Tamil refugees played their first match as the Tamil Eelam Cricket Team in Perth last Sunday, winning by 12 runs against Manning Road Cricket Club.
The team, consisting of about 36 asylum seekers and former refugees fleeing from their conflict ridden home in Tamil, Sri Lanka, have joined Perth’s division of amateur cricket league Last Man Stands.
Founded by fellow Tamil Cali Nathan, the team provides a positive meeting ground for people to come together as Tamils, without political baggage.
Mr Nathan hopes to normalise the term Tamil Eelam as a geographic location where people come from, and remove its connotations to the Tamil Tigers, which is listed as a terrorist organisation in countries including the United States and the United Kingdom.
“I want to create an opportunity for Tamils to be proud of their identity,” said Mr Nathan.
“In a non-politicised environment.”
Most of the players played cricket back home, both in clubs and semi-professional leagues.
The latest member to join the team is Navven Nave Ravi.
After almost three years in detention, Mr Ravi welcomes the opportunity to stretch his legs in an open field.
“I am really happy to be playing cricket with other Tamils again,” said Mr Ravi.
“We have a good team, and we can encourage each other through it.”
Sunday’s match was the first in a series of nine games they will be playing to battle for the LMS Perth championship.
The team will be touring to the Gold Coast to join the LMS national championship in the Australasia Open next month.
See the video from Sunday’s match: