GALLE: Veteran Australia opener David Warner has penned a heartfelt messaged for the warm and welcoming people of Sri Lanka, who braved the economic and political crisis in the country, to turn out in huge numbers to witness the keenly-contested month-long series between the two countries.
The island nation is passing through one of the worst crisis in more than seven decades with severe shortage of fuel, medicines and essential commodities in the wake of the political instability in the country.
Still, people turned out in droves to witness the matches, and cheer not just the home team but also the Australians, to express their gratitude to the visitors for agreeing to visit the country amid the turmoil.
Even Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch was overwhelmed by the response his team received during the limited-over series, comprising three T20I and five ODIs, which concluded at the R. Premadasa Stadium on June 24. Thousands of people in Australia's traditional colours had descended on the R. Premadasa Stadium for the final ODI in a show of solidarity for the visiting team.
On Monday, at the conclusion of the two-Test series, Warner took to Instagram to express his gratitude to the Sri Lankans.
"Thank you Sri Lanka for hosting us here during what is an extremely difficult time. We are so grateful to be able to come here and play the game we love and know you all love supporting. You have opened your arms up to us and we will never forget this trip," said Warner.
While the country was in the grip of protests with millions of people coming on the streets to demand the resignation of the Sri Lankan President, the month-long series went off smoothly with not a minute's disruption.
"What I love about your amazing country is no matter the circumstances you always have a smile on your face and are always so welcoming. Thank you and I can't wait to one day visit for a holiday with my family. #respect #love #cricket," added Warner.