Two cricketing heroes befittingly recognised | Daily News

Two cricketing heroes befittingly recognised

Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera is presented his award by Nalaka Gunawardena. Dayan Gomes is also present.

 

Kumar Sangakkara was adjudged the most popular Sri Lankan by the voting of people and also the icon of Sri Lanka with Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera adjudged as ‘The Unsung Hero’ at the Sri Lankan of the Year 2016 awards presentation heId last Friday night at the Hilton Hotel Colombo.

They both received their awards to a standing ovation.

The Sri Lankan cricket legend

Kumar Sangakkara the most polished and prudent of batsmen and also the ODI record breaking wicket keeper, is regarded as one of the best batsmen to ever play the game for Sri Lanka.

In a recent public poll set up by Australian cricket Board official site Cricket.com.au, beating Sachin Tendulkar and beside the whopping 1.25 Billion Indian population, the results clearly indicated that Sangakkara is the greatest ODI batsman of all time.

Named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2011 and 2015, Sanga along with A.B. de Villiers, has dominated the number one spot in the ICC Test batting rankings between 2005 and 2015.

This Sri Lanka’s highest ever ODI run scorer, is the second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket and the fifth-highest run scorer in Test cricket.

He is the youngest and the first active international player to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, which was widely praised by the cricketing community.

The unsung hero

It was the first time ever in this country that a person with a dis-Ability and confined to a wheelchair was befittingly recognised for his ability and appreciated for his outstanding achievements and significant voluntary contributions to the largest minority of Sri Lanka – people with restricted ability making near 20% of our population – the honour and recognition to the country.

The sports page of the Daily News of 13 September 2016, was the first to recognise the ‘unsung hero of Sri Lankan Cricket’ and create the awareness of Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera.

In 2001, it was none other than the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins MBE, President of the MCC (2010-2011), cricket correspondent for Daily Telegraph (1990 – 1999) and The Times (1999-2008) who wrote to the print media about Perera.

“Perera is determined and thorough whenever he has a cricketing project in hand that he might in those respects, at least, be termed a Sri Lankan Don Bradman. Of course he was not himself a famous player and fate only decreed that he would not be the famous umpire he was on the way to becoming, when meeting with a tragic accident on the eve of umpiring his first test match in Colombo.”

Perera has won National recognition on 10 November 1992 as a Test-match-panel senior cricket umpire.

By profession he is a Chartered Analytical Chemist and a Fellow of several reputed world bodies.

In October 1985, Perera qualified at Lord’s Cricket Ground in England, to become the first professionally qualified cricket umpire of Sri Lanka.

He remains the only Sri Lankan to qualify professionally from England as a Cricket Umpire, Advanced Scorer, Training Instructor and an Examiner.

Daily Telegraph on 23rd November 2007 wrote: “Perera has many achievements to his credit by reason of his personal adversity and has turned his misfortune into fortune for others.”

He has become a writer, an author of two unique books on Cricket and the pioneer activist for accessible facilities at international cricket stadia here.

Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, in its Millennium edition of 2000, selected Perera as one of only eight cricketing people to be recognised for his significant contributions to Cricket in these seven different fields.

Dr. Perera playing eight different roles over 17 consecutive years in a voluntary mission of national importance, is the pioneer disability rights activist promoting the enhancement of the quality of everyday life of persons of all abilities by design”.

Perhaps what SLC failed to initiate, another source befittingly recognised and appreciated this unsung cricketing hero. 


 

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