The legspinner who beat poverty
Pulina Tharanga could not afford training shoes. He lost his parents to the sea. Yet he continues to draw attention in Sri Lanka's cricket circles and impressed Kumar Sangakkara with a gutsy innings at the recently concluded Under-19 World Cup. The Island Cricket's Hilal Suhaib in conversation with the 18-year-old.
"When my parents were alive, I found it hard to play cricket because a pair of training shoes was too expensive for us," he says. "Once, when I told my mother that I was selected to play for my school, she looked upset. I asked her why she looked so sad, and she said that she was happy that I was selected and wanted me to play cricket, but she didn't have the money to buy me shoes or any other equipment. Later, my coach spoke to her and explained that I could play very well and convinced her to let me play. Every morning, my mother would make string-hoppers and I would sell them to the shop near our home. We would get 75 rupees for 100 string-hoppers. Eventually, we raised 2000 rupees for a pair of shoes."