The Sri Lankan cricket team took to the field wearing black armbands in the World Cup match against India at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Thursday. They wore a black armband in memory of Percy Abeysekera, a superfan of the Sri Lankan team. Abeysekera died on Monday at the age of 87 after a long battle with the disease.
Percy Abeysekera was known to fans as ‘Uncle Percy’. He was present in almost all of Sri Lanka’s matches since the 1979 World Cup, but he gained popularity after the 1996 World Cup. Sri Lanka co-hosted the World Cup in 1996. Abeysekera was famous for waving a large Sri Lankan flag during matches, patting players on the back and even accompanying players to the dressing room.
An official statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said, “Sri Lanka players will wear black armbands during today’s match against India to pay tribute to the late Percy Abeysekera. Abeysekera was an integral part of Sri Lankan cricket and he supported the players And played an important role in inspiring. He will always be remembered.
India captain Rohit Sharma recently recalled meeting Abeysekera during the Asia Cup when he visited Abeysekera’s home in Colombo. Rohit said, “I was lucky to meet him in Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup and he is a big fan of cricket. Of course, of the Sri Lankan team but he is probably the first fan I met. I am very fond of his team. It was great to see his support towards the players.