Sri Lanka cricketer Chamara Kapugedera along with two veterans of Dharmaraja College were honoured at a ceremony conducted by the Dharmaraja College Cricket Foundation (DRCCF) at the Grand Kandyan Hotel recently.The trio were recognised for what the school said was their “great contribution to the school and beyond.”David Karunaratne and ACS Jambugahawatte were honoured with ‘Awards of Appreciation’ for their yeomen services as cricket officials of Dharmaraja College while the other, Kapugedera, was presented with an ‘Award of Achievement’ for excelling in the sport and going beyond to represent the country with honour.Karunaratne was a long-standing coach of Dharmaraja while Jambugahawatta was the Master-in-Charge of the school’s cricket for nearly three decades. Karunarathne was an outstanding player of 1956, who played in the school team from 1952 to 1956 and maintained a good average in batting and bowling and went on to play for Combined Colleges and the Central Province Cricket Association (CPCA) team against the touring Madras Cricket Association team at Asgiriya.
He contributed to the CPCA’s victory taking 13 wickets (5/42 and 8/ 37) and joined Dharmaraja as coach in 1984 and continued until 2004. He was presented with the award by Senaka Dissanayake, the captain of the Dharmaraja team in 1984 who represented the Sri Lanka under-19 team and the first Rajan to score1000 runs in a season.
He still holds the record for the highest scorer in the big match with 200 against arch rivals Kingswood in 1983. Jambugahawatte was an influential character to all cricketers of Dharmaraja and served in his role from 1970 to 1999. His Award of Appreciation was presented by Ananda Jayasundara, who played for Dharmaraja from 1963 to 1965 and rated as the country’s fastest bowler in 1964.
Kapugedera, a household name in international cricket, captained Dharmaraja during the 2005 school season and earned his international debut in an ODI against Australia in Perth in 2006. He made his Test debut at Lord’s against England the same year and captained the Sri Lanka ODI team in July 2017 against India. His Award of Achievement was presented by Mahinda Pethiyagoda, the Dharmaraja captain of 1972/1973 and vice captain of the Sri Lanka Schools team of 1973.