Former world cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga promised to create a cricketing culture for expatriates living in Canada by launching his own cricket academy in Toronto recently through the assistance of Anil and Sharmini Perera.
The Arjuna Ranatunga Cricket Academy, at Sorkkam Indoor facilities will officially open in September, the former Sri Lanka captain said in Toronto.
Ranatunga said he would treat the children who train at the academy “as his own”. He hoped to welcome up to 200 children for training that would ultimately take them to next level in representing Canada.
He highlighted the importance of reinforcing a cricketing culture amongst expatriate children from South Asia, and the Caribbean, usually passed down from parents and grandparents.
The iconic cricketer would also tap into his contacts and welcome other international cricketing greats to join him in coaching sessions.
“I don’t want to mention any names, but we are in touch with several former and active cricketers,” he said.
Ranatunga would coach at the facility three times a year; he says the opportunity allows him to visit his children in Los Angeles, something he missed in his life as a sports star.
“As an international cricketer and now politician you sometimes miss opportunities to watch your children grow up,” he said.
Comment on Canadian cricket, Ranatunga said he has seen an improvement in cricketing talent since his visits to the country as Sri Lanka Cricket chairman in 2008.