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Coming of age of Chandimal

The Island: Our splendid sports reporter Reemus Fernando had told us plenty about this raw talent from Ambalangoda called Dinesh Chandimal. Later a lot was heard of him as he represented Ananda College. When the selectors picked him to represent Sri Lanka Board President’s XI against touring New Zealanders at the age of 19, we rushed to the Colts Cricket ground to see how the next biggest thing in Sri Lankan cricket would fare against Tuffey, Martin, Oram and Vettori. It happened to be Chandimal’s First Class debut too.

For a player to make his First Class debut against a touring side even before he had played club cricket, gives you an indication the weight of expectations on the youngster.

He looked confident and organized and wasn’t rattled by the opposition’s verbals. Chandimal’s approach was a bold one. He was strong on the back foot cutting and pulling the seamers while against the spinners his footwork looked near perfect with some neat drives as he raced to a half-century. His 64 contained 11 boundaries. We returned to office that day convinced that a star is in the making.
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