Sajith Fernando does Kandy proud | Daily News

Sajith Fernando does Kandy proud

There are countless great sportsmen in history from Kandy, the latest is Sajith Fernando who has made Kandy proud. The former national selector and top cricketer has been appointed by the United States of America Cricket (USAC) as member of its Men’s Youth Selection Panel He is a part of the five-member Men’s Youth Selection Panel, headed by Amer Afzaludin, which includes former West Indies great Alvin Kallicharran, former USA players Steve Massiah and Jannisar Khan. He becomes the first Sri Lankan to serve as a selector at any level in another ICC member country. .The Men’s Youth Selection Panel will primarily be responsible for selecting all USA Men’s Youth teams.

Sajith Fernando was born on September 27, 1972 started his cricketing career at St. Paul’s College Kandy (now goes as Wariyapola Sri Sumangala College) where he was guided and made to play good cricket by former Sri Lanka cricketer late D.H.de Silva. Then in an under-17 game between St. Anthony’s and St Paul’s, Sajith made a superb century, and this opened the door for him at the Katugastota school. His father Ian Fernando was an Old Antonian. After crossing over to St. Anthony’s College he polished his cricket under T.K. Hannan and Sunil Wickremanayake.

, Sajith Fernando became the second Observer schoolboy cricketer from Kandy in the Year 1992. He should consider himself extremely unlucky for having being left out from selections to the National Team to represent the country at Test level despite being the number one choice to lead the country in ‘A’ team tours on numerous occasions.

He played for the Antonians along with cricketers like Champika Siriwardena, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ameda Ellepola, Ajaz Shafeek,Umesh de Alwis, Asanka Ratnaweera, Dilshan Bandaranayake, Indika Beddegama,Lester Herathge, N. de Mel, Nishan Doranegama, Christopher Samaratunge and Jeremy Speldewinde. In 1991, when Muttiah Muralitharan won the Observer schoolboy cricket award, Sajith Fernando was chosen as best batsman in the competition, and in the following year (1992), Sajith not only won the Schoolboy cricketer of the year but also took the prizes for the best all-rounder, best Batsman (runner-up) behind Russell Arnold (St. Peter’s College) and also became the runner-up for the Best Bowler, behind Punyakantha Abeygoonesekera (Nalanda College).

In that year, Sajith Fernando scored five centuries for his school and fully endorsed his batting status to win the best batsman award. In 1992, , Sajith Fernando did better scoring 1,000 runs for the season with four centuries and took 100 wickets and made himself eligible for the top award in school cricket sector.

This left-hand opening batsman scored over10,000 first class runs and at one time was the head coach of S. Thomas’College, Mount Lavinia and also of Ports Authority Cricket.

In 1992 Sajith was a member of the Sri LankaUnder-19 Team led by Anandian Sachithra Alexander that toured England. The team included players in the calibre of Chaminda Vaas and Russel Arnold and Sajith was awarded the most outstanding player of the tour. The same year, he was a member of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team which took part in the SAARC cricket tournament In 1993 he toured South Africa with the Sri Lanka Under-24 Team which was led by Sanath Jayasuriya and this was supposed to be the first ever official tour made by a Sri Lanka team. He was also the deputy skipper of the Under-24 Team against South Africa and later led the team in the final test match and two ODI matches. In1995, he was a member of the Sri Lanka cricket team led by Marvan Atapattu that took part in the Hong Kong Sixes and the TNT Worldwide Cricket Sixes held in Singapore where they emerged champions in both tournaments.

The same year he represented the Central Province Team in the Inter-Provincial Cricket Tournament and was ad judged the most promising player of the province in this tournament. He went onto lead the Colts U/24 cricket team and guided them to become champions.Sajith performance saw him being offered a scholarship by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, where he represented the Beenleigh Logan CC in Brisbane. On his return he was given the responsibility of leading the Sri Lanka ‘A’ side against the South African counterparts. In 1998, he was adjudged the man of the series in the premier limited over tournament when Colts emerged champions. He was a member of the Champion Colts Cricket Team which emerged premier league champions in the year 2000 and 2002 which team he led. Sajith after a stint with Colts CC and for the Tamil Union in Sri Lanka, was successful in guiding his side to become the premier limited over champions of 2009/10 cricket season.