(Sri Lanka Sunday Times) NEW YORK — Sri Lanka, which established diplomatic relations with the Caribbean island nation of Dominica (population about 71,000) back in May 2018, inaugurated a friendly cricket match in New York last week.
The two teams, comprising of expatriates, met at a friendly cricket encounter at the Canarsie Park in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Sri Lankans won the match – 192 to 118 – before a large gathering of New York cricket lovers.
The proposal for the match – which is likely to be an annual event – came from Ambassador Laureen Ruth Bannis-Roberts, the Permanent Representative of Dominica to U.N and was informally conveyed to Ambassador Dr Rohan Perera, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN.
Dr Wije Kottahachchi working with the Lasitha Abeysekera organised the Sri Lankan cricket team, which he described as “a very talented group of cricketers who have played for their respective schools in Sri Lanka”. They played against a team from the Dominica cricket club of Brooklyn New York.
The Sri Lanka team was led by Omar Mikthath, an old Zahirian, while the team from Dominica was captained by George Royer. The Sri Lankan team also included Primon Perera, Prabath Gamage, Kasun Gunasinghe, Shanaka Lokubalasuriya, Ruchira Jayasuriya, Omer Mihlar, Yohan Dissanayaka, Yasith Perera, Saminda Siriwardana, Niomal Karunaratna, Kavinda Silva, Udaya Bambarandage and Chathura Anandagoda. The team manager was Lasitha Gunasinghe.
During her remarks at the trophy presentation, Ambassador Bannis-Roberts described Dominica, the location for the 2006 Hollywood movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”, as a “cricket crazy country.”
“So is Sri Lanka”, said Dr Kottahachchi, amidst loud cheers. Present at the ceremony were Ambassador Perera and his wife Therese Perera.