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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sri Lankan Sports Minister seeks cricketing talent in war torn regions

The Sri Lankan sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, is seeking young cricketing talent in Mullaitivu, a former stronghold of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
A talent identification camp has been set up in the zone that has little to no representation in domestic and national cricket teams of Sri Lanka.
Talking to the media, Mahindananda said, “There are many talented sports persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. However, due to the war, these talents could not be discovered and these talented youth could not participate in the national squads.”
Sri Lanka has been witnessing bitter civil war since the 1970s. The two ethnic groups, Sinhalese and Tamils, have been engaged in mutual bloodshed.
In the past, Tamils occupied many key areas and zones of the country. Now, there have been effected a temporary ceasefire. However, the Tamil rebels still want to create a separate homeland.
At the first day of the talent identification camp, almost 1000 persons participated. The minister was there to interact with and know about the aspirant cricketers who may play at domestic and International level.
The Mullaitivu zone is packed with abundant cricket talent. There are many youngsters who have not been able to pursue their academic and professional careers due to the long war but they have the potential and passion to excel in the field of cricket. Now, they want to adopt cricket as a profession.
Mahindananda said, “We will develop sports in these Provinces as well as select more sports persons to the national squads from now on.”
 The world’s top wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan, hails from Mallaithivu.  Having ruled for almost two decades with the ball, the legend has retired from international cricket.
The sports minister has been very active in national cricket management since a month. However, his interference in matters of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has drawn great criticism from different circles of the society.
The board is now thinking to devise some laws that may prevent political meddling in the national cricket affairs. The International Cricket Council (ICC) also plans to formulate such type of a strategy. 
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