Exclusive: How SLC tried to stop local cricketers unrecognized migration to australia, by signing a MOU with DDCA?

Written by Sumit Seth

In the wake of an unknown local players cricket visa scam, which was busted by the Australia’s Herald Sun earlier this week, some foreigner critics are trying to damage the reputation of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Cricket Age had published yesterday (October 29) with Herald Sun credit, that Sammy Kandage, a Sri Lanka born players agent, who lives in Melbourne now, has come under heavy scanner for obtaining Sports visa’s by unethical methods for first class cricketers from his motherland to provide them a chance to play club cricket in states like Victoria. Kandage, along with one of his colleague, has been accused for demanding thousands of dollars from the players to help in securing visas by allegedly doctoring their career profiles, so they can gain entry to Australia.

After the explosive revelations, questions were thrown at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also.

However, Cricket Age understands that the board was wary of these malpractices of migrating unknown local players to Australia. Moreover, SLC secretary Mohan De Silva took some decisive steps to regularize  player exchange programs and signed a contract with the Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA) in Melbourne In January this year  to send 12 emerging players, who have the potential to represent Sri Lanka in near future. In Board’s attempt to establish a proper chain in sending deserving players to Australia for playing club Cricket, Mohan De Silva had personally visited there and signed a MOU with DDCA president Michael Hawking.

Some of the players, who were selected for the DDCA league, were:

  1. Kamil Mishara  (Batsman, Date of birth- 24/04/2001)

2.  Ravindu Rasantha (Batsman, Date of birth-08/04/2001)

3. Navod Paranavithana (Batsman, Date of birth-16/05/2002)

4.  Mohamed Shamaaz ( Batsman/Wicket Keeper, Date of birth-02/02/2001)

5. Dilshan Madushanka ( Fast Bowler, Date of birth-18/09/2000)

6. Amshi De Silva ( Fast Bowler, Date of birth-11/11/2001)

7.  Ashian Daniel ( Off Spinner, Date of birth-10/02/2001)

8. Kavindu Nadeeshan ( Leg Spinner, Date of birth-31/08/2001)

“We were fully preparing to send more than half a dozen junior domestic players for the Dandenong League, which was scheduled be played during the upcoming Australian season in October-November. Unfortunately, even though the selectors identified the players, because of the Coronavirus crisis, we could’t send them” a top SLC official told Cricket Age. 

Earlier in the day, Cricket Age had published that the SLC has decided to Investigate unknown local players cricket visa scam, which was busted by the Australia’s Herald Sun earlier this week.

“We have decided to setup an investigation to find out whether if board employees are  involved in this big scam. The board president Mr. Shammi Silva has taken these malpractices very seriously and if found guilty, no one will be spared” a top SLC official told Cricket Age. 

A Sri Lankan player – who said he “now hated the game” after his deeply traumatic Melbourne experience – has claimed that he had played just one first class game in Sri Lanka before scoring a sports visa through agent Saman “Sammy” Kandage of SK Sports to play cricket in Victoria.

He handed over $10,000 on arrival at Melbourne Airport late last year and was then provided with accommodation through the same agent in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with 16 other people. He described the living conditions as “like a refugee camp” and at times he feared for his life, he said.


About the author

Sumit Seth