Against all Odds – The Sri Lankan Deaf Cricket Team

The Sri Lankan Deaf Cricket Team made history when they won the ICC Deaf T20 World Cup (DICC) last month, this is the first time a national team has brought home a world cup after the Sri Lanka able teams won the world cup in 1996 and the T20 team won the world cup in 2014


This victory was doubly meaningful to us at the Foundation of Goodness (FoG) as Captain Gimadu L Malkam, and Goyum Shanaka Walgama, Udaya Lakmal and Dinuka Sachin are players from the Seenigama Sports Academy.

The DICC saw the participation of 8 teams representing Sri Lanka, England, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, South Africa, Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament, finishing on top after the league round to enter the super three round and qualify for the finals against India. Sri Lanka clinched the final by 36 rounds with Captain Malkam leading by example with an outstanding overall performance scoring 41 from 41 and taking 3 for 25 in 3.5 overs.

Malkam was named the Man of the Final and Man of the Series. He was also the highest scorer of the tournament with 332 runs in seven matches, while taking 11 wickets with his leg spin bowling.

What no one knows is that Malkam had hurt his leg in-between the world cup matches. Never one to be daunted by an injury he had just laced up his boots and taken to the crease. 

‘They didn’t have a medic on the team so the boys would just have Jeewani and power through’ said Malkam’s mom, brimming with pride.

‘The challenge for me was to bring the trophy home to Sri Lanka, so I played my best game despite my injury’ says Malkam with his trademark infectious grin.

When we asked him if he had been nervous to play India on home turf, Malkam, who seemed to never let a difficulty get the better of him said, ‘I wasn’t scared, it only made me strong’.

Gimadu L Malkam, and Goyum Shanaka Walgama, Udaya Lakmal and Dinuka Sachin continue to train at the Seenigama Sports Academy. They were able to benefit from the resources made available at our Sports Academy, while participating in the many coaching clinics organised by the Foundation.

Currently, the Hemantha Devapriya Cricket Coaching Clinic sponsored by Tokyo Cement provides special training for coaches and players from the North and South of Sri Lanka on a monthly basis. FoG has also facilitated cricket camps, where cricket greats like Muthiah Muralidaran, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena have shared their expertise with budding players. A monthly spin-bowling clinic provides much needed specialised guidance to spinners.
Regular training is held for our cricketers and FoG is proud to be home to a Division 1 women’s club cricket team and a Division 2 men’s club cricket team. We also nurture young talent and donate equipment to disadvantaged schools around the island. All FoG sports and training facilities are provided free of cost, to our beneficiaries, so they can focus on their skills and use it as a vehicle to climb out of poverty.

The Foundation seeks to support its players in all necessary capacities and Captain Gimadu L Malkam was a recipient of a hearing aid last year in recognition of his cricketing abilities, through funds raised by the Foundation of Goodness together with our volunteers Jessica Gordon, James Davis and Sabrina Mohsin.

The Foundation of Goodness strives every day to bridge the gap between the rural and urban populations in Sri Lanka. With our rich history in sports the Foundation is committed to recognise, nurture and encourage sportsmen and women like Malkam, Shanaka, Lakmal and Sachin for years to come.







18th December 2018








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