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Dejected Sri Lankan fans vent ire on team

CricketDejected Sri Lankan fans vent ire on team

DAMBULLA: In spite of the home team suffering a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series, it was heartening to see an almost packed house at the Dambulla International Stadium here during the first ODI against India. Lankan fans didn’t lack energy as they sang and danced throughout the match, but were left a disappointed lot as the hosts lost the match by nine wickets.Team sri lanka

A handful of fans vented their frustration as they gathered in front of the Sri Lankan team bus and shouted slogans like “we want our cricket back” and “no politics in cricket”. The fans had to be pushed back by the police to make way for the Lankan cricketers to board the bus. The incident delayed the departure of the Sri Lankan team from the venue by about half an hour.

A few Lankan fans reportedly also entered into a heated exchange with Indian fans in the stands.

Sri Lankans love their cricket and have backed their team over the years. But the side’s poor show in recent times has left them dejected. Sunday’s incidents reflected the mood in the Emerald Isle. “We love the game, but we don’t want to talk about it anymore,” a fan told TOI while leaving the stadium.

Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Upul Tharanga, meanwhile, has appealed to fans for support. In a statement issued through the cricket board, Tharanga said.

“The support of our fans plays a big role in boosting the morale of the team. We play for our country and our goal is to bring pride to our family of 20 million in this nation. Your support is something that matters greatly to us. (Keep) trust in us, and stick with us, so that you can be our strength as we rise again like lions.”

Former players too stood by the team in the time of crisis. “Understand the frustration of the fans but taking it out on the players who are under pressure doesn’t help. We have to get behind the team,” Lankan great Mahela Jayawardena posted on his twitter handle.
“We have a very talented group of players and they will turn it around for you,” Jayawardena later stated in an interview.
The Lankan team reached Pallekele on Monday evening for the second and third ODIs scheduled there on Thursday and Sunday. The Indian team, however, chose to stay back at Dambulla for a day. An optional practice session was scheduled, but was cancelled as the players preferred to stay put in their hotel rooms. The team will travel to Pallekele on Tuesday.

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