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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 fine gentleman.

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 Mangalika.

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 and integrity.

He served the Governor-General His Excellency, late William Gopallawa - a very distinguished son of Dharmaraja College, as his personal bodyguard.

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 Kehel.

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.



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