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Aravinda De Silva

Updated on July 12, 2014

Greatest Batsmen to come emerge from Sri Lanka

Pinnaduwage Aravinda De Silva is arguably the greatest batsman produced by Sri Lanka. The highlight of his career was winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996 where he contributed with a brilliant century in the final. Although he was at the peak of his powers during 1996 to 2000, Aravinda made his test debut against England way back in 1984, against England at Lords. Even in his early days he was renowned for his attacking stroke play and his tendency to get out to reckless shots earned him the nick name "Mad Max". Once he became a senior player he took on more responsibility and was more mature in his shot selection. There was a period after 1996 where it was almost impossible to get him out. 96-98 could be considered the golden years of Sri Lanka where it was very hard to beat them with Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda in top form. Another thing Aravinda loved as much as Cricket is fast cars. People used to say that if you want Aravinda to perform in a tournament, you need to give a car to the man of the series.

Aravinda De Silva Biography

  • Full Name - Pinnaduwage Aravinda De Silva
  • Nick Name - Mad Max
  • Birthday - October 17,1965
  • Wife - Anushka De Silva
  • Ex-Wife - Sarita
  • Test Debut - August 13,1984 against England at Lords
  • ODI Debut - March 31,1984 against New Zealand at DeZoya Stadium Moratuwa

Aravinda De Silva Book ( Autobiography )

Aravinda: My Autobiography
Aravinda: My Autobiography

A detailed look into the cricket career and the personal life of Aravinda De Silva. What motivated him, how Buddhism helped him in his journey and also his views about some of the great players during his era. Photographs add values to the book and the context. For a book written buy a great cricketer it is not full with his achievements, a great read.

 

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Early Career

From his debut in 1984 to 1995 period Aravinda was known as a talented and a dashing batsmen but who often threw his wicket away because of a rash shot. Although a great entertainer he lacked the consistency to be considered as a great batsmen. His highest test score was made during this period, 267 against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve,New Zealand. Another innings of note he played during this period is his 167 against the Australia in Australia. But innings like those were a rarity, more often than not he delivered quick cameos.

Aravinda's 167 made against Australia

Playing Country Cricket for Kent

Playing county cricket for Kent can be considered as a defining period in Aravinda's career. As the foreign player in the team he learned to take more responsibility and not to give his wicket away. He scored more than thousand runs for Kent during that season in the county championship but the innings remembered by many during his Kent stay is the brilliant hundred he scored in the Benson & Hedges cup final. Chasing 274 for victory he scored 112 runs from 88 balls when none of his team mates scored more than 25. It was a shame he ended up in the losing side but he won the Man of the Match award for his brilliant performance.

Aravinda De Silva Century against Lancashire in 1995 Benson & Hedges Cricket Final

The most remembered innings of Aravinda while he was in Kent. Although he ended up in the losing side he was given the Man of the match award for his brilliant performance.

1996 Cricket World Cup

Although he was considered a good batsmen before the world cup Aravinda achived greatness during the 1996 Cricket World Cup. At the start of the world cup Sri Lankans were not even considered as potential winners. Everybody thought India,Australia or South Africa will win the world cup. But Sri Lanka surprised everyone by winning the world cup and being unbeaten in the whole tournament. Although Aravinda had a good tournament there were two innings that really stood out and the importance of them were highlighted by the fact he played them during high pressures games like world cup semi-final and the final. His counter attacking 66 in the semi final gave hope to rest of the Sri Lankans and destroyed India's momentum and his brilliant century in the final vanquished any hope of a comeback by the Australians.

Aravinda in 1996 Cricket World Cup Semi Final ( 66 from 47 balls )

One of the greatest ODI innings that wasn't a century. When Aravinda walked in to the crease the score was 1 and both the openers were back in the pavilion. The game was played at Eden Gardens and thousands of Indians were cheering there team towards victory. But Aravinda played a brilliant counter attacking innings scoring 66 from just 47 balls. That put the foundation for a solid scored and Sri Lankans went on score 251 which they defended easily or a ravaging turner.

Aravinda's Innings in the final of 1996 Cricket World Cup ( Full second innings )

After the 1996 World Cup

The 1996 World Cup was the tournament that made Aravinda globally recognized as a very talented batsmen. He hit a purple patch of form after that period where it looked almost impossible to get him out. Because Aravinda and Sanath Jayasuriya were on top of there games Sri Lanka also had wonderful time during this period where they went on to win many one day international tournaments. Aravinda performed brilliantly in test matches as well scoring centuries at will during this period. He form slumped a bit after the 1999 world cup and there were issues with the administration which led to quiet period during his career.

Retiring after the 2003 World Cup

The 2003 World Cup was the last tournament played by Aravinda as a Sri Lankan cricketer. After almost 19 years of playing international cricket it was the perfect way to end the career. Although Sri Lanka couldn't win the world cup the made it to the semi final and was beaten by Australia. During that tournament Aravinda played some good innings, most notable of them being his innings against Australia where he dispatched Brett Lee for sixes with some skillful shots. Unfortunately he was run out in his final innings.

Aravinda hitting sixes off Brett Lee

Notable Achievments

  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1996
  • Cricket World Cup winner in 1996
  • Only player to scored two not out centuries in the same test match
  • Scoring over 1000 runs in one calendar year

Life After Cricket

Aravinda already had his own businesses so after retiring he mostly took care of his business. But the Sri Lankan Cricket board realized the importance of making use of his cricketing brain and appointed his as a selector. He was in the selection panel when Sri Lanka got to the finals of the 2011 world cup, but which they lost to India in the finals.

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