With the cricket world cup fever kicking in, it was not long till we tried channeling our inner Donald Bradman or dream about delivering the perfect Yorker as accurately as Lasith Malinga. For those of you who aren’t really fans of cricket, the two names mentioned above will 9/10 times ring no bells. But for those of you who are, they need no additional introduction. Nevertheless, for those who aren’t familiar with these two individuals, Sir Donald Bradman was an Australian cricketer considered to be the greatest batsmen of all time while Lasith Malinga who was the former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team and is arguably one of the greatest fast bowlers in the game today.
Coming back to reality however, the Asian Society of the University of Southampton together with the Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani Societies hosted the annual cricket championship at our very own Old Sports Hall.
After suffering a 3 run defeat to India Society last year in the finals, myself together with the Sri Lankan Society were eager to make sure last year’s outcome was not repeated.
With the date of the tournament being announced approximately a month before, we started training to ensure our best team goes out to the middle. However, it must be stated that even though a conventional cricket match consists of a game played between two teams of 11 in an outdoor cricket field, time and weather constraints meant that our rendition of the game saw a six-member team in addition to the games being played indoor.
Going in to our first game, heads high, we suffered a devastating loss courtesy a brilliant performance by the Pakistan Society. It was tough, but we consoled ourselves and ensured the loss was forgotten as there were two more games to look forward to.
With the loss behind us, our next opponent was the India Society team number 2. The first half of the game was rather neutral, where both teams showed good fight but not really overtaking one another. The second half however, thankfully, was in our favor. After a rather average batting performance, the bowlers of Sri Lankan Society made sure that they covered up for the batsmen winning the game with a couple of overs to spare. After the rather convincing win, our virtual semi-final game next up was against the reigning champs and our arch rivals, India Society team 1. While out of the field we are all very good mates, once the games start, it is a completely different story. In summary however, after winning the toss, India Society was put to bat with 72 runs scored in the end of the designated overs. India Society was confident that it was a sufficient total and it was a fair assumption given the fact that a repeat of last year was very much in store. Myself and our team however, didn’t want history to repeat. Going in as the opening batsmen, there was a huge roar for our opponents and it was never easy to face the reigning champions. But thanks to a sensible yet aggressive batting innings from my partner and I, we caused quite an upset in the tournament by beating India Society without losing a wicket. This not only meant that we managed to make up for our blunder last year but made sure to book a spot in the final of the tournament against a strong Pakistan Society line-up.
With this being my last year in university, it also meant that it was the last time I was representing the Sri Lankan Society. It would have been a fantastic end to the story if I could sit here and write about how we won the tournament, but unfortunately for us, Pakistan Society was too strong a team to overcome and hence, went on to bag a well-deserved win in the 2019 edition of the tournament.
Despite our performance however, we made sure to support our national team and let the professionals do their bit !