Sri Lanka gears to host undergrads World Cup | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka gears to host undergrads World Cup

Brendon Kuruppu at the launch
Brendon Kuruppu at the launch

While Sri Lanka attempts to introduce youngster to the national team, with a view to the World Cup next year and the World T20 in 2020, university-age cricketers from around the world have a chance to hone their skills against the best in the world, when the Red Bull Campus Cricket Tournament arrives in Colombo in September.

The Campus Cricket World Final, which is now in its seventh year, has helped a generation of young cricketers get the taste of the big time, especially in terms of the intensity of competition.

Tournament director Brendon Kuruppu, a former Sri Lanka cricketer said: “Every year that we have played this tournament, the standards have improved.

The last two years of the World Final were especially competitive with teams from South Africa and Bangladesh playing very good cricket, in addition to the team from Sri Lanka.

“The thing that’s really valuable for those cricketers is the experience they get from this tournament. They get first-class facilities, venues, and hotels that an interational cricketer will experience. These university students get that exposure and they are very keen to participate in this tournament.”

In past years, Campus cricket has seen the likes of South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and batsman Aiden Markram along with Indian batsman KL Rahul take part in the tournament.

The teams representing Sri Lanka have also been graced with national players with Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva all taking part, in addition to several others.

The Campus Cricket World Final may be labeled the most high-profile T20tournament to be played in Sri Lanka, aside from international matches according to the organisers.

“This is an under-23 tournament and Sri Lanka has not played an age group tournament of this nature in T20s for the last couple of years,” Kuruppu said. “In that sense it is an important one.” This year’s World Final will be played between September 23 and 29 in Colombo and will feature teams from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the UAE, in addition to the Sri Lanka side.

The teams will play each other in a round-robin format, before the top three teams move into an IPL-style playoffs sequence