While everyone else is talking about the attack on the Sri Lankan team today early morning outside Gaddafi Stadium I would like to talk about something else: my personal memories associated with the relationship between Team Sri Lanka and the Gaddafi Stadium.
Those of you who might be following my blog for a while might know my relationship with my Nana. Although I was only almost 12 years old when he died, some of the most vivid memories of my life would always remain to be of the time wen he was alive.
He had a major heart attack and went into coma for 6 days in February 1996. His survival was deemed a miracle by his doctors. When he regained consciousness, he was having difficulty in recognizing the family even. In fact, he had started to refer to my mom as his sister. It took him a while to get back to normal and the first thing that he asked for at the hospital was a TV because although he might have forgotten pretty much everything, he remembered that the World Cup was due to start. He did recover (not completely) and came back home in time to catch the last 5-6 matches of the World Cup.
It was a tournament Sri Lanka was destined to win. Sri Lanka reached the quarter final without playing a single match. They were awarded the match against India (Semi final) after the rioting from the indian crowd wen India were 120 for 8 in response to Sri lanka’s 251 for 8. It was then wen they took a flight to Lahore to play at the Gaddafi Stadium to win their first ever World Cup and that too while playing against Australia on March 17 1996.
Just 4 days later, my Nana had another minor heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital once again but this time there were no miracles. He survived another 10 days and he died on April 1, 1996. It was the death of an avid cricket fan.
Today, 13 years later, just outside that same stadium, 6 security men died to save that very same Team Sri Lanka and to give life to several other ardent cricket fans all around the world.