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Lasantha Hemal the athlete turned cricketer and coach

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He commenced athletics when he was in grade two and in his first attempt at the inter house sports meet he swept the board by becoming the champion athlete in the under ten age group by winning 100 and 200 metres and high jump and up to grade five he participated in the school meets annually and he got the first place in his pet events in 100 and 200 meters and second in high jump.

In the meantime he passed the grade five scholarship examination and was admitted to one of the leading schools in Gampaha District Dharmaloka College. Same year knowing his ability, talents and knowing the keenness to athletics his parents B.A. Hemasiri and D.L.N. Niranjala handed over their son to the school Master in Charge and coach for athletics Ruwan Pathirana.

In his first year in 1996 participating in the school sports meet he won his two pet events 100 and 200 metres and came second in putt shot and in the following year repeating the same results he was sent to the Divisional meet and came second and up to grade eleven he participated for these three events and sent for Divisional meets and got places In the meantime he commenced cricket in 1997 in the under 13 level and came under their coach and Master in Charge of cricket was Mr. Gamini.

In his first year itself he scored 241 runs with a fifty and claimed 28 wickets and his second year in under 13 in 1998 he got 320 runs with two fifties and bagged 33 scalps and in his first year in the under 15 he got 170 runs and captured 23 wickets and in his second year he scored 285 runs with a fifty and took 33 wickets and he was selected for the last 20 of the Gampaha District Tournament and he played for the under 19 team for two years.

After leaving school he played for Kelaniya Sports Club in the Division three (Daily News Trophy ) for two years. In 2008 he left to Dubai and from 2008 to 2016 represented Dubai Lanka Lions and played Indoor Cricket from 2010 to 15 and at the same time he passed the ICC Level one and Two Cricket coaching exams and from 2012 to 2018 he coached the Desert Club under Presley Polonowita.

After returning from overseas he commenced coaching for under 13 and 15 teams of Wijewardene Maha Vidyalaya Kiriwatthuduwa from 2018 and to date he is doing it At the same time he did a one year coaching stint for under 13 and 15 teams of St. Josephs College Nugegoda in 2019 and same age groups at Wesley College in 2020 and in addition presently he is doing coaching at Oval Cricket Academy and in 2019 they reached up to quarter finals in the open tournament and he was a coach cum player of the team and claimed 15 scalps and in the 2020 Nelson Mendis Tournament their under 13 team came up to semi finals.

Source DailyNews
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