Watch: The young Canterbury man using his love of cricket to transform lives of poorest kids in Sri Lanka

Meet the Canterbury cricket lover who's using his love of his favourite sport to give Sri Lanka's poorest kids a shot at success.

The inspirational Kiwi, Alex Reese, 25, told TVNZ's Sunday he was planning to become an elite cricket coach in Sri Lanka to transform the lives of underprivileged kids.

He discovered that a dusty cricket pitch in the country's capital Colombo was a getaway to life-changing experiences for the kids.

He travelled to India after finishing high school.

At that time he had a bold idea: he wanted to start his own cricket academy for underprivileged kids.

"I was pretty young and naive," he told TVNZ's Sunday.

"I made a real effort to connect with the locals and get to know the locals... and that was the moment where I thought, actually, these guys don't have a lot.

"They struggle every day to put food on the table."

At a school in one of Colombo's poorest suburbs, Alex gathered his first 50 students.

Watch the video for their story and Alex's journey.

TVNZ Sunday's Jehan Casinader visited cricketer Alex Reese in Sri Lanka, where he discovered that a dusty cricket pitch can be the getaway to life-changing experiences. Source: Sunday