Sri Lanka is lacking in consistency and confidence - Tony Opatha
Tony Opatha - “Sri Lanka must brush up and get back into winning
CRICKET: Sara Trophy cricket? That will surely ring a bell in the
ears of former All-Ceylon cricketer Tony Opatha and also the stalwarts
of Colombo Cricket Club team captained by Dan Piachaud in 1977.
The Colombo Cricket Club team came off with a superb display of
bowling in that two-day Saravanamuttu Trophy game where the CCC, after
making 122 in their first innings, came off with an unbelievable
performance against Tamil Union and had Tamil Union wickets tumbling and
their scoreboard read a sorry 9 runs for 9 runs and Tamil Union skipper
Shanthi Kumar declared at that humiliating total. This was the
lowest-ever score in top grade cricket those days in Sri Lanka.
Spearheading the CCC bowling on that occasion was one-time Ceylon
paceman Tony Opatha who had the outstanding figures of 6 wickets for 1
The name of Tony Opatha will surely ring a bell in the years of
followers of cricket in the island. He played for Sri Lanka in two World
Cup Cricket Tournaments -- 1975 and 1979 and altogether played for Sri
Lanka for 10 years.
Speaking about Sri Lanka cricket in the present day, Opatha was of
the opinion that the Sri Lanka team right now lacks in consistency and
confidence, going on the performances of the team against the Indian
cricketers. "We have a good captain in Mahela Jayewardene, but nothing
seems to be coming right at the vital moments. We must get back into
stride and then the other countries will take note of us." Opatha said.
The Sri Lanka team has got everying what is needed for a allround side,
but the present lot of cricketeters will have to 'buck up' and show
consistency right now, so that we will be able to get back on the
winning track was Opatha's opinion.
He said that Sri Lanka cricketers must get used to playing on quick
wickets. The wicket at Khettarama was not quick enough and that probably
upset the cricketers.
Tony Opatha came into the cricket scene as a 13-year-old playing for
St. Peter's and he captained the team in 1967. He played for Sri Lanka
Schools as an allrounder and played for Sri Lanka Schools against
Australia, England and India.
He first started as a Tea Taster, but then joined Sri Lanka Air Force
and ended up as a Flight Lieutenant.
In 1975, he began his professional cricket career in England
(Lancashire Cricket League Club) for a period of five years and
thereafter played for league cricket in South Africa, Bangladesh,
Denmark and Holland.Tony Opatha is continuing his interest in cricket
these days and is running a cricket school and is the Executive Director