An England cricket team fan waited ten months in Sri Lanka to watch them play. But the story could not get a fairy-tale end as he was kicked out by the police before a ball had been bowled in the first Test.
Rob Lewis had earlier traveled from England to Sri Lanka in March to watch their Test series before it was postponed due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He decided to stay in the subcontinent till the England cricket team could return to Sri Lanka to resume the tour.
But he was left disappointed on day one as the police kicked him out before the match began. He was kicked out of the Galle Fort, a vantage point which is right next to the Galle International Stadium.
With no spectators inside the stadium, Rob Lewis was given restricted access to the ramparts of the Galle Fort to watch his beloved England cricket team play. But he was ordered off the ramparts just after the national anthems, and even the banners he had placed were removed.
All visitors were banned from the ramparts of the Galle Fort for security reasons. But a few journalists and media members were allowed to cover the game from there.
"I am very frustrated," Rob Lewis said. "I waited 10 months to watch this match and the police have kicked me out. At least I managed to sing 'Jerusalem'. I am going to see the police (chief)," he said. "All I want to do is watch the match. They gave me half-an-hour to put up three banners and go. That's all. There will be another nine days of play and I hope I will be able to get permission to go up there again"
England cricket team dismantle Sri Lanka on opening day of first Test
While Rob Lewis wasn't able to watch his beloved England cricket team play, they rolled over Sri Lanka with ease in the first innings. Despite winning the toss and electing to bat first, the hosts lost their ten wickets for just 135 runs in their first innings.
Stuart Broad and Dom Bess starred for the England cricket team, with the latter picking up his second-ever five-for in Test cricket.Published 14 Jan 2021, 16:07 IST