Full name Sampathwaduge Amal Rohitha Silva
Born December 12, 1960, Moratuwa
Current age 54 years 349 days
Major teams Sri Lanka, Moratuwa Sports Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Wellington, Mar 11-15, 1983 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Sri Lanka at Lord's, Aug 25-30, 1988 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Sri Lanka v New Zealand at Colombo (PSS), Nov 3, 1984 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Lahore, Oct 25, 1985 scorecard|
|First-class span||1982/83 - 1995/96|
|List A span||1984/85 - 1993/94|
Amal Silva filled two vital roles in his time with the Sri Lankan team and he did both with style, though eventually the burden was too much for one player to deal with. Silva, a capable left hand batsman and competent wicketkeeper, was asked to fill the opening position combined with his role as wicketkeeper.
With the bat Silva was capable enough to defend the new ball and had attacking strokes when the situation warranted. Behind the stumps he was more at ease against the pacemen where he could use his athletic gifts.
Making his debut against New Zealand Silva scored 8 and 0, hardly an inspiring debut with the bat - with the gloves he snared 2 catches. Guy de Alwis was preferred in the three Tests against New Zealand on the following tour. Silva's battle with de Alwis to maintain the position as number one gloveman was a constant throughout his early career. Injury to de Alwis on the 1984 tour of England gave Silva his second cap and he took his opportunity with aplomb. Silva opened the batting making an assured unbeaten 102 in the second innings to compliment his three catches behind the wicket. Silva had an excellent all-round tour with the bat and it was a sign of things to come in the following Test series against India. In the first Test at SSC he took 9 catches as Sri Lanka drew the Test. In the second he had a sensational all-round match, scoring 111, taking 8 catches and making 1 stumping, Silva was a major player in Sri Lanka's inaugural test match victory. In all Silva captured 22 dismissals, 21 catches and 1 stumping, still a record for a Sri Lankan keeper in a series to this day.
Following this unprecedented performance Silva's career went into a decline as he struggled to deal with the responsibility of combating the new ball and then keeping wickets to an international standard. After the series in 1985/86 against Pakistan the selectors preferred other options. Silva made a return in the one off test against England in 1988 but it proved to be short lived.
(Johann P Jayasekera
With India playing most of their Test cricket at home over the next 18 months, they will have to choose between their two quickest bowlers most of the time. A tricky choice, given Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav's hit or miss tendencies
How Ross Taylor reconciled with New Zealand cricket and made the highest score by a visiting batsman in Australia
Stats highlights from Dubai where Jos Buttler broke his own record for England's fastest ODI hundred
Plus: most runs in a Test by a New Zealander, and c&b by the same bowler twice in a Test
His game appears to lack emotion but it is not cold. Like Kallis, but more adaptable and with greater flair
In the last four years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of draws and big runs down under
It refuses to let India play Pakistan there, but hasn't been forthcoming with reasons why
The idea of a battle for the world No. 1 spot in the top format may have been shelved, but its absence is sorely felt