“Lunatic” Politicians Cannot Cease Cricket-Mad Sri Lanka Grandfather | Cricket Information

Cricket-obsessed Percy Abeysekera has been a continuing presence at Sri Lanka matches since their first Take a look at in opposition to England in 1982 — and even the nation’s worst financial disaster can not preserve him away. Forty years in the past, the person now fondly often known as “Uncle Percy” escorted England batsman Chris Tavare on the pitch on the P. Sara Oval within the capital Colombo whereas holding a Sri Lankan flag. Now 85, he has been an everyday characteristic since, allowed on to the sphere by Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities to accompany the workforce off after each sport, win or lose, nonetheless carrying his flag.

And whereas an avid supporter of his nationwide aspect, he’s recognized for the respect with which he treats the opposition — a far cry from the sledging employed by the followers of some groups, and even their gamers.

Naturally, he was at Galle earlier this month when a whole bunch of protesters climbed the partitions of the traditional fort overlooking the bottom through the second Take a look at in opposition to Australia to demand the removing of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The host nation is struggling its worst financial disaster since independence, with out the international change to pay for necessities together with gas and medicines, and resulting in widespread shortages.

Hours later, a livid crowd in Colombo compelled the president to flee his house, and days after that he flew overseas earlier than submitting his resignation.

“Our workforce’s efficiency is healthier than the efficiency of the politicians in Sri Lanka,” mentioned Abeysekera.

“Not a single politician can match as much as these cricketers,” he advised AFP. “They don’t seem to be politicians, they’re lunatics.”

“I hate politics,” he added.

Abeysekera has twice been invited to hitch the Sri Lankan cricket board however declined the place.

“There are three issues I do not like in the entire world, one is politics, the opposite one is cricket administration, and the third one is contraception,” he mentioned.

His grandsons are named Garfield after the West Indies’ Sobers, the primary batsman to hit six sixes in a first-class over, and Sachinka for Indian batting nice Sachin Tendulkar.

– ‘Honour the loser’ –
Cricket has supplied Sri Lankans a welcome distraction from their nation’s travails, with a Three-2 one-day sequence win over Australia adopted by a 1-1 Take a look at sequence draw.

Pakistan are presently touring the Indian Ocean island, with the hosts seeking to bounce again on Sunday from a defeat within the first Take a look at in Galle.

Abeysekera has labored for 59 years for a cable firm, and family and friends care for his lodging at totally different venues.

He took a bus from Colombo to Galle to attend the present sequence of video games however is having to stroll to the stadium with no tuk-tuks out there.

“By no means have I seen such a disaster,” he mentioned.

“I noticed the world warfare, I noticed the tsunami, I noticed the LTTE assaults,” he added, referring to the Tamil Tigers who fought a separatist warfare for many years.

“That is one thing else, however I by some means handle to return to the bottom.”

As a boy, Abeysekera noticed Don Bradman play on the Colombo Oval in 1948, and almost half a century later watched Sri Lanka defeat Australia in Lahore to win the 50-over World Cup, certainly one of his lifetime cricketing highlights.

Abeysekera’s affable manner has received him the love of even his beloved workforce’s opponents.

Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe as soon as handed him his man-of-the-match award and he was embraced by Virat Kohli throughout India’s tour to Sri Lanka in 2015 and even invited into the guests’ dressing room.

“For when the One Nice Scorer involves mark in opposition to your title, He writes not that you simply received or misplaced, however the way you performed the sport,” he says, quoting the American sportswriter Grantland Rice.


“Play truthful, cheer the victor and honour the loser.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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