“Language can be a barrier but here, one with English and one with Sinhalese, both with a special SMILE and the game of CRICKET as their commonality, that barrier is clearly gone”
This photo of two young cricketers enjoying life and all that the wonderful game of cricket can bring, Biron (Left – Australia) and Hasindu (right – Sri Lanka) were joined together in a Yarra Valley Cricket Association second side which recently competed in the KAF Under 15 International Cricket Tournament in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, they were brought together when the Foundation of Goodness (FOG) team from the devastated Tsunami region of Seenigama Sri Lanka returned to defend the title they won in the 2009 event, and when the Yarra Valley CA 1st side were both oversubscribed with boys wishing to compete, the management group came up with the idea of a combined Aussie/Sri Lanka team.
The return of the FOG side to the 2010 event was made possible by a great deal of fund raising from a group of people in Melbourne’s East who witnessed the fantastic relationships which evolved out of the cricket in 2009, their work enable the FOG to return along with the additional players for the YVCA combined team and this was enhanced by the fact that not only was their travellers from the Yarra Valley but also neighbouring cricket Association Ferntree Gully and District which had a team and many support staff as did the Casey Cricket Coaching team which was a mix of girls and boys, lead by former Sri Lankan International Athula Samarasekera.
The Foundation of Goodness efforts have been directed generally to the Seenigama area since those damaging “Waves of Destruction” in December 2004. A Foundation trustee, World Record holder Muttiah Muralitharan will no doubt have more time to work with young players like Hasindu and Biron following his retirement from Test Cricket, that will surely bring more smiles to young cricketers faces.
The tournament in which these boys compete has only been running for 4 seasons now and is used to bring Under 15 players and support staff and parents too, from around the world to assist with the development of junior cricket in Malaysia, the combined efforts of the Royal Selangor Club, the Kuala Lumpur Cricket Association and the Malaysia Cricket Association under the Chairmanship of Mr Devindran Ramanathan has allowed teams from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Australia and local cricket clubs and Associations from the States of Malaysia to compete with friendly rivalry for the KAF Cup.
In 2009 the ICC’s Asian Cricket Council awarded the 3rd KAF Tournament the award for the “Best Cricket Promotion and Marketing Programme” and also an award for “Photo of the Year” two wonderful endorsements for such an infant event.
A Gala dinner is held during the carnival to assist in raising funds to be put towards local cricket development initiatives, International speakers to have graced the stage at the dinner include Dav Whatmore, Muttiah Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva and this year it was Jonty Rhodes.
Some local Australian teams have already booked their places for the 2011 event, which speaks highly of the fun that cricket provides and cultural experience that is gained in a game at international level, whatever the standard or age of the participants.