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Sri Lankan youngsters and Hampshire’s Academy

Wrote about this for my blog in a more general sense but basically it refers to the announcement that Hampshire CCC have reached a deal with Cricket Australia to take six U-19 players and let them play in the top league in the County.

What interested me was that the chairman said that they were in talks to come to a similar agreement with India and Sri Lanka. At the moment it is hard to imagine SLC making a decision for the genuine good of Sri Lankan Cricket but imagine if they really reached an agreement with Hampshire to send six of our most talented U-19 players off to the UK to experience living life in another country and playing and honing their techniques on seaming pitches and overcast conditions. Surely it can only be a good thing given our obvious technical deficiencies in these areas? I know there are places like the Darren Lehman Academy in Australia but as far as I know no Sri Lankan has ever gone there (I might be wrong about this but I checked their website).

I know there are already Sri Lankans playing club cricket in the UK but almost all of them are older professionals who don’t stand a chance of playing for the national team, and I don’t know how the board will manage to fund these youngsters given our appalling financial situation but if an agreement is reached surely they can only be a good thing for the future of Sri Lankan Cricket? Especially if Australia, India and a load of other countries sign up and we could potentially be left behind?

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