D.D. Jayasinha: cricketing stalwart from Galle | Daily News

D.D. Jayasinha: cricketing stalwart from Galle


When one mulls one’s mind back to other leading cricketing countries like England, Australia and India. The cricketers who have brought fame and glory to their respective countries have been duly appreciated and rewarded by naming a stand in a famous cricket ground in honour of them.

Those who have brought fame and glory to the country and contributed immensely to the upliftment of the great game of cricket and harnessing of raw talent have not been recognized by the state. It is a pity that these national icons and heroes who laid the foundations for others to follow are left behind to gather moss.

Douglas (DD) Jayasinha, who was one such cricketer who blazed a trail in the annals of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then) cricket, would fall into that category easily. He was a cricketing wizard being an outstanding cricketer of yore, and also contributed immensely to the development of cricket in an era where no notice was taken of the cricketing talent in the outstations.

It is heartening to note that this is not the case in Sri Lanka anymore. The “old school tie era,” is dead and buried. When one looks at the Aussie bashing being dished out at present, it is the young guns who have come to the party.

They are Kusal Mendis from Prince of Wales, Amila Aponso from St Sebastian’s, Dhananjaya de Silva from Debarawewa Madya Maha Vidyalaya-Richmond College, Lakshan Sandakan from De Mazenod Kandana. A year ago they were never heard of and unknown quantities.

Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya and his team of selectors should also get the praise for unearthing them these youngsters.

D.D. Jayasinha rendered yeoman service to uplift the standard of cricket in the Southern Province. In the recent past much attention was given to the Galle Cricket Stadium, it is most appropriate to spare a thought to the first ever Southerner who played for All Ceylon.

The late D.D. Jayasinha passed away in the mid part of the first decade of this century after having played for Galle CC, the Sinhalese Sports Club, Moratuwa Sports Club and the country over a period of more than 50 years.

“DD” as he was known was also the chairman of the selection committee of cricket for Sri Lanka from 1963 to 1972, possibly the longest period an individual has held such a coveted post. This highlights the respect and regards the cricketing firmament had for his integrity and commitment to the cause.

It was also a well known fact that the selectors of yesteryear were not paid for their services and as one scribe has stated, “DD’s mode of transport to the match venues was the good old CTB bus for he never earned the riches to own a vehicle of his own”. The panel of selectors during his stewardship as chairman included the late Sathi Coomaraswamy, KMT Perera, Bobby Schoorman and the mercurial C.T.A. Schafter who still adorns the business and sports arena with such distinction.

It was this heady group of men who had the gumption to pick a young 24 year old by the name of Michael Tissera as the captain of the All Ceylon team, who in turn kept up the confidence reposed on him by winning “Test Matches” (before Sri Lanka attained Test status) against India and Pakistan.

In this present day and age the Test playing nations have a cricketing calendar choc a block with matches. The performance of captains deteriorates due to fatigue. At present the higher ups in the Australian cricketing fraternity has requested Steven Smith to relinquish his captaincy and return to Australia to charge his batteries and be ready for the forthcoming tours. Smith has duly obliged putting country before self.

It would be commendable if the Sri Lankan counterparts follow suit by relieving injury prone Angelo Mathews for a tour, this is because if he can get lean and mean and be fit as a fiddle, he can be one of the leading all-rounders in the game. It also has to be mentioned that the present vice captain who has an invigorating effect on the team and contributed well to the recent successes of our team should be given a throw at the dice.

Reverting back to the main topic,“DD” also known by his mates as Douggie hailed from Mahinda College, Galle and was considered a prodigy in the 1930’s, having notched up four consecutive centuries in the Premier Division matches, which culminated in him being awarded the All Ceylon cap. He represented the all conquering SSC Team in the 1940s and led Moratuwa in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Sri Lanka Cricket should honour this great cricketer by naming a stand at the Galle International Cricket Stadium after him. 

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