Sri Lankan Asoka Wijeratne has been selected by the Board of Veterans, Cricket Australia for the 0ver 60’s team that is due to tour the UK in July this year.
The selection will give him the chance to wear the “Baggy Green” cap and his selection to the squad of 17 was from 30 nominations that were received.
Asoka’s dad Tiddy now in his 90’s is a legend in Canberra. Although physically a little frail, but alert fully mentally, and played quite a bit of cricket himself in Australia since migrating in the 70’s.
Asoka had his formal education at Mahinda College Galle and later at Ananda College where he played in the under 16 cricket team before migrating to Australia in 1971.
He attended High School in Sydney and entered University of NSW (UNSW) to undertake a degree in Chemical Engineering which also enabled him to play cricket for UNSW from 1974 to 1983. He played in the 1st Grade team that won the championship akin to the Sara Trophy championship in Sri Lanka.
At the time Australian Test cricketers like Lawson, Whitney, Turner, Benaud (John), Chappell (Trevor) and Dyson played 1st Grade cricket regularly.
After graduating Asoka has been in the water industry in Sydney and Canberra. After 10 years or so in the workforce in Sydney he moved to Canberra in 1988. In 2004 he was appointed General Manager Water at ActewAGL – a public private partnership. He left full time work in 2013 and since has been doing part time work including consultancy in Canberra and outside and playing cricket.
“I must say cricket has been very good to me. When we arrived in 1971 - Australia was in the process of dismantling the White Australia policy, playing cricket made it a lot easier to ‘get into the swing of things’,” said Asoka who lives with his wife and baby boy.
“I even managed to get holiday work when I was at University due to meeting people I played cricket against. This sort of experience has led me to believe that people whatever colour, creed etc. on the whole are good - of course there are the bad apples,” he said. (Daily News)