On 9th June, The Pakistan Embassy won the first ever SAARC Inter-Embassy Cricket Tournament, held at Sigtuna Cricket Club Stadium in Märsta, north of Stockholm.
Three team captains. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma with H.E. Mr. Nadeem Riyaz, Ambassador of Pakistan and H.E. Mr. A.F.M. Gousal Azam Sarker, Ambassador of Bangladesh
This event was jointly organised by Sri Lanka and Pakistan Embassies in Stockholm. Please find complete results below.
Players of Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh with H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, Ambassador of India and representatives from the Sigtuna Cricket Club
The Embassies of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took each other on in the most gentleman like of games and the teams were also the first ones who got the opportunity to try the brand new combined cricket/soccer field in Sigtuna.
The opening batsman of the Sri Lankan Embassy, Ambassador Alahapperuma in the game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka
H.E. Mr. Nadeem Riyaz, Ambassador of Pakistan and Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma
Sri Lankan Embassy driver Mr. Nuwan Prabath was named “Best Batsman” for scoring 31 rounds and thus provided a certain bit of consolation for the defeated Sri Lankan team.
Sri Lankan Embassy Mr. Nuwan Prabath accepts the prize for “Best Batsman” from the hands of Dr. Ghulam Hussein, former Cabinet Minister of Pakistan
But the “Man of the Match” both by good sport and inspirational spirit was H. E. Nadeem Riyaz, Ambassador of Pakistan. In his speech at the award ceremony, this former opening batsman for the Pakistan Foreign Service team, shared with the players and the audience about his personal battle against cancer. This was the first time since that battle began five years ago that he took a bat in his hand, and he did so with verve. Ambassador Riyaz thanked the Ambassador of Sri Lanka for taking the intiative to organize the tournament and encouraged everyone present to support cancer research.
The Presentation Ceremony
The Sri Lanka team fought bravely under the captainship of Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma, as did the Bangladesh team, but both teams had to admit defeat and finally congratulate the Pakistan Embassy to a well-deserved victory.
This cricket Saturday was an opportunity for team-building, both within the playing teams of the participating Embassies and within the larger South Asian “diplomatic team” which came out strong and ready, despite the threatening rain.
We all hope to meet again on 7th July, when a combined SAARC Embassies team will meet the combined New Zeeland-Australia Embassies team at the same venue, as well as next year, at the 2013 SAARC Inter-Embassy Cricket Tournament.
The Sri Lankan Embassy team. From the left: Mr Nuwan Prabath, Mr. Anjula Varusawithana, Mr. Nimesh Gunawardana, Mr Nohim Galgamuwa, Minister Counsellor S.B. Wijekoon, H.E. the Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma, Third Secretary L.G. Dissanayake, Mr. Sashika Jayasinghe, Mr. B.D.T. Peiris and Mr. Sanjaya Dayananda
Pakistan – Bangladesh
Bangladesh 27 for 5 wickets in 10 overs
Pakistan 28 with losing 2 wickets
Bangladesh – Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 46 for 1 wicket in 10 overs
Bangladesh 47 without losing a wicket
Pakistan – Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 38 for 4 wickets in 10 overs
Pakistan 39 with losing a wicket
Pakistan – Bangladesh
Pakistan 64 for 5 wickets in 10 overs
Bangladesh 33 all out
Pakistan won the final match by 31 runs.