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Former True Blue inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Photo: Getty Images

He was the first to score a century and take three wickets in the same World Cup match – and is still the only one to do so in a Final. He signed off from Test cricket in 2002 with a double-century in his final innings and retired from all international cricket after the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in 2003.

He also played Premier Cricket for the True Blues in 1988/89 as Cap No. 451 and he’s recently been inducted into a very exclusive club, the ICC Hall of Fame.

Who are we talking about here? Well, it can be none other than the brilliant Sri Lankan all-rounder Aravinda De Silva.

De Silva was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning campaign in 1996 when they defeated Australia in the final at Lahore. His three wickets with his off-spinners helped restrict Australia’s score while his unbeaten 107 guided Sri Lanka out of trouble and on to a famous victory.

A classy batter who scored 20 Test and 11 ODI centuries De Silva was renowned at being able to adapt the way he played depending upon the circumstances. His record speaks for itself. He played 93 Tests scoring 6,361 runs at 42.97 and 308 ODIs scoring 9,284 runs at 34.90.

He went on to enjoy an 18-year international career with Sri Lanka but his year at Prahran in 1988/89 is fondly remembered by those who had the pleasure to be part of it.

Club President at the time, Ian Crawford AM, recalls the constant discussions with Aravinda in the winter of 1988 before he agreed to come to Melbourne to play with Prahran, and that Bob Parish, former club president and Chair of the Australian Cricket Board, personally paid for Aravinda’s airfares.

Due to national duties De Silva missed the first three matches of the Premier Cricket season but the remainder of the season was something special. He played in nine matches, scored 697 runs at 77.44, claimed 28 wickets at 17.75, and grabbed six catches along the way.

His highest score was 211, one of three centuries and four 50s. With the ball his best was a 6/115 plus two other five-wicket bags.

Unfortunately, international duties beckoned and Aravinda missed the last round of the season, four matches in total. One wonders what may have happened if he had been available for all rounds given that he finished in second place in the Ryder Medal voting that year, only two votes behind the winner Richard McCarthy of the North Melbourne Cricket Club.

Those who saw him play will never forget the experience as his attacking style of play was something to behold. We therefore extend to Aravinda our heartfelt congratulations on his prestigious elevation to the ICC Hall of Fame.

You are always welcome at Toorak Park Aravinda!


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