Mahendra Arthanayake, former Maris Stella Negombo and Central College Sandalankawa cricketer, has brought honour and glory to his alma maters by being included in the 60+ World Cup squad.
The first ever 60+ World Cup is scheduled to be held in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia from 3-16 September with the participation of 12 countries.
The Sri Lanka squad comprises:
05 players from Sri Lanka – Mahendra Arthanayake, Johann Peiris (Captain), Mahes de Zoysa, Thilan Wijesinghe and Ajith Narampanawe, 11 players from Australia including Manager, Secretary and Administrator , 03 players from New Zealand , 01 player from USA.
After his early education at Maris Stella, he joined Central College, Sandalankawa. Mahendra had the distinction of playing for the 1st XI team from 1977 and was appointed captain in 1980-1981. He was also was the Games Captain from 1978-1981.
He joined Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) after he completed his education, but never gave up the game he loved. From 1984 to 2021 (until his retirement) he was an active member of the SLC team.
He captained both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams of SLC at State Services tournaments, and was adjudged best batter at the Inter Club Division 1 30-over knock-out tournament in 2000-2001.
He also captained the SLC Veterans 50+ team.
SLC played in the ‘E’ Division at the State Services tournament in 2001- 2002 and was adjudged Player of the Match in their game against Mercantile Masters.
He has also represented SLC at the World Police and Fire Games every 2 years and has toured USA, Australia, Canada, Barcelona and Ireland. SLC won the cricket championship held in Ireland in 2013.
He was also a fairly good athlete, and won a Bronze medal in the over-50 long jump category at the World Police and Fire Games held in Los Angeles, USA in 2017.
At the Masters Quadrangular Cricket tournament inaugurated in 2019 and organised by Colombo Masters, he was the Vice Captain of the of State Services Masters team that won the championship in 2020.
His wife is a retired teacher and the happy couple have three children and one grandchild.
Mahendra retired as an Additional Director General of SLC 2021 and continues to play cricket for Colombo Masters. He is also the President of the Puttalam District Cricket Umpires Association.
By M.H. Yakeem