The Educational leaders and mentors from the larger family of CL Educate, over 200 centres from across the country and abroad, meet every year during the Anacon (Annual Academic Conference) and ABC – ABR, Annual business conference and Retreat.
The ABR this year is currently underway in Colombo, at the Heritage Property of Taj Samudra, by the Galle Face Walk Road. Such a pleasure undertaking my morning walks by the Galle Face every day. Here is a short video of Taj Samudra from the seaside walk road.
The first day of the ABR, the evening informal get-together, had bright and brilliant, young and young at heart members of the CL family, who till then frolicking around the swimming pool, relishing Music and drinks, dancing and prancing, were suddenly taken by surprise to see a familiar face on television, a luminary walking onto their midst to shake hands and share smiles. He is none other than Sanath Jayasuriya, the master blaster from the island nation of Sri Lanka who redefined batting in the realm of 50-overs, one day cricket. The current craze of T20 perhaps started from that bellicose approach to batting by Sanath and Kalu (Romesh Kaluvitharuna), Sanath’s opening partner in may one-day matches! This pair was key to ignite Sri Lankan belief, playing under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga and Coach Duleep Mendis, that they can re-define and dominate the one-day cricket format, taking advantage of the field restrictions in the first 15-overs of a match, and go on to win the World Cup in 1996. Of course, I am sure, the Lankan team was inspired by the 1992 world cup victory of Pakistan under the leadership of Imran Khan.
Sanath, now, is mentoring the Kandy team in the Lankan Premier League, apart from being the brand ambassador of the Sri Lankan Tourism. Last night, Sanath has been busy with the league and had the match ending at 7:30pm, then drove himself all the way to Taj Samudra, 2 hours away, interacted with the CL family for an hour or so, and then drove back all thee way to Kandy. That talks about the commitment of the gentleman.
Sanath, interacting with the assembled CL family members, shared about his journey of life, being from a marginal family that could not afford to let a child while away time with Cricket or any sport. How the Principal of the school of Sanath, took interest in him seeing him playing in the nets when he was a eleven year old, to how he travelled from Matara to Colombo, two hours away, to how Arjuna Ranatunga and his mother gave shelter and fed him and many many young cricketers from country side, in Colombo whenever they come visiting to play school tournaments. He also shared that the school cricket is the strength of Sri Lankan cricket and that keeps producing brilliant players that world will continue to witness the magic of.
Here is the full video of the interaction – his realizations and advices to the assembled members of the CL Family.