Middlesex’s Thilan Walallawita granted British citizenship | Cricket News

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LONDON: Middlesex‘s Thilan Walallawita, who narrowly escaped a devastating tsunami as a boy in Sri Lanka, has been granted British citizenship, the English county announced Tuesday.
His change in status will soon see the 23-year-old left-arm spinner registered as a local cricketer, which means his selection will no longer be governed by rules restricting the use of overseas players in the English domestic game.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time and it feels like today a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Walallawita said in a Middlesex statement.

“I’ve been a part of this county for 10 years and since I first started it’s been my ambition to play as a local player — at last that day has come.”
Walallawita moved to Britain with his family six years after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed over 30,000 Sri Lankans and devastated large parts of his home country.
In England, Walallawita joined Potters Bar Cricket Club, north of London.
After working his way up through Middlesex’s youth system, he became the county’s leading Second XI wicket-taker in the 2019 season, a performance which led to his first full professional contract with the club in 2020.
He made both his first-class and T20 debuts for Middlesex later that summer and his List-A debut in 2021.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Thilan is now in a position to be registered as a local cricketer and his career with the club can continue to thrive,” said Middlesex’s head of men’s performance cricket, Alan Coleman.
“As a left-arm spinner with immense talent, Thilan is a rare breed in modern day cricket, and is someone that we have high hopes for in the game.”



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