MCC has awarded Kushil Gunasekera, founder of the Sri Lankan charity the Foundation of Goodness (FOG), Honorary Life Membership of the Club.
The invitation was made at a recent meeting in Colombo in the presence of fellow MCC Honorary Life Member Kumar Sangakkara, and acknowledges Kushil Gunasekera’s inspirational work in the development of the MCC Centre of Excellence, which has transformed the lives of thousands of Sri Lankans over the past eight years following the 2004 tsunami.
In addition to providing medical and dental facilities serving around 50 surrounding villages, the MCC Centre of Excellence, located in Seenigama and established by Gunasekera in his ancestral property, provides relevant life skills and vocational training by way of twelve different empowerment initiatives, with a focus on education and encouraging participation in cricket.
Gunasekera joins a select group of current and former players, umpires, administrators and journalists, who are already Honorary Life Members of MCC. The list includes fellow Sri Lankans and supporters of the Foundation of Goodness – Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralidaran – alongside past greats such as Sir Garfield Sobers and modern heroes such as Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar.
Upon accepting the invitation, Kushil Gunasekera said:
“I am amazed and utterly surprised to be offered MCC Honorary Life Membership. It is a most unimaginable honour bestowed upon me; it is an extraordinary gesture on the part of MCC for which I am deeply indebted.
“I would like to sincerely thank all those who have made the partnership between MCC and the Foundation of Goodness flourish over the years since its inception. The opportunity created to work with the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club undoubtedly paved the way for me to do all the work I did, not only in support of cricket development in the rural villages, but also to provide various empowerment initiatives. In the course of this partnership we have enabled thousands of disadvantaged rural beneficiaries to make better progress for their future well being and prosperity.
“Receiving this rare privilege I am encouraged and inspired to continue our great work.”
President of MCC, Mike Griffith, said:
“It was a great honour for me, on behalf of the MCC Committee, to offer Honorary Life Membership to Kushil Gunasekera in recognition of his outstanding and inspirational work for the Foundation of Goodness and the MCC Centre of Excellence.
The FOG represents a pioneering community project, which everyday transforms the lives of thousands of local Sri Lankans, and I am very proud that MCC is associated with the charity.
“MCC is delighted that Kushil has joined the Club, and I very much look forward to welcoming him to Lord’s in the future.”
Honorary Life Membership is awarded by the MCC Committee to individuals in recognition of the service they have given to cricket and projects surrounding the game, often over a very long period. There are now more than 300 Honorary Life Members of MCC out of a total Full Membership of 18,000, and Gunasekera is the eleventh Sri Lankan to be invited to be an Honorary Life Member of the Club.
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