Sri Lanka is currently hosting India and Bangladesh in the Nidahas T20I Tri-Series tournament. This series is being played to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th year of independence. However, very opposite to the reason why the series is being played anti-Muslim riots in the country a day before the series started marred the importance of the series to a greater degree and also evoked an emotional response from various Sri Lankan cricketers.
Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya were among the players who took a strong side against this political turmoil.
Realising the gravity of the situation in their country and how their message of peace could inspire many, cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, and Sanath Jayasuriya took to Twitter on Wednesday."I grew up in a civil war which lasted 25 years and don’t want the next generation to go through that," Mahela wrote.
I strongly condemn the recent acts of violence & everyone involved must be brought to justice regardless of race/ religion or ethnicity. I grew up in a civil war which lasted 25 years and don’t want the next generation to go through that.— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) March 7, 2018
Kumar Sangakkara on his end asked his countrymen to stand together and for each other in this political. In a tweet asking for support he wrote " Urging to "stand together" and "stand strong", Sanga wrote, "We are One Country and One people. Love, trust and acceptance should be our common mantra. No place for racism and violence."
No one in Sri Lanka can be marginalized or threatened or harmed due to their ethnicity or religion. We are One Country and One people. Love, trust and acceptance should be our common mantra. No place for racism and violence. STOP. Stand together and stand strong.— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) March 7, 2018
Former Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya was another cricketer who voiced his opinion on this issue.
Disgusting and sickening to see the acts of violence in Sri Lanka. I condemn strongly and to bring the involved culprits to justice. I request people of Sri Lanka to be wise and stay together in these tough times— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) March 7, 2018
Meanwhile, BCCI guaranteed confirmed via a media release that the Sri Lankan government had assured that the security of Indian team is paramount and that there is no threat to the match.
"There have been reports of curfew and an emergency being called in Sri Lanka. The situation in picture is Kandy and not Colombo. This is to notify everyone that after talking to concerned security personnel (Ministerial security division - in charge of team security) we have understood that the situation is completely normal in Colombo. If at all there is any update on the same we shall notify," the BCCI said in a press release.
Violence in the Kandy district occurred on Monday after an ethnic Sinhalese man died in hospital after he was attacked by a group of Muslims.About 75 percent of Sri Lanka's population is Sinhalese who are mostly Buddhists while about nine percent is Muslim.
Amidst everything, India and Bangladesh will play the second match of the series in Colombo today.