It was an evening worth savouring a lifetime. Sri Lanka have proved to be excellent hosts of sporting events, specifically cricket World Cups.
The 2011 World Cup's 'Sri Lankan leg' was pretty much a success, and the on-going World Twenty20 has been excellent as well from organisational point of view.
It is a tournament that has boosted Lankan tourism, with the hotels being packed with fans who have travelled here from different countries, and it has given the country an image it now wants to project to the world.
Clean roads, well-managed traffic, courteous people, and above all, a safe and secure environment, speak about how much this land now wants to move on from a bloody past, which was seeped in an ethnic conflict.
The Cup has also ensured that the cricket stadiums built or refurbishing in the island nation for last year's World Cup, have been put to good use.
On the eve of the final, Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the media — here to cover the World Twenty20 — for a 'dinner' party at his official residence, known as the 'Temple Trees'.
The president met the journalists warmly, and mixed around freely. He made the Pakistani media happy too by promising that "Sri Lanka will tour Pakistan the moment the situation improves, and the International Cricket council (ICC) gives its approval."
He assured that he had "already given a green signal" for the tour, and it was "now up to the two boards to work things out." "We have ourselves faced the problem of extremism for 30 years. We are with Pakistan at this hour," said Rajapaksa.
Will he go to the Premadasa to cheer the Sri Lankan cricket team in the final against the West Indies on Sunday, the President was naturally asked.
"We have lost both the times I have gone to the ground, so I now prefer to watch cricket on TV," he said in a lighter vein, before saying he "may just turn up." Does he think Lanka will win?
"We would, as long as Chris Gayle doesn't do this," he quipped, while trying to copy the West Indian star bat's 'Gangnam style dance moves,' that were a ritual in this tournament.
Courtsey from Times of India