Vaas-Murali combination was ideal foil for Lanka’s progress in cricket – Dr. David Young

By S.R. Pathiravithana

Though Australian by birth and citizenship, Dr. David Young has a lot of Sri Lanka in his heart and is very close and concerned about the development and sustenance of the game in this island nation.
Dr. Young was born and raised in Melbourne, completing his undergraduate medical training at Melbourne University in 1973. He is a member of the Australian Arthroplasty Association and the Australian Knee Society.

Dr. David Young

Besides the above his special interests are sports medicine and arthritis surgery. He is the orthopedic surgeon to Western Bulldogs, Australian Rules Football team and is a consultant orthopedic surgeon to the Australian and Victorian Institutes of Sports and Netball Australia. He is also the consultant for Sports Medicine to Sri Lanka Cricket.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Dr. Young explained that the history of Sports Medicine runs up to about 25 years back, but this section of the medical journey became a specialty during the last decade and a half maybe. Then Dr. Young stressed “Now it is a respected by product in the field of medicine”.

For the past decade or so Dr. Young has been looking after the medical welfare of most of the Sri Lankan Cricketers and he recalls some names like Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga.

Talking on Malinga’s aliment Dr. Young explained that it was knee conditions that Malinga developed while bowling on the hard surfaces of Australia and the knee condition that he developed takes a while to heal. Then explaining about Malinga retiring from Test cricket he said “You got to respect the athlete he knows how many overs that he can bowl in a day otherwise his condition may come back so on that you have to respect the athlete, he is the one who is going through that and you can understand why he has brought that self preservation upon himself.”

The doyen of Sports Medicine reckons that Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan are the greatest cricketers that Sri Lanka has produced up to date. He said both those cricketers managed to change the face of world cricket. Jayasuriya the batting up front in the limited overs version of the game while Muralitharan bringing off spin bowling as an attacking form of the game which was dominated by fast bowlers and the leg spin of his co-countryman Shane Warne.

He also added that discovering the combination of Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan was the other greatest happening for Sri Lankan cricket. He said that combination was perfect foil for each other. Vaas in his own inimitable style softening up the top order with a few wickets in the initial overs, thus paving the way for Muralitharan to come in and peck at the middle and the late order.However Dr. Young was a disappointed man in the way the Lankan tackled the World Cup final and said that the Lankan should have scored more runs in the initial half of the game which could have bolstered the total further than the final score that Sri Lanka reached of 274, and put the strong Indian batting line under more pressure. He was certain that the final score that the Lankans made was not sufficient to put that Indian batting order under any stress.

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