Srinath Silva, 66, died of a heart attack in his sleep on Tuesday morning.
Silva, a right-handed opening batsman, was less than five feet in height but was one of the hardest hitters of his time. A former Sri Lanka poolist, Silva played domestic cricket at the highest level for three decades from the mid-sixties. He represented Moratuwa SC, Colts, Saracens and Bloomfield.
Silva was a member of the Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee, chairman of the SLC umpires committee and president of Catamarans SC.
Silva represented his alma mater Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa for four years from 1962. His first college captain Vernon de Mel recalled Silva's debut against Wesley College and said the spectators had hooted at Silva because of his small stature.
"Srinath quickly silenced the agitated spectators by scoring a hard-hit 30 runs turning boos into cheers," said de Mel.
"However, I was unable to play him in any of the matches for the rest of the season because the master-in-charge said that he was too small to play in a first-eleven team," De Mel said.
Silva and his contemporaries Wirantha Fernando, Sripal Silva, Pemlal Fernando, Ransiri Peiris and Jayantha Perera left Moratuwa SC and joined Colts over a captaincy issue.
"He was such a kind-hearted person that when a disciplinary matter came up concerning Sri Lanka cricketer Lahiru Thirmanne he left the committee saying, 'I hate questioning people you finish it off'," said de Mel.