The tumultuous conditions in their country meant that hosts and eventual winners Sri Lanka could not host the Asia Cup 2022 at home. Sri Lankan tourism was advertised mid-innings several times and each time it was, there was a fleeting reminder about why the tournament was being held in the UAE instead of the island nation, with Sri Lanka Cricket still technically hosting the event.
And so, the Dasun Shanaka-led side was aiming to play for the fans back home, against a grim backdrop after the daily lives were affected by the political turmoil, including blackouts, fuel shortages and protests.
Sri Lanka’s campaign started with a no contest as they succumbed to a nine-wicket loss against Afghanistan. However, they bounced back with five victories on the trot in what was a memorable campaign that not only provided a glimmer of hope for the fans but also one that can help them when they play the T20 World Cup Qualifiers next month.
In a situation where everything could have gone wrong and nobody could blame them, Sri Lanka not only had new players rising to the occasion but also succeeding in scripting a story to remember. And, that script can largely be attributed to the heroes who stood up for the…