Sri Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne spoke of his struggles amidst the ongoing crisis that has engulfed the nation. Waiting in the queue for over two days for fuel, the cricketer, like millions across the island, is suffering through an unprecedented moment in Lankan history. Whilst his concerns were particular to how his cricket has been affected by the state of affairs, such stories of disruption are familiar occurrences to the Lankan masses.

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“We have to go for practices in Colombo and different, different places, and we have club season also going on. With fuel (shortages), we can’t go for practice. Last two days, I didn’t went anywhere else, I just was in the queue for two days, and I just got my fuel. So struggling right now. We only got for like Rs. 10000, and that’s only for like maximum two to three days. I don’t know after that what I’m going to do. I think the people are saying that fuel is not coming for another one week,” said Karunaratne to ANI.

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With the Asia Cup scheduled for the final week of August, there are doubts over Sri Lanka’s preparedness for the event. Karunaratne dismissed concerns but did point out that while provisions have been set aside for the marquee cricket tournament, ordinary peoples continue to struggle:

“I think we are because (it is) a big thing. For that, they have given fuel and all that. We now play with Australia, it went nicely, amazingly. And we played under lights, so for that, we have everything but for the people, we are struggling. But for Asia Cup, we are ready, we have all the stuff. Even right now, they are managing and keeping everything ready for the Asia Cup,” the cricketer added.

Turning out for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, the fast bowler did have words of praise for India, highlighting the help extended by their neighbours:

“India is like a brother country & they are helping us a lot. I thank them so much. We have problems. They are supporting us when we are struggling. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for everything. We will get better and better,” concluded the 26-year-old.

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The Indian Government has provided over $3.8 billion to Sri Lanka, for mitigating the adverse socio-economic situation in the country, under its Neighbourhood First policy. Irrespective, the disgruntled masses have lost their patience with the country’s leadership, storming the Presidential palace, burning to rubble acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ancestral home, occupying the Prime Minister’s office and forcing the once feared Gotabaya Rajapaksa to not just resign, but flee from the country.