unleashed a new array of strokes, that were never seen from him before, during the first ODI against Proteas at the R. Premadasa Stadium, it came to light that the star batsman had been working with coach Graham Ford on paddle sweeping and reverse sweeping off medium pacemen. That day Sanga hammered a career best 169. Sanga and Ford got all the accolades for pulling off some sensational results, but the man who spent many hours seasoning Sanga’s bat for those strokes to win the admiration of all fans remained unknown for many.

On Tuesday, P. D. Nimal was killed after an accident and Sri Lankan cricketers have been mourning his death with unbearable sorrow. Nimal wasn’t just someone who seasoned players’ bats. He was the Jack of all trade and master of all of them too.  In Indian cinema, there’s no role that was impossible for Kamal Hasan and similarly no role was impossible for Nimal in Sri Lankan cricket.

Mahela Jayawardene mourning his death tweeted; ‘It’s an extremely sad day for me and the team. Nimal who did everything for us from handling our bags to cleaning our pads passed away. No one has done more for us. My heart is truly broken.’

That tweet summed up the mood in Sri Lankan camp.


II:  Another News Item

Nimal would often assist the national team during fielding drills, earning him the unofficial title of “Assistant Fielding Coach“. He was the object of such sweeping affection, international players regularly brought him gifts from overseas tours.  “Nimal was an honest and hardworking team member who was always willing to do anything for the benefit of the team and the game of cricket in the country,” SLC said. “He will be missed by all the cricketers young and old who played for SSC and Sri Lanka.”


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