Ramshika Wijayanga is an 18-year-old baseball player from Nalanda College, Colombo. He led his school to a remarkable victory in the Sri Lanka under-19 school baseball tournament 2012. He was the youngest player to participate in the West Asia Baseball Cup held last month where his team went on to win second place. Talking to ‘Free’ magazine, the Nalanda baseball star said that his main focus is to finish his Advanced Level exam well.
What made you take interest in baseball?
My first interest was cricket. In fact I played cricket till 2012 and was lucky enough to have played the 50 over match of the battle of the Maroons 2012. In 2007, a friend ,Lakshan Maduka, asked me if I’d like to play baseball and I said yes. My father likes cricket, so the first day I went to baseball practices I lied to him. I told him I was going for cricket practice, but I told my mother the truth. Although baseball is not that popular in Sri Lanka, it’s quite popular in most of the developed countries. This game also has a ball and a bat just like in cricket which made it easy for me to get used to it.
Did you face any obstacles during your baseball career?
The biggest problem was cricket. I had to manage my time. On the other hand my father used to hate baseball initially, but eventually, everything fell in place.
Does your father support Ramshika the baseball player?
Yes of course. My father and my mother are the two who support me the most.
What role did Nalanda College play in helping you to become a good sportsman?
I’ve been playing baseball from the age of 12 and from the very beginning they helped me a lot. They have given me everything that I needed to play baseball. I’m thankful to the school.
Who is the toughest opponent you’ve ever faced?
Well as a team I felt the Korean under-18 was tough to play against.
Who is your role model?
My father is my role model. He is a great man and if I can set up my life the way he has done, I would be a very proud man.
What are your plans for the future?
My main target is my A/L exam. I have to do it well. To be honest my biggest dream is somehow to get the university entrance. I am a sportsman, I like it, but the university dream is the biggest.
8. What advise to have to someone who wants to be a good baseball player?
Firstly, what I have to say is always prioritize the education as it’s the most important factor in life. When it comes to sports chose the sport that you like the most, so that you will do well in the particular sport. Apart from that not giving up is as crucial as anything. In 2007 and 2009 I wasn’t picked for the school squad which toured abroad, but I kept on fighting for my place and got selected for the 2010 and 2011 tours.