World Cup-winning Sri Lanka player serves tea and buns amid severe fuel crisis | Cricket

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, and the island nation has been unable to finance the import of basic necessities such as food, medicine and fuel since late last year. The country has also been hit hard by record high inflation and prolonged power outages, which eventually led to protests calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. (Read also | ‘He puts a lot of pressure on selectors, captain, coach’: Smith names Indian youngster favorite for T20 WC berth

The South Asian nation is struggling to find a foreign exchange to pay for much-needed fuel imports, and its existing supply of gasoline and diesel is expected to run out within days. While the country is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue package, people have flooded gas stations, leading to a long line of vehicles stretching for several miles.

During the crisis, Roshan Mahanama, who was part of the Sri Lankan cricket team that won the ODI World Cup in 1996, shared photos of him serving tea and sandwiches to people queuing at the gas station.

“Tonight we served tea and sandwiches with the Community Meal Share team to the people at the gas lines around Ward Place and Wijerama mawatha. The queues are getting longer by the day and there will be many health risks for people queuing,” Mahanama wrote on Twitter.

“Please, watch out for each other in the fuel queues. Bring plenty of fluids and food and if you’re not feeling well, get in touch with the person closest to you and ask for support or call 1990. We need to take care of each other in these trying times.”

Previously, Australian players, who are currently visiting Sri Lanka for a multi-format series, have lent support to the nation witnessing a spiral of crisis.

In a clip shared by the Australian High Commission in Colombo, pacesetter Mitchell Starc and batter Steve Smith said they are encouraging friends to “help in any way they can” with the UN’s appeal for $47.2 million in emergency funds.

The UN has said that so far 1.7 million people in the country’s 22 million are in need of “life-saving assistance,” adding that more than three-quarters of the population have reduced their food intake due to food shortages.

“The UN has launched a flash appeal in Sri Lanka to support poor communities affected by the crisis,” Starc said. “We are proud that Australia is doing its part. Together we can help Sri Lanka for six people to break through this crisis,” said Smith.

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