If you’re Sri Lankan and on Facebook, chances are that you’ve seen a certain video featuring our national cricket team doing the rounds ‒ and if you’re anything like me, it probably melted your heart.
The video, titled “Our National Cricketers Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before”, first made an appearance on my newsfeed when virtually everyone I know ‒ friends, coworkers, cousins, aunts, and uncles ‒ began sharing it on their timelines. And it hasn’t left since… which probably explains the 545,000 views, 5,500 likes, and 5,000 shares it has garnered in a relatively short period of time.
The video begins by introducing you to a street cricket team made up of a bunch of cricket crazy kids, whose eager remarks will have you “aww”-ing at every other word. The Fire Boys, as they like to call themselves, lack the means to equip themselves with a suitable cricket pitch or even proper cricket gear, but their passion for the game has them doing everything in their power ‒ including conducting daily practice sessions at the “Mati Park” down Vauxhall Street ‒ to make their collective dream of playing for the national team a reality.
When AIA Insurance met the boys earlier this year, at the event for unveiling the giant 3D cricket ball “crashing” through their building facing Kumaran Ratnam Road, they decided to use their status as Official Insurance Partner of Sri Lanka Cricket to give the boys the experience of a lifetime.
The video follows The Fire Boys as they are asked to prepare for a match against another team. What they weren’t told was that the other team consisted of players from the national team themselves! Having gotten over their initial shock ‒ and then excitement ‒ the boys had the time of their life playing a friendly game against Angelo and his teammates.
One glance at the comments is enough to tell you that the boys’ excitement is widely shared. Most viewers expressed their initial reactions to the video ‒ smiles, laughter, and tears by the bucketful ‒ while others recounted childhood memories of street cricket games and some went so far as to state their approval at such a well-established company using their time and resources on putting together a video that goes beyond the norm.
What’s special about the video is that it has also managed to escape the digital realm and enter real life conversation ‒ like the co-worker who asked me to watch it right after I told someone else to. Or the friend who doesn’t know the first thing about cricket, but found the video moving enough to mention it in passing.
There’s something about the video that touches your heart and I suppose that goes to show that AIA aren’t called the “real life company” for nothing. I dare you to watch it without a smile on your face.
Featured image courtesy aialife.com.lk