Malinga’s adventures from baseball to cricket



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Winning team of the Baseball Classics competition.


by Janaka Shehan


Malinga de Silva is a baseball player from Nalanda College. The-18-year-old was named as the ‘Best Fielder’ at the recently concluded All Island Baseball tournament.


He helped Nalanda College to clinch that particular tournament. Malinga has also played cricket and participated in quite a few athletics meets. In his career as a sportsman, he has been a member of teams that won the Nelson Mendis Cricket tournament in 2010, the First Baseball Classics competition in 2013 and the Under-19 All Island Baseball tournament.


He started off his career as an athlete way back in 2006, where he won a few medals in the Junior National Athletic Championship. However, the all round sportsman has decided to give up athletics and baseball in order to devote more of his time for cricket.


"I have thoroughly enjoyed all the sports that I have participated in no matter whether it’s baseball, athletics or cricket. But I found it difficult to continue all three sports and at the same time, I wanted to prioritize one sport. I feel cricket gives me the best opportunity to be a better sportsman. So I will focus on that," he said.


The Nalanda College sports star didn’t hesitate to thank his school and family for their ‘unbelievable’ support.


Malinga de Silva with his friends after winning the Baseball Classics.
"I have done well in many sports and the support I’ve received from my family and school has been unbelievable. Without them I wouldn’t have achieved much in my career as a sportsman. My school, Nalanda College, always inspired me to do well in whatever sport I took part in. I must thank my coaches; Tharanga Dhammika, Lesly Narangoda, Lucky Rogers, Chinthaka Fernando, Malindu Hewage and Mahesh Weerasinghe. My family too; right from the beginning they were always there for me and allowed me to flourish as a sportsman," De Silva said.


Just like all sportsmen, Malinga has also faced obstacles in his career. But he believes it’s important to get the basics right when the going gets tough.


"If you are a sportsman, then you will have to be committed to whatever the sports you do. If someone’s struggling at any stage in any sport, the best thing to do is to work on the basics," he said.


Although Indian batsman Virat Kholi hasn’t been the most favourite cricketer in Sri Lanka, Malinga surprisingly said his idol is the Indian batting sensation.


"Well, my favourite cricketer is Virat Kohli. He has scored so many runs in recent years and showed how consistent he can be. I’d always look to follow his game as a batsman. But if you ask me who is my role model, my answer is Sri Lankan bowling all-rounder Sachithra Senanayake," he said.


Malinga also revealed his interests in taking part in English county cricket someday.


"Having taken a decision to play cricket; now I want to make it big. I think everyone wants to play for Sri Lanka; that’s natural, but I would also like to play some county cricket in England because the conditions there suit fast bowlers and batting would be difficult. So, if you can be successful there, you’d be a happy man," he said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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