Posted by: tootingtrumpet | August 27, 2009

In praise of… Thilan Samaraweera

Samaraweera_143402tOn 15th April 2009, Cricinfo caught up with the cricketing victims of the Lahore terrorist attack of March 2009. Of Sri Lanka’s middle order batsman, Thilan Samaraweera, Cricinfo had this to say.

Samaraweera remained in hospital for a fortnight after surgery to his left leg, and is now undergoing painful sessions of physiotherapy to repair muscles damaged by a terrorist’s bullet. His captain Mahela Jayawardene is under no illusions as to the enormity of the challenge before his young batsman, who prior to the attack had posted double-centuries in consecutive Tests.

“There is still pain for him, but hopefully in six-to-eight weeks he will be back training again,” Jayawardene said. “The wounds, I have been told, have healed better than was anticipated. He is a very tough character. It is obviously a difficult road for him after the terrible thing that happened to him. But knowing him like I do, I am confident he will make a full comeback.”

Since then, Samaraweera has played three Tests against Pakistan in July, understandably only showing form in the second innings of the Third Test. Having felt ball on bat in those Tests, he made 159 in SL’s First Test vs New Zealand and has backed it up with 143 in the Second Test.

Usain Bolt will hoover up every sporting award at the end of this year, and few would argue with that. But I hope that Samaraweera’s feats will not be forgotten, since this is a man who has met bullets with runs and shown which is the greater. The Trumpet salutes him.


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Responses

  1. […] 99.94 has some praise for Thilan Samaraweera who has notched his second century of the series. Samaraweera’s average stands at 52.25, a figure that would find him a place among the great batsmen of all time. That is, if he had actually done something against a strong team. […]

  2. TT

  3. TT – I’m so glad you brought this up, I was thinking along the same lines a few days ago. He has been lagely derided throughout his career as a flat track bully, and with some justification. He averages almost 20 runs more at home, and has abysmal records against SA/Aus and Eng. He’s not a flashy player, and his range is limited, especially compared to Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

    But he has been a rock in Lanka’s middle order for a few years and his recovery from such near-trauma has been truly magnificent. A hot streak like his starting from 2007-08 cannot be ignored.

    To the earlier poster, the point is not to laud him for his runs alone, but to consider the context as well.

  4. Toots,

    I join you in saluting Samaraweera.What he has done is amazing.

  5. Kumar – Glad that you’re joining me!

    Rajesh – True. Samaraweera does perform better at home, but he’s hardly alone in that. He’s a key member of the SL squad, a squad that has given us fantastic entertainment in all forms of the game over the last decade at least. Set against the turmoil in the country, both political and through horrors like the tsunami, SL’s cricket is remarkable.

  6. Toots, well said.

    Fantastic recovery and he deserves every plaudit that comes his way.

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  8. And he’s one of the easy-on-the-eye batsmen in the world. I haven’t seen commentators go as gaga over a single shot as they did when Samaraweera stepped out to Vettori, skipped inside the line and drove him wristily past cover for four.
    In the last couple of years, he’s become a much more positive batsman – he had periods in the past when he’d get firmly locked into a shell, but he’s expanded his game quite wonderfully now.


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