Sri Lankan cricket and netball teams given rousing welcome in Colombo

by IANS |

Colombo, Sep 13 (IANS) Battered by the ongoing economic crisis, Sri Lankans gathered on the streets to welcome the Asia Cup-winning cricket and netball teams, who were paraded from the airport to capital Colombo on Tuesday.

People flocked to the airport on Tuesday morning to welcome cricket captain Dasun Shanaka and his team, which lifted its sixth Asia Cup defeating Pakistan by 23 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, UAE on Sunday.

"This is a victory for the entire country. With what we did, if we could bring smiles to the people of this country that is a great victory for us," Bhanuka Rajapaksa who scored an unbeaten 71 and won the 'Player of the Match' award, said as he came out of the Bandaranaike International Airport.

"As a country, the world is looking at us in a different way right now," Rajapaksa said, referring to the economic struggles Sri Lanka is going through.

"For years, we could not reach anywhere close to the title. However, cricket fans did not lose faith in us. We faced some tough challenges (in the competition), and now we want to continue the success at the (T20) World Cup in Australia," said Bhanuka.

On Sunday, the country's netball team, Asia's defending champions, also clinched the Asian Championship title, defeating hosts Singapore -- the four-time champions -- 63-53.

With the victory, Sri Lanka also booked their spot in the 2023 Netball World Cup. The team defended its title from 2018, as the 2020 championship was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The two Asian champions were paraded in two open-top double-decker buses escorted by the Sri Lanka Police from the airport to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headquarters and the Netball Federation headquarters here.

"Fans are encouraged to show their support and appreciation to the teams by lining up along the road and cheering for the kings and queens of Asia by waving the national flag," President Ranil Wickremesinghe's media division said in a statement.

Latest News
US labour agency files complaint against Apple over discrimination Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 02:06 PM
German politicians criticise EP for maintaining two seats during energy crisis Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 02:02 PM
Power supply restored after Bangladesh national grid failure Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 02:01 PM
EU adopts law requiring USB Type-C in iPhones by end of 2024 Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 02:00 PM
Sony likely working on new phone with Dimensity 8000 chip Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:58 PM
Google rolls out widgets for iOS 16 Lock Screen on iPhones Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:57 PM
Thailand's economic recovery intact despite global slowdown: Central bank Governor Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:54 PM
Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma hint at Shami becoming Bumrah's replacement for T20 World Cup Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:37 PM
Jonny Bairstow is England's player of the year Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:36 PM
Bayern crush Plzen to maintain perfect record in Champions League Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:34 PM
David Warner, Mitchell Marsh return to Australia side for series v West Indies Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:29 PM
Will miss Bumrah in T20 WC, but it's an opportunity for someone else to stand up: Dravid Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:28 PM
We wanted to go early to Australia, play on some bouncy pitches in Perth: Rohit Sharma Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:27 PM
New Sony PS5 gaming consoles to be available in India soon Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:26 PM
Just days ahead of polls in Himachal, Modi inaugurates AIIMS Bilaspur Wed, Oct 05, 2022, 01:26 PM