Big Interview: Chorley Cricket Club's Sri Lanka star Roshen Silva still open to international comeback
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But the Chorley professional revealed he would require significant assurances about his place in the team should he ever make a return to the Lions set-up.
The 34-year-old batsman last played a Test match for his country in January of 2019 when Sri Lanka toured Australia.
Despite being called-up for subsequent squads, most recently for last year’s tour of Bangladesh, Silva was overlooked when it came to team selection.
Tired of being left on the sidelines and carrying the drinks, the prolific domestic run scorer opted to turn his back on the international game to play league cricket in England.
He signed for Chorley last summer and led the club to T20 Cup success. He has returned to Windsor Park this year and has guided the team to their current position of second place in the Northern Premier League.
With his 35th birthday fast approaching, it would appear Silva has reached the end of the line in terms of representing his country.
His absence from the national team has caused plenty of debate back in his homeland.
After waiting patiently for his chance, Silva certainly did not disgrace himself when he finally got an opportunity at the highest level.
A resolute unbeaten 74 in the second innings on debut helped Sri Lanka rescue a draw against a Virat Kohli-inspired India in Delhi.
His next two appearances saw him net his maiden century and two half-centuries against Bangladesh.
Silva can boast two half-centuries against England in 2018 and in total has scored 702 runs for his country with a very respectable average of 35.20.
"I have been with the national team for the past five years but the last three years when I was in the squad, they kept me on the bench,” said Silva, who is a father of two and averages nearly 50 in First Class cricket back home. "They didn’t let me play any games. It made it very difficult because when you’re with the national team, you can’t play with your domestic team or you can’t spend time with your family. I couldn’t go out and do what I wanted, but at the same time I wasn’t playing cricket.
"It became very stressful. For two years I didn’t play a single game for the national team but because I was travelling with the national team, I couldn’t play a single game for my club in the domestic game.
"I felt like I was wasting my time, I was missing my time.
"So last year I just said, ‘Okay, I am done with wasting my time sitting on the bench. I want to play some cricket – I have to score runs because that is what I feel like I am good at’.”
Currently there appears to be an impasse between player and the national team management.
Last summer, Silva – who was by this time with Chorley – was asked to return home and re-join the Sri Lanka squad within 24 hours – something he felt he could not do.
"The Sri Lankan Board rung me and asked me who had told me that I could go to England and that they wanted me back,” he said.
"I said I would come back because this is my country, I want to play for my county but I said if you keep wasting my time, having me sat on the bench then I don’t want to come back.
"They told me that I was going to play against Bangladesh and that they wanted me back within 24 hours.
"I said that I would come back but it wouldn’t be as soon as possible.
"They said if I didn’t come back within 24 hours then they would pick somebody else, so I said that is up to you then.
"I feel like I have given 100% every time I have played for my national team, my club team.”
The Sri Lankan Board have indicated Silva’s age and their policy of giving youth a chances as the reason behind him constantly being overlooked in recent years.
It is a notion whichfrustrates the Chorleybatsman especially as he waited a long time for his chance and believes he is currently at the peak of his powers.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka tour England next year and should Silva continue his fine form in English conditions this summer– and lead Chorley to success – it could be that the selectors come calling for his services once again.
"I don’t know honestly if I will get called up for that or not,” Silva said. "In 2016 I played for Coleraine Cricket Club in Northern Ireland and then I was called up for Sri Lanka A’s tour of England and Ireland later that year.
"I know the experience of playing club cricket for Coleraine really helped me to do well when I played for the A team on that tour.
"After that I got my maiden call-up for the national team. It definitely helped me so I don’t know whether the selectors will look to select somebody who has experience of English conditions.
"But I don’t know, I am neither retired or dropped from the team.”
Silva will always be proud of the character he showed on debut for Sri Lanka.
The batsman was handed his Test bow against the might of India in Delhi in December 2017.
It was the third and final Test of a three-match series which had been dominated by legendary Indian batsman Virat Kohli.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all-time, Kohli hit more than 600 runs across the three Tests, including two double centuries.
With the hosts already 1-0 up in the series, they were honing in on another victory in Delhi.
Kohli’s 243 in the first innings had given India the advantage and left the tourists requiring a daunting 401 for victory in their second innings.
Reduced to 31-3 late on the fourth day, Sri Lanka were staring down the barrel going into the final day.
Thankfully for the Lions, a couple of batsmen dug in on the final day – one of which was Silva.
He batted for more than three hours in trying conditions, finishing unbeaten on 74 not out.
He shared match-saving partnerships with Dhananjaya de Silva (119) and Niroshan Dickwella (44 not out) to thwart the home side.
Silva’s stoicism was especially impressive as he had lasted only three balls in the first innings before being removed by Ravichandran Ashwin for a duck.
"A few days before my debut, I didn’t feel pressure or nervous,” said Silva. “I was just happy to have been given a chance.
"But when I got out for a duck, the rest of the game I had a few butterflies in the stomach.
"I wanted to prove that I was good enough for this level so I was a bit worried after the first innings. But on the second innings, we had to save the match and we manged to do that.”