‘It hides a huge amount of sadness’ – Sangakkara on his gentle smile after 2011 World Cup final loss

Sri Lanka had coped a 6-wicket defeat at the hands of India in 2011 World Cup final.

Kumar Sangakkara sporting a smile after India won the 2011 World Cup | Reuters It was one of the biggest matches of Kumar Sangakkara's illustrious cricket career but the outcome didn’t go his team's way as India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets to lift the 2011 World Cup.

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As soon as skipper MS Dhoni hit the winning six off Nuwan Kulasekara, most of the Indian players went numb with some of them even shedding tears at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

In contrast, Sri Lankan players were left heartbroken but the television cameras spotted captain Kumar Sangakkara sporting a gentle smile while watching Yuvraj Singh hug Dhoni after the winning shot.

Speaking to R Ashwin in the latest episode of the Instagram series Reminisce with Ash, Sangakkara reflected on the smile that he sported after the 2011 World Cup final and said: "I think, in my life, living in Sri Lanka, there are lots of things that bring you down. There are lots of things that you worry about. 30 years we have had wars, we have had natural disasters in 2005. We have so many different issues but one of the greatest things about Sri Lankans is resilience. It is just inborn in us. When we play, we want to win, we are extremely competitive."

"Whether we win or lose, we have this equilibrium on how to take a win or loss. The smile hides a huge amount of sadness, of disappointment, of thinking of 20 million people back in Sri Lanka who had been waiting for this for so long, since 1996.

"We had an opportunity in 2011, opportunity in 2007, then T20 opportunities in 2009 and 2012.

"So sometimes, the best way to take victory or defeat is to understand that that's the way life is. Not every single thing goes your way. But the important thing is to be able to take that the same way.

"No extreme highs or no extreme lows with emotions. That's the way we kind of played our game. Not just me, but a lot of Sri Lankan cricketers.

"That was a case of thinking 'well another one is gone. What can you do? You got to get ready for another final in 4 year's time'."

Coming to the 2011 World Cup final, Sri Lanka posted 274/6 in 50 overs on the back of Mahela Jayawardena’s unbeaten 88-ball 103.

In reply, India rode on Gautam Gambhir’s 122-ball 97 and Dhoni’s 91* off 79 balls to overhaul the target with 10 balls to spare.

(Inputs from India Today)


By Salman Anjum - 29 May, 2020

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