The inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL), which will begin in November, is expected to boost the cricketing interest among young cricketers in Sri Lanka and offer solid opportunities in the future as Jaffna Stallions, one of the five franchises in contention, have already enlisted three young talents from the northern region. Jaffna Stallions is probably [...]


Three home-grown youngsters to represent Jaffna Stallions at inaugural LPL

Team owners aim to boost cricketing interest and offer real opportunities for youngsters of North

The inaugural Lanka Premier League (LPL), which will begin in November, is expected to boost the cricketing interest among young cricketers in Sri Lanka and offer solid opportunities in the future as Jaffna Stallions, one of the five franchises in contention, have already enlisted three young talents from the northern region.

(From left) Viyaskanth, Dinoshan and Kabilraj

Jaffna Stallions is probably the only franchise to include young cricketers from their hometown, as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Selva Waran, intends to motivate the talented youngsters from the region to keep their fingers crossed to represent the team in time to come.

The LPL is scheduled to be played from November 21 to December 13 at Pallekele and Hambantota and the three home-grown youngsters Theivendram Dinoshan, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Kangarathnam Kabilraj, are expected to team up with top names in cricket, including Thisara Perera, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik and Usman Shinwari.

“The inclusion of three Jaffna born youngsters in our team is testimony to the kind of cricketing talent this province has. It is also an encouragement to the cricketing community of Jaffna and rural cricketers across the island. I am confident that LPL will further boost cricketing interest among young cricketers and offer real opportunities in the future. Our consortium shall strive to work beyond the LPL matches and make real grass roots progress to help the development of cricket in Jaffna. We hope one day one of our kids will play at national and international level,” said Waran.

Viyaskanth in action

Jaffna Stallions’ home-grown talents Dinoshan, Viyaskanth and Kabilraj will make their region proud when they commence training with international and national players under the captaincy of Thisara Perera, the professional Sri Lanka cricketer and a former limited overs captain.

The youngest of the three, Dinoshan is just 18-years-old and is still a school player. This gifted all-rounder is very grateful to St. John’s College, Jaffna and the support of his coaches for their part in bringing him to this level in cricket.

He is the vice captain of St. John’s and a very talented all-rounder. Dinoshan has a double century to his credit in school cricket and spearheads the bowling attack and is known to be a safe fielder at any given position. He also represented the Dambulla Under-19 team as a middle-order batsman and a paceman in the Super Provincial Tournament in 2019, organised by SLC.

Kabilraj in action

As an all-rounder Dinoshan has represented his school from the Under-15 age level. He was also part of the Under-15 teams of Jaffna District and Northern Province, while still eligible to represent his school for one more season in school cricket.

Viyaskanth, who is 19-years-old, is from Jaffna Central College. He played for Sri Lanka Under-19s in 2018 and considers it an honour to be part of Jaffna Stallions at the inaugural LPL. He captained Jaffna Central in 2020 and was adjudged the man-of-the-match and best bowler of the 113th Battle of the North encounter in 2019. He has represented his school from Under-15 category and has represented Jaffna District and Northern Province in the same age category. He turned out for the Under-19 teams of Northern Province and Team Dambulla before representing Sri Lanka Under-19s. He is a right-hand middle-order batsman and bowls right-arm leg-spin and has one more season before winding up his school career.

Kabilraj is a 21-year-old cricketer and an old boy of St. John’s College, Jaffna. He too has represented his school from the Under-15 level, and has gone to the extent of representing Under-15 teams of Jaffna District and Northern Province. This opportunity of a lifetime, for the medium pace bowler, is another platform to prove his prowess after earning a reputation as a fearsome bowler claiming 10 wickets each in 2017 and 2018 in the famous Battle of the North big match encounter. He represented Sri Lanka Under-19s in 2019 against India and Australia. Presently he represents Police Sports Club in the SLC Under-23 tournament, predominantly as a medium pace bowler.

“It gives me immense pleasure to present this team to the world, and I am sure we will go all the way to the final with Thisara Perera as the captain and Thilina Kandamby as the coach. We are also very proud to present the three home-grown talented youngsters from Jaffna, Theivendram Dinoshan (18), Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (19) and Kanagarathnam Kabilraj (21) who will play a very important role in the team. I was born and brought up in Jaffna until my late teens and I am now, by God’s grace, working in the United Kingdom. We grew up with tennis ball cricket using makeshift bats of our own handicraft, sometimes we even play cricket on paddy fields, and we call ‘vayal’, during dry seasons. Sadly 30 plus years later we observe that Jaffna is still far behind in cricketing facilities such as grounds with turf wickets etc. Our consortium comprises a group of humble people who wish to ring hope for aspiring youth in Jaffna enabling a new pathway to gain entry to higher grade cricket,” said A. Anandan, Chief Strategist of Jaffna Stallions.

Kangarathnam Kabilraj won two individual awards at the 113th Battle of the North

Vice President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and LPL Tournament Director, Ravin Wickramaratne was overwhelmed by the initiative of Jaffna Stallions, giving the home-grown youngsters the deserving opportunity.

“There is a huge pool of raw talent in every part of Sri Lanka. SLC has always thrived to develop the game in every nook and corner of the Island and I am extremely happy that the Jaffna Stallions too share the same vision for the game. I wish the team all the very best for the LPL,” he said. Jaffna Stallions is owned by a consortium based in the United Kingdom and led by successful healthcare entrepreneur Brindon Bagirathan. He is known and renowned amongst cricket circles, most prevalent in Australia, England and India. The core motivation of the franchise is to develop cricket in the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. This is highlighted by the picking of three Jaffna-based young cricketers.

Anil Mohan, the CEo of IPG, the promoter of LPL, Dubai-based production giant added, “Sri Lanka is all set to witness a new chapter in its cricketing history with LPL and I am confident that the Jaffna team’s performance will help the League grow in stature. The Jaffna team is a good mix of experience and youth and I am sure the fans here will have plenty to cheer about.”

The schedule for the LPL was announced last week with Colombo competing against Galle in the opening match of the tournament on November 21 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. On day two of the tournament, Kandy will take on Jaffna while Dambulla will play against Colombo in Hambantota. The two semi-finals and the final will be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The final of the tournament will be played on December 13 with December 14 being kept as a reserve day.


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