Sri Lankan veteran cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya in an unprecedented message to budding schoolboy players called on them to commit themselves a hundred percent while paying the utmost attention to discipline and conceding that talent will mean nothing in the absence of hardwork.
“When I started I just played because I liked the game but it is different now”, the former St. Servatius College Matara schoolboy told a packed hall of junior cricketers gathered at the BMICH in Colombo yesterday for their annual cricket awards ceremony.
“You can be talented but these talents will be of no use if there is no discipline and no commitment at training and practices”, he warned.But he also told the under-privileged youngsters not to lose heart saying there was always light at the end of the tunnel. “I know that some of you come from the villages and find it very difficult. But I can assure you that if you commit yourself and train hard with what you have you will succeed in your quest”, said Jayasuriya who looked as fit as a fiddle as he received a thundering applause from parents and kids alike.
Before addressing the schoolboy players Jayasuirya was presented to them as a role model by a pioneer cricket commentator Premasara Epasinghe who described the batting maestro as a “true ambassador” of Sri Lanka.
“Just because you take a bat and hit a ball don’t think that you are someone. Look at Sanath Jayasuriya, he is such a humble person who respects people. He is an international figure but is also a simple man. Be like him he is your role model”, Epasinghe told the schoolboy players.