Daily Archives: January 10, 2011

Sangakkara on the World Cup Squad Decisions

Dilanka Manakkara’s Interview, from Daily News, 11 January 2011

  The much awaited Sri Lankan World Cup squad was chosen way before the deadline of January15 before none of the teams had finalized their 15. Sri Lanka Skipper Kumar Sangakkara expressed his views on the omission of prolific off spinner Suraj Randiv,the axing of old war horses Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas and also the retention of the relatively inconsistent Chamara Kapugedara.

 To have variety: “The hardest decision was to leave out Randiv from the squad who had performed pretty well in the past 12 months,” said Skipper Kumar Sangakkara talking exclusively to Daily News regarding the selection of the World Cup squad. He said that Suraj Randiv was left out mainly because Muralitharan will play almost all matches and that a second off spinner would be hard to fit in the 11 and that Ajantha Mendis is still only mastered by a few batsmen.                                                    

 This photo is from the Island, 11 Jan 2011

 Difficult to leave out: “Rangana was added for the variety and we would use him a lot against right handers and some times we might only play a sole spinner in Murali,” said a confident Sangakkara.

“It was difficult to leave out stalwarts Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas from the squad but only the 15 best would get selected at the end of the day and these decisions should be made even with a lot of emotion attached to it,” said Sanagakkara reasoning out the axing of the two veterans.

Superb with the new ball: “Vaasy has been superb with the new ball even in the English county season and the Premier league but his direct competition came from Kulasekara who has been our star ODI bowler for the past 18 months and Vaasy isn’t that effective with the older ball and in the death overs,” mentioned Sangakkara as to why an in form Vaas didn’t find his way in to the team. “Vaasy had a very realistic chance of making the 11 but our pace bowlers have bowled so well in the recent past so it became difficult to leave some of these guys to have Vaasy in.” Continue reading

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Gurusinghe’s Q & A session with Rex Clementine

from Island 11 January 2011                                                                                          

“We wanted to be the best fielding side in 1996,” Gura

“For us, those days the benchmark for batting was Roy Dias, but Ari soon took over. I know there are good players like Sanga and Mahela these days. But for me, the greatest batsman Sri Lanka has produced is Aravinda and no one even comes close to him. Marvan was very close to emulating him, but for me Aravinda still remains the best. We played a lot of school and club cricket against each other as well and he was such an entertainer.” Gura

The batting style of Asanka Gurusinghe wasn’t as flamboyant as some of his flashy teammates, but he was technically accomplished and that made the Sri Lankan management to let him play the anchor role during Sri Lanka’s 1996 campaign. He ended the tournament amassing 307 runs only behind Aravinda de Silva and more importantly, he was involved in four over 100 run partnerships in Sri Lanka’s six games.

Gurusinghe retired prematurely at the age of 30, playing his last game for the country the same year Sri Lanka won the World Cup. He then migrated to Australia where he lives now.‘The Island’ spoke to the left-hander on what made Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign successful, batting alongside Aravinda de Silva, the team’s conscious efforts to improve fielding and lots more. Here are the excerpts. Rex Clementine

Question: The Sri Lankan team went into the World Cup after a turbulent time in Australia, what was the mood in the camp ahead of the World Cup campaign?

Answer: We were a very motivated team before the 1996 World Cup. We had lot of momentum going our way and lot of things falling in place; say maybe six months prior to the World Cup or even more. The year before the World Cup, we recorded our first Test win away from home in New Zealand. Then in the same year, we beat Pakistan in Pakistan and went on to win the ODI series as well followed by another win in Sharjah. There were many controversies in Australia. We didn’t win there, but we played exceptionally good cricket. Before the World Cup, we realized that we will not get another opportunity like this to make a mark as we didn’t know when the tournament will be played in this region again. So we were excited to make a mark and our main goal was to reach the semi-finals. Continue reading

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