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Spirit of Cricket - Forging Lifelong Friendships

“When I came to Australia a few years back I hardly knew anyone. Now I have a big extended family . . . all credit goes to cricket. Cricket always unites people.”

FOR many people who arrive in Australia searching for a new life, joining a local cricket club can provide them with the opportunity to make friends while also retaining an important connection to their homelands.

When Thimothy Shanon left Sri Lanka in 2018 to study accounting at a university in Sydney, he knew only a few people. However, he remembered how playing cricket on the street, and then at school in bustling Colombo allowed him to forge strong friendships.

“Apart from three people, I didn’t know any Sri Lankans in Sydney because all my friends who did first year [at university] with me moved to Melbourne,” he said.

When Shanon saw a social media post asking for people to try out for the team that would represent Sydney’s Sri Lankan community in the Thunder Nation Cup – an initiative which focuses on connecting with community and celebrating culture – he didn’t hesitate to attend the trial.

 

 

His selection in the team was life-changing, with Shanon revealing one of the mates he made in the team helped him get a job at a local supermarket.

“I was happy to meet some Sri Lankans because I live far away from Sri Lanka and had no connection at all,” he said. “But through [cricket] I made lots of Sri Lankan friends [in Sydney].”

Ravi Adabala found himself in the same situation when he arrived in Australia from his native India. However, it didn’t take long for him to make friendships through cricket.

“Right from childhood, cricket helped me to make so many friends,” said Adabala, who represented Sydney’s Indian community in the Thunder Nation Cup. “When I came to Australia a few years back I hardly knew anyone. Now I have a big extended family . . . all credit goes to cricket.