In most other countries, young men would be playing football or volleyball. Not in Sri Lanka: the popular activity in the water was cricket practice, and the aquatic diving catches (or unsuccessful attempts) could be quite balletic (pic).
As it happened, later on I saw a sign pointing to ‘Sanath Jayasuriyagama’ (‘gama’ means ‘village’). It’s one of two villages set up by cricketers (the other being Mavan Atapattu) that provided homes for 100 families whose houses were destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. Having a bike meant I could detour to visit the village (pic), whose streets are all named after cricketers.
ALSO SEE https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/a-british-bike-mans-bike-ride-in-sri-lanka/