Big hit Sacha inspired by Lara

For a while now one of the most talented young batsmen in Cayman cricket has been Sacha de Alwis, who confirmed his potential with two sensational innings last month in an international tournament and walked away with the star prizes.

He received two Man of the Match awards and the award for most runs scored in the entire tournament at the International Cricket Council Division 1 Under-19 Americas tournament in Fort Lauderdale.

De Alwis was featured in these pages four years ago after getting a tour of Brian Lara’s mansion in Trinidad and saying how excited he was to meet the West Indies legend and how inspired he was. And like his hero, de Alwis is a hard-hitting left hander.

Since then he has developed into a brilliant all-rounder and once his education is over, there seems no limit to what he can achieve in the game.

He said: “If I’m being honest I would have to say that both the innings of 94 against Bermuda and 104 not out against Argentina were amongst my favourite knocks but I don’t think I could say they were my best.

“I feel as though my performance against Bermuda was my best in the tournament but I enjoyed my innings against Argentina more as I was able to lead Cayman to victory.”

Did the honour come as a surprise? “It didn’t as it was my goal since I left Cayman. We all were disappointed that we couldn’t we couldn’t do better, especially against Bermuda and the Bahamas.

“As we lost to Bermuda by just four runs and I feel as though we were a tad complacent against the Bahamian side. At the same time, the talent and the level of maturity shown on the field was exceptional considering the average age on our team was around 16.”

De Alwis, 19, is studying at the Cayman Islands Law School. “I would like to thank Mr. Davies (the head of school) and his staff for allowing me to take leave from my studies during the term itself.

“My team-mates were pleased that I made runs for it was necessary to get as many runs on the board as possible. As a senior on the team it was my duty to lead by example. I could not have achieved this honour had it not been for their support and I really do appreciate my coaches and team-mates.”

His cricket ambitions know no bounds. “At this stage in my life I am looking to develop my game in every aspect. Basically, score a hundred every time, take five wickets every game and above all be as tidy as possible as a fielder and to be a good team-mate.”

He would love to be a full-time pro. “As much as I would love to eat, drink and sleep cricket, I understand that the most important aspect of my life is my academics. I am currently at the halfway point of my studies and once I complete my education, I aim to take some time off to play cricket and go as far as I can.”

Through his parentage, de Alwis could play for Sri Lanka but Cayman is his preferred choice. “I am very happy representing the Cayman Islands because it is an opportunity for me to represent not only a nation that I call home but one that has an immense amount of talent, which is unusual for a country of its size.”

His cricket schedule is hectic. “I look forward to playing first division cricket on Sundays and some second division cricket on Saturdays, but I may have to stop playing altogether for about two months as my final exams for my second year of university are approaching. I hope to represent the senior national team on their next tour during the summer.”