According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, for the first time in recent history, the visiting Indian team was not garlanded at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo on Monday. Of course, the move was taken keeping in mind the Covid-19 protocols.
“Leave aside the garland ceremony, we could not even glimpse at the players. The team was not escorted from the front but the players were sent in their rooms from the back”, Pankaj Sampat, the General Manager of the hotel, told the publication.
“Both teams – India and Sri Lanka (arriving from the UK tour on July 5) – will be in strict bio-bubble. They will be catered by the designated staffs, who are also staying in the hotel. Players will have their food at certain specified places only”, he added.
“This (pandemic) is a different war and we miss the welcoming ceremony this time. However, it is our pleasure and honour to host them”, he added.
On the other hand, SLC has appointed Chandra Rodrigo as the liasion officer for Team India.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Monday suspended three players, including batsman Kusal Mendis and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, for breaching the bio-bubble during their ongoing tour of England and ordered their immediate return to the country. The two, along with opener Danushka Gunathilaka, were seen roaming the streets of Durham after the final T20 international on Sunday night, which Sri Lanka lost by a massive 89 runs.
“Sri Lanka Cricket executive Committee has suspended Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka & Niroshan Dickwella for breaching the bio- bubble and they will be immediately recalled to Sri Lanka,” SLC secretary Mohan De Silva said in a statement. Reacting to the video, which was posted by a Sri Lankan fan, SLC chief Shammi Silva said, “an investigation is underway as they have breached the (code of) conduct.”