Sri Lankan limited overs captain Dasun Shanaka has thanked the Australian cricket team for visiting the island nation during a time of crisis. Responding to a post by the visitors' white ball captain Aaron Finch, Shanaka said that “every Sri Lankan will remember” the limited-overs series.
The Australia-Sri Lanka contest gave fans in the island nation something to cheer about amid a massive economic crisis that has thrown the Asian country into turmoil.
Australia clinched the three-match T20I series 2-1, but Sri Lanka hit back to claim the five-match one-day series 3-2. The ODI win was Sri Lanka’s first in the format against the Aussies at home in 30 years.
Sharing his thoughts on the tour, Finch took to Instagram and posted a series of images that captured the essence of the white ball tour. He uploaded the pictures and wrote:
“It was a tour that meant so much to so many people, and it was really an honour to tour this amazing country again! Thank you to everyone in Sri Lanka for the amazing memories!”
Responding to Finch’s post, Shanaka expressed gratitude to the Aussies on behalf of the Sri Lankan cricket team and fans. He replied to the post:
“Thanks a lot skipper. Touring Sri Lanka at this moment. It’s was a remarkable series and am sure that every Sri Lankan will remember this and (is) very much thankful to the Australian Team!”
Australia won the first ODI by two wickets (DLS method). However, Sri Lanka registered three wins in a row to clinch a historic series win. There was some consolation for Australia, as they won the last match of the series by four wickets.
“It was pretty extraordinary” - Glenn Maxwell hails Sri Lankan crowd for special gesture
There were some amazing scenes at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo during the fifth ODI, as a number of Sri Lankan fans turned up in the yellow Australian jersey and waved Aussie flags.
The crowd also cheered for the visitors during the final one-dayer. The special gesture was Sri Lanka’s way of thanking the Aussies for touring the country at the time of one of their worst crises.
Speaking to cricket.com.au after the match, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell hailed the crowd and said:
"It was pretty extraordinary. I was just telling the boys, that was one of the most special feelings, being able to walk around the ground and have a foreign country all cheer for you. A lot of times when Australia tours, we are generally the enemy, and there are not many Australian fans in the stands, but to have the support and fans that are here at the moment is truly extraordinary.”
Australia cleaned up Sri Lanka for 160 in the final ODI before chasing down the target in 39.3 overs to register a consolation win.
Sri Lanka will now face Australia in a two-match Test series, which begins in Galle on Wednesday, June 29.