What made old uncle’s to spent six hours drinking Mendis Special (Hard Liquor Brand in Sri Lanka) watching t20 world cup cricket highlights of India chasing South African second inning score like cake walking analyzing lengthwise drafting strategies on how to get modern batting hero Virath kohli out in their own parallel universe in a doggy restaurants has one egregious reason. A reason that erupt firecrackers in Galle face green. A reason made policemen to watch insanity of young men waving Sri Lankan flag disturbing commuters. A reason made people to dance few minutes with complete strangers by stopping car middle of road bumper. A reason for a tiny nation to stand on their feet nervously watching Thissara Perera hopping down to a delivery pitching outside off stump. A reason to believe a fairy tale ending to career of two pilarstone gentlemen in Sri Lanka cricket. A reason for same old farts to drink again and start dancing with tipsy young men in Galle face green to papare grooves. It all has one reason on that Sunday.
A country married with heap of untapped talents and uncanny ability to squander, finally found authentic reason to cheer. A game played & celebrated everywhere from paddy fields to apartments like personal milestone or like liquid sunshine to spark our blood to embrace true meaning of unity and team work.
Crowd watching T2o world cup final on giant screen at Galle face green catch mili seconds silence as Thissara Pereea’s come down the track , people inhale without breathing out until the flying ball cross over long on rope. It was split second silence before blow out hurricane roar to get the party kicked off . From that moment roaring fans ,dancing youth, waving flags rule Colombo roads making traffic havoc. People at home gather around televisions started roaring even more hard looking at men from Sri Lanka sprinting to the middle of Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur , Bangaladesh to hug two warriors Kumar Sangakara & Thisara Pereara with tears in their eyes.
In Sri Lanka, cricket is cause for happiness & pride. Its been 18 years since Sri Lanka pull off a miraculous win over hot favorite Australians having played as underdogs. From that day Sri Lanka cricket transform from minnow to formidable cricketing unit. But we wasn’t able to be champions even though consistently reaching to finals without much success.
That Sunday celebration is opted for us long 18 years after 1996. 4 final defeats. Countless practice sessions. Infinity Mendis special bottles, thinking & arguing on strategies, comparing averages all around Sri Lanka
Soon people start parting just like the day ended ruthless war. A country married with heap of untapped talents and uncanny ability to squander, finally found authentic reason to cheer. A game played & celebrated everywhere from paddy fields to apartments like personal milestone or like liquid sunshine to spark our blood to embrace true meaning of unity and team work.
The feeling of being a champion is by far the greatest trump sports fans can ever expect. Sports can tear off walls which separate people based on color, ethnicity, culture, religion by transcending true meaning of love human spirit without boundaries.
Cricket may not feed our hungry children or end corruption in Sri Lanka. But it will heal wounded hearts of 20 milling Sri Lankans around the world by terrorism, tsunami, religion, and race to stand up like one nation.
That Sunday would be forever remembered as night to cheer like champions.