Local Sports

You must have a dream, Sri Lankan legend Herath tells Dubai youngsters

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on May 25, 2020
Herath, one of the greatest orthodox left-arm spinners to have played the game, said no player can reach the highest level without hard work

"Talent alone will not help you fulfill your cricketing dreams," legendary Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath told the students of Desert Cubs Sports Academy during a Zoom conference on Monday.

Herath, one of the greatest orthodox left-arm spinners to have played the game, said no player can reach the highest level without hard work.

The 42-year-old Herath, a late bloomer who emerged from the giant shadow of Muttiah Muralitharan to script many a great Sri Lankan victory in his late 30s, said he never gave up hope despite repeatedly losing his place in the team during the early stage of his career.  

"You must have a goal, you must have a dream. And you need to chase the dream, so if you have that kind of a determination, you will have the good foundation," said Herath while taking part in the Desert Cubs Sports Academy's online initiative to keep their students motivated at the time of social distancing.

"Of course, you will get frustrated when you get dropped, the same thing happened to me as well. The only thing is I hoped and I always believed.

"I first played for the national team in 1999 and then I was left out. So I thought if I could play for Sri Lanka once, I could play again.

"If you see my career, I have been dropped so many times. But I always wanted to play for Sri Lanka and perform. That's why I kept working hard on my game and never gave up hope.

"Also, I was lucky that I never had to worry about money. My family always helped me. But having said that, it was the hard work that I put in helped me fight back, earn my place again and perform."

Accuracy, Herath says, is another area that young bowlers must focus on.

"If you don't have accuracy, you can't be a successful bowler. For accuracy, you need to have practice. I always believe, if you have the preparation and practice, it allows you to the handle match situations easily," said Herath who took 433 wickets in 93 Test matches.

"Also, when you are practicing, your focus is very important. There has to be a reason behind your practice. The purpose is very important. Without purpose, there is no point. If you are bowling to a left hander in practice, you have to plan the same way you do in matches."

And even during these unprecedented times, Herath revealed how cricketers could still do their regular practice.

"Of course, you can't ask them to bat or bowl. It's not possible. But still there are things that they can do. If you are a spinner, you can do finger exercises at home," he said.  

Herath is the latest player to join Desert Cubs Sports Academy's online initiative to motive their students amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We also had big names like Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Ravichandran Ashwin who shared their experience with our students. Next month we will get some more big names," Presley Polonnowita, founder and head coach of the academy, told Khaleej Times.


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