As with nearly every country that the British made their presence known in, cricket soon followed and Sri Lanka is no exception to this. It is believed that cricket was being played on the Island by the 1800’s when it still went by the name of Ceylon.
To begin with Sri Lanka was used as a stopover for English and Australian pro’s en-route to their rival country to play for the Ashes and what better way to prepare for the match than to play a warm-up game with the budding cricketers of the Island.
On my recent trip to Sri Lanka with KE Adventure’s “Sri Lanka – Island Explorer” family trip, I had the great privilege of testing out my googly on a few of the locals. For those of you unfamiliar with cricket terminology, a googly is a type of spin bowl.
The setting was a busy playing field in the centre of Bandarawela which is in the heart of the hill country and surrounded by lush, green, tea plantations.
Myself and three of the families I was travelling with had already had a trip up to the famous Lipton’s Seat that morning and so were refreshed by our favourite brews and raring to go.
We had no shortage of local volunteers to make up the teams and at one point had 3 bowlers all trying to go at once!
Luckily for us we had a willing Dad take on the role of umpire and we were soon batting and fielding like the best despite the several other games of cricket and football along with athletics training taking place on the same field.
It was soon evident how passionate the locals were about the game of cricket not only by us tourists getting completely slain by mainly ten year olds but also the gratitude when I presented the “bowler of the match” (who again was about 10 years old) with a real cricket ball that I had brought over with me from the UK. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him playing professionally in the future.
In short, we may have lost to Sri Lanka at cricket but we won in so many other ways by getting to experience some of the highlights of this beautiful country.
From the wild elephants on safari, to the calming tea plantations to the white water rafting down the longest river in the country! Sri Lanka has something to offer all ages and will never fail to impress and welcome anyone who gets the opportunity to visit.