By BIPIN DANI
Two Sri Lankan cricketers, Suranjith Dharmasena and Mahes De Zoysa, are left stranded in their apartments in Cape Town, South Africa after the Over-50 Cricket World Cup was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are desperate to return home and their concernis quite understandable.
“We had budgeted our stay for three weeks. Unfortunately, now it has reached almost seven weeks and we are running out of funds. We hope we could get back to Sri Lanka very soon,” De Zoysa, said yesterday.
“We have been stranded for seven weeks as we arrived in Cape Town for the tournament on March 8, 2020.”
“We were participating in the Over-50 Cricket World Cup 2020 in Cape Town. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic the tournament was cancelled.”
“We have contacted all relevant government authorities and we are awaiting a repatriation flight to come and pick us up,” Zoysa, the former player, who lived 40 years in England and now the Assistant Manager with
the team, added.
During their indoor-stay, both have been trying to remain fit.
“We are mainly walking indoors for nearly seven kilometres a day and doing physical exercises to keep our mind and body healthy and also watching TV and do some reading when possible.”
Before the lockdown, they also met a few former SouthAfrican cricketers.
“We met Mike Procter, Barry Richards and Omar Henry and we also had extensive talks with Allan Donald who is the Manager of the South African Over-50 Cricket Team and who is a great supporter of veterans’ cricket in the World.”
“This is a beautiful country to visit. People are warm and friendly. Given the opportunity, I would love to come back.”
“The cricket grounds and the facilities are excellent. I love this country,” De Zoysa signed off while hoping that they will be back in Sri Lanka very soon.