Paper declares 'death of Sri Lankan cricket'

Sri Lankan media react to historic Test defeat to Bangladesh in Colombo

Some 135 years after English cricket was declared dead and the Ashes shipped to Australia, Sri Lankan cricket was killed off by a newspaper mourning the loss to Bangladesh, the youngest Test-playing nation.

The Island newspaper on Monday published an obituary for Sri Lankan cricket following the loss. "RIP Sri Lanka," read the headline.

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The paper carried a notice saying: "In affectionate remembrance of Sri Lankan cricket which died at the Oval on 19, March 2017.

"The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Bangladesh," read the notice.

The obituary in The Island
The obituary in The Island

The sports page also carried a cartoon depicting Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala and the country's sports minister carrying a casket with "Sri Lankan cricket" written on it.

Bangladesh won the second Test by four wickets on Sunday to secure a first win over Sri Lanka in 18 attempts. Sri Lanka has won 15 of those matches and two have been drawn.

In 1882 The Sporting Times newspaper in England famously published a satirical obituary of English cricket after Australia beat England on English soil, creating the Ashes legend.

Bangladesh's victory also coincided with the country's 100th Test and helped the team even a two-match series.

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The Daily News was also full of praise for Bangladesh, but described the loss as "Sri Lanka's darkest hour in Test cricket".

"For Bangladesh this win was special because it showed how much they have improved as a Test nation," it said.

Unless some radical actions are taken and changes made to improve their game, Sri Lanka will struggle to beat teams like Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Ireland, the newspaper said.

The loss to Bangladesh comes less than a year after Sri Lanka completed a historic clean sweep of Australia in their three-match Test series.