Former Sri Lanka bowling coach Champaka Ramanaya reveals he has enjoyed the wicket of counterpart and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar in the Asia Cup Final at Sharjah some 22 years back, as it was one of the treasure trove of memories for him while featuring in the gentleman’s game.
“It was very big wicket because [Sachin] Tendulkar was at his peak and it was a tough task to bowl at him and an even tougher task to get him out,” Ramanayake was quoted as saying by mid-day.
When Ramanayake Claimed Tendulkar’s Prized Scalp:
While enjoying his farewell as a bowling specialist with the Sri Lankan management before the start of the ongoing three-match Test series between hosts Sri Lanka and visitors India, the former Lions bowler Ramanayake, who has parted his way from the national team as a bowling coach after being reappointed in 2015 by Sri Lanka Cricket, reiterated he has still memories afresh of veteran Tendulkar, when he claimed his wicket during the Asia Cup of 1995 on April 14 in 1995.
“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,” Ramanyake added.
Interestingly, Tendulkar struck five boundaries, before being caught by Sanath Jayasuriya after posting run-a-ball 41.
Ramanayake tendered resignation after Zimbabwe Test:
Ramanayake stepped down as a bowling coach on June 21 while citing personal reasons soon after the One-off Test concluded in Colombo between Sri Lanka and visitors Zimbabwe, as the reports further suggested he is looking forward to give a try at different assignments in the foreseeable future.
The 52-year-old Ramanayake is also expected to become the High-Performance coach of the Tigers in August.
India Clinch 1995 Asia Cup, Ramanayake’s last ODI career wicket:
Adding to the fact, Tendulkar was Ramanayake’s last One-day scalp, as India chased down the target of 231 in 41.5 overs to clinch the title by eight wickets and 49 balls to spare which saw the then skipper Mohammad Azharuddin remained unbeaten on 90 off 89 deliveries and Navjot Singh Sidhu not out on 84 off 106 balls.
Ramanayake’s international record and history:
Ramanayake, who has praised the bowlers of Virat Kohli-led India for showing the great temperament in the first Test at Galle, was appointed as a first bowling coach by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in 2008, in a bid to nurse the raw talent.
Moreover, Ramanayake played an essential role for the national side while mentoring bowlers like Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep to feature at the international setup, as he had also enjoyed seven-year stint in the Lankan Academy with the young crop of fast bowlers.
Ramanayake had played 62 ODIs and 18 Tests for Sri Lanka as he claimed 68 wickets in 50-over format and 44 in Tests.