Mohammed Siraj, who is also known as 'Miyan Magic' to his fans, won hearts at the R Premadasa stadium here after the final match as he dedicated the ‘Player of the Final’ cash prize to the ground staff for their hard work.
While dedicating the prize of 5000 USD (Rs 41.5 lakh) for the staff, who worked hard to ensure the final game as also some games earlier went ahead after interruptions caused by rain, Siraj said, “Without their hard work and dedication the game would not have been possible.”
A number of games were affected by rain throughout the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka like India's group-stage game against Pakistan and Nepal, Asia Cup final spot decider between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
"This cash prize goes to the groundsmen. This tournament wouldn't have been possible without them," Siraj said.
The star bowler earlier won the hearts of Indian fans with his fierce bowling that folded up Sri Lanka's innings on 50 in about 15 overs.
Siraj claimed six wickets in seven overs.
"No biryani here. Have been bowling well since a long time; was missing the edges earlier. But found them today. The wicket was seaming earlier, but there was swing today. I thought that I will bowl fuller because of the swing. When there's good bonding between fast bowlers, it's helpful for the team… My best spell," the bowler said.
Earlier in the day, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced well-deserved prize money of USD 50,000 for the dedicated curators and ground staff at Colombo and Kandy.
The ACC and SLC also expressed gratitude to the Colombo and Kandy groundstaff for their outstanding efforts in completing a game despite numerous interruptions due to rain.
ACC president Jay Shah on Sunday took to 'X' to heap praise on ground staff for their hard work throughout the tournament.