Dharmaraja batting stalwart Senaka Dissanayake | Daily News


Dharmaraja batting stalwart Senaka Dissanayake

Senaka Dissanayake Pic. By Upananda  Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Spl.Corrs)
Senaka Dissanayake Pic. By Upananda Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Spl.Corrs)

A batsman who started playing cricket in his early years at Dharmaraja College, Kandy Senaka Dissanayake scored a fine double century on the Asgiriya Stadium at the Big Match against Kingswood in 1984 to become the first batsman to do so at the venue.

Today he has put his experience into practice and is now running his own cricket school at Trinity College Indoor Nets for the past five years and continued coaching for the last 13 years at various places as Dharmaraja College Net and Police Grounds Net. 

Senaka has not looked back since he came into big time cricket. He captained the Under 17 cricket team at Dharmaraja College in 1971 and gone from strength to strength playing for the first eleven side from 1982 to 1984.  Besides the memorable double century, he

scored 198 against Nalanda College and 119, Zahira College, Colombo, 100 against St.Thomas’ Matale and 105 against S .Thomas’ Mt. Lavinia.

The high point of his career was his selection for the Under 19 national team that toured Australia in 1984 led by Aravinda de Silva.  That team also included Marlon von Hagt another Kandy lad as vice-captain, Asanka  Gurusinha, Roshan Mahanama, Don Anurasiri, Gamini Wickremasinghe, Kapila Dandeniya, Jerome Jayaratne and the late Sujeewa Kamalasuriya, who was drowned in the tsunami.

In Australia, Senaka opened batting in all three tests and one-dayers and  his

highest score was 56 at the MCG. That effort gave him the greatest pleasure for his partnership with Aravinda de Silva realized 121 runs for the third wicket.  Aravinda on that occasion scored 142. 

In Inter-Club cricket Senaka had a 10-year stint with his home town club Kandy Cricket Club and he was among the runs scoring 149 against Ambalangoda Rio at Colts grounds, 107 against NCC at Asgiriya, 104 against Galle at Asgiriya, 102 against Moors Sports Club in Colombo and 116 against Sebastianites.  He also represented Central Province.

Senaka went to Australia in 1995 and represented Chemiside Park Cricket Club for seven seasons as player cum coach and he had the opportunity of passing the Level II Coaching Course there.  He got through the Level I Course earlier in Sri Lanka as a schoolboy.  His coaches were PL Arthur Alwis, Upananda Jayasundera and D.H.de Silva.

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