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Bertie Wijesinghe was keen on producing gentlemen

Former Test captain Kumar Sangakkara paid a glowing tribute to his cricket coach Bertie Wijesinghe calling him a man of impeccable values. Wijesinghe, who passed away at the age of 96 on Saturday was Sri Lanka’s oldest cricketer.

He had coached generations of cricketers.

At S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, he had coached cricketers like Chandra Schafter, Michael Tissera and Anura Tennekoon.

Much later, he shifted to Trinity College and apart from coaching cricket, he also taught English and Latin.

The Wettimuny brothers – Sidath, Mithra and Sunil were also coached by him in a private capacity.

"He was a man of impeccable values and bearing, who installed in us a great respect for the game, for sportsmanship and discipline," Sangakkara told The Island in an e-mail.

"He taught us that no one was above the game and to play it well you have to respect it, understand its culture, traditions and history and learn its technique."

"His influence on us at Trinity can not be valued but only treasured. He deeply cared about all of his students and was committed not only towards producing the best cricketers but also the best of gentlemen. He is sorely missed and is remembered with gratitude and love by all of us who were under his care at Trinity," Sangakkara further said.