Colombo March 19 (newsin.asia): Apart from Dinesh Karthik’s brilliant knock, what was extraordinary about the Nidahas tournament’s final here on Sunday, was the way Sri Lankans rejoiced over India’s victory over Bangladesh and made the Indian triumph their own.
Old Sri Lanka hands were unanimous that the stunning spectacle of Sri Lankans cheering the Indian team, ball after ball, up to the last ball, was unprecedented in the annals of India-Sri Lanka relations.
“The Indian team’s doing the victory lap with a Sri Lankan fan holding aloft the Sri Lankan flag, reflected the deep love the ordinary Sri Lankan has for India,” said Indian High Commissioner, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
As for the electrifying enthusiasm of the spectators, the scene reminded one of Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the envoy said.
“What I witnessed was incredible – a stadium full of Sri Lankans screaming ‘India, India’ and urging the Indian team to a win. And they did it literally up to the last ball,” remarked Santosh Menon, an Indian expat heading an advertisement firm here.
“The ‘Rohit Rohit’ and ‘India India’ cries were to be heard to be believed. And in the end, a Sri Lankan fan, Percy, led the Indian team’s victory lap holding the Sri Lankan flag, signifying that it was Sri Lanka’s victory as well. It was a moment of goose bumps – a great win by a young Indian team – and a grand gesture by the people of Sri Lanka,” Menon said.
Kusuma Perera, a Sri Lankan housewife, sat glued to her TV set watching the match ball by ball, all the while praying for an Indian win.
“I prayed fervently for India’s victory as it is the land of the Buddha!” she said.
(The featured image at the top shows Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena handing over the Nidahas Trophy to the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma as a pleased Indian envoy, Taranjit Singh Sandhu looks on)