Fiery Kehel - one of the best
Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Tikiri Banda Kehelgamuwa was one of the
best pace bowlers produced by Sri Lanka. During his playing days he
tormented many batsmen. He was always a Gutty fighter and a cricketer
who always put the country before self. He is a disciplined bowler and a
T. B. Kehelgamuwa, was born on 10th December 1942 at Gampola. His
father, P. B. Kehelgamuwa was a highly respected Principal of Gampola
Central College. Mother - Sujatha Kehelgamuwa was a Teacher by
profession. His brothers were J. B. Kehelgamuwa- Superintendent of
Survey, and H. B. Kehelgamuwa of Archaeological, Department. T. B.
Kehelgamuwa's sisters are Piyaseeli, Mallika, Hema, Vishaka and
The senior Kehelgamuwa hails from a highly respectable family from
the village, Kehelgamuwa, close to Sripada.
"Premasara, I took a liking to cricket as a ten-year-old child close
to our home, Sinhapitiya, there is Rubber-watta. Children of our age
group got together and with Ottupalu-Bola, we used to play cricket. Mind
you, this "Otupalu Bola" - gives an additional speed. Fast bowling with
"Ottupaluballs" gave me a certain kick on fast-bowling.
As you are aware, fast bowlers in a cricket field are attractive
persons with my height, physiqe I liked fast bowling, and "I continued
it", stated Kehelgamuwa.
T. B. Kehelgamuwa began schooling at the Central College, Gampola,
where his father was the Principal.
In 1955, he joined Dharmaraja College Kandy. He learned his ABC of
cricket at the leading Buddhist school in Kandy - Dharmaraja.
T. B. Kehelgamuwa was coached by the legendary Arthur Alwis and D. M.
Dharmatilake, another distinguished "Rajan" were his coach,
master-in-charge and Prefect of Games.
During 1960/1961, fiery Kehelgamuwa was the Best-Bowler in the island
in the Daily News schoolboy cricketer contest.
In 1961, he had the proud distinction of representing Sri Lanka in
the Gopalan Trophy under the captaincy of C. I. Gunasekera.
Kehelgamuwa recorded his best performance in India as a schoolboy,
when he represented Sri Lanka schools in 1960. This team was captained
by Yatagama Amaradasa of Ananda College. Kehel, routed the Indians and
returned the best figures of 8 wickets for 8 runs.
In 1961, he represented Sri Lanka in the Gopalan Trophy under the
astute leadership of C. I. Gunasekera.
Kehelgamuwa joined the Police in 1963 and retired in 2002 as a Deputy
Inspector General of Police. He was a police officer of highesty honest
He served the Governor-General His Excellency, late William Gopallawa
- a very distinguished son of Dharmaraja College, as his personal
Further, he served is many parts of the island with distinction.
He held the position of the Manager of the Sri Lanka Team in the New
Zealand Tour 1995. Incidentally, under his stewardship of Managership,
Sri Lanka test team Recorded their first overseas Test victory. In this
Tour, Sri Lankan opening bowler Chaminda Vaas was the architect of the
victory by claiming a match bag of 10 wickets, in this Test Match.
Then in 2002, Kehelgamuwa was the successful Sri Lanka Cricket
Manager of the Pakistan cricket tour.
He had the unique distinction of being a selector for 10 years and
was the Chairman of the selection committee of Board of Control for
Cricket in Sri Lanka in the last two year, 1999 and 2000.
During 1961-1974, sara Trophy Cricket, Kehelgamuwa scored more than
1,000 runs and captured more than 500 wickets. He is a Right Hand-bat
and Right arm fast bowler.
T. B. Kehelgamuwa played in 16 first class matches and in 23 innings,
unbeaten on two occasions scored 266 runs. His highest score was 31 not
out. He captured 55 wicket for 1,043 runs. This career statistics for
the first class-span years 1967/1968 and 1973/74.
Major Teams he represented are Ceylon, Nomads Sports Club,
Nondescript Cricket Club and Police Sports Club.
Unassuming Kehelgamuwa tied the nuptial knot in the year 1970. His
beloved wife Hemamali, was a Teacher. She was a tower of inspiration to
They have three daughters. They are all married. They are Sonali
Hettiarachchi, Lasada Cooray and Buddhika Perera, who is in the United
States of America.