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The Financial Express

Unforeseen love for cricket in Sri Lanka


Unforeseen love for cricket in Sri Lanka

The people of the sub-continent are known for their love and passion for cricket. Although India is considered the biggest cricket-crazy nation, Sri Lankan people seem to have topped all of them.

Sri Lanka are, as of now, having a good time on the field. They won the Test series against Bangladesh. They lost the T20 series at home but won a fantastic game against Australia. And then they won the ODI series against the Aussies in style, with a game in hand.

These wins combined have brought plenty to celebrate for the Lankan fans. However, do their national conditions allow them to do so?

The country is going through their biggest economic crisis. Inflation, unemployment problem, scarcity and shortage of necessary goods have skyrocketed.

The government can provide only a few hours of electricity to their people. Long queues of car for fuel collection is also common. Everyone has to fight for their daily necessities and livelihoods.

Yet in this situation, Sri Lanka was never out of support. All of the 8 matches against Australia saw the galleries filled to the capacity!

They had to pay Rs. 14000 for a ticket. Pallekelle stadium has a capacity of around 35000 people and Premadasa’s is 50000.

Apart from that, the journey to the stadium is a struggling one. Even the nearest locality is 2 KM away from the stadium. 

In a time when cars are not that functioning due to the fuel crisis and rising inflation is making the national currency devaluate faster than ever, this transportation hassle alone could have been enough to leave the decision to watch the game. 

But the Lankans didn’t mind any of this. They never complained about the electricity usage in the stadium for day-night matches. They walked for a long time or used the short fuel properly to go to the stadiums.

It seems all their pains vanished when Pathum Nissanka hit a boundary, when Charith Asalanka raised the bat to celebrate a century, or when Kusal Mendis flourished every game.

Even during such a great economic depression, their love for cricket remains unmatched, unparalleled. Maybe this was the factor which motivated Sri Lanka to this famous series win.

The fans did not forget to show their love. The cricketers did not forget to return the favour. In the end, the love for the game emerged as the ultimate winner.

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