Dubai: At a time when the world is reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Sri Lankan cricketers are taking the lead to protect nature for the future. Many conservationists are already talking of our planet healing itself during this period, and cricketers have decided to contribute to it by planting trees during this stay at home phase hoping to lessen the impact from future natural calamities.
Since deforestation has been said to contribute to global warming, these cricketers consider it important that another disaster in the form of nature’s backlash should not happen after the Coronavirus crisis recedes. Hence many top Sri Lankan cricketers have joined hands hoping to add more green to the planet and named their initiative as ‘Home Garden Challenge’.
Taking the lead is Sri Lanka’s top all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who is busy in his garden at home these days. He had tweeted: “Today’s little plants will be tomorrow’s source of life. Let’s plant today.” Another all-rounder Thisarra Perera, posting a picture of him watering the plants in his garden, tweeted: “What you plant today, you will harvest tomorrow”, and he has roped in cricketers like Jeeven Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera and Upul Tharanga.
Mendis keeps himself busy in his garden and has fallen in love with his plants. One of his tweets said: “Plant smiles, grow laughter. Harvest love, what you plant today you will harvest later.”
The Home Garden Challenge has also been linked to a food sustainability initiative in Sri Lanka. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal has roped in greats like Kumar Sangakkara, and tweeted. “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. I am nominating Kumar Sangakkara, Thisara Perera and cricket journalist Rex Clementine.”
Sangakkara, who has been keen on gardening, after nominating five more to join the campaign, tweeted: “ Naarang, Kadju (cashew), Kos (jackfruit), Del (breadfruit) and Kurundu (cinnamon) trees are among so many others that we have planted over the years. Produce for our home and for our neighbours.”
Incidentally, MAS Holdings, the official Clothing Sponsor of the Sri Lankan Cricket team for the 2019 ICC World Cup, had recycled plastic ocean-waste from the Sri Lankan coast with the help of Sri Lankan Navy to produce the team jerseys, and thus drive an important concept of environmental conservation.