KDCA to felicitate TB Kehelgamuwa | Daily News


KDCA to felicitate TB Kehelgamuwa

TB Kehelgamuwa
TB Kehelgamuwa

Former Sri Lanka and Dharmaraja College cricketer T.B. Kehelgamuwa will be felicitated by the Kandy District Cricket Association (KDCA) at their office this week.

While playing for his alma mater TB or Kehel as he was popularly known won the much coveted Best Schoolboy Bowler award in 1961 and 1962.

He was selected to tour India with the Sri Lanka schools team in 1961. He tore apart the South Zone Schools team taking 8 wickets for 8 runs, with all of his victims clean bowled (9.4–5–8–8). The same year he had the proud distinction of representing Sri Lanka in the Gopalan Trophy match under the captaincy of C. I. Gunasekera and later under Michael Tissera.

Kehel was a fine sportsman produced by Dharmaraja College and was one of the best pace bowlers Sri Lanka had. He also played for Central Province Schools, Police and Nomads SC.

He was always a tough fighter and a cricketer who worried many batsmen.

Tikiri Banda Kehelgamuwa was born on 10 December 1942 at Gampola. Kehel's parents were teachers at Gampola. He was very lucky that he had his education at Dharmaraja College, where he first excelled as an outstanding schoolboy cricketer in the early 1960s.

Though his first love was cricket he represented Dharmaraja at Athletics, Hockey and Footall and excelled in all three disciplines.

He was coached by D. M. Dharamatillake, one of the finest Rajans and the oldest living Rajan sportsman P.L. Arthur Alwis and Sonny Yatawara at school. He captained the senior team in 1960-1961 and was selected the Best Bowler in the island in the `Daily News' Schoolboy Cricketer Contest.

Kehel had the distinction of being a member of the Sri Lanka team that beat the MCC for the first time in 1969 in a limited-over game. The MCC team led by Colin Cowdrey had England spinner Derek Underwood, opener Geoff Boycott, and Keith Fletcher - the former England Test captain.

He was a member of the Government Services team that toured India in 1972 to play in the Sheesh Mahal Trophy. The Government Services team was beaten in the final by Rusi Modi's XI. Kehel captured 15 wickets in that tournament at an average of 12.3 runs per wicket. In 1972 when Sri Lanka toured Pakistan, he was the only player to be selected from a Division III side (playing for Police SC) to the national squad. He held the position of Manager of the Sri Lanka team to New Zealand in 1995 that recorded their first overseas Test win.

He was a national selector for 10 years being Chairman of the Selection Committee in the last two years of his stewardship in 1999 and 2000. During 1961-1974 Sara Trophy seasons, Kehel scored more than 1,000 runs and captured more than 500 wickets. He was late Governor General William Gopallawa’s, personal bodyguard.

Every Rajan should be proud of his achievements.

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