Sri Lanka set for heroes' welcome
Sri Lanka's returning World T20 champions will have an open-top parade from the Katunayake Airport to Colombo, upon their arrival from Dhaka on Tuesday, SLC has confirmed. The team is scheduled to arrive in the country at 3pm, with the parade to begin at 4pm. Tens of thousands are expected to line the streets, with the parade set to be conducted on a much grander scale than the reception for the Asia Cup winning team, one month ago.
The team is yet to sign its contracts with the board, having departed after a tense standoff with officials, but SLC has offered the team a sum of US $1.5 million for the victory, even as negotiations are set to resume this week.
The board had initially offered a participation fee of $500,000, a further $250,000 if the team were to reach the final, and another $250,000 for winning the tournament, but that pay structure had seemingly been rejected by the players, who wished to have a 12% cut of the ICC's tournament payment to SLC reinstated in their contracts. If the $1.5 million is accepted by the players, they will have received a figure roughly equivalent to 17% of the funds SLC is expected to receive from the ICC.
Congratulations for the Sri Lanka team had poured in from around the world, with Jason Gillespie, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan among those voicing their appreciation on twitter. At home, a host of local celebrities have joined the chorus.
The victory sparked jubilation across the island, with fans' celebrations having stretched long into the night in several major centres, while Sri Lanka's team manager said the team had themselves been singing and celebrating for hours after the victory. Sri Lanka also reclaimed the top ranking in Twenty20 cricket with the win, moving three points clear after India had briefly become the top-ranked team during the tournament. Sri Lanka had held the top ranking since their 2012 World T20 campaign.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here