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Old October 7, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Nocturnal Nocturnal is offline
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Tiger, tiger burning bright
by Desmond Samith

[ from Ceylon Today- an English language newspaper published by Ceylon Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd. located at Colombo, SL]

Sweat drenches his face and the bare upper body. It looks in different colours – yellow, red and green. The face and the body are painted in those colours. He doesn't care about the heat or the sweat. He is soaking in the action that is unfolding before him. Twenty-five-year-old Shoaib Ali is definitely creating a scene at the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh second Test cricket match at the R Premadasa Stadium.

"I'm here to support my team, Bangladesh," Ali tells me with the little English he knows, trying his very best to be clear and understood.
My intrusion though has gained some welcome respite to his tired limbs. He has been waving a huge Bangladeshi national flag the whole afternoon as the Bangladesh openers, Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam, were posting a 91-run stand for the first wicket. When he was not waving the flag, Ali was performing a fast-paced dance to some nonexistent piece of music. (The usual Sri Lankan Papare band is surprisingly absent here).

"This is not easy...very very difficult," he tells me pointing to the paint on his face. After close inspection, I notice he has coloured his face and hands in yellow and black, and his chest and the belly in green and red. At the same time he wants to display the colours of the national flag, and also to bring alive the national animal of his country – the Bengali tiger.

He has not used any accepted material used in body-painting, but pure lacquer.
"I brought them from Bangladesh," he says proudly.

Full Read:
Armchair selectors name their XI and conduct heated selection meetings on internet. Blood young players, some experts cry. Pick the best players, regardless of age, insist others.
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