Angelo Perera’s Promise | Daily News

Angelo Perera’s Promise

My first glimpse of seeing former St. Peter’s College Captain Angelo Perera wield the willow confirmed my belief that here was future Sri Lanka cricket talent in abundance.

He captained the school which has a rich cricketing history behind it of having top class cricketers. In my crystal ball. I can see Angelo being bracketed with those greats.

And it did not surprise the writer when St. Benedict’s College, Nondescripts and Sri Lanka batting stalwart Ranjit Fernando rang me to inform me that Perera had set up a world record by scoring two double hundreds in a Premier tournament game for NCC and that too against the formidable Sinhalese Sports Club their arch rivals.

Now two double hundreds in a game, and in a top level game, is something of which only dreams are made of. And this is a dream that only the cricketing gods grant to the most deserving.

‘St. Peter holds the key’ is the blurb that all Peterites pride themselves with. And St. Peter would have looked down benignly from his celestial abode and granted the wish of young Angelo to stroke two double hundreds which defies belief and description. The previous batsman to perform this task was Arthur Fagg of England in 1934.

Perera as a junior cricketer at school showed more than ordinary talent and had a cricketer of exceptional quality written all over his supple and strong frame. Not only was he blessed with every stroke in the book, he also had exceptional captaincy skills in his DNA as he led brilliantly all Peterite teams from junior to senior level with great success.

He made the right choice in joining Nondescripts Cricket Club where he was given all the inspiration an encouragement to further his natural talent. The powers that be at the NCC noticing a shrewd captaincy brain in him gave him the honour of leading their premier team and he delivered the faith they had in him by delivering big. It is inexplicable that those who matter only saw in him talent for just 4 ODIS AND 2 T20s and then dumped him for failing to deliver.

For a player with talent, right technique and the all important temperament for the longer version of the game, thrown into the deep end of limited over cricket would have had him tense, because this game demands a different approach. Failures and then he goes missing.

That the game can get cruel is never better exemplified than to see consistent failures being persisted with, while those with talent like Perera being dumped by the wayside.

But Perera was made of steel and did not give up, but playing for his club he continued to make big runs and the captaincy did not seem to weigh heavily on his game as he made runs and finally got the selectors to reward his talent after his historic knocks of double tons -201 and 231 –.

Now that he is in the country’s squad for the Two Tests against South Africa he should be played so as to give him the confidence to further unspool his talent and serve the country’s cricketing ship that is at the moment mid sea rudderless.

Windies regaining glory days?

If what the West Indies led by John Holder did to England’s cricket, demolishing it in the Two Test matches is an indication that it won’t be wrong to have hopes that they are on the pitch to regain their mighty and glory days that were the 1970s and 1980s.

The West Indies were the powerhouse of world cricket when the Almightys Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards led the teams that had performers that were feared, excelled and sent opposing teams to the land of the damned with players who were studded with magicians with bat, ball and fielders.

When Joe Root’s England team arrived in the Caribbean, West Indies on their earlier dismal form were only expected to honour their fixtures and give England a match. But what unfolded in the First and Second Tests could be included in Ripley’s Believe it or not.

With matches in the Caribbean finishing at 2.30 a.m the next day according to SL time, it shocked and stunned to listen to TV sports news on Radio to hear that England had been bundled out for 77 in their first innings capitulating to life threatening fiery speed bowling spell by pin up boy Kemar Roach.

Roach is the only speed bowling gun in the Windies resembling the speed aces who had batsmen wriggling and jelly kneed and needs mentioning such as Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Malcom Marshall, Wayne Daniel. Before them were other pace terrorists such as Roy Gilchrist, Wesley Hall and Charlie Griffith.

Most batsmen it is said in that reign of pace terror more often than not preferred to be at the non-strikers end or in the cool of the pavilion rather than being hit and suffering lasting scars or injuries.

When England convincingly outplayed Sri Lanka, talk was that their cricket was on the up and up. But the Windies by winning the series after many years have made England rethink their game for the future.

With a cruel rule that suspended Windies captain John Holder for his side bowling two overs short, that Windies lost the final Test to England by 232 runs was sad.

By the way play a straight bat and enjoy life now. It has an expiry date on it.

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