Siraj Gives 'Player Of The Final' Prize To Groundstaff
Mohammed Siraj, affectionately referred to as 'Miyan Magic' by his fans, touched hearts at the R Premadasa stadium. After the final match, he decided to dedicate his 'Player of the Final' cash prize to the ground staff.
This gesture was a token of appreciation for their diligent efforts in ensuring that not only the final game but also several previous matches were able to proceed despite interruptions caused by rain. Throughout the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, a number of matches, including India's group-stage clash against Pakistan and the Asia Cup final spot decider between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, were affected by rain.
"This cash prize goes to the groundsmen. This tournament wouldn't have been possible without them," Siraj said.
The star bowler had previously captured the hearts of Indian fans with his exceptional bowling performance, which dismantled Sri Lanka's innings, restricting them to just 50 runs in approximately 15 overs. Siraj took an impressive six wickets in just seven overs.
"No biryani here. Have been bowling well since a long time. Was missing the edges earlier. But found them today. The wicket was seaming earlier, but there was swing today. Thought that I will bowl fuller because of the swing. When there's good bonding between fast bowlers, it's helpful for the team… My best spell," the bowler said.
The entire ground staff team, which put in tireless efforts to prepare the grounds in Colombo and Pallekele for the Asia Cup amid a full-fledged monsoon season, will receive a well-deserved prize of USD 50,000, as announced by Jay Shah, the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council, on Sunday. USD 50,000 is approximately equivalent to 16 million Sri Lankan rupees.
"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," Shah wrote on 'X', formerly twitter.
"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!" added Shah.
The tournament was initially planned to be hosted in Pakistan. However, due to India's unwillingness to play in the neighboring country, the ACC had to arrange the event in a 'Hybrid Model,' with nine games scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka.
Nevertheless, Sri Lanka's weather conditions quickly posed a challenge, especially for their curators and ground staff, who faced constant difficulties in preparing the grounds on time.
India's first match against arch-rival Pakistan in Pallekele was affected by rain and eventually ended in a washout. Additionally, there were a few more matches during the competition where rain interruptions led to the implementation of the Duckworth–Lewis method to determine the outcome.
The Super-4 encounter between India and Pakistan extended into the reserve day, with India ultimately emerging victorious.
In the Asia Cup 2023 final, India secured a convincing victory by 10 wickets. They successfully chased down the low target of 51 runs in just 6.1 overs.