The Sri Lankan Cricket team is set to compete in the two-match Test series against Australia from June 29 at Galle International Stadium. After Australia clinched the three-match T20I series against the host team, Lankan players surprised the visitors in a five-match 50-over format series as they emerged as the winners 3-2.
In a recent development, Sri Lankan cricketers are set to give a fitting tribute to late spin wizard Shane Warne when the opening Test against Australia gets underway. Notably, Warne had reached the landmark of 500 Test wickets at the same venue in 2004, which was also his last tour of the island nation in whites.
"This June 29 will bring back memories of Warne, who proved to be a true friend to his adversaries off the field in the time of distress," a statement on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) website read.
The statement further mentioned how Warne was concerned about the welfare of Sri Lankans affected during the 2004 tsunami devastation and even flew over and visited the affected areas and made generous donations. "He valued Sri Lankan cricket and people on the island. He made notable donations and expressed his concern. He was not just a great cricketer but a humble and great human being," SLC noted.
He also made a contribution to the renovation of the Galle International Stadium, which was one of his favourite venues to bowl. Notably, Warne, at the age of 52, died of a suspected heart attack on March 4 this year while holidaying in Thailand.
The Srilankan Cricket Board and the country's ministry of tourism and sports have reportedly invited Warne's family members for the opening Test and reports have claimed that the family has given their consent to attend the match. Sri Lanka's tourism minister Harin Fernando has confirmed that Cricket Australia conveyed their wish of having Warne's family members and hence, they shared their approval.