Cricket Perseveres Through Sri Lanka’s Crisis
By: Emily Wan
Amid the political and economic turmoil in Sri Lanka, many people are turning to sports, mainly cricket, for relief.
People saw the matches as an escape from the daily hardships and source of relief. This was evident when sports reporter Ms. Vasuvedan noticed that “even when Sri Lanka was losing, people were partying in the stands” in a way they usually do not. Many also viewed the athletes as aligned to their anti-government movement. Recently, former professional cricket players have rallied on social media while the current team captains of the men’s team have gone to protests.
However, the sport is affected by the crisis with food and fuel shortages, among scarcity of other essentials. Matches have been disrupted by teams not being able to travel with curfews. Others pointed out that running stadium lights amid shortage of electricity is unreasonable. The national team’s upcoming matches with Pakistan have been relocated from the capital to the southern city of Galle over concerns of potential civil unrest. There is also a high chance that Sri Lanka will not host the annual Asia Cup for T20.
Despite this, cricket fan Aadhil Siddique is optimistic about the matches. He added that protests will continue but any victories by the cricket team would significantly boost morale.