Cricket: Lakstars’ six-a-side soft ball tournament |02 August 2019
Lakstars strike again!
The much anticipated and requested six-a-side soft ball cricket tournament organised by the Lakstars sports club was held recently at the Mont Fleuri grounds.
Extending the ambience for cricket lovers around the world as a result of the ongoing limited over World Cup series, which was also taking place at the time, the day started off at 8am. The chief guests – former limited over cricket captain of Sri Lanka Upul Tharanga and Sri Lanka national team spin bowling coach Piyal Wijethunga – were greeted by the next generation of cricketers with garlands of flowers and escorted through an arch of bats held by members of the Lakstars sports club.
Mr Tharanga inaugurated the event by facing the first delivery with the bat while Mr Wijethunga and Lakstars’ very own Thimeera Madhusanka bowled a few deliveries.
The tournament was played using the same categories as last year endorsing and creating a tradition – championship and plate categories. However, the number of matches was limited, deviating from last year by making it a knockout tournament in the second round. Showcasing the learning curve effect, Lakstars succeeded in making this year’s tournament bigger and better, by introducing a few more features and variety to the event.
The friendly match played by the next generation of cricketers was the highlight of the day. The young players did not only take part in the friendly match but were also presented with medals for their involvement. Their faces were glowing with pride when they stepped up on to the podium to receive their medal from the chief guest as they were cheered on by their parents and spectators. This was a sight to be cherished for years to come.
The bouncing castle was much loved and was put to good use by the children well into the night with a wide range of songs being played in the background by Lakstars own DJ Aruna. Coming from the food stalls, the aroma of the Asian cuisine to which our nostrils and taste buds are well accustomed to, added the much required touches to the atmosphere that took us back to the cricket grounds back home in Sri Lanka.
Knowing what to expect, the spectators came prepared for the day and we witnessed families at the venue from the morning way past sunset, lingering on the grounds, cheering and supporting the teams, feeding the toddlers, cradling them to sleep etc. It was evident that everyone felt right at home.
Once again Mother Nature was in Lakstars’ favour as good weather continued throughout the day with only a very slight drizzle towards the end during the semifinals, as if to liven and energise the players who must have been fatigued and worn out by that time, with all the activeness from the morning.
The event concluded 30 minutes shy of midnight with Team UCPS emerging as the winners of the plate trophy by beating runners up Pilgrims ‘A’ and Team Savoy clinching the champions trophy with Negombo Lions being the runners-up.
In the champions trophy, Niluk Sanjeewa of Negombo Lions was unanimously voted as player of the tournament as well as best batsman for his outstanding performances, while Sharmal Rajitha of Team Lion Heart was named the best bowler. The man-of-the-match award went to Ishan Perera of Team Savoy. Man-of-the-match for the plate trophy was awarded to Chaminda of Team UCPS.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the chief guests, guests of honour, the National Sports Council, the Seychelles Cricket Association, the sponsors, and all those who supported us in numerous ways.
Contributed by Nadisha Gamage
Secretary Lakstars sport club