Bengaluru, Sept. 13: It was a fairytale finish for the victorious Sri Lankan team, who scripted the perfect underdog story, enroute to their sixth Asia Cup title.
After losing the 2022 Asia Cup opener, Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka handed Pakistan a 23-run defeat in the final to clinch the Asia Cup. On Monday, officials revealed that the members of the victorious team will travel through Colombo on a double-decker bus and interact with fans to celebrate their emphatic win.
Sri Lanka, the official hosts, were the underdogs when the tournament got underway. But Shanaka's men regrouped after their opening day loss to defeat favourites India and Pakistan en route to the title.
Sri Lanka's win brings the much-needed joy to the crisis-hit country, which saw the tournament being shifted to the UAE. The players broke into celebration at the Dubai International Stadium following their stunning win. With the nation being hit with one of the worst economic turmoils in several decades, the win will bring a lot of smiles on the fans, who have waited for the glory to return to Lankan cricket.
As reported in PTI, officials said that the Dasun Shanaka-led team will arrive on Tuesday morning at 5 am, and will be welcomed by officials from Sri Lanka Cricket and the Sports Ministry at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.
The Asia Cup winning-team will then participate in a victory parade at 6.30 am, and will undertake a double-decker bus tour from Colombo to Katunayake and interact with fans, officials stated.
It was Super Sunday for Sri Lanka as not only did the cricketers pocket a historic title, the Lankan netball team also brought glory to the country by winning the 2022 Asian Championships.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, captain Shanaka said, "Believe in our cricketers...a lot of bad things are going around. As cricketers, they too should enjoy their lives as well, not spreading bad things. They have private lives too. Keep believing, that is the key.
"As a captain, I give confidence to the players, [whatever] I can. I can't ask for more than that," Shanaka said, as Sri Lanka's unprecedented economic crisis formed the backdrop of the cricket team's Asia Cup campaign.
"Congratulations to the #lka cricket team on the win against #Pakistan in the #AsiaCup2022Final in Dubai. The commitment and teamwork shown by the #SriLankan team have been remarkable," ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who returned to Colombo from Thailand on September 2 tweeted on Sunday.
His successor, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, praised the national cricket team for winning the Asia Cup and underlined that it shows that with dedication and determination crisis-hit Sri Lanka can overcome challenges as a nation. "Congratulations to the Sri Lankan cricket team on winning the Asia Cup 2022. Well played Pakistan!
"The second championship for today," he said, adding that it "goes to show that, with dedication and determination we can overcome challenges as a nation.
Onwards and upwards Sri Lanka!" Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, declared in mid-April its international debt default due to the forex crisis. A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas, and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices have heaped misery on the people.
Source: (With inputs from PTI)