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From Sangakkara to Karunaratne - Sri Lanka's cricket fraternity react to economic crisis

Current and former Sri Lankan cricketers have expressed solidarity with their people in the wake of the economic crisis the island nation is enduring.

From Sangakkara to Karunaratne - Sri Lanka's cricket fraternity react to economic crisis snt
Sri Lanka, First Published Apr 4, 2022, 3:02 PM IST

In the wake of Sri Lanka's economic crisis, current and former cricketers of the island nation have expressed their solidarity with the people of their country. From Test captain, Dimuth Karunaratne to legendary cricketers Kumara Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga, Mahela Jayawardene and more have opened up about the crisis even as Sri Lanka embraces severe shortages of food, fuel, and other essentials.

Internet service providers have also reportedly been ordered to block access to Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and several other social media platforms in Sri Lanka amid these unprecedented times.

Also read: Sri Lanka economic crisis deepens: Late-night protests, firing and curfew

"'Heartbreaking to see the despair of people"

Former Sri Lanka skipper Sangakkara issued a statement and said that people in the island nation are going through one of the toughest times imaginable. "Sri Lankans are going through one of the toughest times imaginable. It is heartbreaking to see the despair of people and families as they struggle to make it through the day; and each day for them gets harder," Sangakkara said.

One of the finest batters of his generation, Sri Lankan batting icon Sangakkara is also the Director of Cricket of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). "The people are raising their voices and asking for what is needed: a solution. While some are reacting in resentment and anger to that voice, others are trying to take undue advantage of it," the legendary cricketer added.

"We try our best to preserve the Sri Lankan Brand"

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Test Cricket captain Dimuth Karunaratne released an emotional statement during these 'trying times'. "As a nation of incredible people full of resilience, my wish is that we stay United stay Strong and continue to love our motherland, our fellow Lankan brothers and sisters and more so respect each other whatever their rank and file are during this uncertain turbulence. It's real difficult and in fact disheartening for all and that includes my family / my colleagues in the National Team all of Sri Lanka that include's myself," he stated.

"We go through these uncertainties almost all the time on the Cricket field and that's reality. One thing though against all adversities we try our best to preserve the Sri Lankan Brand and at this point in time I feel almost the same that we fellow Lankans must stand by each other and work towards a peaceful / diligent but ever developing Sri Lanka for the benefit of the future generation in particular," Karunaratne added.

"The 22+ Million Citizens in our Island is our greatest resource, each and every one of us should be respected, well looked after and have the freedom to live our lives peacefully in our beloved motherland the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. One thing I've learnt in life over the years is to be diplomatic. However TRUTH nothing but the TRUTH and PEOPLES POWER is a must and "Not Negotiable" in a Democracy," the Sri Lankan Test skipper added.

"We live in the modern world its 2022 a world that wants answers to questions followed by action and positive results all the time so very much like in Cricket. Ours, is a beautiful Nation Blessed with so much, not just smiling faces and wonderful men and women. Let's Cherish and value the mere fact that we are Sri Lankan after all," Karunaratne concluded.

Sri Lankan cricketers Lasith Malinga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga have also expressed solidarity with their fellow countrymen amidst the ongoing crisis.

"These problems are man-made and can be fixed by the right"

Taking to Instagram in the aftermath of the economic crisis, Sangakkara's former teammate Jayawardene opened up about the emergency law and curfew in Sri Lanka. "The government cannot ignore the needs of the people who have every right to protest. Determining people who do is not acceptable, and I am very proud of the brave Sri Lankan and lawyers who rushed to their defence," Mahela wrote in an Instagram post.

"True leaders own up to mistakes. There is massive urgency here to protect the people of our country, united in their suffering. These problems are man-made and can be fixed by the right, qualified people. Certain people controlling the economy of this country have lost the people's confidence and must stand down. We then need a good team to give the country confidence and belief," added Jayawardene, who is the head coach of five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians.

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