Tsunami brings horror to cricketers’ families
By M. Shamil Amit
The tsunami disaster which ripped the South and North East of Sri Lanka on December 26 spelt doomsday for the loved ones of some Premier club cricketers of Sri Lanka. Some lost their dear ones while some had their houses completely wiped out.

Two cricketers from Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) Chamara Soysa and Priyankara de Silva along with Galle CC cricketer Ruwan Galappathi were the most effected.

Chamara Soysa living in Malawanne, Amabalangoda had a double tragedy. His mother Nalini who had died of cancer a few days earlier and was on the verge of being buried, had her body washed away by the sea and in the melee he lost his father Amaradasa Soysa who was pulled away by the raging waters.

Priyankara de Silva, also living in Ambalangoda lost his father while Ruwan Galappathi's mother had been killed by the tidal waves while the family was holidaying at the Milton Hotel in Unawatuna which is owned by Ruwan's father.

Former Sri Lanka's skipper Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Chandana's mothers escaped narrowly with injuries. Two other players Upul Tharanga of NCC, whose hometown is in Kiriyawatte, Ambalangoda and Dhammika Niroshan of Galle CC, had their houses completely demolished by the surging waves.

Two young cricketers from Royal College Colombo, Anjana Kudahetti captain of the Under 12 'B' team and Ranuka Amarasekera who also plays for the Under 12 side were unfortunate to lose their fathers and their two younger brothers.

Anjana's father Sujeewa captained the Royal Second XI team in 1980 and played for the First XI side too while Ranuka's father represented the senior cricket team of Rahula College Matara. The two families were on a weekend trip at Polhena, Matara along with the Under 12 coach Ajith Weerasinghe who along with his wife and baby escaped death by a whisker. Only one body was brought back to Colombo, that of Anjana's younger brother.

The Isipathanian senior cricketers spearheaded by their captain Dilan Anuradha and his deputy Gihan Dilruk along with Chatuska, Isuru, Gayan, Visuddhi, Sachith, Lakshan, Kalhara, Rabel, Cahrith and Pubudu did a yeoman service to the victims of the tsunami disaster by contributing goods to the value of Rs. 8,000/- which consisted of medical goods and other essential items which they handed over to the Rupavahini relief fund.

The boys receive Rs. 5,000/- on a monthly basis by bowling to the Ragama CC premier club cricket team and they collected another Rs. 3,000/ on their own, to make up this contribution. This is a good example for other youngsters to follow in helping their fellow countrymen in their hour of need.

It is going to take a long time for these unfortunate cricketers and many other sportsmen who have undergone this trauma to come to terms with life in the future.


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