Percy pays glowing tribute to victorious Sri Lanka


Percy honour-escorting Jayasuriya (on top) and kissing Dhoni

Sri Lanka’s inimitable ‘one-man cricket cheer squad’, Percy Abeysekera, pays a glowing tribute to Sri Lanka for showing how classy they are surpassing the fancied Indians by seven wickets at the time many had written them off. A man with over six decades of experience behind him as a cheerleader sees the importance of backing ‘our’ boys in the good days as well as the bad ones with equal zest.

‘We tend to forget them, undermine them and ridicule them when they lose. Now suddenly after that famous victory over the Indians, everyone has become a sound backer of our guys! How wonderful. Now please stay that way!,’ advices Percy.

He goes on saying ...

I pay a glowing tribute to the Sri Lanka cricket team and their officials for their fantastic win over India on Thursday, June 8. In every nook and corner, fans criticised the Sri Lanka cricket team and I reminded them not to forget them and that they will come back with flying colours. So they did. What have those fans to say now?

The whole world came to know Sri Lanka as a country only because of our cricketers, especially after they won the World Cup in 1996. We the Lankans should NOT forget that despite they falter now and then. How great-cricket-heroes of not so long ago become public enemies for very trivial mistakes they commit in their personal life is worrisome.

After Bradman, whom I saw in action at the Sara Oval in 1948 as a 12-year-old schoolboy and also after De Sarams, Sathasivams, Jayawickremas, Rodrigos, De Zoysas and Navaratnes etc of good old days, I know the present boys too have done exceptionally well to beat India, the main contenders for the ICC Champions Trophy, by such a huge margin (7 wickets).

I remember how Sunil W, Roy and Duleep carried us to win against the Indians in Manchester in the 1979 Prudential World Cup. That was our first and the last victory over India on English soil before Thursday’s win. We shouted ‘Hey Bedi, there is a dog behind you’, when Bishan Bedi ran from the boundary line to catch a skier off Duleep. Bedi in fact dropped the catch. Sri Lanka won by 47 runs!

I couldn’t stop crying when I heard the good news on Thursday when I was at a friend’s wedding at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo. Later I started dancing to the tunes of ‘Sohan and Xperiments’ at the same venue to celebrate the victory.

May you all win the rest of the matches and win the coveted trophy for Sri Lanka.

Though I failed this time around to cheer you from the stands in England venues, I will be in front of the TV screen in Sri Lanka with the Lion’s Flag in my hand praying for you. Prove that your critics are too harsh and too wrong. Best of luck boys!

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