There is no doubt that our island is cricket crazy. Sri Lanka without its cricket team is a lot like New Zealand without the All Blacks: a bit of a downer. Being a 90’s kid, the era during which Lankan cricket made a name for itself at an international level, I too was struck by the madness. My fellow cricket crazies and I share an unparalleled love and passion for the game, and our team, and are very opinionated when it comes to our beloved sport. So, here are a few useful, useless and ridiculous things I, and I’m sure we all, do and feel in the name of cricket.
1. Always pack a Sri Lanka cricket jersey in our bags whenever and wherever we travel.
2. It doesn’t matter what people say, we are still going to talk about our 96’ world cup victory like it was yesterday.
It genuinely feels like yesterday, even though I was merely a child.
3. Come to think of it, if you were around in the ‘90s, this was one of your earliest and most treasured childhood memories.
4. Watching ODI’s and T20I’s at home, especially at the R. Premadasa Stadium (Khettarama) is one hell of a party, as far as I’m concerned. Yeah we have some sick raves/parties/concerts in the country but we don’t get crowds of 30,000 plus at those, do we?
5. Every time you’re in a foreign land and you mention that you’re from Sri Lanka, conversation immediately heads down the cricketing field as they list all our cricketers they know. This is usually followed by heated debates on why we are the best team around and eventually ends up with a new local buddy.
6. A common dislike, strong dislike, for the Australian team. Since of late though, the Indian’s have moved in to that number one spot pushing the Aussies down to number two.
7. According to cricket pundits the world over, Virat Kholi (India) is one of the greatest young talents. But in our eyes things are far from that and we will not budge on this one.
8. This is a personal one. The West Indies are the most chilled out team around and if it’s West Indies vs anyone apart from Sri Lanka, I always support the West Indians.
9. The SLC is nowhere near the top of our nice list, but I will reserve any further comments on the subject for myself.
10. Even after watching Sanga and Maiyya dominating bowlers for a decade and a half, we still can’t get enough.
11. After the retirement of Sanath Jayasuriya, we felt like we lost a part of ourselves. But watching Kusal Perera (Sanath’s double) walking in to open the innings, lately, is bringing back that high octane excitement Sanath used to offer.
12. We thoroughly enjoy the fact that the Sri Lankan fans outnumbered the Aussie ones at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. It really seems to be our unofficial home away from home.
13. We all get a bit nervous with the risky, and borderline insane, shot played in the face of some fired up fast bowlers, but we can’t get enough of T.M Dilshan’s dilscoop.
14. While we’re excited about the young talent on our side, we fear the day Malinga, Sanga and Mahela entirely retire from the game (sadly it’s sooner rather than later) because the junior players do not look like they are ready to step up anytime soon.
So far, it’s been one hell of a ride and there’s depppinitely more to come.
The players will change and so will other elements of the game but one thing that will never change is our undying loyalty towards the mighty Lions!
A Sri Lankan Cricket Fan