Pubudu looking to steer Canada to full ICC one-day status
His dream was to become Sri Lanka's number one wicket-keeper-batsman
and to establish his position in the national team. He showed a glimpse
of his capabilities while representing the Test and one day team for a
period of over two years with reasonable success.
But in a dramatic turn of events Pubudu Bathiya Dassanayake shifted
his career prospects and turned towards a different role of becoming a
cricket coach. After being involved in the job for just over two years
he is set to embark on a mission and to help Canada achieve the ultimate
goal of ICC Test status.
The Canada cricket team with their coach Pubudu Dassanayake
Dassanayake who migrated to Canada in 2001 has earned a reputation in
that country as one of their top coaches as they look to produce a
better performance in the 2011 - ICC World Cup in the sub continent.
Dassanayake who has played 108 first class matches including 11 Tests
and 16 one day internationals for Sri Lanka as a wicket-keeper-batsman
believes that the Canadian team is moving in the right as they make
their final preparations ahead of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers
Dassanayake made his Test debut against South Africa at Moratuwa in
August 1993 as the first choice wicket keeper but lost his position as
his batting form fell below the international standards. Nevertheless he
is pleased with the kind of decisions that he has made although he had a
liking to play for his country for as long as possible.
But he was put under tremendous pressure with the emergence of
Chamara Dunusinghe and Romesh Kaluwitharana before playing his last Test
match against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 1994. During his period in the
Test team he excelled behind the wickets with 19 catches and five
Dassanayake is currently touring Sri Lanka with the Canadian team who
are competing in a Four Nation Twenty20 tournament that also feature
Ireland, Afghanistan and the hosts Sri Lanka 'A'. Thereafter they will
travel to Dubai for the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers where they will
battle it out along with Ireland, Afghanistan, Canada, Scotland, United
States of America, United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Netherlands.
The two top teams of this tournament will qualify for the ICC
Twenty20 World Cup which will be staged in the West Indies in April this
year. Canada of course have already gained ICC one day international
status temporarily until the next World Cup qualifies in 2013.
But their immediate goal is to achieve ICC one day international full
status which will certainly be a tremendous boost to the game overall in
Canada. Pubudu Dassanayake believes that his team is well on course
towards achieving their target and hope to make the maximum at the 2011
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake in conversation with the Canadian
captain. Pictures by Mahinda Vithanachchi
Dassanayake, a Level Three coach stated that the main reason his team
is touring Sri Lanka was to acclimatize to the sub continent conditions
and also to give his players more opportunities of playing against
quality spinners on slow tracks.
The other major setback for Canada is of course the fielding
department which they need to improve if they are to make an impression
in international cricket. As a solution for this, Dassanayake has got
down four Under-19 players into the national squad and they were also
part of the Twenty20 series worked off in Colombo.
The domestic structure in Canada and the age factor has also been a
major issue for Canada who are really starved of top first class cricket
in the country. As a result they have been forced to seek other
alternatives and recently they had some of their national players
representing the Tamil Union and Colts Cricket Club in the Premier
League three day tournament.
Dassanayake, a Canadian Sports Diploma holder stated that when he
took over the team 18 months ago the average age was 33 but has now
brought it down to 29 which is a good sign for the future.
The youngsters are not coming at the correct stage and by the time
they are ready to play for the national team they have reached their
Dassanayake is hoping to promote more youngsters into the national
team and to combine it with a couple of experienced players. However the
biggest advantage for him is the fullest support and the backing of the
Canada Cricket Association. Dassanayake stated that the Canadian Cricket
Board believed his word and that was the best thing that happened to him
since taking over the post of head coach. The second vice president of
the Board Ravin Murthi who is directly involved with the national team
has been providing every assistance towards the success and development
of the team.
Now it is up to Canada to move forward, and move fast. The good news
is that with the services of Dassanayake, they have found both an
experienced coach and player who also represented Canada in 2005 and
2006 while captaining the national team in 2005.
He brings to the position coaching experience from both Sri Lanka and
Canada and has also been a specialist wicket keeping coach at the Sri
Lanka Cricket Academy and a member of the SLCA's Panel overseeing the
development of fast bowlers in the country. He has also served as coach
of the Junior Elite Program across Canada.
[The Achievements: ]
Full name: Pubudu Bathiya Dassanayake
Born: July 11, 1970, Kandy
Current age: 39 years
Major teams: Canada, Sri Lanka, Bloomfield Cricket and
Colombo Cricket Club, Colts Cricket Club,
Sinhalese Sports Club.
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Fielding position: Wicket-keeper
Test debut: Sri Lanka v South Africa at Moratuwa, 1993
Last Test: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, 1994
One day international debut: Sri Lanka v South Africa at R.
Premadasa Stadium, 1993
Last one day international: Sri Lanka v New Zealand in
First class debut: 1989
First class matches: 108 Innings: 156 Not outs: 10 Runs: 3,840
Highest score: 144
Average: 26.30. 100's: 4 50's: 20 Catches: 192 Stumpings: 35