The First Ambassadors’ Cricket Cup Brings The Joy Of Cricket To Washington
Embassy of USA
Published: 14 Sep 2013
Ambassadors of eight cricketing nations come together to highlight diplomacy through cricket.
Washington DC, September 12, 2013: The Sri Lankan community cricketers in the United States had a unique opportunity to play under the Sri Lanka flag on Saturday, September 7, 2013, when the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, DC participated in the first Ambassadors’ Cricket Cup, which was held at South Germantown Recreation Park, Maryland.
For the first time ever in Washington, DC cricket served as a tool of diplomacy, bringing together communities from eight different cricket-playing countries to enjoy the sport.
The lively cricket field exhibited the flags of eight cricketing nations flying over their respective tents, and supporters in colorful jerseys gathered for a day of cricket. The beating of drums, music, cheering crowds and the food elegantly created the festive atmosphere and encouraged the players to give their best performance.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya joined the Ambassadors of the eight participating nations to support their teams.
The Sri Lanka team, which comprised Embassy staff members and Sri Lankan-American cricketers, played with similar teams representing Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies and the United Kingdom.
The tournament consisted of six matches of seven overs and the final match of ten overs. Sri Lanka beat the West Indies in the quarterfinals, but lost to Bangladesh in a close game right up to a nail biting finish. The Bangladesh team emerged the champions of the first Ambassadors’ Cricket Cup, beating Australia in the final.
The Embassy of New Zealand and the Embassy of Trinidad & Tobago (on behalf of the West Indies) jointly organized the tournament with the assistance of other Embassies of cricket-playing nations. The cup for the winning team was presented at a dinner reception held at the New Zealand Embassy.
His Excellency Dr. Neil Parsan, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, delivered a splendid speech elaborating on the idea behind the tournament. He emphasized that the tournament provided an excellent opportunity for the embassy staff members and the community to have fun with their families and make new friends. He described how common interests like cricket can bring people together and enhance relations.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya congratulated the winning team and thanked Ambassador Mike Moore of New Zealand and Ambassador Neil Parsan for taking the initiative to organize the tournament.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya noted that cricket, being the world’s second most popular sport and venerated by millions of people in five continents, is a valuable instrument of diplomacy.
“Today we witnessed the power of cricket diplomacy, as diplomats and community members from eight nations joined hands to organize an extremely successful event in a country where the game is hardly heard of. I sincerely hope this event will help increase awareness about this great game in the US”, he said.
He also thanked the Sri Lankan-American cricketers for participating in the tournament and wished them better luck at next year’s Cricket Cup.
With the tremendous success of the first event, the hosting Embassies plan to hold the tournament every year. The Embassy of Bangladesh is confirmed to be the primary host of next year’s tournament.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Ambassador Nirupama Rao of India, (top left), Ambassador Akramul Qader of Bangladesh (top right), Ambassador Kim Beazley of Australia (below left) and Ambassador Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya with Ambassador John E. Beale of Barbados at the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC , on September 7 , 2013
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Sri Lanka Cricket team playing for the first Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC on September 7, 2013
The Hosts of the Tournament (from left): Ambassador of India H.E. Mrs. Nirupama Rao, Ambassador of Australia H.E. Mr. Kim Beazley, Ambassador of New Zealand H.E. Mr. Michael Moore, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago H.E. Dr. Neil Parsan , A diplomat from the South African Embassy , A diplomat from Embassy of the United Kingdom , Ambassador of Bangladesh H.E. Mr. Akramul Qader , Ambassador of Barbados H.E. Mr. John E. Beale of Barbados and Ambassador of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya on September 7, 2013 , Washington DC.
The Toss for the Semi Finals between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh : Mr. Varuna Epasinghe , Minister Educational and Culture of the Embassy of Sri Lanka and Ambassador of Bangladesh H.E. Mr. Akramul Qader are with the umpire , at the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC , on September 7 , 2013
Sri Lankan opening batmen enter to the field with supporters and Sri Lankan flags at the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC , on September 7 , 2013
Sri Lankan Cricket fans cheering for their team playing at the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC , on September 7 , 2013
Sri Lankan Cricket fans sheering for their team playing at the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Washington DC , on September 7 , 2013
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya addressing the gathering at the dinner reception hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand following the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Tournament on September 7 , 2013
Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago H.E. Dr. Neil Parsan addressing the gathering at the dinner reception hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand following the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Tournament on September 7 , 2013
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya at the dinner reception hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand following the Ambassadors' Cricket Cup Tournament on September 7 , 2013. Ambassador Kim Beazley of Australia, Ambassador Akramul Qader of Bangladesh, and Deputy Chief Mission of Indian Embassy Washington Mr.Taranjit Singh Sandhu are also in the photograph