Mahela Jayawardene opines on Sri Lanka’s recent performance
By SMCS - Sep 15, 2022 12:40 pm
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Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene expects the national team to lift the T20 World Cup this year after their Asia Cup victory. Jayawardene added that Sri Lanka’s fearless approach should help them go a long way in the mega event. After an eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the first match of the 2022 Asia Cup, Sri Lanka bounced back to register five consecutive wins. Dasun Shanaka and Co. beat India once and Pakistan twice as well, including in the final, to win their sixth Asia Cup.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup 2022

Speaking on an episode of the ICC Review, Jayawardene said: “If they take the confidence of what they achieved in the last T20 World Cup and then now at the Asia Cup, I think they shouldn’t be looking at anything other than going all the way and winning the World Cup. I mean that’s the attitude to have and this is a group I feel that will play with that no fear and no extra luggage on them either so just go out there and enjoy their cricket and play.”

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Despite a brilliant performance in the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka didn’t have direct qualification to the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage. They will take on Namibia at Geelong on October 16 in their first group stage match. The Lankans also have the UAE and The Netherlands in their group as well. However, Sri Lanka failed to make it past the group stage in the previous edition of the World Cup in UAE.

Chamika Karunaratne
Chamika Karunaratne made useful contributions for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh

Meanwhile, Jayawardene applauded Sri Lanka’s stunning effort in the Asia Cup after starting out as underdogs. However, Sri Lanka lifted their first T20 World Cup in 2014, beating India in the final by six wickets in Mirpur, Bangladesh as well.

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“I don’t think anyone gave them the chance of winning the tournament, but personally, I knew they had the capabilities. They were knocking on the door. Just they needed that confidence I think. You know once they got that, they just played some brilliant cricket. I think there were no superstars, it was a team effort. Everyone chipped in. The people here were starving for excitement for some time and usually, it is the cricket team who brings that for them but we had the netball team winning the Asian Netball Championship on the same day which was brilliant for them. And it was a great sporting day for all of us,” Mahela Jayawardene concluded.