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Great opportunity for junior cricketers

Sri Lanka Cricket in another major step towards the development of junior cricket in the country have decided to field two schools teams in the forthcoming SLC under 23 two day tournament.

The under 20 Development Squad will compete in the Tier 'A' tournament and the Schools Under 17 team will participate in the Tier 'B' tournament which is scheduled to start shortly.

This was another idea mooted by former Sri Lanka leg spinner and Advisor and Consultant to the President on Schools Cricket D. Somachandra de Silva whose proposals have been recommended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

De Silva's proposals were highly commended by President Rajapaksa, Minister of Sports and Recreation Gamini Lokuge and Chairman Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Arjuna Ranatunga.

As a first step towards the development of junior cricket in the country the SLC earlier fielded the schools under 19 team in the inaugural Inter Provincial Twenty20 limited overs tournament which was concluded recently.

The under 19 team had instant success recording a stunning victory against the Basnahira South team in their opening fixture of the tournament. Although they failed to make it to the final round there were some outstanding performances which would augur well for the future.

The idea to field a schools team in the SLC under 23 tournament was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Under 19 coach Roger Wijesuriya who was also in charge of the team that participated in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Youth World Cup staged in Malaysia recently.

Wijesuriya said that fielding an under 17 team in this tournament is quite significant because this squad will be earmarked as the probable squad that will represent the country at the next ICC Youth World Cup in Kenya.

He further said that the under 20 players will have another opportunity of proving themselves which will put them in contention for a place in the Academy squad or in the Sri Lanka 'A' squad.

Meanwhile Chairman SLC Interim Committee Arjuna Ranatunga presented cricket equipment to 21 needy schools at a ceremony held at the SLC headquarters in Maitland Place yesterday.

Among the schools that benefited were Malwattawala MMV, Wellawaya in Moneragala, Kantale MMV Trincomalee, St. Xavier's College Marawila, Wayamba Royal College Kurunegala, Anuradhapura Central, Batemulla National School Imaduwa, Telijjawila MMV Matara and Nugawela MMV Kandy.

 

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