Cricketing legend Mahela Jayawardene is to be contracted as an overseas player in the The Georgie Pie Super Smash Twenty20 competition for Central Districts Cricket team, Central Stags in New Zealand. This agreement was made possible by key sponsor Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and facilitated by Pro X New Zealand Ltd.
Mahela’s first game for Central Districts will take place on 19 November 2015 at Nelson’s Saxton Oval ground and will be followed by several more games during November and December across the bottom half of New Zealand’s North Island.
As part of the arrangement Mahela will act as brand ambassador for NMIT and undertake a range of promotional activities on behalf of the educational institution including social media and attendance at events in Sri Lanka and New Zealand over the coming 12 months.
Of the agreement, NMIT Chief Executive Officer Tony Gray said, “NMIT is delighted to announce this exciting partnership with one of crickets all-time greats, Mahela Jayawardene. Our relationship with Mahela began with his first visit to NMIT a year ago and since then we have provided aquaculture expertise for his Ministry of Crab restaurant business, supported his Foundation of Goodness charity in Seenigama and more recently been the major sponsor in Mahela's overseas player spot at Central Districts Cricket.”
"What immediately impressed me about Mahela is his integrity and very obvious passion for his country," says NMIT Chief Executive Tony Gray. "We are seeing a growing number of Sri Lankan students at NMIT who are enjoying their learner experience with us, working with local businesses and seeing their studies with us as providing opportunities for their career development both in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Mahela is a very much a role model in Sri Lanka and we believe his support of NMIT adds another endorsement to the excellent experiences Sri Lankan students can have with us.”
“I am thrilled to be playing for the Stags in this year’s Super Smash. I have enjoyed playing in New Zealand throughout my career and playing for one of the leading domestic teams will be a new and exciting challenge.” Said Mahela.
Mahela also said that it is a pleasure to work with a reputable institution like NMIT.
About Central District Cricket:
The Central Districts Cricket Association was formed in 1950 with the first men's representative side competing in the national Plunket Shield competition that year.
In a relatively short period of time, Central Districts Cricket (CD) has become a successful professional sporting entity. With annual turnover in excess of NZ$3 million, CD employs 9 full time staff and contracts fifteen professional players each season to play in the men's representative team the Central Stags.
Over the years many of New Zealand's best players have played for the Stags. Players such as Bevan Congdon, Ian Smith, Martin Crowe, Mark Greatbatch, Jacob Oram, Matthew Sinclair and Jamie How were all proud to call the Stags their home team.
This has been carried on to the current side where the likes of Ross Taylor, Adam Milne, Doug Bracewell have all been regular performers in the Black Caps and more recently we have seen the introduction of Ben Wheeler and George Worker into the squad also.
The management and coaching structure at the Stags currently sits under former Stags and BLACKCAPS player Lance Hamilton as General Manager alongside Head Coach Heinrich Malan from South Africa. Heinrich is assisted by former Stags and BLACKCAPS all-rounder Jacob Oram with the very experienced and highly rated Gary Hermansson as Sports Psychologist. The Stags are also supported by a fulltime strength and conditioning coach and physiotherapist.
Central Stags General Manager Lance Hamilton is excited to be able to include the vastly experienced Sri Lankan in the Stags team for the final month of the GPSS competition. “Mahela‘s incredible talent and vast experience will add enormous value to our already talented but still youthful team of players in the back half of the Super Smash” said Hamilton.
NMIT was established in 1905 and is a government-owned Institute of Technology situated in the Nelson Marlborough region and Auckland city. NMIT delivers technical, vocational and professional education at tertiary level and is classed as a Category 1 institution, the highest ranking possible, by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). NMIT is a member of the International Association of Universities.
NMIT’s programmes are recognized all over the world and attract over 5,000 students every year, including more than 600 internationals. International students choose to study at NMIT for its world-class facilities, high standards of achievement, and personal attention from staff. Popular programmes among Sri Lankan students include Accounting, Aquaculture, Business Management, Information Technology and Marketing.
Pro X New Zealand Ltd
Pro X is owned and operated by chairman Mr. Asoka Weerasundara, a Sri Lankan migrant living in New Zealand. Pro X is also incorporated in Sri Lanka, in partnership with leading educationalist, Mr Sanjeewa Bamberenda as the local director.
Mr. Weerasundara is a Licensed Immigration Adviser (License number 201301161) which authorises Pro X to handle the entire range of New Zealand visa applications in addition to education consultations.
Pro X is proud to have facilitated Mahela’s relationship with NMIT as well as his playing commitment in New Zealand this 2015 season.