ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's cricket captain Dinesh Chandimal Tuesday credited witchcraft for a surprise two-match Test win against Pakistan earlier this month, but failed to explain why they lost badly in the shorter forms of the game.
Chandimal confirmed social media reports that he visited a woman sorcerer identified as Ganga Zoiza and received a "special blessing" ahead of the two match series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"I am always ready to accept the blessings of anyone -- whether it is a 'meyni' (a woman sorcerer) or any clergy," Chandimal said in Colombo at his first press conference after returning from the UAE.
"You can have talent, but without this blessing you can't move forward," he said.
He was trolled over social media for resorting to what many called mumbo jumbo.
A post by a user identified on facebook as Tharanga Bandara said: "The bulls of Sri Lanka deserve a cow like you... god bless." Others were less complimentary while a few even threatened sexual violence against her.
Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara also reacted angrily to claims that he had directed Chandimal to Zoiza to cast a spell on the Pakistan team so that Sri Lanka could easily win the Test matches.
Jayasekara threatened to sue Zoiza who immediately pulled down her facebook post which claimed that Chandimal approached her with a request to cast a spell after being told to do so by the sports minister.
"My special thanks to minister Dayasiri Jayasekara for directing him to me. I will ensure a golden era for Sri Lanka cricket," she wrote after Sri Lanka won the Test series on October 6 against Pakistan which at the time was ranked higher.
Jayasekara cited Sri Lanka's 5-0 loss in the subsequent one-day series to rubbish Zoiza's claims. Since Jayasekara's outburst last week, Sri Lanka also lost the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan.
Chandimal said he went to Zoiza because she was the mother of a friend of his and was willing to accept her blessings for success at the series against Pakistan.
Several Sri Lankan politicians, business leaders and sports stars believe in astrology and witchcraft. Many have ended up being victims of charlatans. (COLOMBO, October 31, 2017)