Sri Lanka news June 23, 2014

Former Sri Lankan seamer dies at 57

Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Lantra Fernando has died at the age of 57 during his morning jog in his hometown of Moratuwa.

Fernando was a member of the Sri Lanka team that toured England under Bandula Warnapura in 1981, the year the country was granted Test status. Prior to that tour, Fernando won his first Sri Lanka cap by playing in the unofficial ODI against Kim Hughes' Australian team at the SSC ground, and opened the bowling with Ashantha de Mel. He played 26 first-class matches for Panadura SC and Moratuwa SC, and also toured South India with the Sri Lanka Under-25 team for the Gopalan trophy in 1975.

However, just when he looked set for a promising career, Fernando went on the rebel tour of South Africa in 1982, and was subsequently banned for 25 years by the SLC. Though the ban was lifted after eight years, Fernando was by then past his prime as a cricketer.

A Level II coach, Fernando coached several local clubs and schools, including his alma mater Prince of Wales College in Moratuwa, which he captained in 1975 and where he provided Sri Lanka's current vice-captain Lahiru Thiriminnae with his initial training.

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