Ashen Silva On Life In Sri Lanka Under Coronavirus Lockdown
It’s difficult to put into words how life has changed since this time last year, as we all looked ahead to the new cricket season and the opening Ribblesdale League match against Padiham Cricket Club at Marshfield Road. The new Sri Lankan professional Ashen Silva making his debut and the return of fans favourite Eddy Reid to the club.
The opening match set the tone for the season as Tom Davidson and Danyl Husbands both scored centuries as the club went on to win the match. Over the season, the whole squad came together and battled through some difficult times to win the championship and be crowned the 2019 Ribblesdale Cricket League winners.
Just twelve months on and the world is in lockdown from the coronavirus which has so far claimed over 46,000 lives around the world. All sport has been postponed or cancelled until further notice, including the 2020 Ribblesdale Cricket League and all social life has been put on hold with the closing of all restaurants, bars and pubs around the country.
After the season had finished our club professional Ashen Silva returned to Dankotuwa, which is in the North-West of Sri Lanka some 6,629 miles from Settle, to spend some time with his family before returning to North Yorkshire for this coming season. However due to the virus and the cricket league being put on hold he will now spend the summer in Sri Lanka on lockdown.
Just like the rest of the world, the Sri Lankan government has advised its citizens to stay at home to reduce contact and save lives. As of the 31st March 2020, the government had so far reported 142 cases of coronavirus and 2 deaths in Sri Lanka from the pandemic. The streets are empty and almost all businesses are closed to the public.
Chadwick Media today contacted the Settle Cricket Club all rounder to give us his view of life in Sri Lanka under the coronavirus lockdown. The interview was to understand the current position in other countries, but also to see how it will effect him as a professional sportsman in terms of fitness and his future career.
On the 31st March 2020, the Sri Lankan government had reported 142 cases of the coronavirus and 2 deaths from the pandemic, how are the people of Dankotuwa feeling about the virus?
Everybody is taking it very seriously and listening to what the Sri Lankan government are advising them to do. I’ve been at home now for 17 days with my family. We haven’t even been for shopping for 17 days, that’s how worried we are about the virus.
In terms of the differnce between the UK and Sri Lanka, we have had issues over the last few weeks with supermarkets having empty shelves are you having the same issues or is it easy to get hold of food?
We didn’t have such things happened here, only when people heard about the first virus patient did they panic buy, but it has not happened again after that initial few days. Our government and health ministry with the help of three forces have managed things really well at the moment.
The England team were due to tour Sri Lanka but due to the coronavirus the tour has been cancelled, will this have an impact on Sri Lankan national side in the future in terms of finance?
I don’t think so mate, the cricket board have enough money, but it will be a problem in the long run for a lot of cricket boards around the world as international cricket won’t be played for at least six months.
In terms of cricket in the UK, all leagues have been suspended and this will have an impact on the overseas players that normally come to the UK. What is the current situation for yourself?
Yes, this will be an issue as I don’t think overseas players will be playing this year if any cricket happens in Uk at all and I don’t think it will. I won’t be coming over this year for Settle Cricket Club, but I will be back next season 2021.
As a professional sportsman how are you keeping fit at the moment?
It’s very easy mate, doing the tidying up and helping my mum around the house (she is very happy at the moment because I’m home after a long time). I also have a training plan doing some home workouts in the evenings, as well as running and resistance training.
Not being able to return to Settle Cricket Club this season what will you miss about playing for the club?
It’s a good question mate! I will miss everything! Playing and winning games for Settle Cricket Club and socializing will be definitely missed. But what can you do, it is what it is at the moment and life goes on what ever happens
At present in the UK we have a number TV & sports stars telling us to stay at home via various media channels such as TV, Radio and social Media. If you could speak to the staff, players and supporters of Settle Cricket Club what would you say to them at this difficult time?
I would say to them the same thing! Stay home and stay safe. Wash hands regularly and we should do what the government instructs us to do. This will prevent the spread of the virus and nature will take control so it’s a waiting game now.