ONE = Callistus Davy in Sunday Observer, 6 October 2019:“Michael de Zoysa: If only he could write his own lines!”
In today’s set-up where corruption, dishonestly, cheating and rouge ways hold sway in sections of Sri Lankan society and some people who boast of culture can only put on a face for the cameras, Michael de Zoysa was a cut above the rest and went to his grave on Wednesday evening like the true professional he was.Perhaps Michael de Zoyza will be able to give a better account of himself to his Creator than many others who hobnobbed with him and were no match to his integrity.
Let me stick my neck out and pontificate: Dhananjaya de Silva is a rising star in Sri Lanka‘s batting world, a potential Aravinda or Mahela. However, he is nearly 25 years old and in this regard cannot quite replicate either Arjuna Ranatunga’s or Aravinda’s footsteps. Arjuna ‘s capacities were recognised by Gary Sobers and he was pitchforked into the Sri Lankan Test side at the age of eighteen. Born on 17 October 1965 Aravinda (from DS Senanayake in Colombo) made his Test debut at Lords in England on 25 August 1984.
In chatting cricket with Michael de Zoysa early in June we addressed the issue of spin bowlers in the longer-format of cricket in the light of Murali’s retirement and Rangana Herath’s aging 37 year-old frame. De Zoysa was concerned because he felt the majority of the options were rollers of the ball rather than genuine spin-merchants, a type of bowling that he considered of limited value in the longer format of cricket. Dilruwan Perera (aged 33 now), in his view, was “a genuine off-spinner,” while Tharinda Kaushal (22 years) was a good prospect who needed to develop consistency and guile.
Intriguingly and with some foresight de Zoysa presented Jeffrey Vandersay (aged 25), a right-arm leg-spinner, as a good prospect. This he did early in June well before Vandersay was picked for the trial match against Pakistan where he proceeded to take 5 wickets in the first innings and a brace in the second. De Zoysa is an SSC stalwart and Vandersay plays for that club now, but it is evident now that more than club loyalty directed his assessment. Vandersay could be an asset in the future and one hopes that he is made to concentrate on the longer form of cricket for the near-future.
Michael Roberts, 16 June 2015… an essay drafted on 16th June 2015 before the final XI was selected, but also failing to note that Tharanga was not in the reckoning. The article was sent to islandcricket.lk and The Island for publication, and also presented to Michael de Zoysa and Andrew Fernando with an express request for “critical comments.” De Zoysa’s immediate dissent is incorporated here as a COMMENT at the end with a response.
The retirement of Jayawardene and Dilshan from Test cricket and the impending departure of Sangakkara render the future of Sri Lanka’s cricket team as worrying as intriguing. In chatting with Michael de Zoysa in Colombo early in June we touched on future possibilities and just yesterday a long Skype-chat with Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo was extremely enlightening. His prospective Eleven for the Pakistan series worked within the limits of the XV chosen for the series by the SLC Selection Committee.
Sri Lanka cricket team captain Angelo Mathews (R) and team coach Marvan Atapattu chat during a practice session at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 15, 2015. Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two T20 Series in Sri Lanka between June 17 to August 1. The first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played on June 17 at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
However, I intervene first with my choice of XI, guided in part by Fernando — but adding my own twist. The twist arises from the fact that the match is being played at Galle. This background links up with my reasoning that bowlers win matches and that one must enter a match with one’s three or four best bowlers. With Eranga out of contention because of injury and Lakmal in question and without match practice, I hold that our best three bowlers for the sort of conditions that are likely to prevail at Galle are Rangana Herath followed by Dilruwan Perera and Tharinda Kaushal at level pegging. Continue reading →