The Foundation of Goodness confirmed on Tuesday that it is organising a Murali Harmony Cup Unity Tour to the United Arab Emirates following an invitation from Kevin Pietersen’s KP24 Foundation.
The Unity Squad includes exceptionally talented U19 cricketers from different schools island-wide, including five boys from previously war-affected areas in the North and East.
The young cricketers were invited to participate in the tour after their outstanding performances during the 2015 Murali Harmony Cup completed in October.
The Unity Squad, designed to showcase Sri Lanka’s cultural diversity while promoting nation-building and reconciliation, will depart for the UAE on 25 November for the 10-day tour.
The 12-member squad will be captained by wicket-keeper batsman Nipun Haggalla from Ananda College.
The initiative is spearheaded by England legend Kevin Pietersen who has set-up a cricket academy based in Dubai to develop cricket worldwide.
The flagship 24/7 project aims to unearth talent in some of the poorest communities from some of cricket’s greatest playing nations.
Seven teams each from different countries, will take part in a fully funded trip to Dubai where the players will gain unique access to the KP Academy.
A 7-day intensive training camp will culminate with a T20 World Cup style tournament played over the final 3 days of the 10-day tour.
During this period a player will be identified from each country and be offered a very special Foundation Scholarship, fully supporting them in the next phase of their personal development back in their homeland.
This player will be flown back to Dubai the following year to assist with the delivery of the next intake of the 24/7 Project as a playing ambassador.
Unity Squad: Nipun Haggalla (Captain) - Ananda College (Wicket Keeper & RH Batsman); SK Kiritharan - Mannar & Vavuniya Combined Schools (RH Batsman); Vishwa Dissanayake - Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala (LH Batsman & Left Arm Leg-Spin); Avishka Shehan - Trinco & Batti Combined Schools (RH Batsman & Right Arm Medium Bowler); Dileepa Sandaruwan - Monaragala Combined Schools (RH Batsman & Right Arm Off-Spin); MMG Akalanka - Up Country Combined Schools (LH Batsman & Right Arm Fast Bowler); Niroshan Benjamin - St John’s College Jaffna (RH Matsman & Right Arm Fast Bowler); KK Kevin - Richmond College Galle (LH Batsman & Right Arm Leg-Spin); S Thasoban - Jaffna Combined Schools (RH Batsman & Right Arm Off-Spin); Bhanuka Pamuditha - P De S Kularatne College Ambalangoda (RH Batsman & Right Arm Off-Spin); Chanuka Asinsana - Debarawewa Central College (RH Batsman & Right Arm Off-Spin); and Mugunthan Nithushan - Kilinochchi & Mullaitivu Combined Schools (LH Batsman & Right Arm Off-Spin).
Officials: Joel Fernando - Manager, Chaminda De Silva - Asst. Manager / Tour Coordinator and AS Nishanthan - Schools Representative.