Sri Lanka’s Uncle Percy waves flag high

Colombo: Sri Lankan Cricket fan Percy Abesekara has been a frequent presence in Sri Lanka matches since his first Test against England in 1982. Even the country’s worst financial crisis has not kept him away from cricket. He is affectionately called ‘Uncle Percy’ and is often seen with Sri Lankan players on the field. A regular feature 85-year-old Percy Abesekara is still being allowed on the field by the Sri Lankan cricket authorities to accompany the team with the flag after every match. Whether the team wins or loses. He goes on the field as an ardent supporter of his national team. Even as captain of New Zealand, Martin Crowe gave him his Man of the Match award and he went to the dressing room.

He was in Galle earlier this month when hundreds of protesters climbed the walls of the ancient fort during the second Test against Australia to demand the removal of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The host country is battling its worst economic crisis since independence, as it is not possible to buy essential commodities, including fuel and medicines, without foreign exchange. Abasekara was twice invited to join the Sri Lankan Cricket Board, but he declined the position.

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