Rizlan, second Sri Lankan to lead a foreign country in cricket | Daily News

Rizlan, second Sri Lankan to lead a foreign country in cricket

M. Rizlan Iqbar, the Kandy cricketer who learnt his cricket at St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota, the 2004 captain has got a break to lead the Qatar national cricket team. Therefore, Rizlan becomes probably the second Kandy and Sri Lankan cricketer to lead a foreign country in cricket, earlier too it as Antonian Thaiyar Mohamed, captain of 1977 school team went on to captain the Singapore national team, now domiciled in Perth, Australia.

Rizlan as an outstanding all-rounder captained the school’s First-XI in 2004. Rizlan played for St. Anthony’s for four consecutive years. His cricketing career started at the Under-13, 15 and 17 age groups at St. Anthony’s. He represented the school in almost all national inter-school tournaments during his school career.

Then, at the all-island inter-club cricket, Rizlan played as the Vice Captain of the Kandy Cricket Club. He later played for Kandy Youth Cricket Club and Old Antonians SC too. Rizlan’s national career began when he was part of the Sri Lanka schools’ cricket pool. In 2003-2004 season, he represented Sri Lanka Under-19. Later, from 2006 to 2013, he went on to captain the Asian Cricket Club. Then he played Twenty20 Internationals and official 50-over games, named “List A” matches, organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Rizlan’s remarkable cricket journey continued when he became a member of the Qatar national team in 2010. He became Qatar Vice Captain in 2016. Since year 2014, Rizlan had been leading the Galfar Cricket Club in the country’s domestic league. Then, in December 2019, Rizlan was selected to play for the team Falcon Hunters in the inaugural “Qatar T10 League”.

Rizlan played a crucial role in helping his team to lift the trophy with his batting and wicket-keeping prowess. In this T10 league, Rizlan received two Man of the Match awards and the Man of the Series award as well. He became the leading run-scorer of the league. Through his efforts, Falcon Hunters could clinch the inaugural season of the “Qatar T10 League”. Rizlan is a right-handed opening batsman and a wicketkeeper. He is now an energetic and highly motivated Level-II cricket coach, conducting coaching particularly for the juniors.

He works as the Head Coach of the Qatar premiere-division club, Galfar Al Misnad cricket team. His forte in coaching is his capability to implement advanced strategies and teach game tactics to the youngsters. He obtained his Level-II qualification at the Cricket Coach Education Course conducted by the ICC Academy in Dubai in May 2019. He got ACC Level-I in April 2015 before receiving accreditation for Level-II coaching by the Qatar Cricket Association in Doha in December 2016.


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