Oct 03, 2018

Jaffna youth reaches national level in cricket Featured

After nearly 40 years, a player from Jaffna district has reached national level, gaining admission to the under-19 squad, says Sri Lanka Cricket.

The 17-year-old Vijayakanth Viyaskanth is a right-arm leg-spinner, who has already played one international game.

He was a substitute in the one-day team, and is now included in the squad for the under-19 Asia Cup presently underway in Bangladesh.

He says he liked playing cricket from his childhood and started practicing bowling from the under 15 team and excelled with the support of qualified coaches.

Vijayakanth later went onto play at school and provincial levels and got the opportunity to come to Colombo.

Colombo is a bit different from Jaffna

He says Colombo is a bit different from Jaffna, and believes that his skills are improving speedily.

He is trained under the head coach of the under-19 team Hashan Tilakaratne.

99129The under-19 squad at practice

Vijayakanth says he hopes to represent the country one day.

According to him, one of the main challenges he faced in Colombo was the language barrier.

Fellow players taught him Sinhala

He says his fellow players taught him Sinhala and learnt Tamil from him, and are giving him all the encouragement.

Vijayakanth has told his friends back home that there was not treated differently due to his Tamil ethnicity and that all were playing as a team.

Head coach Tillakaratne says the SLC is organizing matches at provincial level to identify new talent, irrespective of their ethnicities.

He adds that two players from the northern and Uva provinces are already representing the under 19 team.

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