Canada’s Sri Lankan born Ruvindu Gunasekera and Srimantha Wijeyeratne were selected to represent ICC Americas team in the ‘Nagico Super 50 Tournament’ to be played in Trinidad & Tobago from January 4 to 24, in 2016. The other teams that will take part are Jamaica, hosts T&T, Guyana, Leeward & Windward and a Combined Universities XI. Americas team were selected out of players invited from Canada, USA, Argentina, Bermuda, Surinam & Cayman Island, but only 15 players from Canada and USA made it to the final pool of fifteen. There were two phases of sessions held in Indianapolis, led by Former West Indian Captain Courtney Walsh, Australian coach Mike Young and few more ICC appointed Coaches from the Americas region and the proceedings were handled by the Development Director of ICC Americas region, Tom Evans.
Both former Peterites , Ruvindu having migrated in early stages of his life after playing U-15 is a senior member of the Canadian National team, played in ICC World Cup held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Played Premier cricket for Baduraeliya C.C. and Under 23 cricket for Chilaw Marians. In Canada, he plays for Brampton Master’s C.C. and has been among runs throughout his career and was the highest scorer for Master’s in the Finals of 2015 (63 not out) where Master’s edged out Toronto by 3 runs in D/L system when the game was halted for bad light. He also has a career best 150 runs against Netherlands in an ICC Intercontinental cup match played in Canada couple of years ago.
Srimantha, played for St. Peter’s in all age groups and First XI in 2007/08 and selected to play District and Provincial in all age levels where he excelled in 2007/08 for U-19 and drafted to represent SL U-19 in 2007 and opened the batting with present National Vice Captain Lahiru Thirimanne. Played U-23 cricket for Bloomfield as opening batsman/wicket-keeper and then decided to migrate to Canada in 2008. In Canada, he played ‘Elite’ division in Toronto & District cricket tournament for Centurions c.c. till this year and joined Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club (TCSCC) where in the finals, playing against Ruvindu’s team, (T&D Finals) Master’s scored a magnificent 76 in 62 balls where he was unfortunately ‘run out’. He was drafted to the Canadian National team this year after fulfilling the rules and regulations by a Permanent Resident to represent an ICC affiliate Associate country and have already toured Namibia for the ICC Division two tournament, Americas Championships held in Florida and Ireland for the ICC WC T-20 Qualifiers and donned the National Colours.
Wish Ruvindu and Srimantha the very best and hope both will keep the Canadian ‘Red’ Colours flying high and perform well during the tournament in January, 2016.
(Courtesy Srinath Wijeratne)