By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), as it has done so in the past, once again came out with a magnanimous gesture of promoting and helping out other sportspersons by honouring eleven Asian Games medal winners by a total sum of Rs.28 million under the patronage of SLC President, Shammi Silva who has made it a point to put his best foot forward to recognise and give needy sports outside cricket a helping hand, yesterday at the SLC headquarters.
At hand along with the SLC President were Ravin Wickramaratne, Vice President – Sujeeva Godaliyadda, Treasurer – Chryshantha Kapuwatte, Acting Secretary and Lasantha Wickremesinghe, Assistant Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Schoolgirl sensation, Tharushi Karunaratne, who made the country proud by landing a historic gold medal following a 10-year hiatus since Susanthika Jayasinghe did so, was the cynosure of all eyes receiving a sum of Rs.10 million and Rs.1 million for her bronze medal feat from Sri Lanka cricket in recognition of her truly great performance in breaking a long felt gold medal drought.
Nadeesha Dilhani Lekamge, the ‘Silver Medalist’ was awarded Rs.5 million. Nine other athletes who won bronze medals at the mega games received cash awards while Susantha Fernando the coach of Tharushi Karunaratne and Pradeep Nishantha coach of Nadeesha Dilhani Lekamge were also duly awarded in recognition of their services in fine tuning the two athletes.
Other proud recipients were bronze medal winners Pasindu Kodikara, Aruna Darshana, Kalinga Kumarage, Pabasara Niku, Rajitha Rajakaruna, Dinuka Deshan, Nadeesha Ramanayake, Sayuru Lakshima, and Jayeshi Utthara by way of Rs. 1 million each.
A noteworthy feature was former Olympic gold medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe, who is the Consultant for Mentoring and Development of Women’s Cricket in Sri Lanka, also gracing the memorable occasion.