'We want our cricket back': Sri Lankan fans turn hostile following crushing 9-wicket loss to India

Abhinav Kini
Sri Lanka team bus

Around 50 fans of the Sri Lankan cricket team gathered near the team bus to protest against their team's lack of fight during their crushing loss to India.

India won the first of a five-match One Day International series against Sri Lanka by nine wickets on Sunday (20 August) at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla.

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The hosts were batting first and were 139-1 at one point, but collapsed soon after to eventually go all out for 216 runs.

India's Shikhar Dhawan struck a century and skipper Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 82 to help the visitors cruise to a comfortable victory with 220 runs.

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Following the dismal performance, a section of Sri Lankan fans started chanting "We want our cricket back" near the team bus as the players were about to board it.

With the protesting fans not leaving, the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) were called in to clear the crowd so that the players could leave for the team hotel.

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"It swings between hurt and embarrassment," Sri Lanka's interim coach Nic Pothas said following the match, as quoted on CricBuzz. "Emotionally you get angry. You get frustrated. You can't fault anyone within that changing room."

"Yes, we didn't play our best cricket today. That's pretty obvious. You do get angry. To say "too many cooks" is probably accurate.

"We were 139 for one. Then we were 77 for 9. To lose nine wickets in 19 overs, is in anyone's language unacceptable. We've got to take that on the chin as staff, as players, and that's the reality of sport."

Sri Lanka will be hoping for a better performance as they face India on Thursday (24 August) at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Balagolla for the second match of the series.

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