Tennis champ Sharmal Dissanayake given a raw deal | Sunday Observer

Tennis champ Sharmal Dissanayake given a raw deal

30 July, 2023

Why was Sri Lanka’s best tennis player dropped from the Sri Lanka team that was picked to play in the Davis Cup group III tie held in Sri Lanka last week?

No country has ever dropped their best tennis player from the national team to play in a major tournament like a Davis Cup tie. You name it and he was picked into the national team without having to face trials.

Currently, Sharmal Dissanayake is the number one men’s player in Sri Lanka. He proved it by winning the SSC Open tennis tournament and indicated to the Sunday Observer that he is ready to play for Sri Lanka again if called. There was no need for him to face trials as he has beaten those in the current team at the SSC Open and many times before.

Dissanayake is the only player in Sri Lanka who is world ranked and has been playing in Germany for many years to maintain a high standard. He has also maintained his number one spot in all local tournaments and has brushed aside all other men’s players to emerge champion almost every time he participated.

Dissanayake only failed to beat Harshana Godamanna who was the former number one player in Sri Lanka. Godamanna was an automatic choice for the Sri Lanka team and it was only the other junior player who faced the trails. Dissanayake was first selected to be in the Sri Lanka team at a tender age of 15 years. Since then he has been in the national team until he kept away when facing examinations.

Even the current chairman of selectors for tennis in Sri Lanka Arjun Fernando was an automatic choice when selecting the Sri Lanka tennis team. He was playing tennis regularly in the USA and when Sri Lanka wanted to field a team in a Davis Cup tie, Fernando was called from the US to come and lead the national team. He was too good a player to face trials.

Even in squash the selectors made the mistake of dropping the best women’s player Fathoum Issadeen from the team for the Commonwealth Games. The lame excuse was that she did not face trials that were conducted to select the final team.