Kehelgamuwa was a fiery fast bowler | Daily News

Kehelgamuwa was a fiery fast bowler


T.B.Kehelgamuwa, an old boy of Dharmaraja College,Kandy is a former Cricketer and Manager of the Sri Lankan Cricket team, under whose tenure the Sri Lanka Test Team recorded their first overseas Test victory in the year 1995 over New Zealand cricket team. When the Cricket team returned to Sri Lanka after the victory they were felicitated by the former Minister of Sports, S.B.Dissanayake who hosted a Dinner at Hotel Taj Samudra and awarded Plaques as mementos. He was an outstanding national player from 1967 to 1974 and is considered as one of the fastest bowlers Sri Lanka ever had and opened the attack with Daya Sahabandu for the Sri Lanka team. He was one of 49 Sri Lankan Cricketers felicitated by Sri Lanka Cricket in September 2018 to honour them for their services before Sri Lanka became a full member of the International Cricket Council.(ICC).

Tikiri Banda Kehelgamuwa began schooling at Wahalgoda Central College, Gampola where his father was the Principal of the School. After he entered Dharmaraja College, Kandy he excelled in cricket and became an outstanding Schoolboy Cricketer in the early Sixties. He represented his alma mater, Dharmaraja College in Athletics, Hockey and Soccer.Popularly known as ‘Kehel’ he was coached by D.M.Dharmathilake, Arthur Alwis and Sonny Yatawara. When he was playing for Dharmaraja he captained the first XI cricket team and was selected the Best Bowler in the Island in the Daily News Schoolboy Cricketer Contest. He won the much coveted ‘Best Schoolboy Bowler’ award for two consecutive years. While playing for his School team, he was selected to tour India with the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket team and he took 8 wickets for 8 runs with all his victims being clean bowled. (9-4-5-8-8). In 1961 he had the proud distinction of representing Sri Lanka Cricket team in the Gopalan Trophy match under the captaincy of C.I.Gunasekera and later under Michael Tissera.

Kehelgamuwa joined the Sri Lanka Police Force as a Sub-Inspector of Police in the year 1963 and served in the Police till his retirement in 2002 as a Deputy Inspector General of Police. He also represented the Police Sports Club at the Government Services Cricket Championships for several years. The writer started his cricket career under Kehel’s captaincy in the early 1960s when he captained Dharmaraja College Cricket team.