Another Mendis working to challenge India

Updated: 01 August 2008 06:35 IST

One Mendis is already tormenting India on the field, but unknown to many, there is another one who's preparing the ground for many other Lankans.

Another Mendis working to challenge India

Colombo, Sri lanka:

One Mendis is already tormenting India on the field, but unknown to many, there is another one who's preparing the ground for many other Lankans to do the same.

Lionel Mendis runs a unique coaching centre at the interestingly named Nondescripts Cricket Ground in Colombo, which trains not just the local talent, but a host of others from India, Pakistan and even Malaysia.

Cricket is a religion in itself in India. It cuts across race, caste, colour, creed and age. In neighbouring Sri Lanka too, it's pretty much the same, atleast in the nondescript cricket club.

There religion matters little, producing Christians, Muslims and Buddhists who have served Sri Lanka with distinction.

And now to show just how far cricket has progressed as a global game, we could even see Pakistani immigrants going on to represent Sri Lanka.

We in India know if there is one sport that can cut across boundaries it is cricket. For a smaller nation like Sri Lanka where cricket is everything, this feeling can only be more divine. None more so evident than at Nondescripts cricket club.

At Nondescripts cricket club, religion matters little. The task is to produce Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, who have served Sri Lanka with distinction. And now to show how far cricket has progressed as a global game. Pakistani immigrants have went representing Sri Lanka.

Lionel Mendis taking the concept of a relaxed coaching system a bit too literally. But these two young Pakistanis Umar and Mushtaq have benefitted enormously from it.

These under-13 cricketers are part of the 'nondescripts' cricket club in Sri lanka, and going by the stars that the club has produced like Aravinda De Silva and Kumar Sangakkara the club is anything but Non descript.

Boundaries of religion and culture matter little, no wonder Umar and Mushtaq's families chose to immigrate from Pakistan a few years back, they now look forward to seeing their family represent Sri Lanka someday

"His coach has said that if he continues playing like this he'll be the next Ajantha Mendis. I will support my son completely," said Irshad, father of Under-13 cricketer.

"I see them as one unit. We are a happy family," said Lionel Mendis.

Another Mendis may be mesmerising India, but it is hard to ignore the contribution of Lionel. Having been one of the pioneering influences of this 1982 formed club, he has also coached legends like Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahela Jayawardene.

Such is Mendis' reputation that families from India, Pakistan and Malaysia are willing to entrust their children under his training regimen.

Next month Bangalore will get a glimpse of just how talented these youngsters are as they travel to participate in an under-13 tournament.

Cricket sometimes goes beyond national boundaries and cultural boundaries to bring about some unexpected stories, sometimes when these children touch the heights of success, it will be a universal success for cricket.



Topics : Cricket Ajantha Mendis
Related Articles
ICC Reason Behind Mohammad Asif Not Playing For Pakistan?
ICC Reason Behind Mohammad Asif Not Playing For Pakistan?
No Game Time For MS Dhoni Before First ODI vs England?
No Game Time For MS Dhoni Before First ODI vs England?
1st ODI: Steven Smith Ton Powers Australia to 68-Run Win Over New Zealand
1st ODI: Steven Smith Ton Powers Australia to 68-Run Win Over New Zealand
Show Comments
Advertisement