Cricket becomes mental distraction the crisis-hit Sri Lankans

The sport of cricket has become a welcome distraction for Sri Lankans looking for a break from the effects of the economic crisis in the country – long lines to buy fuel and cooking gas and school and work disrupted because there is little access to public transport.

The cricket-crazed South Asian island nation is facing its worst economic crisis in recent memory, enduring acute shortages of food, fuel and medicine. The government has shut schools and universities and has limited fuel supplies.

Before going ahead with the tour, the Australian cricket team had to contemplate whether it was ethical to travel to Sri Lanka and play when local people were struggling even for basic needs.

The tour involved a three-game Twenty20 International (T20I) series, won by Australia, and a five-match One Day International (ODI) series, won 3-2 by Sri Lanka.

The Australian team’s decision to go ahead with the tour earned them admiration from fans who turned up at the fifth one-day match last month dressed in yellow – the colour of Australia’s ODI uniform – to thank them for entertaining them and sending a positive message about Sri Lanka to the world.

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