The Sri Lankan president met with the cricket team before the start of the ICC World Cup. —Photo by AP
The Sri Lankan president met with the cricket team before the start of the ICC World Cup. —Photo by AP

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will fly to Mumbai to watch Kumar Sangakkara’s men take on India in the World Cup final on Saturday.

Rajapaksa urged all Sri Lankans to rally around the national cricket team “as it is the best way to pay tribute to Muttiah Muralitharan.” The off-spinner will be playing his last international match on Saturday.

“The ICC had invited the president. The Indian government is looking forward to his arrival and is making arrangements,” presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekara said.

Rajapaksa’s visit will not carry any of the heavy political overtones of Wednesday’s India-Pakistan semi-final. The prime ministers of the nuclear-armed rivals sat side-by-side to watch the match in what was dubbed “cricket diplomacy”.

Muralitharan, 38, the sole survivor from Sri Lanka’s 1996 champion side, is the leading wicket-taker in both test and one-day cricket.

National carrier Sri Lankan Airlines said on Thursday it will operate an additional flight to Mumbai on Saturday to transport cricket fans, on top of its usual daily service.

More From This Section

‘ECB annoyance made PCB give Rashid cold shoulder’

According to sources, the ECB was not happy with PCB's offer to Rashid who has been blunt in his support of Kaneria.

Hamilton wins Chinese GP in Mercedes one-two

German team mate Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag 18 seconds behind the Briton to finish runner-up.

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

"Times have changed and there is hardly any respect for bowlers these days."

Federer ousts ailing Djokovic in Monaco semis

Federer beat an injured Djokovic 7-5 6-2 to set up an all-Swiss Monte Carlo final with Wawrinka.


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Poll
From The Newspaper
Tweets