The funeral of legendary cricket coach Lionel Mendis who died at the age of 80, will take place on Sunday at the General Cemetery, Kanatte at 2.30 pm. His remains lie at the Jayaratne funeral parlour.
Mendis, popularly known as the father figure of cricket coaching in Sri Lanka died on Friday after a long illness.
It was on September 15 that Mendis who was being treated for throat cancer at the Aasiri Surgical Hospital celebrated his 80th birthday. The same month he had retired from coaching bringing to an end a distinguished 29-year stint at NCC where he ran his coaching school.
Through his hands several national cricketers have gone through notably the Ranatunga brothers – Dhammika, Arjuna, Nishantha and Sanjeewa all of whom who played for Sri Lanka and Brendon Kuruppu, Kumar Dharmasena, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera,
The hallmark of Mendis’ coaching was the discipline he brought to ensure that each of his products ended up as a complete cricketer not only on the field but off it as well. The standard he set in cricket coaching spread to every academy in the country.
The ICC rewarded him for his outstanding services to Sri Lanka cricket with an award.
His brother Nelson Mendis is also a renowned cricket coach and at one time they coached the two leading Buddhist schools – Ananda and Nalanda. – [ST]