Colombo: Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch hopes his team can bring some joy to cricket fans in Sri Lanka amid the island nation’s worst financial crisis in over seven decades, the 35-year-old said on Friday.
Australia cricketers had voiced some ethical concerns about the situation in Sri Lanka, where demonstrations have roiled the country since late March, but they arrived on Wednesday for eight limited-overs matches and two Tests over the next six weeks.
“We are here to play cricket. Hopefully, we can bring some joy, some entertainment to Sri Lanka … This is the first time we’re here since 2016, which is such a long gap,” he said.
“It’s such a special place to tour. The hospitality that you get here, the friendliness, and their love for the game is unbelievable.”
The protests and frequent power cuts as a result of the economic crisis has led to some questions over day-night games.
Asked if they were confident about those games, Finch said: “It’s well and truly above my pay grade. But all that stuff was ticked off between the two boards and the governments before the tour went ahead.
“Whether they shift the games to day games, I’m not sure what’s going to happen ... but over the last week or so, I haven’t heard any complaints (from teammates).”
Australia, defending Twenty20 World Cup champions, begin their tour on Tuesday with the first of their three Twenty20 matches against a Sri Lanka team ranked ninth in this format.
Finch, who led Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup title last year, ruled out any complacency against a home side containing batter Kusal Mendis and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
“We had a couple of close series against them … they are a very dangerous side,” Finch said.
“If you just look at the top order, you’ve got Kusal there who can be as damaging as anyone on his day and obviously Hasaranga has had an unbelievable couple of years in T20 cricket.”