Lord’s calling Aravinda de Silva
MUMBAI: Former Sri Lanka captain and selector Aravinda de Silva will be at Lord’s for the Test match against England commencing on Thursday. This was revealed by Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board.
Speaking exclusively over his mobile from London on Monday morning, Sumathipala says, “Aravinda is an invitee of MCC”.
It is not yet certain but he may even be invited to ring the traditional five-minute bell before the commencement of any of the days play during the Test match.
“So far he has not received any such information but he will support the national team”, his wife said.
“I will come to know about this only once I reach there”, Aravinda said.
The ringing of the five-minute bell before the game on each day of the Test at Lord’s by an international cricketer, administrator or well-known enthusiast of the sport has been a tradition since 2007.
“If we are asked to nominate, our choice will be Aravinda as being a player he deserves it”, Sumathipala added.
Interestingly, 50-year-old Aravinda’s Test debut was at Lord’s at the age of 18. It was also Sri Lanka’s inaugural Test at Lord’s.
The bell is placed outside the Bowlers’ Bar of the Lord’s Pavilion, and is rung to signify the imminent start of play, and it has become a great honour to be invited to ring it on the morning of a Test match.
Sidath Wettimuny, Arjuna Ranatunga and Kushil Gunasekera were invited in 2011, while Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Attapattu and Chaminda Vaas received this honor in 2014.
“SLC could raise 100,000 pounds though auctions of five bats for the charity. Five bats signed by six captains (Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, T.M.Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya) were auctioned here at the function where all members of Sri Lanka team were present.”
“The Long Room Gala dinner (ticket of 200 pounds) was also addressed by Graham Gooch, whose 45-minute speech was highly impressive”, Sumathipala added.