Resolute is the key word for these lads

Around the Schools - St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa
By Naushad Amit

Last season, St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa emerged as country’s second best in schools cricket. But after the mass exodus of eight skilled players thus many were of the opinion that they were back to square one. Despite experiencing a defeat – against St. Joseph’s College – St. Sebastian’s have done relatively well with a promising set of youngsters.

Amila Aponso (Captain) Nishamal Fernando (Vice Captain)

However, having the services of three senior contenders, Amila Aponso and Sanitha de Mel, both Sri Lanka Under-19 players and Nishamal Fernando, the talents of the upcoming youngsters of St. Sebastian’s ought to shape up. Last year they won seven matches and were rated as one of the best schools cricket teams in Sri Lanka.

St. Sebastian’s has its own identity in cricket, being a school from the cricket mad city of Moratuwa. Despite minor setbacks, Sebastianite cricketers have managed to maintain their standard which is spearheaded by the morale.

The team is coached by Pasan Wanasinghe, who took up the task six months ago. He has a practically easy task of guiding the youngsters into the correct path. According to Wanasinghe, his job is somewhat made easier by the grit of the talented youngsters, who have to be guided and placed into the correct slots in the team.

“The talent of the youngsters are really impressive. Except for Amila, Nishamal and Sanitha, the rest of the team are all newcomers to first XI. But the promise and confidence they have dished out at this level is highly remarkable. By nature Sebastianite cricketers are fun loving, active and committed. These are some of the facts needed to adhere into a well balanced team. And players being self oriented by these aspects are a plus point for me as a coach,” said Wanasinghe, a former national level and English county player.

Last season St. Sebastian’s had a team that played at its best after a long lapse. They even went on to record a big match victory after four-and-a-half decades last year. This year though, they have the same blend in terms of talent. The side is led by Amila Aponso, an all-rounder who bats right hand and a left-arm spinner, who has contributed immensely to St. Sebastian’s during the past three seasons. Expert batsman Nishamal Fernando is the deputy skipper. Apart from the two leaders and able all-rounder Sanitha de Mel, the rest in the team are newcomers but with some first XI experience.

St. Sebastian’s cricket squad. (Pix by Amila Prabodha)

St. Sebastian’s has mixed the promising youngsters with their top three seniors in order to get the best out of the team. They have accommodated players from the Under-17, 15 and even 13 age groups and 13-year-old Avishka Fernando is their latest discovery. Avishka who is the Under-13 skipper, was experimented with the first XI team and he replied stoutly by scoring a century and couple of fifties. He opens the batting with Anushka Perera and is followed by Nishamal Fernando, Sangeeth Cooray, Amila Aponso, Sanitha de Mel, Anuk Fernando, Shan Fernando, Sachintha Fonseka, Sachinda Gunawardana and Isuru Mendis. Others in fine form are skipper Amila and Sanitha.

Their bowling attack is spearheaded by junior national cap Sanitha who is a right-arm pacie. He is well supported by left-armer Anuk Fernando and Shan Fernando. The spin department is led by the skipper himself while leg-spinner Isuru and off-spinner Sachinda are assisting. Their blend as a unit has proved to be fitting to a starter. Despite their only loss against the Josephians, the Sebs have drubbed Nalanda, Royal and Revata taking their tally to three wins, a loss and seven draws in 11 outings.

“The players have a high cricketing sense. They know what to do and how to handle tricky situations and adapt into it. As the coach I guide them in the correct path so they turn out to be perfect cricketers in time to come. This season we have 12 games including the big match, but our main ambition is to play positive cricket and give players more exposure. So in a season or two St. Sebastian’s will be a dominant force in school cricket again,” Wanasinghe added.

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Resolute is the key word for these lads


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