Champion Nishantha yet to win 'Life's Game'
Some champions who have excelled in their respective sports have not
been fortunate enough to win the 'life's game' and continue their great
struggle to earn a living. Nishantha Fernando is such a sportsman who
became the National Carrom Champion once again in the recently concluded
44th Carrom Nationals. He first won the title in 2001 beating the same
opponent he defeated this time, long time title holder, Chamil Cooray at
the 33rd Nationals.
Nishantha got his first carrom lessons from his father and was
greatly inspired by watching his father's friends playing on the board.
He entered competitive carrom during1989-90 and won the very first
championship he participated, defeating then under-13 champion Asitha
Nishantha is an old boy of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa and has
won many accolades to his Alma meta during his school days. He has
greatly improved his skills after meeting coach Ranjith Fernando in 1997
and still trains under him.
He got into the national rankings in 1998 and ranked number seven at
first. His true commitment and hard work helped him to clime the ranking
ladder where he reached the top spot in 2001 by winning the National
title. He secured his number one position till 2003 and at present
ranked as number two in National rankings while being the number five in
the world carrom scene.
Nishantha's international experience in carrom span through three
World Carrom Championships, Two World Cup Championships, 13 SAARC
Championships, two International Carrom Federation (ICF) Championships,
four Asian Championships, two Malaysian Open tournaments, six Indo-Lanka
test tournaments and the Try Nation Test Series between Sri Lanka/India
and Malsives in 2009. He had the honour of representing Sri Lanka in the
first Carrom World Cup held in England, 2001.
When Sri Lanka make history in the fifth World Carrom Championship in
France, 2008 by posting nine slams, Nishantha recorded six slams out of
Local slicers bagged the team championship along with the second
place in the men's double event, where Nishantha partnered with Chamil
Cooray in 2008 World Championship.
He reached the National carrom singles final nine times through out
his career and had to satisfy with runner up shield in seven occasions
while partnering many victories in the double and mixed double events as
His passion for this sport continues and he has participated in more
than 30 international tournaments despite his financial difficulties.
The sad part of the 34-year carrom champion's story is that he is
jobless at present while being the bread winner of a family of four.
Nishantha who was employed for a short period in a private company
had to give up his job in 2002 as his earnings were not sufficient to
run the family with two kids. He later stepped into carrom coaching and
began to make a living on it. Eventhough carrom is the forte of his
life, his coaching job did not make things easier financially.
As Nishantha's wife has to attend full time to their two and half
years old baby girl, she could not help the family in earning. Nishantha
disparately seeks a proper job and going to interviews has become a
routine activity of his life. He is a very courageous person and despite
all hardships continues his carrom practices and participating in all
"I always feel that I can perform much better if I can free my mind
and concentrate a bit on the sport. I would like to thank all who helped
me to carry on, specially my parents, wife with two kids, close
relations and Carrom Federation officials. I must also thank friends at
my previous working place for the support they gave me," said the
Nishantha has proved his potential in the sport locally and
internationally in many occasions and if any private or Government
institution offers him a proper job where he can live with dignity while
laking care of his family, he will surely bring more glory to Sri Lanka