Nipun captained the Lanka under 19 team on a record nine consecutive occasions | Daily News

Nipun captained the Lanka under 19 team on a record nine consecutive occasions

World Cup Plate Champions Sri Lanka Under 19 Cricket Team – 2018 posed for a photograph just after beating West Indies in New Zealand
Front row seated on the ground from L/R – Nipun Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama, Jehan Daniel, Hareen Buddhila. Middle Row Standing L/R – Krishan Sanjula, Thisaru Dilshan, Nishan Madushka, Kavindu Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Thilan Lorensuhewa, Hasitha Boyagoda, Nipun Malinga. Standing Back row L/R – Santhush Gunathilake, Dananjaya Lakshan, Nuwanidu Fernando (Picture by Dilwin Mendis – Moratuwa Sports Special Correspondent)

Sixth year first eleven cricketer, all rounder, left hand middle order bat, right arm off spinner, a fine fielder in any position with a very good arm, coloursman, Vazian Golden Lion Award Winner and Athlete Kenaththage Nipun Dananjaya Perera brought Honour and Glory to his Alma Mater St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa and to his motherland in general by setting a World Record of captaining the Sri Lanka under 19 cricket team on nine consecutive occasions and he erased the previous World Record held by former Cambrian and present Sri Lanka Cricketer Kusal Mendis who captained Sri Lanka under 19 cricket team on five successive occasions.

It will be a very tedious task to erase the record of Nipun Dananjaya. Not a single Vazian would have expected that Nipun who came to their school from a very remote village from Nattandiya will put their school name in the under 19 cricket world map.

The entire credit should go to the Principal of St. Joseph Vaz College Rev. Fr. Priyanjeewa Gunaratne, former Dhammissara Vidyalaya cricket coach Keerthi Jayasekera a past Vazian cricketer Wasantha Wijesuriya his coaches Tharanga Liyanapathirana and Nuwan Ruchira, Master in Charge of cricket Randeev Karunanayake and entire tutorial staff of St. Joseph Vaz College.

Nipuna joined Grade One of Dhammissara National School in 2006 when R. K. J. Gunasekera was the Principal and his first class teacher was Mrs. Nirosha. Whilst over there he was the Athletic Champion from Grade Two to Five and his events were 75, 100 metres and long jump and in the under 12 age group he was the Divisional, Zonal, District and Provincial Champion and in the John Tarbet Meet he was fifth in long jump and 8th in 200 meters and his coach was Mr. Nandana. As his forte is cricket he attended under 13 cricket practices at the age of eight years and in his first year he got 60 runs in 2008.

In the second year he scored 120 runs and followed up with 150 runs and in 2011 he passed the 300 run mark with 100 runs against Saranath Vidyalaya and got two fifties and captaining in the following year he scored 250 runs with three half centuries and in 2013 he joined St. Joseph Vaz College and scored 488 runs with an unbeaten 201 runs versus Kegalu Vidyalaya and 109 against Royal College, Polonnaruwa with another two fifties and he was the highest run getter in the tournament.

In his first year in the under 15 he scored 251 runs with three fifties and played for the District and Provincial Teams in the Prima Cup. In his second year he collected 530 runs and he was the highest run getter of the tournament with 200 runs versus Kalutara Vidyalaya and another four fifties and played for the Prima Cup.

Same year he was selected to captain the under 15 tour of Malaysia and Sri Lanka emerged as the Champions and he carried away the Man of the Series Award. In the under 17 tournament he scored 396 runs with a century and two fifties and in the next year he collected 520 runs with a century and five fifties.

His first year in the under 19 was in 2014 and he scored 201 runs and missed the Big Match and the Limited Over Match. In the following year he got 473 runs with a century and two fifties and played for the Big Match and the Limited Over against their arch rivals St. Mary’s College, Chilaw and he carried away the Best Batsman’s Award at the Big Match.

He got selected for the Provincial Tournament and scored two fifties and claimed 71 wickets with two ten wicket hauls and eight five wicket hauls and he got selected to the Sri Lanka under 19 squad.

In the following year he was appointed as the captain of the school team and scored 369 runs with a century and three fifties and bagged 39 scalps. In 2018 he scored 696 runs with four half centuries and captured 37 wickets and played for the Provincial Team and he won the Best Fielder’s Award in the Sunday Observer – Mobitel Contest and later awarded College Colours and the highest award for a Vazian in the field of sports “The Golden Lion Award”.

Again he captained in 2019 and scored 345 runs with three fifties and played in the Super Provincial Tournament and in that season he could play only three matches due to Corona and he has already played in five Big Matches and five Limited Over Matches.

In this context two old boys Mr. Ajith and Mr. Kanishka helped him in many ways. Last year he represented the Sinhalese Sports Club in the Premier Tournament and this year representing them in under 23 tournament he was the highest run getter with 375 runs with a century and three fifties. Records are there to be broken. But this is a very rare achivement and it will be a very tedious task to break the record of Nipuna and all the Vazians should be proud of their hero for setting a New World Record.

He represented the Sri Lanka under 19 team in 2017 in the Asia Cup and 2018 World Cup and he went on to captain the Sri Lanka Under 19 team nine times as follows.

As a member of the team

2017 Asia Cup in Malaysia
2018 World Cup in New Zealand

As the captain of the team

2018 versus India in Sri Lanka.
Asia Cup 2018 Bangladesh.
2018 Bangladesh in Sri Lanka
2019 Australia in Sri Lanka
2019 Pakistan in Sri Lanka
2019 in Bangladesh in Sri Lanka
2019 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka

2019 West Indies, England, Sri Lanka tri series in West Indies

World Cup in South Africa