Expatriate Sri Lankan Cricket team plays for Nations Cup in Qatar

To celebrate the National Day of Qatar on 18th December, the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Qatar Cricket Association have organized a Nations Cup tournament for the cricket-loving Asian Community in Qatar. The four teams that will contest in the tournament are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The population of these four countries account for more than a million in the total population of 2.5 million in Qatar and of this Sri Lankans account for almost 150,000.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Qatar comprises of many former school and club cricketers from Sri Lanka who now live and work in Qatar. The 18 member squad was selected from among 30 Sri Lankan cricketers in Qatar. As a team they have been practicing for about a month in preparation for the tournament.

The Sri Lankan squad for the Nations Cup in Qatar

Rizlan Iqbar  (Captain) former St Anthony’s College Kandy and Kandy Cricket Club (KCC) Sri Lanka Under19, Vice Captain Qatar National Cricket Team

Gayan Buddika (Vice Captain) Former Gurukula College and Moors CC, Qatar National Cricket Team Member

Andri Berenger – Former St Peter’s College, Sri Lanka under 19, Colombo CC, Represented UAE national Cricket team from 2013 to 2015 ICC cricket world cup.

Imal liyanage – Former Royal College, Colts / Tamil Union / Baduraliya, Qatar National Cricket Team Member

Mohamed Nayeem – Former Nasriya Central College & Chilaw CC

Assad Borham – Former Zahira College, Moors SC & Chilaw Marians

Imraz Rafi – Former Zahira College & Moors Sports Club

Sandun Chamara Withanage – Former Kalutara Vidyalaya & Port Authorities CC

Yasindu Prabashwara  – Former Kularathna College Ambalangoda and Rio C.C

Shaheen Sabri – Former Zahira College and Moors SC

Kalith Amarasinghe – Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha & Qatar National U19 Cricket Team

Zayan Ismath – Msaieed International School, Qatar National U16 & U19 Cricket Team

Romelo Kumarage – Cambridge International School Doha and Qatar National U19 Cricket Team  

Imran Yaseen – Former Madina central College and Kandy CC

Rajeewa Nirmal – Former Sri Sumangala College and Panadura CC

Jeewaka Samarakoon – Former Rathnayake Central College

Mohamad Munshif – Former Paragahadeniya National School and Galagadara Sport Club

Moshin Khan Murshid – Former Welimada Muslim Maha Vidyalaya

Head Coach : Saman Fonseka -Former Mahinda College and Galle CC (ICC Level 2)

Assistant Coach : Lahiru Chathuranga –Former Ananda College, Wattala Antonians& Ragama CC (ICC Level 2)

Team Manager Tharik Mansour– Former Al-Manar Central Collage and Kandy  Cricket Club – KCC (ICC Level 2)

The tournament will be a T10 tournament which is intended to create a lot of excitement among the Asian community as this is the closest they get to an Asian cup.

Speaking on the upcoming tournament, Head Coach Saman Fonseka shared his thoughts. “As a cricket loving Sri Lankan community we are excited to play in this tournament. Living away from our own country, this gives us an opportunity to raise the Sri Lankan flag in Qatar. We expect a good tournament and we are confident that we can win it as we have a well-balanced team. All our team members play in the Qatar domestic premier league and also many represent Qatar National Team as well. We have included three talented young Sri Lankans who are Qatar U19 players as well into the squad. This is mainly to give them an opportunity to contribute and mostly to learn from the seniors”

The captain of the Sri Lankan team Rizlan Iqbar  said “We are eagerly looking forward to the tournament. This is our time to showcase Sri Lankan talents in Qatar and also to bring pride to our motherland”. Rizlan is also the Vice Captain of the Qatar national team thus bringing a lot of experience to the Sri Lankan squad.

The Sri Lankan Team in Qatar last won the Nations Cup tournament in 2016, under the captaincy of the current team Coach Saman Fonseka. They are looking forward to win it again this year with a new team that is full of potential.

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