4 June 1999
Aravinda's autobiography set to do well in the UK
The 1999 World Cup may not be Aravinda's World Cup but De Silva's life story is a hit in London. The picture on the front cover is typical Ara in full flow, smashing the ball to the boundary. The tome has been published by Mainstream Publishing of Edinburgh and ghosted by Shariar Khan who must be congratulated on bringing into sharp focus the exploits of one of the world's greatest batsmen, named number one by Wisden.
This book running into 254 pages is a really good read for those who love cricket. It is perhaps the first comprehensive work by a Sri Lankan cricketer - detailing his entry into the international cricketing arena, his explosive batting for Sri Lanka and his important contribution in the finals of the Wills World Cup in 1996 where Sri Lanka humbled the mighty Australians at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. De Silva smashed 107 runs joining the elite band of batsmen like Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and now Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid who have scored centuries in a World Cup.
It's all riveting stuff-Ian Chappell who wrote the foreword states that Aravinda has a shrewd cricket brain and if it hasn't been for the competence of Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda would've been a good long-term Sri Lankan captain.
Chappell goes on to say that 'it's no surprise to discover such a well rounded son after you meet Aravinda's parents'. He describes a marvellous party in a Chinese Restaurant in Colombo - where I was present - when Sam de Silva and Upali Mahanama (Roshan's father) brought the house down with some enjoyable baila. Also present at that function hosted by Thilanga Sumathipala were Tony Greig, Anura Tennakoon, Ranjith Fernando and a whole host of cricket celebrities. It was a great evening and the exploits of Aravinda de Silva were certainly talked about - Sam was so proud of his son. Aravinda pays a handsome tribute to his father in the book. He acknowledges Arjuna's contribution to Sri Lankan cricket .... his is a fairy tale ... Aravinda, Roshan, Asanka, Hashan and Arjuna used to play cricket together in their salad days as young teenagers. They had potential, raw talent and the 'hunger' to win it enabled them to play cricket at highest level in Sri Lanka. The energy, the drive, the ambition led Aravinda de Silva to the position of the world's number one batsman. His innings at Lords in the Benson & Hedges final is still talked about.
Aravinda de Silva has his place in history. I would certainly recommend cricket fans to read his tome. It is an important piece of cricket history. De Silva will be promoting his autobiography at various venues including Lilleywhites in Picadilly Circus in the near future.
Source :: The Daily News