Is there anyone to whom Cricket is their life, the ground is almost like a sanctuary, the strangers around you are like family, for which end of their sorrow or worries is watching a cricket match or talking about it? For me, cricket was, is and will always be my source of motivation and oxygen in this claustrophobic world. It is what makes me glad that I live on this planet and more so it taught me that nothing is impossible, no one is invincible.
I fell in love with Sri Lankan Cricket ever since I was a three year old. I believe it’s mainly because of the family background that I had and I can say without doubt that my cricket heroes have contributed as much in molding my personality as my parents and teachers have. It feels like yesterday that the day in 1996 where we won the Wills World Cup.Reminiscing those memories still brings tears of joy and ever since then, I have always watched and attended cricket matches no matter how tight my schedule is.
Falling in love with Sri Lankan Cricket is so easy. They will provide you nail biting, hyper ventilating, heart beat speeding killer entertainment like no other. It’s obvious that any SLC lover’s heart gets hypertrophied from Pride at these times. But they can also be such heartbreakers at times. During the last four years, Sri Lankan Cricket has produced so many good players, snatched victories when the situation was tough; however, they also gave the ardent fans four consecutive heartaches.
To see the team you love the most come into a final is a wonderful feeling but to see them fail in a final is the worst feeling ever. As it is said failures are pillars of success but for us failures at finals have become a habit. Sometimes it is not losing that hurts as much as the manner in which we lost in finals.Sri Lanka did not capitalize on their chances & repeated mistakes. I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to sports but, unfortunately, even I’m struggling to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Coming to think of the entire excitement cricket have brought us over the years especially during the horrible years of the war. Cricket was one the few things that kept us going. When all else was failing, the glory of our cricket brought us fame and a great sense of patriotism.
Nothing can be gratifying as much as another World Cup trophy for a nation that went through 30 years of war. The question is when will this day come? ‘I am sitting here in silence on my own’ Noel Gallagher would say to receive an answer to this hopefully soon.
Yes, like most of them I criticize the players for playing stupid shots, for the captain for making unbelievable changes when we lose a match and for the SLC board for not standing firm. There is only so much a fan can take but at the end of the day my love for them will never cease. I keep my faith until the very end and believe that our time will come, like the many other Sri Lankan fans. Despite war, terrorism, corruption, we still made a country that is rated a formidable place to live. Obstacles are nothing and being a fan doesn’t mean you were there from the beginning, it means you are willing to be there until the end.
Even when everything seems so bleak having faith in the boys is what a true supporter of the game can do. So what if it is unjustified and disappointing. Armchair analysis, expert advices, excuses, justifications, blame game, mudslinging, overreaction from fickle fans can make the loud noise when we lose a match, let them do so because after all they think they know it all. As Bart Starr once said that ‘anyone can support a team that is winning – it takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, takes a lot of courage’, I will always be there to support the boys in blue and yellow representing the island that is shaped like a tear drop in the Indian Ocean. Just like a phoenix, we’ll rise from the ashes and give everyone a run for their money soon.