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Sarath Bandula Senanayake cricketer and coach par excellence

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Marapola Vidyalaya Minuwangoda under 19 Girls Cricket Team 2018/19 which participated for the first time in the All Island Schools Singer Trophy Cricket Tournament. Seated L/R – NimeshaTharuni (Captain), Mrs. K. P. PrasangiChamili (Teacher in Charge of cricket), Ruwan Mapa Pathirana (Vice Principal), S. A. S. Pushpakumara (Principal), DayalPathirana (Master in Charge), S. B. Senanayake (Coach), Geethika Sandeepani (Vice Captain) Back Row Standing L/R – Pabasara Dewmini, Nipuni Navodya, Vihangi Kavindya, Chamasha Bhagyawi, Ushmika Nayanjali, Hiruni Rasnjana, Shakya Nikeshala, KawminiDileka, HirishikaMadubhashini, AmandiTharuka, Gayani Sandamali, Madirika Chathurangani (Picture by – Dilwin Mendis, Moratuwa Sports Special Correspondent)

Right hand opening bat, right arm off spinner, first eleven and Sara Trophy Captain, all island best bowler runner up, play ground instructor and State Services and Nationalized Services Cricketer, level one coach, athlete, football and Elle player Sarath Bandula Senanayake has brought honour and glory to his Alma Mater Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya with deeds on the cricket field He was born on first February 1954 and admitted to MeeyanwitaVidyalaya in 1960 and he was there till 1964 and as there was no sports activities in this school during that period he was admitted to Veyangoda Maha Vidyalaya and over there he participated in Athletics and Elle tournaments at inter house level. Then his parents Simon Senanayake and D. M. R. Wijewardene admitted their son to Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya in 1967.

From 1970 to 1974 he played for the first eleven team captaining in 1972 and in his first year itself he got 400 runs and in his second year he passed the 500 run mark and in 1973 Palians played for the Exide Trophy and in that season he collected nearly 500 runs with eight half centuries and claimed 75 wickets with one ten wicket haul and eight five wicket hauls and became the second highest wicket taker to Ranil Abeynaike of S. Thomas College Mt. Lavinia and in the following year he scored 724 runs with seven fifties and captured 90 wickets with seven five wicket hauls and one ten wicket haul with his best being 13 wickets for 107.

Sarath Bandula Senanayake

Whilst as a schoolboy he joined Nomads Sports Club Colombo and played in the Daily News, Donovan Andree and Sara Trophy Tournaments and left them after captaining the Sara Trophy Team in 1983 and he joined Old Dharmapalians Cricket Club and played in the Division Two and they came upto Division One and left in 1986.

He passed the cricket coaching examination conducted by W. A. N. Silva in 1986. that year Palians won the Coca Cola Trophy and he was their Assistant Coach. Later he coached Isipathana Vidyalaya, Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Mahanama College Colombo, Marapola Vidyalaya girls and boys teams and presently Dharmapala Vidyalaya since 2008.

In addition he played for Government Services Nationalized Services and Ceylon Oxygen for five years and captained the team and he is a level one coach who has produced several cricketers of fame and also a test umpire Ravindra Wimalasiri. In addition he commenced girls and boys cricket at MarapolaVidyalaya Minuwangoda in 2017 and in 2018/19 season their under 19 girls team came up to best five teams of Singer Inter Schools Tournament and their captain Nimesha Tharuni was adjudged as the best batswoman of the tournament.

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