Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest pace bowling prodigy, Arun Pragasham has been selected to play in the Ottawa Club Cricket Circuit, representing the Nepean Cricket Club. As the only Sri Lankan transfer player to be tapped for the club this year, Arun credits the fast bowling competition as being pivotal in opening the door for his career as a professional pace bowler – both locally and now overseas.
“It’s extremely exciting for me to have been selected to play for the Nepean Cricket Club. Before I started the Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest competition, cricket was already a big part of my life. But Sri Lanka has so many talented players that I was never certain that I would be able to continue playing at a professional level. That is why I really want to thank Airtel for creating this opportunity for me to make my dreams a reality.”
“During the programme, I got to train with one of my cricketing heroes Chaminda Vaas. He selected me to the emerging category of the competition and coached me to develop my pace by improving my technique, and focusing my mindset. My ultimate dream is to play for Sri Lanka at an international level. So I’m definitely going to give every opportunity I get, my maximum effort,” Arun explained.
Following his debut on Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest, Arun currently plays for the Moors Cricket Club clocking in an average bowling speed of 139 Km/h, and is now eager to gain invaluable experience during his upcoming 4 month stint within the Ottawa Club Cricket Circuit. Cricket was introduced to the Ottawa region in 1840 and was among the earliest places within the continent where the game gained its popularity. With over 25 clubs present within the circuit, cricket remains a popular sport among the Ontarians.
“This is a proud moment for all of us at Airtel. We warmly congratulate Arun on his selection and we want him to know that all of us will be rooting for him as he proves his mettle in Ottawa. With Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest, we aimed to provide an equal platform in which young bowling talent from all corners of the island could be recognised, nurtured and developed. It’s gratifying to see that representing Sri Lanka at an international level is no longer a distant dream for our young talent. We hope that Arun’s stringent progression after Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest inspire more young Sri Lankans to dream bigger and better,” Airtel’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chandrashekhar Singh Chauhan said.
The young fast bowler began his journey towards fame with Airtel Sri Lanka’s Fastest as part of the 145 select out of the 10,000 initial applicants from around the island. After the inaugural selection, the top 45 fastest bowlers were selected for a second round, which included coaching camps and 1:1 sessions with Airtel’s ‘Super Star Coaching Team’ comprising of legendary death bowling sensation, Lasith Malinga together with icons of the game such as Chaminda Vaas, Hashan Tilakaratne and Upul Chandana. A crowd favourite, Arun came in 3rd place from the over 19 category.
The Nepean Cricket Club (NCC) is a prominent full member of Ottawa Valley Cricket Council which plays the three formats of the game: 50 overs, 40 overs and 20 overs game. NCC is known for its structural development and behavior in and off the field, has debuted more than 100 players and has almost 35+ active players representing them every year.