Categorized | In Memoriam

Demise of former Peterite sports star Lakshman Serasinghe in Melbourne

Posted on 05 July 2017 by admin

Lakshman Serasinghe

Lakshman Serasinghe


Lakshman Serasinghe was a household name in Sri Lanka's sport circles in the mid-fifties. He was an all-round sports star who had his baptism to Cricket and Rugby at his Alma Mater in 1955. Blessed with a superb physique, burly forward Lakshman Serasinghe captained the Peterite Rugby XV in 1956 and played alongside legends like Desmond Ephraims, Maurice de Silva, Brian de Silva, JayanthaFernando and a host of other well known ruggerites produced by SPC.

It was cricket that Lakshman excelled as an all-rounder. He opened bowling with Maurice Salgado (1955), Anton Paul Pillai (1956) and first change in 1957 as St. Peter's had Anton Perera and Paul Pillai doing the honours that year. He was a fiery pace bowler who played his part in the team.

As a batsman, Lakshman went in at No.3 in 1955 at a time when Brian de Silva and Jayantha Fernando opened batting. Legendary batsman Clive Inman followed him at No.4. He was a member of the victorious 1955 Peterite team captained by Clive Inman who led from the front to beat the Josephians by 8-wickets. Serasinghe scored 35 in the 1st innings and scored the winning run batting with Inman to record a superb win for his alma mater. In 1956 and 1957, he dropped down in the batting order and was known to be a lusty hitter of the ball.

Lakshman Serasinghe's cricketing buddies in 1955, 1956 and 1957 were Clive Inman, Brian de Silva, Jayantha Fernando, Roy Jayasinghe, Kenneth & Russel Duckworth, Maurice Salgadoe, Maurice de Silva (better known as a rugger player), R. Saravanabhavan, Darrel D'Silva, David Muthumani, Anton Paul Pillai, Premasiri Athukorale, Brian Seneviratne, Anton Perera, Christie Marthalingam and others.

Lakshman lived in Bambalapitiya on the land side. I believe it was Visakha Road and diagonally opposite Holy Family Convent just before Sarawathie Lodge and had a sister Ransiri who was a track star at HFC. He went into planting upon leaving school and then emigrated to Australia in the 60s or 70s and lived in Melbourne.

The funeral service will be on Saturday 8th July at 2:30pm at Le Pine funerals, 388 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley followed by a wake. A private cremation will be held at a later date.

The image is that of 1957 St. Peter’s College 1st XI Cricket teamSPC - 1957 Cricket. In this team photo Lakshman Serasinghe is next to Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando (Rector, SPC) and Vice Captain of the team.

From L to R (Seated) Russel Duckworth, Coach, Jayantha Fernando (Capt.), Fr. Arthur Fernando (Rector), Lakshman Serasinghe (Vice Capt.), Anton Paul Pillai, David Muthumani.

(Standing): Darrel D'Silva, Mitchell Rabot, Christie Marthalingam, Brian Seneviratne, Anton Perera, Nihal Ranasinghe, Nihal Wijesena and Saifu Davoodbhoy.

Seated: Premasiri Athukorale and Roy Dissanayaka.

1957 "Big Match" was drawn but there were many noteworthy performances both by the Joes and Peterites. Batting first, St. Joseph's amassed a huge total of 298 runs with skipper Kirthi Caldera leading from the front. Caldera was 99 when he was brilliantly caught by Lakshman Serasinghe off the bowling of Russel Duckworth. Carlyle Perera, 77, Emilton Fernando, 53, Tissa de Soysa, 24, were among the runs for the Joes. Serasinghe bowled 10 overs for 26 runs with no wickets. Duckworth 3/41 and Anton Perera 3/69 bowled best for the Peterites.

In reply, the Peterites scored 192 runs with Premasiri Athukorale knocking up 85 runs in a beautifull crafted innings. Opener Nihal Wijesena, 24, was the only other batsman who scored over 20 runs. The Peterites did way better in the 2nd innings averting defeat at the hands of the commanding total of 298 by the Joes. Peterite skipper Jayantha Fernando scored a fluent 81 runs and helped the team to a score of 246 runs at close of play. Darrel D'Silva, 59, and Athukorale, 52, helped build the score. The game ended in a tame draw but remembered for a few highlights shown below.

  • Kirthi Caldera's 99 runs,
  • Jayantha Fernando's 81,
  • brilliant double by Premasiri Athukorale who scored 85 and 52,
  • Josephian opening bowler Ranjith Malawana bagged 8 wickets for 57 runs in the Peterite 1st innings.


By: Upali Obeyesekere – An Old Peterite from Toronto, Canada



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