Former Nalanda paceman Bandula dies in Australia | Daily News


Former Nalanda paceman Bandula dies in Australia

Deva Bandula De Silva who died in Australia was well known amongst the Sri Lankan cricketing circles in the late 1970s and early1980s as a dashing pace bowler who was instrumental in delivering numerous victories to the Nalanda College team during school cricket seasons. Many cricket fans of that era still fondly remember how he locked horns with the likes of Arjuna Ranatunga and Brendon Kuruppu at the annual big match and came out triumphantly. He was one of the highest wicket takers with over 80 wickets in a season and won the Best Bowlers Award in the 1980 Exide Trophy 50-Over School Cricket Tournament.

Upon leaving school, Bandula was recruited to the Maharaja Group’ sales division in early 1980s and, in mid-1980s, he joined the cabin crew of Air Lanka. At both these firms he played a prominent role in mercantile group cricket encounters and, in addition, he represented BRC in the Sara Trophy tournament.

Bandula decided to migrate to Australia in 1988.

In Sydney, he took an active part in many community activities. He was a founding member of the Old Nalandians Association in NSW and Sri Lankan Cricket NSW in which he was at the forefront of charity functions hosting Sri Lankan national cricket teams when they visited Sydney where funds were raised for various charities in Sri Lanka. When the Boxing Day Tsunami struck in 2004, Bandula actively organised fund-raising activities to build houses for Tsunami affected victims. Bandula continued to play cricket for Sri Lankan Lions and local clubs until a nagging knee injury compelled him to switch to a mentoring role.

He leaves behind Namali, his beloved wife for 35 years, Ranga and Lehana-both of whom are practicing lawyers, the youngest, Tiara, who is finishing school, son-in-law Dr Dasantha Jayamanne, and much-loved granddaughters Azalea Beatrice and Arabella Rose.

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