All-rounder obvious choice to captain team

The ACC team after they won the LMS tournament in December last year at Britannia Reserve in Leederville.
The ACC team after they won the LMS tournament in December last year at Britannia Reserve in Leederville.

WHEN a Perth-based association for refugees started its own cricket team, there was no doubt who would be captain.

Kapil Dev, who shares his name with the Indian cricketing great, has been playing cricket since he was a young boy in Sri Lanka and was the first person the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS) contacted to be part of the ASeTTS Cricket Club (ACC).

After leaving Sri Lanka in 2007 during the civil war to take refuge in Malaysia, Kapil travelled to Australia by boat in 2013, where he spent a month at Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre and two months at Curtin Immigration Detention Centre.

�I still remember the golden memories when I was 10 years old, after finishing grade five exams, my grandma presented me a tennis ball and a bat,� he said.

�Since then I have been solely playing cricket, which gives me happiness.

�I will play cricket where ever I go.�

Kapil was the obvious choice for captain when the ASeTTS started a cricket team.

ASeTTS development co-ordinator Tharanga De Silva said no one could match Kapil�s love of cricket.

�He was the first client we contacted – he really loves cricket a lot,� Mrs De Silva said.

The association provides services to refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced torture or trauma in their country of origin, during their flight to Australia, or while in detention.

Kapil, who is an all-rounder, said the ASeTTS team was made up of Sri Lankan refugees and asylum seekers from both Tamil and Sinhala ethnic groups.

He said the team had to drop out of this season�s Last Man Stands (LMS) competition because of the club�s financial situation, but recently received $2000 funding through the CommBank Cricket Club Sponsorship, which would help with future tournaments.

�Most of the team players have not been granted work right, so it was hard to play in the tournament due to the financial support,� he said.

�At the moment more asylum seekers joined with our club and we started to play local tournaments; this month some of our players are going to participate in Australian LMS Championship in Gold Coast.