Rebirth of Sri Lanka from the rubble in cricket
Winning the toss in Dubai means winning the match. After Babar Azam won the toss, Naseem-Rauf’s fast pace and turn-like swing seemed to continue. But Sri Lanka has broken that myth and won the title of Asia Cup. The Lankans did not panic even after one wicket fell. Rather, they have conquered fear by playing fearless cricket. And Vanuka Rajapakse was at the forefront of this. Standing on the rubble, he played a brilliant innings. Sri Lanka not only won their sixth Asia Cup title by beating Pakistan; Their cricket has also been reborn.
Sri Lankan cricket has been going through the cracks for the last two-three years. The country’s economic distress and political instability have been added to this for some time. Their situation is so bad, they didn’t even show the courage to host the Asia Cup on the country’s soil. So the tournament was moved to the UAE just one and a half months ago. Sri Lanka surprised everyone by winning the title. Looking at the beginning of the Asia Cup, it is doubtful whether anyone thought of them becoming champions.
Because, who will bet on the team that is all out to Afghanistan for 105 runs? But they fought. However, despite losing the first match, they won the title as a worthy team. They started to turn around by defeating Bangladesh in the group stage. After that they did not look back. Super Four beat India, Pakistan, Afghanistan to reach the finals. And despite losing the toss in the final, they won the title by playing fearless cricket. That is why this rise of Sri Lanka is seen as a renaissance.
The issue of renaissance also emerged in the voice of Lankan cricketer Chamika Karunaratne, ‘I won a title after seven years. Even a year and a half ago we had no position. Our cricket had gone to rock bottom. But our current team is completely different, a team brimming with youthful energy. Whose main strength is fearless mentality. I am very happy to be a part of such a team.’
He also described their state of mind after losing the toss, ‘We wanted to bowl in the beginning. After losing the toss, the coach said, don’t worry. Whatever happens in the toss, we will definitely win the title. You play the normal game with courage. We then vowed to fight. I went to the field to destroy to show my ability. This mentality is the main reason behind us winning despite losing the toss.
This fearless mentality first emerged with the bat of Vanuka Rajapaksa. The batsman who scored 71 runs off 45 balls with the Man of the Match award said that the task was not easy, ‘batting under pressure was not easy at all. They were bowling well. But then me and Hasaranga stuck to the positive batting plan. This is what helped us to run.’