The Prime Minister’s XI is Canberra’s premier summer sporting event. The match brings together a side of seasoned Australian internationals and young talent from the Big Bash League and Sheffield Shield, pitting them against a touring team.
The 2017 match saw the touring Sri Lankan side, fresh from defeating Australia in the 2016 Test Series in Sri Lanka, making the trip to Manuka Oval.
On 15 February 2017, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe joined Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to watch the match. With both Prime Ministers watching from the stands, the match had become the Prime Ministers’ XI. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is on a visit to Australia, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations.
The Prime Minister’s XI provides the future stars of Australian cricket the opportunity to play against high quality opposition, which is what the visiting Sri Lanka’s were.
Despite valiant half centuries for opening batsmen Sam Heazlett and Captain Adam Voges, the Sri Lankans were too good for the Prime Minister’s XI. The Sri Lankan side chased down the 170 the Prime Minister’s XI set for victory, with five wickets and 17 balls to spare.
Australia and Sri Lanka have long been connected through sport, and in particular cricket. It has given us a universal language and plays a unique role in shaping our identity, values and cultures.