WORLD CUP CRICKET 2015 – WE ARE NOT  “MINNOWS” BUT CHAMPIONS
Posted on February 5th, 2015

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

For the world cup 2015 there are 14 nations participating in 2 groups of 7 each.  Sri Lanka is in Group A with Afganistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, NZ and Scotland.    The Group B consist of India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, UAE,Windies and Zimbabwe.

Since the inception of the Tournament, there had been 10 World Cup Series, until 2011.  Australia is leading the table with 4 wins in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007.

 Sri Lanka was the runners up in 2007, when Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs by courtesy of Adam Gilcrest scoring 149 runs in 104 balls, who blazed with 8 sixes and 13 boundaries.  His century came in 72 balls.  During his innings, Adam used a Squash Ball inside the gloves.   The Squash Balls are usually made in vulcanised rubber with polymers and synthetic to provide an enhanced degree of energy generating more power whenever Adam hit the ball.  No doubt he has recorded the fastest century in the World Cup History!

West Indies  won the Final twice each in 1975 and 1979  and India in 1983 and 2011.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have won one World Cup Final each in 1992 and 1996.

Sri Lanka was the runners up in 2007 and 2011, the  only nation in  Asia to be the runners up more than once.

Before going into 1996 World Cup, no one expected Sri Lanka to win.   The bets were heavily in favour of either England or Australia at that time.   In 1996 Sri Lanka   was in Group A with Australia, India, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Sri Lanka won all 5 matches scoring 10 points and reaching the highest net run rate of 1.607 plus.

For 2015 World Cup, the lucky Minister of Port, Aviation and Shipping Hon Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Muralitharan, all but have written off Sri Lanka’s chances at the upcoming world cup.  There were no words of encouragement from the trio, their recent views appears to be highly politically motivated, causing depression and de-motivating the Squad.

Admittedly the recent NZ tour was a disaster.  Both Australian and New Zealand pitches offer pace and bounce consistently.   The most recent experience gained in NZ should offer great value for our batsmen in facing the tournament.

All members of the squad have been training hard with great commitment.  Paying too much reliance on few batsmen or bowlers to get best results, is not advisable.  No team should be taken for granted  as minnows.

1996 Sri Lanka was called minnows, but those commentators such as Richie Benaud had to swallow their words later on.

It is regrettable that Arjuna, Aravinda and Murali trio has stopped short of calling the current team as ” Minnows”.

Under Angelow Matthew’s leadership, we pray that Sri Lanka will prove the unity within the team  and  will bring great dividends. This is the only way send a strong message to the world as to “Who we are”.

Jayawewa, Sri Lanka.

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