Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today recalled two unforgettable incidents that took place during the 1996 cricket World Cup which, highlighted the humanitarian aspect of the then Sri Lanka cricket team.
Reminiscing his memories on one incident, he said during the semi-final match played in India where the excited crowd started pelting bottles and projectiles, Sri Lanka reserve player Upul Chandana had volunteered to field in the boundary in place of Aravinda de Silva saying that the veteran would sustain injuries preventing him from playing the World Cup final.
Speaking at the 25th anniversary commemorations held to felicitate the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lanka cricket team, he said players at that time had a feeling about the country where they were prepared even to sacrifice their lives. “This is the true sense of humanity,” he said.
The Prime Minister also remembered another incident highlighting the humanity of the then cricket team where he said that after returning with the World Cup, Arjuna Ranatunga first visited the residence of late Gamini Dissanayake who was assassinated by the LTTE, to pay his gratitude for the service he had rendered to Cricket, despite his father was a minister in the then government.