A few months ago I made a humble request to Oman Cricket without my father’s knowledge, and requested to send in an article to them about my father, Duleep Mendis. They graciously replied and asked me to send it in.
As I typed “Duleep Mendis” on the Google search bar I encountered more than 29,000 results. The one which caught my eye instantaneously was an article written recently on the stunning victory achieved by the Oman cricket team, when they needed to get 3 runs off 7 balls against Namibia and Zeeshan Ahmed hit a shocking six. In the moment Oman cricket made history that day at the ICC World Cup Twenty20 Qualifiers 2015.
I have encountered many occasions in my life when people I have met from different nationalities have taught me, about my father’s cricketing career to his batting style and even his questionable choices of refraining from wearing a helmet when facing the great Jeff Thompson who produces deliveries at an average of over 100 miles per hour.
In all honesty I have heard many a stories but until then I did not have a broad knowledge of my father’s cricketing career. When I would ask him about these cricketing stories mentioned to me about him, he would respond with a head nod and a subtle smile. To everyone who knows him would know that he is a man of few words.
My main objective for writing this article was simply to convey the utmost gratitude that my mother, two brothers and I have for Oman Cricket for giving my father the opportunity to be a part of a company which treats him like their own.
My father’s career in Oman Cricket continues to uplift his spirits and persevering ways. He is a man who will never take credit for his hard work and dedication he puts in. But my family sees that every day and how much he enjoys doing what he loves, which is being a part of cricket.
There have been occasions when we as a family have questioned him while sitting at dinner together, as to why he chose a career in cricket as oppose to another career. His response will always be ‘cricket is who I am and it is what I love to do’. With any job comes along the pressures and hard work entitled to it. Sometimes we didn’t understand how one individual could be this passionate for several decades; however we continue to support him as a family.
When Oman cricket achieved some major milestones during the past year, my brothers and I would each receive a phone call, be it at 3am in the morning and we could hear the elation and excitement in our father’s voice which to any child would be a great joy.
My father is ever so grateful to Oman Cricket for giving him the opportunity to uplift cricket in Oman. He will not stop until he himself knows for certain that he has done the best job required from him, and he himself will set his expectations extremely and sometimes even unrealistically high. But he will achieve what he promises to do so.
Finally, on behalf of my beautiful mother, two brothers and I would like to thank you Oman Cricket for taking my father on board and creating an environment which is a home away from home. It goes without saying that he is enjoying his time in Oman and we are every so grateful that you saw him as the true gem that he is to our family.
– Meneka Mendis