Cricket gear for Lanka far and wide: Mike Stables to the fore

I was fortunate to sit next to one Michael Stables at the SLC  ‘stable’ during the Sri Lanka vs England World Cup match. Inspired by the affintiy in our names, we deepened the chemistry during the course of that day. Stables was born in Ceylon and has pursued his affair with the land ever since. Of late it has meant the collection and freighting of cricket gear to needy schools and localities far and wide in Sri Lanka. He sent a Note of Thanks to his donors and helpers in England and Lanka recently. I have taken the liberty of presenting it here in order to inspire others to step forth and join him or mount their own endeavours. Michael Roberts.

  1. 1. Entirely through the generosity of those listed below at market value ove £60K approx of cricket equipment was delivered and presented to some of the poor and underprivileged of Sri Lanka 2 months ago. Schools around Negombo,north of Colombo,and 6 clubs on the east coast at Pottuvil badly affected by the tsunami and in any event historically always last in the queue for hand outs from central government for the area benefitted.2. Thanks to Emirates for initially responding positively with their offer to fly out the kit for me free without which offer I would not have embarked
    upon the scheme in the first place.3. Every one listed was most generous and in the case of Lords, Notts, Gloucestershire ,Worcestershir , Warwickshire, Sussex and Shrewsbury Collage more than one visit was necessary to load up with kit gifted.4. Thanks also to my neighbour Ken Whitehouse for gifting the use of his lorries to transport the same from my home to the point of departure for shipping to Sri Lanka. The kit had eventually to go by container and I amindebted to my Sri Lankan contact in the UK who made all those arrangements and had to wrestle with customs and regulators in Sri Lanka.

    5. All the recipients of the kit were overjoyed at the gifts. In NegomboHeadmasters and Headmistresses were most grateful and speeches were made in acknowledgment on each presentation. On the east coast on a sandy track and field a days knock-out festival cricket was organized — all the teams in thearea taking part at the end of which more speeches and prize giving when thekit was gifted to each team.

    6. I attach only some representative photos — I have many more – – which may interest you, simply to show what has been going on. I thank you very much indeed once more for all your support. I suggest you may care to read my report first. If I can persuade again my “shippers” to send out a containerfree of charge and more importantly pressurize the customs in Sri Lanka to forego duties etc I hope you won`t mind if I call upon your generosityagain. I was actually present in Colombo at the 1/4 final of the World Cup when England were  trounced by Sri Lanka which made me wonder if they needany more encouragement to improve their cricket — but rather that we should be receiving the kit!!Seriously though the areas where I gifted the kithave little more than tennis balls and a solitary bat — indeed they call it playing soft ball. They need more and I hope to continue with this littlescheme where no money whatsoever is involved —  even with the transport in Sri Lanka which was locally gifted. This was a very humbling but enjoyable

    7. List of Contributors  Hunts County Bats – Leicestershire CCC – NocturnesCC of Norfolk – Lords Cricket Ground(Alan Pryer – Tom Blumire) – Emirites PCA (support of S Morris) – Northants ccc – Worcestershire CCC -Warwickshire CCC – Gloucestershire CCC – Sussex CCC – Shrewsbury Collage-Stowe School –  Notts CCC –  Radley Collage –  Gray Nicholls – Lord
    Maclauran(support) – Ken Whitehouse of Chipping Campden – Francis Graves ofBirmingham.

    8.Whilst in Sri Lanka I was fortunate to meet Murali and Sir Ian Botham and attend a reception totally unexpectedly in Colombo when they were both promoting a scheme for developing a school of excellence for cricketers up in the north  in the troubled location of the Tami Tiger wars near Jaffna. The grounds have been made available to Murali to help develop and construct a school and centre with grounds to that end. I hope to meet again with some of their representatives because I know they are looking earnestly
    for support and equipment. Thank you .

Michael Stables,

             Chipping Campden

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