Sri Lanka cricketers return to hero's welcome
Sri Lanka's Asia Cup winning team have returned to the country to a hero's welcome on Tuesday. The Lankans, who were not among the favourites to even make it to the final, lifted the trophy following a 23-run victory over Pakistan in the final on Sunday.
They have beaten all four teams on the trot including twice against Pakistan after starting the campaign with a heavy defeat against Afghanistan.
The team has been garnering praise from all over the world for their spectacular performance in the tournament and following their win, the players took part in a massive victory parade, when they returned home to Colombo. The players were welcomed by officials from Sri Lanka Cricket and the Sports Ministry at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
In pictures posted by Sri Lanka Cricket on their Twitter, the players were seen travelling in a double-decker bus, with fans on the roadside cheering and congratulating them. The players also interacted with the fans and thanked them for their massive support, even during the time of crisis in the country.
"Believe in our cricketers...a lot of bad things are going around. As cricketers, they too should enjoy their lives as well, not spreading bad things. They have private lives too. Keep believing, that is the key. As a captain, I give confidence to the players, [whatever] I can. I can't ask for more than that," captain Dasun Shanaka had said at the post-match conference, as Sri Lanka's unprecedented economic crisis formed the backdrop of the cricket team's Asia Cup campaign.
A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas, and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices have heaped misery on the people.