Malinga de Silva is an 18-year-old sportsman from Nalanda College, Colombo. He has played cricket, baseball and participated in athletics. He is a rare talent who has represented Sri Lanka youth teams in all the sports that he has been involved in. In his sports career, he has won Nelson Mendis Cricket tournament in 2010, First Baseball Classics competition in 2013 and under-19 All Island Baseball tournament. His winning journey however, started in 2006 where he shone as an athlete in the junior national Athletic Championship. The all-round sportsman talking to the ‘Free’ magazine said his cricket hero is Indian batting sensation Virat Kohli.
Who is your hero in the world of sports?
Well, my favorite cricketer is Virat Kohli. He has scored many runs in recent years, and showed how consistent he is. I’d always follow his game as a batsman. But if you ask me who my role model is, my answer is Sri Lankan bowling all-rounder Sachithra Senanayake.
Which sports do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy all the sports that I took part in, whether it’s baseball, athletics or cricket. But I had to take a decision, the older you get more professional you’ve to be. So the decision was to choose one sport and I selected cricket.
What made you take interest in sports?
I come from a sport-loving family, especially my father who is a huge cricket fan, so it was very natural for me to take part in sports.
Did you face any obstacles during your career?
Well of course. Doing three sports means you’ve to spend a lot of time on the ground. Time management has been a problem and apart from that, a few minor injuries here and there have bothered me.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
I must say I wouldn’t have won anything without the support of my parents. From the first day, they helped me a lot and they are one of the reasons why I wanted to start this. Apart from that I must thank my friends and school for their support too.
What role did Nalanda College play in helping you become a good sportsman?
A huge role! They motivated me to do well in sports and provided all the basic requirements.
What are your plans for future?
I want to be a professional cricketer. I have played cricket for so long, and that’s what I enjoyed the most so I guess that’s what I should continue to do.
What advice do have for someone who wants to be like you in sports?
If you are a sportsman then you will have to be committed to whatever sports you do. If someone’s struggling at any stage in any sport, the best thing to do is working on the basics.
Cricketer: Virat Kohli
Team: Sri Lanka
Food: Cheese pasta
Film: Zero Dark 30