Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) soldiers stand guard as the Sri Lankan cricket team bus leaves the ground at the end of the  1st ODI between Sri Lanka and India at The Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium (Image courtesy: AFP)
Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) soldiers stand guard as the Sri Lankan cricket team bus leaves the ground at the end of the 1st ODI between Sri Lanka and India at The Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium (Image courtesy: AFP)

They lost a Test to Bangladesh. They failed to go beyond the Group Stage in the Champions Trophy. They lost a home ODI series against Zimbabwe. They lost the Test series to India 0-3. The fans could ultimately take no more. Disappointment in cricket-crazy Sri Lanka took a sharp turn to fury following their shambolic 9-wicket defeat in the first ODI against India at Dambulla. A section of Sri Lankan spectators held up the team bus, voicing displeasure at players performance and administration politics. It was only after the police intervention that the team bus could depart the stadium premises after a delay of half-an-hour. A report from ESPNCricinfo states there were close to 50 fans shouting slogans we want our cricket back and no politics in cricket . ALSO READ: IND vs SL, 1st ODI: Highlights

Earlier, there were demonstrations and displeasure on social media and there were internet trolls taking dig at selectors and the administrators. Ahead of the ODI series, skipper Upul Tharanga expressed the support of fans as a big morale and mentioned that the teams goal is to bring pride to the family of 20 million Sri Lankans. This had no effect in the fan morale, which can only be upped through serious performances.

Kumar Sangakkara, who is currently playing for Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL 2017, appealed to the fans: When we won, you celebrated with us, and when we lost, you grieved alongside us. When the team was struggling when we were most in need your love and support was our strength. Now, what our cricketers need is that same, love, support, patience and effort. Let s hope for the team s victory, and support them as one.

Sri Lanka will square off against India at Pallekele on Thursday for the second ODI.