When I sent the draft of the article by HSM Pieris to several of the surviving personnel who represented Sri Lankan on the tour of England in 1975, David Heyn’s reaction was both spontaneous and sharp “Preparing for Cricket in England in 1975 … with Raja Wickremasinghe in Key Role – You must be joking!!! .. . he said.
This immediate response was followed up with two other Email notes — comments which embraced the course of the whole tour rather than the more restricted survey by Mevan Pieris and Tennekoon regarding the training sojourn in Nuwara Eliya and Raja Wickremasinghe’s central role in this process (since my initiative today was prompted by news of Raja passing away –– so that the Thuppahi entry was/is also an epitaph for Raja.
Nothing positive to say about Rajah Wickremasinghe. As I said in another response to you, the Board was totally amateurish in preparing us for the tour.
Robert [Senanayake] was president, and Neil [Perera] was secretary (and he was an excellent team manager on our tour of India which followed later that year). KMT was chairman of selectors and team manager in the UK.
Dusty Miller was the key man for me on that 1975 UK tour – he organised and paid for the tour to Holland & Denmark that followed the World Cup. The Board were amateurish and had no clue how to organise the “warm up” two-week part of the tour which preceded the main programme organised by the ICC – this was when we moved into a hotel and played against New Zealand and several county sides before we played the first cup game against West Indies.
The Sri Lanka Squad touring England and Europe in 1975
STANDING LEFT TO RIGHT: Bandula Warnapura, Anura Ransinghe, Dennis Chanmugam, Tony opath, Ajith De Silva, Lalith Kaluperuma, Duleep Mendis.