The bare faced cheek of an Aussie cricket fan in Sri Lanka who streaked across the pitch at Kandy has landed him in jail.
Described by news.co.au online as “the most memorable canter ever seen on the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium”, it has received ‘ball-by-ball’ commentaries across the world.
ABC News reports that the man, named as Alexander James from Queensland, was jailed for a week for indecent exposure and fined Rs3,000 for drunken behavior.
Joking aside—and there’s been a lot of that—a police official said they pressed charges in part because his actions “had hurt the sensibilities of Buddhist priests in Kandy, home to one of Sri Lanka’s holiest shrines, the Temple of the Tooth”.
And it once again underlines the need to exercise cultural awareness and sensitivity when visiting someone else’s country. Sri Lankans welcome visitors from around the world to have a good time in paradise, but some ‘good times’ can go too far.
Says ABC News: “Streaking at sporting events is rare in conservative Sri Lanka, and police stepped up security after the naked escapade at Pallekele International Stadium, where Sri Lanka are taking on Australia in the first Test.
“Footage showed the man jump the fence, strip, then run across the covers brought on to protect the ground from rain that had halted play. As an armed police commando tried to tackle him, he ran off the ground but was arrested later.”
And says Australia’s Herald Sun: “There was much high-fiving and laughing going on as he jumped the fence under the scoreboard and re-joined his mates. But the man … is not laughing now.”
Sri Lanka is highly sensitive to perceived insults to Buddhism, with authorities deporting a British nurse in 2014 for sporting a Buddha tattoo on her arm, and barring another British tourist from entering for showing “disrespect” to the religion by having a similar tattoo.