“Last Friday, mid day, there was a news which ran through media about one of the most explosive opening batsman Sri Lanka have ever produced and now one of the most successful and upcoming cricket coaches in the country.
This news hit me becaue of nothing else, but just for the respect I had towards this man from college days up until now for his love for cricket. He is non other than Avishka Gunawardene who’s fondly known as “Ava” amongst his friends and family.
I was privileged to be at the press conference he had today to clarify the current situation of the said allegations and his stand on the same and more importantly the action which will be taken by him and his counsel to prove him self clean of all the lame allegations.
He was once axed from the national side, when he was in his peak due to third class politics inside the cricket team, just because he was a threat to the senior players of the side by his performances. Yet he didn’t give up on the game he loved and continued he’s career in coaching. In his sharper, yet short span of 12 year coaching career, he’s talent has taken him to a state where he is unstoppable in his area of business, not unlawfully, but with loyalty, integrity and more importantly, with self respect.
The allegations which have been made towards him is by one single player, who was playing under him and whose own personal records speaks in loud volumes and it happens when the coach has to leave him out for more than one occasion from the team and from tournaments for his lack of discipline and unsatisfactory fitness levels.
Keeping in line with the proceedings, Avishka have given the necessary access to his mobile phone and his bank accounts to ICC for them to investigate further into the allegations, yet sadly, the local authorities of cricket, the SLC, have punished him even before he is been found guilty of the case.
If this is the level that SLC is treating its coaches, even before an inquiry and letting him prove his innocence, can we ever be sure that our authorities will take action to protect their players in their hardships?
He will fight the case against him locally and internationally and will come out clean as he is now and I will stand with Avishk
( This write up has been written by Avishka Gunawardene’s junior during his school days Nimantha Hewagama)