Athlete swaps the track for cricket that pays | Sunday Observer

Athlete swaps the track for cricket that pays

9 February, 2020
Dushan Hemantha
Dushan Hemantha

Junior athletic National record holder in the 1500m Dushan Hemantha who switched over to cricket, emerged as the player of the tournament in the recently concluded Mercantile B division tournament.

Hemantha is a product of St. Peter’s College and won the best captain’s award at the all island schools cricket awards.

“During school days I was involved in athletic events and was selected to represent Sri Lanka at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship held in Sri Lanka in 2012.”

He was placed eighth in the under-19 category clocking three minutes and 57 seconds to set a new national record.

“My biggest achievement was representing Sri Lanka at the South Asian Games in 2013 in India. I finished third in the respectively event held in Ranchi, India. I like to continue in athletics but cricket is my pet sport now as it is more professional than the track and field events.”

“We need to develop athletics into a more professional level to ensure that athletes are economically stable, otherwise it’s very difficult to continue.”

“As there was more interest in cricket I choose to pursue it. I achieved many milestones at school level. The special one was becoming the runner-up in the most popular Sunday Observer schoolboy cricketer contest in 2013. Kusal Mendis was the schoolboy cricketer that year,” recalled Hemantha.

A right arm spinner Hemantha took 60 wickets and scored 800 runs during the school season. He took 80 wickets, the highest in the 2019 Northumberland and Tyneside League in the UK.