Excitement filled the air as we reached our hotel after nearly a day of travelling. The hot weather greeted us as we stepped down from the air-conditioned coach into the humid air surrounding us. After a sumptuous dinner, we headed to our rooms for an early start the next day, eager for our first match. The surroundings and the intense heat were new to us as we played our first match, yet we kept our spirits up. Although we lost, we gained valuable experiences and our hopes remained high. We spent the evening playing in the swimming pool. The next day saw us toil hard in a two-hour cricket training session with an international Sri Lankan coach, which helped us to a victory the following day.
We then proceeded to our next hotel in Kandy, where the scenery was beautiful, surrounded on all sides by trees and greenery. We visited a Buddhist temple known as ‘The Temple of the Tooth’, which holds the sacred relic of the Buddha’s left tooth. The hotel where we stayed was both lavish and luxurious. We played our last two matches in Kandy under the blistering sun. One of them was on coconut matting, a unique experience for us. At the end of each match, we presented each club or school with some new cricket kit as well as a St Martin’s shield. We swam on the rooftop pool in the evenings and had the chance to watch a cultural show on one of the nights. The performance was fascinating and left us with memories to treasure.
We next travelled to a beach hotel in Negombo, near Colombo. We stopped en route at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, where we saw over forty elephants relaxing in the water. We also celebrated Asad’s 13th birthday with a cake and followed by beach cricket and a swim in the infinity pool. Our tour ended with a post-dinner awards ceremony, where each member of the team received a tour cap. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank Mr Miller, Mr Bell, as well as Mr and Mrs Tidmarsh. The entire tour was remarkable and has left us with fabulous memories to cherish.
Sri Lanka is a large island in the Indian Ocean, south-east of India, and is known as both the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and the ‘teardrop of India’ due to its shape. I was delighted that our cricket tour was to Sri Lanka, because it was the ideal place to go to develop our cricketing skills. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 7th overall in test matches, 6th overall in One Day Internationals, and 8th overall in T20s, therefore meaning that the Sri Lankans definitely know how to play cricket! As well as being lucky enough to go on this cricket tour, we were also able to meet a former Sri Lankan cricketer, who coached us in preparation for our upcoming matches.
One of my main highlights was when I received the Man of the Match award in our final match, for scoring 42 runs and having the bowling figures of 2 for 38 from 7 overs. Even though our team lost narrowly by 40 runs, I was still proud to have made a difference.
Another main highlight of mine was visiting the elephant orphanage, where we watched the elephants being both fed and bathed in the river where they rested. We were also able to watch the baby elephants charge into the river, and the larger elephants stomp mightily along the ground.
I also enjoyed visiting the Temple of the Tooth, a Buddhist temple located in the city of Kandy, where I learnt that Sri Lanka is a prominently Buddhist country, and that the temple houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha, which is on display once every five years. We were also told that it was a sign of disrespect to face away from the Buddha, just like it is in Islam to face away from the Kaaba in Mecca, when Muslims pray.
Visiting Sri Lanka was an experience which I will never forget, and if it hadn’t been for the teachers, I would never have been able to go on this outstanding tour, so I would like to thank them for taking us, and helping us to improve our cricket.
Keshav SReturn to news