It must be because Sri Lanka is small country, with small number of media outlets, I see very little written about these talented Sri Lankan cricketers, Indian great Sunil Gavaskar commented a few years ago. One person, who changed that trend and created a growing portal for Sri Lankan cricket news, was recently recognized for his website’s contributions.
Sri Lankan Canadian editor and founder of Island Cricket said he was excited and humbled after the site won Best Sports and Entertainment Website in Sri Lanka for the second year running at BestWeb — Sri Lanka’s only web awards.
“For a small operation such as us, winning this award is extremely rewarding and exciting,” Suhaib said. “All of us here at Island Cricket are immensely humbled and deeply appreciative of this award.”
Since 2010 the website has won multiple awards, and was also picked as one of the Top 50 Cricket Websites by the Times of London in 2010, highlighting the Sri Lankan website’s rapid progress and success since its inception in 2008.
Island Cricket currently receives nearly 150,000 unique visitors per month and serves more than one-million pageviews monthly.
A LONG-RUNNING PASSION FOR CRICKET
Growing up along the shores of Kinross beach in Colombo, cricket was a way of life for children in Suhaib’s neighbourhood.
“Playing cricket all day on the street, on the beach and at school was the norm. At 13, I found myself reading cricket coaching manuals when not reading comic books, so I’ve always had an interest in this sport beyond just playing cricket for entertainment,” he told lankareporter.com.
Suhaib worked as a producer and presented at Gold FM and as DJ at the Cascades Pub and Club, a popular nightclub in Colombo during the 90s and early 2000s. He also conducted interviews with international cricket personalities for publication that struggled to get off the ground due to funding.
Today, his articles on Sri Lankan cricket have been published in Sri Lankan newspapers such as The Island and The Sunday Leader, as well as esteemed online publications such as ESPNCricinfo. Perhaps his most famous achievement was to allow Sri Lankan cricket fans to have a meeting place, no matter where in the world they lived.