Sri Lankan cricket team has worn black armbands ahead of the much-anticipated 2023 World Cup clash against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. Kusal Mendis and co. have worn the black armbands to pay tribute to Uncle Percy or Persey Abeysekera, who passed away on October 30th (Monday) aged 87.
Uncle Percy has been one of Sri Lankan team's biggest fans, having been their follower since the 1979 World Cup. The likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Irfan Pathan, and Harbhajan Singh also took to their official handles on X (formerly Twitter) to mourn the veteran's demise.
In fact, the BCCI also took to its official handle on X and issued a statement as below:
"Percy Abeysekera was a bundle of energy, lighting up every moment on the field with his constant cheering. He shared a deep bond with Indian cricketers and developed a strong connect every time Team India toured Sri Lanka. His presence will be dearly missed."
Sri Lanka make one change for the must-win clash against India:
As far as the Sri Lankan team is concerned, they have carried out one change from the stunning seven-wicket defeat to Afghanistan in Pune. Leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha has replaced batting all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva in the line-up.
By contrast, India have gone with an unchanged side and a victory in Mumbai will officially seal their spot in the semi-finals.