In a touching gesture, Mohammed Siraj decided to dedicate his ‘Player of the Match’ award of $5,000 to the committed ground staff at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The Asian Cricket Council is also stepping up, announcing a generous donation of $50,000 to the ground crew.
Mohammed Siraj, the Indian fast bowler, showcased his generosity by giving away his ‘Player of the Match’ award money to the ground staff of the Sri Lankan stadium, recognizing their relentless effort during the rain-marred Asia Cup.
Delivering a stellar performance at the R Premadasa Stadium, Siraj’s exceptional bowling saw the Sri Lankan top-order crumble. His heartfelt gesture was in acknowledgment of the groundsmen’s tireless work in maintaining the pitch during the tournament, especially given the frequent rain interruptions. Siraj, with an impressive 6-21, played a crucial role in India’s dominating 10-wicket victory against Sri Lanka, capturing their eighth Asia Cup title. He further emphasized his gratitude in his speech, dedicating his prize to the hardworking groundsmen and stating that the tournament’s success owed much to them.
It was a day of pride for India as they claimed the Asia Cup after a hiatus of five years, with the match culminating in just over two hours. The Sri Lankan team faced a tough time, all out for just 50 runs in 15.2 overs, with Siraj’s six wickets in seven overs marking his best ODI performance to date.
Expressing his elation post-match, Siraj said, “I’ve been in good form for a while now. Today, the ball swung, and I focused on a fuller length. It’s always beneficial when fast bowlers share a great bond. I aimed to limit boundaries and this turned out to be my best spell. The groundsmen truly deserve this prize money; they made this tournament possible.”
In addition to Siraj’s personal donation, the groundsmen, who showed remarkable dedication in preparing the grounds in Colombo and Pallekele amidst heavy monsoons, will receive a commendation of USD 50,000 from the Asian Cricket Council, as declared by its chairman, Jay Shah.
Praising the groundsmen’s efforts, Shah shared on ‘X’, the successor to Twitter, “A huge salute to cricket’s unsung heroes! Both the Asian Cricket Council and Sri Lanka Cricket are thrilled to reward the diligent ground staff in Colombo and Kandy with $50,000.” Converting to the local currency, this amount is approximately 16 million Sri Lankan rupees.
He added, “Their dedication and hard work have transformed the Asia Cup 2023 into an unforgettable event. The pitch and field conditions were nothing short of perfection, setting the stage for some riveting cricket action.”