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Former SL first-class batsman Bernard Perera dies

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

November 9, 2012

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Bernard Perera, the former Sri Lanka first-class cricketer and national women's team coach, has died aged 56 in a hospital in Peradeniya, Kandy, on Friday, where he had been receiving treatment the past fortnight. Perera had an attack of hepatitis two years ago and following recovery he continued to be a provincial coach.

A right-handed middle-order batsman and offspinner, Perera was a brilliant cover fieldsman and looked destined for higher honours following an outstanding school career with St Anthony's College, Kandy, the school that produced the world's leading Test wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Perera's contribution to St Anthony's, whom he captained in 1976 and to Kandy CC earned him a place in the national team in the early 80s, when Sri Lanka had made their entry into Test cricket. He missed making the final XI in the inaugural Test against England in February 1982, despite scoring an unbeaten half-century for Board President's XI against an England attack comprising John Lever, Paul Allott, Derek Underwood, Graham Dilley and John Emburey in Kandy. But after a tour to Pakistan, where he failed to find a place in the Test side, he joined the rebel tour to South Africa in 1982 and was subsequently banned from all forms of cricket for 25 years. Although the ban was lifted after eight years, Perera's first-class career had ended.

He played eight first-class matches, scoring 537 runs, averaging 38.35 with one century - 102 for the rebel Sri Lankan side against a strong South African line-up in a four-day game at Cape Town.

"Being a cricketer from the outstation, Bernard didn't get the opportunities that today's outstation cricketers receive. He was in the same mould as Aravinda de Silva and would have made it big if he had played for any of the schools in Colombo," said Mahesh Goonatillake, his team-mate at Kandy CC, Ceylon Tobacco and the rebel Sri Lankan side.

Perera made a quiet comeback to cricket by qualifying as a Sri Lanka Cricket Level I and II coach, handling Kandy CC in addition to running a private coaching school in his hometown. He coached the Sri Lanka women's team in 2006 before quitting to take over as a Sri Lanka Cricket provincial coach.

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Posted by TORONTO123456 on (November 11, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

He was briliant Batsman when he was playing for ST.ANTHONY'S as a school boy and some reason he miss the playing 1st ever test match against England he should have played that match after performing so well in trail matches ....Hope every body know the reason why he didnt select during 1981 ...... Also SRI LANKA cricket and Sri Lanka cricket team didnt wear the Black tape during yesterday's match againt New Zealand atleast to respect former Sri Lanka player and was a Coach of Sri Lanka womens team and Current District Coach , I want to see the comments from other cric info fans on this ......... really sad to see attitude about SRI LANKA CRICKET

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

He was a fine batman in exact de Silva's mould, brilliant off spinner, exceptional fielder and even capable of solid glove work. Sri Lanka lost a star and he with de Silva could have made the greatest batting pair that never played for SL. At only 62 inches, South African media called him the midget bomb, probably because he took a fancy to the big fast bowler Garth Le Roux, constantly hitting him straight over the head for sixes.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

BERNARD PERERA of SRI LANKA DIES. He was 56.

Posted by Udendra on (November 9, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

He & Anura ranasinghe were the most successful batsmen in that 'rebel' South African tour where they had to face a strong SA attack. however, SL lost their service. may he attain nibbana!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

I loved this guy at very first test match squad as he was the only "perera". he and anura ranasinghe two of the promising cricketers of same era missed the opportunity to perform . rather we as spectators missed to see them. as per the order of god he always accepted what he got and surely he will e in heavens.!!!

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