After waiting 10 months, England cricket fan hoping for glimpse of his heroes

Rob Lewis originally flew to Sri Lanka for tour last March before it was postponed

England cricket fan Rob Lewis is hoping to watch the first Test against Sri Lanka from the ramparts of Galle Fort after spending 10 months in the country waiting for England to return. Photograph: Lakruwan WanniarachchI/AFP via Getty Images

England cricket fan Rob Lewis is hoping to watch the first Test against Sri Lanka from the ramparts of Galle Fort after spending 10 months in the country waiting for England to return. Photograph: Lakruwan WanniarachchI/AFP via Getty Images

 

An England cricket fan who has waited in Sri Lanka for 10 months to see the team play was still yet to find out if he would be able to watch the game on the eve of the first Test match.

Rob Lewis, a web designer from Sunbury-on-Thames, first flew out to Sri Lanka on March 13th last year and found out while he was on the plane that England’s tour had been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But instead of flying back to the UK he stayed in the country and vowed to stay there until England returned to fulfil their fixtures.

Now Joe Root and his team are back, but with no fans allowed in the ground in Galle because of Covid-19 restrictions, the 37-year-old is unsure if or how he would be able to watch the game less than 24 hours before the start of the action.

Nevertheless, having waited so long, he was excited that the cricket was finally about to start.

“It feels really weird but I’m super excited,” said Lewis. “I’ve done all this work – all I ask for is a vantage point, which isn’t too much to ask considering I’ve been waiting 10 months.”

The devoted fan has been on a personal adventure during his unplanned stay in the island country, adopting a stray dog while living on a beach, becoming a DJ with his own alter ego – DJ Randy Caddick, named after former England bowler Andy Caddick – and befriending members of the Sri Lanka cricket team’s coaching staff.

Rob Lewis has been DJing under the name DJ Randy Caddick during his 10 months in Sri Lanka. Photograph: Rob Lewis/PA Wire
Rob Lewis has been DJing under the name DJ Randy Caddick during his 10 months in Sri Lanka. Photograph: Rob Lewis/PA Wire

Now he finds himself in the unusual situation of being possibly England’s only fan for the two-Test series.

It is a story that has made it back to the England players, who are keen to meet up with Lewis, even if it ends up being virtual.

Captain Root said: “I am aware of DJ Randy Caddick. Hopefully we get a chance to catch up with him in the next couple of weeks to touch base – whether that’s a Zoom call or a phone call, it’d be nice to get in touch.

“It’s an amazing story and hopefully we can give him something to smile about to round off what must have been an incredible year for him.”

Asked about the prospect of a Zoom call with the England captain, Lewis joked: “I’d prefer a Facebook Messenger call with the werewolf filter on but whatever’s easiest for him.”

In normal circumstances, many fans gather at Galle Fort, which overlooks the stadium, where they can watch the action for free when cricket is being played.

However, Lewis said there are “strong, strong rumours” it will be closed to stop crowds gathering.

He said: “That’s a bit of a blow, I really don’t know what to do otherwise. I’ve thought about buying a stepladder and poking my head over the fence.”

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