By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka’s most famous 1996 world cup winning century maker Aravinda de Silva’s first comments on being inducted to the ICC Hall of Fame were, “I am honoured by this recognition by the ICC at the highest level, and what immediately comes to mind is that great effort of scoring that world cup winning unbeaten century versus Australia in the 1996 final.”
De Silva, (58), went on to add, “It is the dream of any cricketer to achieve such an ultimate feat of winning cup glory at the highest level of the game which I am proud of to this day.”
He was quick to identify his former school principal, the late R.I.T. Alles and former coach and chief cricket selector, the late Abu Fuard and his own father and other coaches among others whom he credited to with to perfecting his cricket career.
Of Abu Fuard’s influence, he said that it was Fuard who had spotted his talent at an early age when he was just 4 years for which he was ever grateful.
He also made special mention of cricket spectators not only from his own country but across the globe who had applauded and inspired him during his cricket career.
“Last but not least I cannot forget my team mates of that great team who were behind me right throughout my career,” master batsman Aravinda de Silva said.
De Silva is the fourth Sri Lankan to be inducted to the ICC Hall of Fame.
Aravinda de Silva played 93 Tests – 6,361 runs at an average of 42.97, 29 wickets while he played 308 ODIs – 9,284 runs at an average of 34.90, 106 wickets.