Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah on Sunday lauded the groundsmen and the curators of Colombo and Kandy due to their efforts in preparing the field for to play even after the Asia Cup tournament was hampered by incessant rain.
Announcing a cash reward of $ 50,000, Shah wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “Big Shoutout to the Unsung Heroes of Cricket! The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are proud to announce a well-deserved prize money of USD 50,000 for the dedicated curators and groundsmen at Colombo and Kandy.”
“Their unwavering commitment and hard work made the Asia Cup 2023 an unforgettable spectacle. From pitch perfection to lush outfields, they ensured the stage was set for thrilling cricket action. This recognition highlights the critical role these individuals play in cricket’s success. Let’s celebrate and honour their yeoman services,” he added.
🏏🏟️ Big Shoutout to the Unsung Heroes of Cricket! 🙌
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are proud to announce a well-deserved prize money of USD 50,000 for the dedicated curators and groundsmen at Colombo and Kandy. 🏆
Their unwavering commitment and…
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) September 17, 2023
The groundsmen had their work cut out in the Super 4 match against India and Pakistan last week when the original day and the reserve day was hampered due to rain. But due to their efforts, the match could go on even with delays and india defeated their arch-rivals.
Godfrey Dabare, national curator of Sri Lanka Cricket, was at the heart of it all. Ever since it became clear that the tournament will run into bad weather, Dabare, who has around 60 ground staff under his umbrella, hired around 50 more labourers for the Asia Cup, fully aware of the challenge ahead.
And for a week, he had trained his boys about how to bring the covers on, keeping a stopwatch in hand. “We took about 100 labourers for a match, otherwise there are 60 skilled workers and if needed I borrow them from Pallekele, Galle, Hambantota. But because of the rains this time, I had to bring more” he had said to this paper.
Meanwhile, the final of the Asia Cup was also delayed by 40 mins due to rain on Sunday. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka had won the toss and elected to bat against India. Sri Lanka made one change, bringing in Dushan Hemantha in place of Maheesh Theekshana.
For India, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav were back in the playing eleven after being rested for one game, while Washington Sundar came in for injured Axar Patel.
The start of play was delayed by 40 minutes due to rain.