Lal (uchchi) Wijesinghe-ex Thomian cricketer going great guns in Germany | Daily News


Lal (uchchi) Wijesinghe-ex Thomian cricketer going great guns in Germany

Lal (uchchi) Wijesinghe with the ICC World Cup in Germany
Lal (uchchi) Wijesinghe with the ICC World Cup in Germany

Q) Tell me something about your family background

A) I am presently, residing in Munich, Germany with my family. I have three children.

After leaving school in 1980, I spent two years in West Berlin. During my stay in Berlin, I represented local clubs at cricket, rugger and hockey. I was invited to represent the British Military at cricket.From 1983 – 1990 worked at John Keells / Walkers Tours and represented the company at mercantile cricket, rugger and hockey.

Q) Your school cricket-big match

A) Represented S Thomas College – Mount Lavinia in 1977/1979 (centenary Royal Thomian) and 1980. I was a colours man at hockey, rugger and water-polo. I had the privilege in playing with Sashi and Ganeshan who captained S Thomas, late Lalith Ratnayake, late Dayalan Subramanium also captained S Thomas.

I was also very lucky to be coached by Anura Tennekoon, Michael Tissera, P.I. Pieris, F.C. De Saram and my father Geoff Wijesinghe. I still fondly remember how my brother Johann and myself being coached by our father at the small club grounds or in our garden. When the sessions became quite vocal, our mother had to pacify our father that cricket was only a sport.

During my period at S Thomas College (1967-1980) I represented the college at athletics, cricket, hockey, rugger and water-polo

Q) Club cricket

A) Played for CCC (Colombo Cricket Club) at cricket and hockey.

Q) Stay in Malta

A) Represented Malta at the Inaugural European ICC Championships at a workshop in the UK in 1992.During my stay in Malta, I represented and captained Malta at cricket from 1991 – 1994 at club and International level.

q) Your contrbution to cricket in Germany-

A) Active participant-steering committee, history,clubs, tournaments, connections with icc, international ratings, my role as the treasurer, future plans, news paper, publications, promotions.scolarships to sri lankan budding cricketers.the budget and how disbursements are performed. funding and tours etc

i have been involved in the administrative side of german cricket for the past 17 years. Initially, I was elected to the post of President of the Bavarian Cricket Association (BCV). Cricket in Bavaria has grown from having eight cricket clubs to 24 clubs in the past eight years.

I was invited to join the National Cricket Body (German Cricket Association) and was elected to the Board. Cricket in Germany is growing in strength with more clubs being established in the past five years. There are 110 clubs registered with German Cricket Association. There are over 10.000 players (mainly of Asian origin) playing the game in different formats.

Germany became an associate member of the ICC in 1991. The Germany Men’s Team is ranked number 31 and the Women’s Team ranked number 35 in the ICC /T20 World ranking. Cricket was first introduced to Germany in 1858 in Berlin.

Q) What are the main challenges facing Cricket in Germany

A) The lack of proper cricket grounds, getting cricket introduced to schools in order to get more German youngsters attracted to the game, given the dominance of football as a sport with German Youth. Indoor training centres for cricket which is vital during the months of October to April, due to the local weather conditions. German cricket is planning to launch the ICC project “criiio” in order to create a greater awareness for Cricket Germany with the locals. Working out coaching programmes at different levels. Spending more manpower and time in setting up a pathway for children to be introduced to cricket and strengthen the present youth cricket programmes. We are in the process of digitalising the administrative functions between Head Office, State Offices and Clubs. German Cricket is managed mostly by volunteers, except for 02 employees. Presently, the women’s and men’s teams have tours mainly within Europe. We are looking at other opportunities of touring outside, especially during the winter months. The President of the German Cricket Association Siegfried Franz and his board is working on a 3 and 5 year plan in order to have stable continuity on and off the field. Cricket at the moment is an unknown product to most of the Germany population of 83 million. The main challenge being to make the sport more available to the local population. Sponsorships are hard to come by and with the awareness for cricket increasing in German households; Cricket Germany would be more attractive to sponsors.

Cricket in mainland is growing with the inaugural European Cricket to be held in July 2019 in Malaga, Spain. The Champion Clubs of eight European countries will play each other in T20 format over a period of three days.

Q) Your thoughts about sri lankan future in cricket, the way it’s run,the performance at the World Cup 2019. the draw backs.

A) The most heartening was to see that we have the talented players. Unfortunately, these players must be nurtured in the mental game. We have a quite good system cricketing at school level, where most of us learn the techniques of the game. Cricket has come a long way; it is a “Billion Dollar Industry”. In our days, if one made it to the First Eleven and had a decent season, then the possibilities of getting a job at one of the Mercantile Companies was a possibility. Now, cricket is an industry on its own. We have to look at industry’s such as “Football”, where talented young footballers (children) are nurtured in the sport, by making available special camps during school breaks for children at different ages. Young players competing at international level needs not only have self-confidence, but also confidence in the team, the coaching staff and the administration. It is pathetic to see a great sport being politicized at administrative level. Given the disarray around the team leading up to the World Cup it is still commendable to some of the players who had the mental strength to concentrate on the job on the field. Stable continuity is the success stories of many establishments. The cricketing industry is dynamic, and Change Management must take place at certain periods.

Q) Is there anything to add?

A) I still play a bit of cricket for my local club Serendib Sports Club – Munich (SSC) on the weekends. It is great to experience the passion and enjoyment the players from different walks of life have for the game.

I hope for the betterment and development of Cricket in Sri Lanka, that parental influence at school level and political influence at club and national level could be reduced. Many young talented players cannot handle such mental stress and ruin their careers.

Lal could be contacted via e [email protected] 

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