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Veteran cricket coach Nelson Mendis honoured

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The renowned coach Nelson Mendis receiving “Lifetime Achievement Award from Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa at the Chance Sports Silk awards ceremony held at National Film Corporation Hall. Also in the picture is Chairman of Chance Sports Lasantha Amarasinghe and CO- Presidents of Jury for Adjudicating Dr Harsha Abeykoon and Rear Admiral Dr. Shemal Fernando.    

The renowned cricket coach Nelson Mendis received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Silk Sports Awards ceremony held at the National Film Corporation Hall last week .

Nelson Mendis coaching career started at Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda in 1960 – later he moved to Nalanda in 1965, as the Junior Coach, when Gunapala Wickremaratne was the Principal. During this time apart from coaching junior cricketers, Mendis also had to train the cadets as the Officer in Charge of the contingent. He was the Junior Coach cum Master in Charge of the cricket teams of the college. He was also the Teacher in Charge of Discipline and was a Warden of the Hostel.The coach has to do not only for cricket lessons he has to give lot more to make complete cricketer and Mendis always very concerned about all areas including discipline

In his first spell from 1965 to 1969 he was able to coach guide, and produce Sri Lankan cricketers of the calibre of late Bandula Warnapura, Anura de Silva, Lalith Kaluperuma, ,late Sunil Jayasinghe, Jayantha Seneviratne and late Anura Ranasinghe.

Mendis rejoined Nalanda in 1975 and served till 1979. During this spell, the veteran coach recalls, that he was able to produce more national players like Roshan Mahanama, Sanath Kaluperuma Keerthi Ranasinghe Asanka Gurusinha, Kumar Dharmasena, Gamini Wickremasinghe, Chamara Dunusinghe, late Roshan Gunaratne, Yohan Gunasekera, Hemantha Devapriya and Susantha Karunaratne. The most important in CCC school of cricket annually conducted cricket tournaments including overseas tours to give good match exposure which is more value for the young cricketers at this level.

As a former cricketer Nelson Mendis had the unique distinction of capturing 5 wickets in 5 balls which is a record in Mercantile Cricket history. He took 3 wickets in the last three balls of one over and followed it up with 2 wickets in the first two balls of the next over.

He represented Singer Sports Club and his opponents were Stafford Motors. In his era he represented Bloomfield, Badulla, Army and Old Sokians. In addition he was the one time HR head of the Singer where he worked hard to get cricketers such as Sanath Jayasuriya, Kosala Kuruppuarachchi for the company and gave them the opportunity for Mercantile Cricket. He was the former Tournament Committee Chairman of the Mercantile Cricket Association (MCA) later became the Secretary of the MCA under the Presidency of K.M Nelson.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 – 01:00

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