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Sri Lanka v England

Rob Lewis, the England fan who’s waited nearly a year in Sri Lanka for the return of Test cricket

rob lewis
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Rob Lewis, a web designer for Surry, may get the chance to watch England play live earlier than most.

2020 was a testing year for everybody. Routines and habits were thrown out the window as the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cricket was no different; in the UK, with the odd rare exception in the summer, it’s been virtually impossible for fans to attend matches live.

Rob Lewis, an England fan who hoped to watch his side live in Sri Lanka in 2020 on their original tour of the country, might get his chance to view live cricket earlier than most.

Lewis, a 37-year-old web designer from Surrey, travelled to Sri Lanka in March 2020 and after the pandemic hit, never left.

“I’ve been in Sri Lanka the whole time on blind faith, on a wing and a prayer,” Lewis told The Times.

“I thought, ‘Oh, this coronavirus will be a month. I’ll stay in for that month and then see what happens.’ But it rumbled on… there’s never been a point where I thought I should go home.”

Lewis has been able to financially support his stay in Sri Lanka since March and his patience is set to be rewarded. “I could get annoyed about the money I spend on rent back home,” Lewis told AFP. “But it’s offset by the cheaper cost of living here.

Though he’s unlikely to be granted entrance into the venue, Lewis hopes to be able to watch the game from Galle’s iconic fort.

“Lucky enough, because it is Galle, we have the beautiful fort to watch (from),” he added. “ I’m going to print a few hymn sheets out and try and get as many people to help me sing ‘Jerusalem’ as possible.”

The first Test of the series begins in Galle on Thursday.

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