Sri Lankan team touring India now was blessed by Buddihst monks. “The blessing ceremony was performed at Sri Lanka Cricket head-quarter in Colombo on Saturday morning just before the players left for Bandaranaike International Airport to board a Sri Lanka Airlines flight (UL 127), which reached Chennai in time”, according to Rajit Fernando, the media manager, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
“Rev. Dhamma Keerthi blessed the boys”, he said over telephone from Colombo.
The captain or players going to church before any tough tour is a common practice adopted by the international players in their individual capacity. Even the Pakistani players go on Haj and markka madina yatra but the players collectively assemble and pray for team success before embarking the tour is perhaps seen only in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the monks also offer blessings when the team returns.
“I don’t know when this practice started but even during my time also this practiceremained”, Michael Zoysha, who worked with the team as a manager, said from Colombo. “The monks tie white threads on players wrists”, he added. White color is a symbol of peace and that could be the one of the reasons for it.
Sri Lanka is scheduled to play a series of three Twenty20s’ commencing in Pune on Tuesday. The second match will be played in Ranchi on Thursday, followed by the last at Vishakhapatnam on 14th February.
Bipin Dani is a leading cricket analyst based in India.