De Silva proves he's gold
NO-ONE who has become accustomed to watching Tyrone De Silva bat was surprised by his innings on Sunday at Baxter Oval.
Representing an Ipswich Invitational XI De Silva lasted four balls against former test quick Andy Bichel.
The innings included a towering six that sank keep into the mud beyond the long-on boundary.
"That's my right area," De Silva said.
Next ball he was on his way, caught behind.
The clean-striking Central Districts batsman rarely varies his approach and while it didn't come off against Bichel, when it does it is devastating.
Despite the short stay at the crease he thoroughly enjoyed himself, which sums up his attitude to cricket.
"It's the first time I've played with big players like these," he said. "It's a good opportunity."
It has been opportunity that has taken De Silva from his native Sri Lanka to England, then Australia.
De Silva left Sri Lanka in 2002, having represented his country's under-19s alongside the likes of Lasith Malinga, to earn money playing in England.
In 2007 he made the move to Australia with wife Niloo when she was given the opportunity to study to become a chef.
New to Brisbane, De Silva joined the Macgregor Park team and met then Eastern Raiders player coach Lance Roudenko, who enticed him to the Redbank Plains club.
De Silva was working nights at the time and was close to giving the game away but Roudenko motivated him to keep going and Raiders president Bruce Raleigh helped him get his current job as a coal mining lab technician.
"I used to fall asleep on benches at Redbank," he said of the difficulties working nights and trying to play cricket.
Having completed her studies Niloo and Tyrone were provided with a new opportunity, thanks to former Eastern Taipans (which Raiders merged with Strollers to become) captain Craig Cumming.
"He introduced me to Raj (Sharma) and Richo (David Richardson)," he said.
Now Niloo works at their restaurant, Stumps.
De Silva considers Ipswich Pioneers coach Craig Jesberg a significant influence on his cricket.
It was Jesberg who first promoted him from the middle order to opener for Ipswich with immediate results, with De Silva hitting 100 on Webb Shield debut against Toowoomba.
"Jesberg motivates me as well," he said.
"At first I decided to play (after leaving Taipans) with Laidley because Jesberg was there.
"Then I went to Norths, then Centrals." De Silva said his reason for leaving Taipans, with whom he helped win the 2009-10 Division One title, were "complicated."
But he has no regrets and is confident Central Districts can go on to be one of the competition's major threats this summer.
"I reckon we're a good chance," he said. "The team has not clicked together yet so we have been a little bit struggling.
"But I reckon at our next training we will discuss some more things and get together and start to play as a team."
De Silva has pledged his future to Australia and avoids homesickness by hosting his family here every Christmas.
He just wishes there were a few more Sri Lankan restaurants near Ipswich.
Tyrone De Silva
- Best bowler faced in Ipswich: Mick Sippel. He's got a good head and knows how to bowl to batsmen.
- Favourite movie: First Blood.
- Favourite cricketer: Shane Watson. He's a very quiet and clam player.