Tribute To Mahela, Lanka’s Beloved Stylist Who Wowed !The World From Many Perspectives, Not Just Cricket.
Posted on August 18th, 2014
Top Spin By Suni Perera
August 19th 2014
As outpourings of tributes and compliments flow from around the globe for Mahela Jayawardena Sri Lanka’s much loved stylist cricketer it wasn’t all about cricket that drew admiration from his fans and all those who loved him. He was a man of humility, compassion, dignity and true class which when combined with what he gave to Sri Lankan cricket through performance and personality makes him one of the true greats of the modern game.
Irrefutably perhaps, the rating” the best Sri Lankan captain ever” rings out loud and deservedly so where his adoring audiences were treated to everything he had to offer both on and off the field which was a subliminal example of how to play the gentleman’s game as a gentleman whilst carrying himself with pride and dignity and influencing all his teammates in a tremendous manner which will serve them all in good stead for years to come.
It certainly has been Sri Lanka’s privilege to be served by him for nearly two decades as well as his club the Sinhalese Sports Club and prior to that his Alma Mater Nalanda College represented by a large contingent of Old and Young Nalandians who had turned out in numbers to bid him farewell with an honour guard of raised bats and to remember the young kid who dazzled school cricket in his day, reaching the pinnacle of Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year and eventually the great heights he reached in the world of International Cricket yet never forgetting his early years at times filled with personal distresses such as the loss of a beloved sibling and the time he went into a shell with a depressive effect on his cricket yet emerged triumphantly as he conquered adversity and rose to be the giant he is today where hardly anything stood before him as an obstacle as he marched on to greatness with a flourish of his bat, his clever catching hands in the slips and that broad grin of his which at times was quite infectious.
While his accomplishments and records as a cricketer are innumerable where some of them truly stand out, his association with his dear friend and fellow Sri LankanCricket icon Kumar Sangakkara has also been an outstanding feature of his playing career ( it is also known that they co own a popular local seafood restaurent in Colombo known for its delectable Crab dishes!) where the two buddies enjoyed playing together and featured in some exciting partnerships together and fittingly they shared a hundred plus stand in his final Test in Colombo and a joy to watch albeit whistfully where at the end of it all the Pakistanis graciously acolladed him as he walked off the Test Arena for the last time.
Typically in Sri Lankan fashion it was to a backdrop of deafening firecrackers and many teary eyed fans looking on as his team mates hoisted him carrying him off the field where the unsung ditty “He’s A Jolly Good Fellow !” might have embellished the proceedings but probably rang in the minds of many who were watching despite its absence in a era where it is sadly and in all probabilities all but forgotten!
The love surrounding Mahela seemed further accentuated as he walked upto his parents, wife and baby daughter to hug them and share their joy which was truly boundless and in his farewell speech as usual portyrayed the humble, unassuming classy and dignified Mahela Jayawardena the world has come to love and respect.
Happily enough Mahela will still play in limited over cricket as he did mention his desire to play in the World Cup 2015 as we wish him the very best towards his future and may he be surrounded with all the love, Joy and good fortune he deserves for all the playing years left in him as well as his journey through life surrounded by his loved ones.
WELL DONE DEAR MAHELA!