The self-styled ‘creator’ of the twenty twenty cricket format, Chaminda Pusswedilla, took wing to South Africa yesterday in order to personally supervise the closing stages of the IPL tournament currently being played.
In an exclusive interview, moments before his departure, Pusswedilla revealed some interesting facts about the IPL, twenty twenty cricket and his contribution to same.
When asked as to what he actually knew about the game of cricket, Pusswedilla had this to say. “You know, lots of people don’t know this but when I was schooling in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, I played a lot of cricket. In fact, it was I, who started this whole twenty twenty thing. One day, I was walking in my village (Kotaudagama) when I came across some boys playing cricket. At the same time, I saw that some boys were not given the chance to play because they had some silly rule that only 11 players could be on one side and only 2 people were allowed to do the batting thing.
This was very unfair so I told the boys to let more people play. And so, twenty boys started playing on each side. In fact in Kotaudagama, we play with 4 batsmen and 2 people bowling at the same time. It is a bit confusing but once you pick it up it is superb men. Superb. At Kotaudagama, twenty twenty is not just 20 overs for a side. It’s 20 players, 20 balls for an over. Everything is 20. Even 20 umpires. That is the game that I invented!”
Pusswedilla went on to say that his contribution not just to cricket but to other world changing events, makes him an important personality not just in Sri Lanka but to the whole world as well. The interview was constantly interrupted by stream of calls on Pusswedilla’s mobile phone and he was observed talking to a host of international figures and dispensing advice on a wide range of subjects.
“I don’t want this kind of recognition men. All I want to is make life happier for my fellow countrymen and for the rest of the world. But Preity and Shahrukh were calling and calling and pestering me to come to give away the main IPL trophy. All of them started crying also when I said that I am very very busy. Because they started crying, I said OK, I will come. But don’t worry my fellow countrymen and women.
I will be back soon in Sri Lanka. I will make my public appearance from June 19 to 28, 2009 at the Lionel Wendt theatre. Because of the massive demand to see me, they are selling tickets for my public appearance, so make sure you get your tickets early and you come and see how hardly I am working for all your betterings. I have to go now, cherrie, bye!”
The main sponsor for the performance will be Dialog, while the Co-sponsors will be South Asian Technologies, Colma, Sony, Hameedias, Speitra, Video Image and Leo Burnett. The offical electronic media sponsor is Efm, while the official print media sponsors are The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times.