Island Cricket

Sunday, November 25, 2007

[Video] A Tsunami Sucess Story | Upul Tharanga

For Upul Tharanga the last 13 months have been very hard work, not only has he had to concentrate on building up his cricket career but also help his family get back on their feet and get over the devastating Tsunami that ravaged the coastal areas of Sri Lanka in December 2004. The Tsunami devastated Upul's Ambalangoda home while he was in Colombo playing for the Sri Lanka A team. His home and belongings were washed to the sea but thankfully his family members remained unharmed and he says that is the biggest relief for him.

"The tsunami is now a thing of the past for me. It happened to so many people in lot of countries and I am glad that my family members were safe. When such natural disasters come you only thank the Lord if you or your family members can survive througt it," he remarked when asked about the devastation. The youngest in a family of five, Upul says his family still lives in Ambalangoda and his father still runs a fish supermarket and his brothers are also employed near their home. "People and many of my cricket colleagues were very helpful to me after the tsunami. I landed a job with Seylan Bank at a time when my father's fish store was not making money and aided by help from some cricketing pals I was able to concentrate on my cricket and make it to the national team," he recalled.

Upul has come though under-15, 19, school and provincial cricket and finally with the Sri Lanka A team before landing in the senior team where his first job was to open with Jayasuriya in the third and final Test against India at Ahmedabad in December, his debut Test.

"It was a dream for me to play for the Sri Lanka team since childhood. I worked hard hoping someday to get selected for the team and I am very happy that I could do it at the age of 20," he added.


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