Champaka Ramanayake talks about taking Sachin Tendulkar's wicket back in 1995

Champaka Ramanayake talks about taking Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket back in 1995

He has been associated with the national team as the bowling coach for 16 long years.

Champaka Ramanayake
A file picture of Champaka Ramanayake having a chat with Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Sri Lankan pacer, Champaka Ramanayake recounted his cherished experience of picking up Sachin Tendulkar‘s wicket in the Asia Cup final of 1995. India eventually went on to surpass Sri Lanka’s total of 230 runs quite comfortably, with eight overs in hand to claim the title. Ramanayake talked about this memorable wicket on his last day in office as the bowling coach of the Sri Lanka Cricket Team.

He is a recognised name in Sri Lankan cricketing circles and has been associated with the national team as the bowling coach for 16 long years and contributed in discovering as well as grooming talents for the team like Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep and Nuwan Kulasekara. Currently, he has stepped down from his post and will be joining the Bangladesh team from August as the high-performance coach. Interestingly, the 52-year old former cricketer has also coached Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) previously.

Dismissing Sachin as the last wicket of his career

Ramanayake had dismissed Tendulkar with a slower delivery, caught by Sanath Jayasuriya for a score of 41 off 41 deliveries. Incidentally, this was also his last wicket in One-Day International (ODI) cricket as he never played for Sri Lanka again after that match. He has played 18 Tests and 62 ODIs in total for his nation from 1986 to 1995.

Talking about the wicket Ramanayake said, “Tendulkar’s wicket was my last wicket. I got him with a slower ball. He mistimed his drive that went straight up in the air. It was very big wicket because Tendulkar was at his peak and it was a tough task to bowl at him and an even tougher task to get him out,” he was quoted by Mid Day as saying.

Ramanayake disappointed with the wicket at the Galle Test

Talking about the recently concluded Galle Test between India and Sri Lanka, which the latter lost by a huge margin of 304 runs, Champaka expressed his dissatisfaction with the pitch of his home ground. “The wicket in Galle was very flat. Generally, the Galle wicket assists spinners but this time, they [curators] must have made a flat pitch with a purpose. Still, Nuwan Pradeep bowled well on that flat pitch against a strong batting line-up,” said Ramanayake.

However, he richly lauded the Indian bowling lineup for their overall display of talent and said, “India have got some really good fast bowlers. With a little assistance they could have played Bhuvneshwar Kumar as well. Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav swung the ball quite well early in the innings. They got (Hardik) Pandya as the third seamer and I think on a flat wicket like the one in Galle, the Indian fast bowlers did exceedingly well.”