18-year-old Eshan is Fastest bowler at 141 km/h | Sunday Observer

18-year-old Eshan is Fastest bowler at 141 km/h

Airtel Fastest winners (from left) Malindu Shehan, Shayani Seneratne and Eshan Malinga
Airtel Fastest winners (from left) Malindu Shehan, Shayani Seneratne and Eshan Malinga

The three best fast bowlers were rewarded at the end of the Airtel Fastest pace bowling program at a ceremony held at the Marino Beach Hotel on September 27.

Eshan Malinga, who competed in the under-19 category set the pace in the entire contest recording a scorching 141 km/h.

Following closely behind was over-19 winner Malindu Shehan who maxed out the speed gun at the finale at 140 km/h, while crowd favourite who has been dubbed ‘the Female Slinga Malinga’ by fans, Shayani Senaratne from Kandy hit a speed of a blazing 104 km/h to take the champion’s title in the Open female category.

“Airtel is driven by a passion for youth empowerment. We are alive to their needs and we work with them, anticipating, adapting and creating platforms that enrich their lives.

With Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest, we sought to unearth young boys and girls from all over Sri Lanka who had the talent to become fast bowlers and to give them access to world-class coaching and mentoring from their own cricketing heroes to realise their dreams of making it to the national squad,” said Jinesh Hegde the CEO/MD of Airtel Lanka.

Another bowler Mohammed Akeel set a fiery pace of 134 km/h in the under-19 category while Mohammed Faheem reached a peak speed of 138 km/h in the over-19 category. Malsha Madushani had a speed of 101 km/h. They were selected from an initial pool of 10,000 aspiring hopefuls from across the country.

The search for fast bowlers commenced in February under the guidance of Sri Lanka’s former National bowling coach, Anusha Samaranayake who conducted open auditions across 11 districts. Subsequently, 145 fast bowlers were selected and narrowed down to the top 45 fastest who went through to the second round which included coaching camps and sessions with the coaching team comprising Samaranayake and current Sri Lankan T20 captain Lasith Malinga, together with other icons Chaminda Vaas, Hashan Tillekaratne and Upul Chandana.

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