Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Seven years, five finals… It’s been a long time coming: Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara acknowledges the crowd after winning the ICC World Twenty20 final (AP) Kumar Sangakkara acknowledges the crowd after winning the ICC World Twenty20 final (AP)
Express News Service | Mirpur | Posted: April 7, 2014 3:03 am | Updated: April 7, 2014 10:39 am

It turned out to be a fitting farewell for Kumar Sangakkara and his other illustrious teammate Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka won an ICC event after falling short repeatedly. “It’s been a long time coming. Seven years, five finals,” said Sangakkara after the game. “We had four opportunities before this, and today we took it. You need a bit of ability, luck, planning, execution. Also being at the right place at the right time,” the veteran said. (Match Report: Final hurrah!)

Asked about his feelings having won the Cup, he understandably thrilled. “It’s amazing. I can’t explain it. This is the first time that I have been a part of a team that has won a World Cup. We’d been disappointed four times before. It’s hard to describe exactly what you feel, but you feel humble. You realise how difficult it is to get here, how much support you need, not just from your team-mates, but from your family, your fans, the support staff,” he said. (Photos: Fitting finale for retiring duo)

The way Kohli was batting, he was about to take the game away from us, but the way we bowled was brilliant. It was an all-round performance, led by Lasith, Angelo (Mathews) had an amazing tournament. India are a tough side, but we are happy to be in the winning side.” (Also Read: Lanka executed their plans brilliantly in last four overs, says Dhoni)

Talking about his retirement from this format, he said, “Everyone’s got to go and my time is now. It’s been an amazing journey. It’s time to walk away, and to walk away like this is even better,” Sangakkara said, wearing his Man-of-the-Match medal proudly. “It’s not just about me or Mahela. It’s about an entire squad, everyone who stands with you and behind you. We get noticed because it’s our last game, but at the end of the day, everyone has played a part,” he concluded.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni refused to let Yuvraj Singh take the blame for India’s poor show in the final, saying it was unfair to single out one player and that everybody has their off days. “It was an off day for Yuvraj. He tried his best but it’s not easy to come in and start slogging from ball one,” Dhoni said after the final. “Fans will be disappointed but it is the player who is always more disappointed than the fans,” he explained. (Also Read: Yuvraj, hero of 2007 and ’11, flops in ’14)

When asked if a message was sent to Yuvraj when he got stuck in the middle and Dhoni said, “No he was just trying his best. That’s the most you can do.”

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