About half of Dhaka’s Sri Lankan community of over 1,000 dropped in at the Fatullah Cricket Ground on Friday. And their presence was felt all through the game. They beat drums, blew bugles and even implored the DJ to play Honey Singh numbers.
They did go silent for a while during the India innings when Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were forging a partnership. But sprang back to life as soon as Ajantha Mendis took two wickets from three balls.
Achira, a 31-year-old from Colombo, who works here at the Dhaka branch of a Sri Lankan company (Ecochem), was the obvious cheer leader of this noisy bunch. His wife, Anjana, played second fiddle to him. “I’ve been working here for the last six years. Cricket helps us to break the monotony of everyday affairs. We never miss a game whenever our team is here. We followed them across the country during the two-month long bilateral series against Bangladesh,” says Achira.
Along with his friends, many of them students, Achira has formed a fan forum.
“We organize six-a-side cricket matches once a year and do community service with the funds raised,” says Achira. While Achira talks about his exploits of his team, his wife offers a silent prayer for Mahela Jayawardene’s success.
“Actually we are from the same college and it makes me a Mahela fan,” he explains.