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Rugby star Saranga dies

RUGBY: Former CH and FC skipper and Sri Lanka fly half Saranga Jayakody died of a heart attack on Tuesday. He was just 29 years old at the time of his death.

Jayakody who had played in a practice match against Isipatana had collapsed on the field a few minutes after the match ended at Maitland crescent on Tuesday. He was rushed to a private hospital but was pronounced dead.

Jayakody a utility player who could play either as fly half, centre or full back played for Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala in 1995 and 1996. Joining the CH and FC in 1998 he turned out for the Maitland crescent club till 2005 in which year he went onto lead the club.

The finest moment of his rugby career came in the year 2000 when he was picked to play for Sri Lanka against the Australian Northern Territories thus becoming only the second Devan to don the Sri Lanka Jersay - the first being Nishantha Dias who also captained CH and FC in 1994. Saranga also represented Sri Lanka at the Hong Kong sevens in 2001 and 2002.

Saranga and his younger brother Tharanga played a key role in the success of CH and FC in 2003 when the lads from Maitland Crescent emerged runners up of the ‘A’ Division League winning 12 matches out of 14 losing just one match to Kandy and a draw against Havelocks and also emerged runners up to Kandy SC in the Clifford Cup knock-out Tournament.

The Jayakody brothers Saranga and Tharanga brought honour and fame to their alma mater Maliyadeva with their achievements on the rugby field. Saranga who got married only year ago leaves behind his wife Dilki.

His funeral will take place at the Patuhera Cemetery, Kurunegala on May 26 (Saturday).

 

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