Under 23 North-East Cricket Team

With three trustees who are international cricketing legends, the Foundation of Goodness has a vested interest in development through sport, particularly the game of cricket. As such, our attention was caught by the fledgling Under 23 North-East Cricket Team. The North-East Team was the first to create a space for professional cricket in the post-war landscape of Sri Lanka’s North and East where the children and youth previously had no opportunity to even play recreational cricket, let alone at a professional level due to the ongoing civil conflict.

With the end of the conflict, there was much that needed to be done to rebuild the lives of the populations residing in the conflict zone and with a lot of activity underway to provide homes, roads, schools and other infrastructure, it was equally important to promote sports. As we came to discover over the years, especially through FoG’s own Murali Harmony Cup which has taken place in 5 venues in the North since 2012, there are many talented and skillful cricketers hidden amongst these rural Northern and Eastern youth.

In order to give the North-East Team a helping hand in developing the team’s skills and overcoming their financial limitations, the Foundation of Goodness is incredibly pleased to have facilitated their sponsorship by TESCO, UK. Tesco is an important sustainability sponsor of 10 FoG sectors while also supporting our pioneering work in the North. The interest expressed by them in improving the rural game of cricket in the hardest struck areas of Sri Lanka has indeed been a great blessing, and with their support, the team has gone from strength to strength. The Tesco sponsorship has meant that the team which had not had an opportunity to travel to outstation grounds and play against other teams now had the opportunity to do so, exposing the team to more players to build their own experience and confidence in preparation for the divisional tournaments.

The future development of Sri Lankan cricket depends on tapping into these reserves of unpolished talent and teams like the Under 23 North- East team play a crucial role in securing a future for these rural cricketers. The team stands testament to the wealth of talent flowing in from these rural areas as they have been leading the pack throughout the Division III Under 23 Tournament and have now won their semifinal against the Matale District Team and have secured a place in the Final match. As finalists, they will be upgraded to a Division II team next year.

We at the Foundation of Goodness are incredibly proud of this achievement as it is close to our hearts, as the team includes Edwardedin Ratnam and Rishanth Tuder, two boys whose talent was first discovered at the 2012 Murali Harmony Cup. They went on to play club cricket and now work with us at FoG and play for the U 23 North-East Team. It is significant to note that Edin and Tuder also play for Cricket Seenigama, and as two Tamil boys from the North playing for a Southern team, they truly embody the unity of the sport and it’s ability to break down social and cultural barriers.

“I would like to share some words from the bottom of my heart for the excellent job; you have done to promote the cricket in the North & East by sponsoring tournaments for Under 23 cricketers. As you are aware, the cricket has been paralyzed in the North – East area. Sports is an attractive and powerful media to keep the younger generation in order and deter them from taking the wrong path in their lives.''

Secretary, North central & North East Provincial Cricket Association

“This Under 23 team which is participating in this tournament for the second time is faring better and winning matches so far. Due to the sponsorship of Tesco and Foundation of Goodness, the players have gained a great confidence and have been greatly motivated. The morale of the players is very high and their performance has developed. This year, unlike the past year, our team has so far reached the semi-finals and this is an achievement where total credit goes to the Foundation of Goodness and Tesco especially to Mr. Kushil Gunasekara who was the backbone of our practice workshop. We make this an opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to both these institutions for making the dreams of our team come true. Also, the players too are very motivated by the sponsorship as they feel that there is somebody behind them to give them a helping hand and they too express their personal gratitude to their sponsors.''

Manjula Karunarathna
Provincial Coach


15th October 2014



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