Chushadi Kaushalya: A rising star in cricket | Sunday Observer
Observer-SLT Mobitel Most Popular Schoolgirl Cricketer of the Year 2022

Chushadi Kaushalya: A rising star in cricket

15 January, 2023
Chushadi Kaushalya receives the Most Popular School Girl Cricketer  award from Editor-in-Chief, Sunday Observer, Dinesh Weerawansa. Senior Associate Editor Dudley Jansz looks on.
Chushadi Kaushalya receives the Most Popular School Girl Cricketer award from Editor-in-Chief, Sunday Observer, Dinesh Weerawansa. Senior Associate Editor Dudley Jansz looks on.

The 44th Observer-SLT School Cricketer awards were concluded in December and many hidden gems were discovered in the sports universe of Sri Lanka.

Chushadi Kaushalya of Dharmapala College, Pannipitiya emerged Observer-SLT’s Most Popular School Girl Cricketer. It wouldn’t be wrong to say, Kaushalya is an unparalleled young talent that was unraveled to Sri Lankan cricket world this season. She is a right-hand opener, and she scored an unbeaten 264 runs in 124 balls with 28 boundaries and four sixes against Our Lady of Victories Convent Moratuwa.

Chushadi Kaushalya scored 145 runs in 98 balls with 21 boundaries against Sri Sumangala MV Kelaniya. She scored 145 runs in 67 balls with 24 boundaries and 2 sixes against Ananda MV Kottawa. And she also scored 56 runs in 35 balls with 12 sixes and a six against Dharamaraja MV Mampe.

Kaushalya was born on 7th November 2003. She participated and excelled in 100 and 200 meters and 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay events at the under-15 age limit at school level, when she was age nine. She was also exceptional in Long Jump and was qualified to go to the provincial level.

Having commenced volleyball in 2017 she also became an excellent volleyball player and was adjudged as the school under 18 Best Player and the Attacker in her school (Kottawa Dharmapala at the time).

She also won Gold in the under-18 Taekwondo 44-46 lbs category at the National school meet.

She took up cricket only a couple of year’s back. She is already a star cricketer. There is clearly natural talent and a sportsman’s spirit within her.

In the light of her recent win as the most popular schoolgirl cricketer, this week we reached out to Kaushalya to get to know her a little bit.

In conversation with Kaushalya, here’s what we found out;

Q: Did you expect to become the most popular schoolgirl cricketer?

A: Well. Our names were displayed weekly so, so my name kept going up and down the list. There were moments when I thought it was never going to happen and other times I had some hope. Toward the end I had some idea that I would get it, however, there was a little doubt in my mind. I am so happy about this achievement.

Q: Tell us the story behind you entering the why did you enter the Sunday Observer Cricket Awards 2022 contest?

A: Initially, I wasn’t too motivated to enter this competition, however my coach, S.B Senanayake thought it was a very good opportunity and encouraged me to enter. He believed that it would help give us some exposure and also get my name out there and help me with my career ahead as I plan to pursue cricket as a profession.

Q: When did you start playing cricket?

A: Actually, my cricket journey is only two years. I went to school at Kottawa Dharmapala College from grade one and played softball cricket there. We didn’t have cricket so I never had the opportunity to play. But I was a cricket fan and I played for fun and I knew I liked it. And then I transferred to Pannipitya Dharmapala College to do my ALs. Pannipitya Dharmapala has a cricket team and this is when I started playing, learning, and enjoying myself, and before you know it I fell in love with it.

After playing a little bit I realized I was good at it and then thought this is going to be something I could do for a lifetime. It is funny how the entire plan for my future changed in the past two years, having been introduced to cricket.

Q: What are your future plans for cricket?

A: I like playing cricket and I want to do it as a profession. My aim is to play for the national team someday and I will do my best to get there.

After my ALs my coach asked me to come back to school to start training again and this way we will start playing for clubs and then work my way up.

Q: Do you see sports in your higher studies?

A: I am currently doing my ALs in the arts stream at Pannipitya Dharmapala College and I am hoping to do my best and get into university. I would like to pursue a sports science degree as I believe that this would also support my career as a cricketer.

Q: Are your parents supportive of you playing cricket?

A: My parents are supportive and they want me to pursue what I like. They have encouraged me to do my best from day one and I am very grateful to have their support. My brother is very supportive too, he drops and picks me up from practice every day as well.

Q: How supportive are your friends and teachers in Pannipitiya Dharmapala?

A: My friends are very supportive. They give me notes and help me with lessons I may miss due to practice. Even most of my teachers keep notes for me and also let me retake term tests in case we miss them.

Vidara who was also in this competition with me is also a junior from my school.

We were both given a lot of help and assistance by the school administration and teachers and I am very grateful for that.

We gave Kaushalya a chance to dedicate her win to those who supported her and extend her gratitude to those around her and she said, “I am extremely grateful to my coach sir, and my parents and my brother who always believed in me and encouraged me to be better.

I also thank my school teachers, my principal, the provincial district-level coaches, and everyone else who supported me.

We wish Kaushalya all the very best in her future endeavours.