De Saram to catch eye of cricket selectors!
Indika de Saram, who has had a rollicking season with the bat for
Ragama CC in the ongoing `A' Division domestic club cricket tournament,
said that he was purely concentrating on his batting and still looked
forward at age 35 to catch the nod of the national selectors for a call
up to the Sri Lanka team.
De Saram, who has been tapping on the door consistently for years,
but has failed to catch the eye of the selectors, and who was in his hey
day a basher of the ball, came back to peak form with three centuries in
two successive matches including twin hundreds in one match.His effort
helped Ragama CC beat favourites - the star studded Moors SC that saw
the outstation club come into the limelight, staying in contention in
third place in the points table.
That record feat saw De Saram score 125 and an unbeaten 150 in the
second innings and 141 .
His efforts have been the mainstay of Ragama CC which has some
competent players, including Sri Lanka `discard' Kaushalya Weeraratne,
has given the club a chance of vying for the championship honours this
season. Speaking to the `Sunday Observer' De Saram said that what had
greatly bolstered his form was the considerable experience he had gained
by now playing league cricket in England for several years. Currently
turning out for East Angliyan League, De Saram has also proved in
England to be one of the side's mainstays, having won the admiration of
the league management which has also recognised the Sri Lankans' ability
by appointing him as player-cum-coach.
Asked how he felt about being overlooked for national duty even for
the Sri Lanka `A' team, De Saram said: "Even though I am overlooked, I
still concentrate on doing my best at club level from which I derive a
satisfaction." Since playing for Sri Lanka from 1999 to 2001, the Ragama
CC veteran has failed to win back a recall that has drawn much comment
from many quarters as to being overlooked.
Incidentally, De Saram holds the ground record for the highest
individual score in a school match - 304 off only 149 deliveries
inclusive of 25 sixes and 19 boundaries for St. Thomas', Matara against
Sri Devananda College, Ambalangoda in 1993.
Notably, on his return from League cricket in England, however, De
Saram found recognition in so much as being given the captaincy of the
Sri Lanka team for the 2008 Hong Kong Sixes which tournament Sri Lanka
won, beating a star-studded all stars side that included players like
"Leading at national level at least in the Hong Kong Sixes to me was
an honour in bringing the championship trophy back home," smiled the
modest and lanky De Saram, who like Sanath Jayasuriya hails from Matara.
Also a gifted wicketkeeper from his school and club days, De Saram
said that he gave up the 'glove job' on the advice of a Sri Lanka
cricket official because he could not get the No. 1 choice in the Sri
Lanka team when he played, since Romesh Kaluwitharana was the `stumper'.
"But now I feel that it was a minus factor in my cricket career
chucking my wicketkeeping gift, which otherwise might have strengthened
my chances to win a Sri Lanka recall," regretted De Saram.