Theekshana hails Army’s contribution to cricket
BY ANJANA KALUARACHCHI REPORTING FROM ABU DHABI
Maheesh Theekshana, the 21-year-old finger spinner, is now the joint highest wicket taker of the qualifier tournament as at Thursday (21st), and hailed the contribution made by the Army towards Sri Lanka Cricket which the paved the way for him to qualify for the National Team.
Theekshana, who has mastered the full repertoire of Ajantha Mendis, bamboozled the opposition batsmen, and was adjudged man of the match against Namibia for his three wickets, and claimed another threewicket haul against Ireland to help Sri Lanka seal their berth in the Super 12 round.
“There are about 150 cricketers in the Army, so the competition level is very high. We have our own T20 league and that helped me find a place in the LPL. There’s huge support from them for the cricketers. We can train at any time as the facilities are readily available for us. We were in the T20 finals in the domestic tournament and reached the semi-finals in the oneday tournament.
This shows how much support the Army has given to uplift the game of cricket,” said Theekshana. The former St. Benedict’s cricketer joined the Gajaba Regiment of Sri Lanka Army and made it to the Abu Dhabi T10 League, LPL and then the National team, has become one of Sri Lanka’s trump cards in their T20 World Cup campaign. Theekshana also said former mystery spinner Mendis has been helping him a lot to improve as a cricketer “He was my first coach at Army when I joined their U-23 team.
He has been very supportive, giving me advice on what to do and what not to do. He’s been in constant touch with me and always talk to me about what he couldn’t achieve and where he went wrong during his career,” said Theekshana. Army already had three international cricketers in Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna and Asela Gunarathne before Theekshana came along, and Army cricket has improved a lot since.
The new grounds at Dombagoda where the Army Commanders’ League T20 Tournament was played, helped identify talent, while Gajaba Regiment also recruited former Sri Lanka skippers Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera to strengthen the team, which helped Army to be a force to be reckoned with in the domestic circuit.