Where others failed during the last few years, can this coach do it? In a bid to restore lost glories, St. Anthony’s College has roped in Sampath Perera as their coach. He is considered as one of the best coaches in the school cricket scene. Perera has been appointed as the coach of the senior cricket team for the 2016-17 inter-school season. He took charge of the side last Tuesday.
For seven years he coached Trinity College and helped them win many tournaments. Under his coaching Trinity had 59 outright wins as against six losses in 137 games. And in the last few months he was with Future Legends Cricket Academy in Dubai. This academy was organised by Aravinda de Silva and Rameez Raja.
Sampath skippered D.S. Senanayake College in the 1993/94 seasons and scored 1,200 runs that season. As a schoolboy he played in the Premier Division for BRC and later for Bloomfield A & CC. Some of his team mates were Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama, Kumara Dharmasena, Ruwan Kalpage and Naveed Nawaz.
He took up coaching in 2002. He was given an assignment at SSC from 2002 to 2005. From there he went as head coach of NCC where he functioned from 2005 to 2008. Hard work has been his trade mark. When he was coaching the Trinitians from 2008 he once said there is no proper structure to develop the game in Kandy. He also said that coaching methods are not updated. He said Kandy has got talent.
St. Anthony’s College, one of the most prestigious Roman Catholic schools, hopes to do well at cricket under the guidance of Perera. Despite having a proud cricket history, the school’s performances dropped during the last few years.
Antonians have produced some top cricketers like Mahes Gunatilake, Dicky Dunuwille, Piyal Wijetunge, Ruwan Kalpage, Muttiah Muralitharan, Marlon Von Hagt, A.C.M. Lafir, Ronnie Stephens, Sunil Fernando and Sajith Fernando.
The school authorities are excited this season because their annual big match against Trinity College marks 100 years!