Tsunami survivor Chathuranga De Silva capitalises on DLCA experience
In December 2004, the all-rounder and his teammates in a Sri Lankan provincial side had completed their warm-up ahead of a tour game at Galle International Stadium when the Boxing Day tsunami struck.
The ground was devastated and his family thought he was dead.
“We saw the tsunami coming,” recalled De Silva, who is attended the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) in 2014 and played for Southern District’s during his time in Australia.
Thankfully the team retreated in time to avoid being among the more than 200,000 people killed worldwide from the natural disaster, triggered by an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia.
Fast forward 10 years and De Silva, the first Sri Lankan alumni, arrived at the DLCA as a 24 year old with minimal English skills. At the beginning he struggled to socialise with the other cricketers in the group and he was homesick, however it was not long before he let his cricket do the talking. Despite the language barrier, the left arm orthodox bowler and left handed batsman interacted with the coaches tremendously and helped build confidence in his own game.
The DLCA’s Head Coach Shaun Seigert stated “Chathuranga had an incredible ability to implement any information very quickly, it’s a top sign of any elite player”.
“One of my favourite parts about Chathuranga was that because of the differences in food, he would eat noddles with Tabasco sauce to add flavour”
Upon returning home, De Silva made his ODI debut against South Africa and soon after won the Asia World Cup in Bangladesh.
He has since been one of Sri Lanka’s most reliable and consistent fringe players in the national side at ODI and T20 level.
De Silva’s younger brother Wanidu Hasaranga also represents Sri Lanka at ODI level.