Garbage turns gold for Sri Lanka cricketers | Sunday Observer

Garbage turns gold for Sri Lanka cricketers

5 May, 2019
Dimuth Karunaratne poses with the miracle shirt and Shirendra Lawrence
Dimuth Karunaratne poses with the miracle shirt and Shirendra Lawrence

When no one or very few followers would give Sri Lanka’s World Cup cricketers a dog’s chance, an unwanted pile of trash fit only for the flames have come to their rescue with just three weeks before the global showpiece starts in England.

The declaration may sound slang-like for a once adored team but it must be the best and most treasured compliment the players have received under the circumstances for heads to turn.

It comes in the form of the team’s latest and newest playing kit in brilliant blue and yellow made from discarded plastic bottles and polythene collected on the beach and turned into synthetic yarn from which their shirts were made.

“We can certainly be proud of this new shirt that we can show the world”, said Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Mohan de Silva in the presence of team captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

The new kit has been designed and made by Sri Lanka Cricket’s clothing partner MAS Holdings who picked up the scattered garbage on the shoreline and turned them into what is being called “world class fabric” second to none or better, from which the shirts were spun.

“We have compromised nothing and this shirt is a high performance product, high-tech clothing that we can showcase through the team at the World Cup. It is an amazing product that even surprised us,”said Shirendra Lawrence the chief operating officer of MAS Holdings.

The 15-member Sri Lanka squad leaves the island on Monday minus any pomp and pageantry confined only to a ceremonial dinner as the country recuperates from the cowardly jihadist bombings of unarmed civilians in churches and hotels.

Promoters of the miracle shirt are also hoping that the players will be able to gain some inspiration from it by doing something from almost nothing on the playing field.

“Cricket is like another religion for us and we expect the players to play some scintillating cricket to soothe our sorrows and bring us joy. When the team loses we (administrators) also face a challenge from followers,” said Mohan de Silva.

In the aftermath of the bombings the Sri Lankan team cancelled two training camps out of Colombo as they slumped further in the rankings to ninth place that brings back memories of the same team that won the World Cup in 1996 and had just two wins in the 1999 event in England.

“We have been down (after the Easter bombings) but united as a group and were able to smile awhile. We should be able to get over all this by the time we reach England and then take it step by step,” said Karunaratne.

The selection of the World Cup tour party was greeted with mixed feelings by followers some of whom questioned the omission of batsman Dinesh Chandimal, one of the most badly managed and victimised players, although head selector Ashantha de Mel said were compelled to give preference to all-rounders.