Sri Lanka Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal has spoken to Vishaal Loganathan in detail about the initial struggles he faced due to the 2004 Tsunami which left him homeless. Loganathan also traces Chandimal’s successful journey from a resolute young boy to leading the Lankan Lions at the top level.
It was a poya, full moon day, and as usual the house was being cleaned. Chandimal's mother had stepped out to clear the garbage. Moments later, he heard a screech from his mother. "Actually, we thought it was a snake or something," says Chandimal. But it was the tsunami, or 'The Devil', as Chandimal constantly says.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, a shaken Chandimal went hunting for his kit bag. He had to travel to Colombo for the trials. He found his bag more than two kilometers away, wet and useless. Chandimal wasn't stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, here the devil was the deep blue sea.
"Actually, my parents pushed me to go to Ananda College. I didn't want to go. Because in Dharmasoka College, it was my first school and I loved playing there, in my home town. My parents told me, 'If you're there (Ananda College), at least you can get a good job. So then, I said 'Okay, I should go now because we have so many family problems.' We didn't have a good home, actually. For six months, we stayed at the government apartments. We were there for six months. So then I felt 'Okay, I should go, I should come to Colombo and play cricket'.
From running for his life to now running the country's Test team, Chandimal's life has been a ride full of ups and downs. Even as captain of the Sri Lankan Test team, Chandimal goes through the bumps regularly. He was handed over the side after Angelo Mathews decided he could not handle captaincy any more. Soon after, he watched as his side suffered a whitewash at home to India. He still has utmost confidence in his team, and says it has the right ingredients. Now his focus is on ensuring all the players play with freedom, to rid his team of any fears, or problems.
"It's really an honour and a privilege to be the captain of Sri Lanka cricket team. I came with a really hard youth, tough times. I had tough times, good times. As a captain and a player, I just want to give the good things for my players. I just want to take care of them as my brothers. If something happens on the outside, I just want to control that and give good freedom to the youngsters to perform well.
Read the full story here