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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008

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Sportsman Alwis to beef up sports at Dharmaraja

SPORTS CO-ORDINATOR: Dharmaraja College - one of the leading schools in sports in the country, especially in cricket, has produced many outstanding personalities who have guided the destinies of the school sports activities so that the school was able to go places and be among the top runners.

Dharmaraja College Old Boys Union headed by Colombo Branch President S.B. Herath has appointed of its stars of the past — D.D.P. Alwis as the sports co-ordinator.

The Old Boys Union of Dharmaraja could not have thought of a better person to hold that post as D.D.P. Alwis has been associated with sports for a long time and he knows what’s best for the school. He will be having a close watch on the matches that Dharmaraja will be playing in Colombo as well as the matches played in Kandy and in other towns as well.

Presently D.D.P. Alwis is a cricket coach at Sinhalese Sports Club along with Nihal Kodithuwakku, Lalith Wijeratne, Cheran Wickeremasekera and Harsha Silva.

His cricket career spans over 35 years and during this period he represented Dharmaraja, Sri Lanka Schools, Kandy Cricket Club in the Donovan Andree Tournament joining the then Ceylon Air Force and also played for ‘Adastrians’ in the premier league Sara Trophy tournament from 1971 to 1981.

Cricket brought him rich rewards and he was known to be one of the hardest hitters of the ball at school level. This was clearly shown by the fact that in 1967 he hit Zahira Colombo’s M. Rahuman for 30 runs in 1 over (4 sixes, one four and two runs).

In the same year, in a third term match against St. Thomas’ Mt. Lavinia led by Prabodha Kariyawasam, Alwis had an allround performance when he scored 72 runs, and had a match bag of 8 for 53 which helped the Bajans to beat the Thomians by 10 runs for the first time.

He played for Kandy Cricket Club under Malcolm Berenger in 1970. When he joined the Sri Lanka Air Force, he played alongside Dr. Cyril Ernst, Dr. Nihal Gurusinghe, Tony Opatha, Brian Obeysekera and Ajith Jayasekera to name a few of the stars. Alwis also has the record of playing for Old Rajans in the Col. Olcot Memorial Cricket tournament from the inaugural year 1999 to date. In addition, he led the Old Rajans team to their 1st victory in 2001.

He also represented Defence Services from 1978 to 1980, represented Up-country and Central Province teams under Berty Gomez in 1968 before joining the Air Force. At that time, he played against Pakistan and Madras cricket teams. Cricket was not the only sport that ‘D.D.P’ participated. He was good at hockey too.

Alwis played for Dharmaraja from 1966 to 1968 and represented the Kandy Combined Schools from 1967 to 1968 and Kandy District Team from 1969 to 1970 in the National Championships.

He also toured India with the Kandy District Team in 1969 under Ananda Jayasundera. He captained Air Force hokey team in 1979 and in addition represented Defence Services team from 1979 to 80 and again toured India.

He was also in the National Pool in 1979. He captained the Dharmaraja soccer team in 1967 and led the team to victory at the Central Province Tournament. He captained the Kandy Combined Schools team in 1968.

As a rugby player, he played for Kandy Sports Club in 1969 and 70 and later coached the 1st Dharmaraja rugby team in 1970. He played for Air Force rugby team in 1979.

However, cricket was his favourite game and he followed a cricket coaching course conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka in 1994.

According to ‘D.D.P’ Sri Lanka is in the correct path as it has two teams i.e. National & ‘A’ team as when the players of the National Team fail, they will be replaced by the players of the ‘A’ team.

Presently, he is the Manager of the Arpico Finance Co.

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