Cricket, is a sport played with immense passion in Sri Lanka. Growing up in Sri Lanka, young boys are naturally drawn towards cricket and they start looking up to cricketing legends like Sangakara.
Following the civil war in Sri Lanka, the situation in country deteriorated for people of tamil origin. Hence people were ready to move to any country to get out Sri Lanka. Despite the dangerous journey via sea, many refugees opted to move to Australia. “We have travelled days together without food, without knowing if we are going to make it to our destination. Australia is the first country that has treated me like a human being,” claims a young cricketer among thousands refugees in Queensland.
Cricket has been a massive platform for these boys to express themselves, showcase their talent and above all attain immense pleasure. These boys have desire to get educated, build a family and lead a peaceful life in this foreign land. Some of them even dream to play cricket for Australia. “I see that Australia’s weakness in cricket is spin. Coming from Sri Lanka I play spin well and I can spin the ball very well. When I grow up, I will definitely play for Australia and I will cover that weakness,” claimed Kandy, a young spinner
Brisbane Super Kings, a South Brisbane cricket club has succeeded in giving these young men a chance to play cricket. The club has so far organized 12 T-20 tournaments in 4 years. In 2014, a total of 32 teams (around 400 cricketers) from 5 different nationalities (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh) participated in the 2nd annual BSK cup, making it, the largest multicultural community sporting event in Brisbane. “Cricket means a lot to us. We all get to meet and have fun once every week through cricket and we would like to thank BSK for facilitating this” says Parthy.
“The current Australian captain Smith is my favorite cricketer after Sangakara. I am a right hand batsman, so it is difficult to bat like Sanga, hence I try to play like Smith. “ says Ruban.
BSK hopes that it can build a platform for these young boys to develop cricketing skills which might come in handy when these boys go and play for Australia. We hope that we can attract more sponsors in the coming years and give these boys good facilities and good cricketing gears to enhance their skill.”-Balaji, BSK Secretary. Balaji added that “The club has seen several physically challenged (because of the war) people determined to play cricket. That is how much these guys love their cricket. And the club is very proud to put a smile on their faces every week. We also have a lot of Indian student community participating in our tournaments. The students say that cricket every week is a chance to socialize and meet new people.”
“From an administration point of view, organizing back to back tournament has always been a big challenge for BSK. Although BSK is very high profile club, we are still small nonprofit cricket organizers. BSK has been fortunate to have sponsorship from Indian community in Brisbane, however we are not massively resourced. As with any cricket club, funds have been a big bottle neck for the club time and again. Despite these challenges, BSK is committed to meeting the expectations of the cricketing community and committed to organizing cricket tournaments to bring people together.” Says Sathish, BSK president