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ICC World Cup 2019 | ‘The Dream Started That Day’ – Karunaratne Recalls 1996 World Cup Win

Cricketnext Staff |May 27, 2019, 10:17 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | ‘The Dream Started That Day’ – Karunaratne Recalls 1996 World Cup Win

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne says the members of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning squad still serve as an inspiration for the current squad as they gear up for the ICC World Cup 2019.

“I remember the game and watching with all our family and friends. I recall we had a very, very small television, so I had a pocket radio with me so I could listen all the commentary and not miss anything,” said Karunaratne.

“It was a very special time for Sri Lanka as a country, I just remember how excited all my friends were and how it inspired me to play cricket. The dream for me started that day.

“Those players are still an inspiration to everyone in Sri Lanka and the lesson we take now is how they played as a team and worked for each other.”

Angelo Mathews, the man who Karunaratne replaced as skipper, believes winning the tournament back then changed everything for Sri Lankan cricket.

“We are very grateful to that team and we are who we are today because of them. I was a bit too young to remember the match in too much detail, I just remember how proud everyone was, who would have thought Sri Lanka could become world champions.

“That team made such an impact to the sport in our country. It changed the entire set-up overnight, every kid wanted to be a cricketer. People were always talking about cricket after that.”

‘We Had Bigger Names in Previous Years’

The current Sri Lanka side is a blend of experience and youth but their build-up to the tournament has not been easy and repeating the feats of 1996 will be a tough task.

Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, who will be expected to lead the bowling attack, admitted that previous Sri Lanka sides have had more star power but praised the current side as well.

“In previous years perhaps we had bigger names but these guys are very talented and they are looking forward to proving themselves and making people notice them.

“We have the best 15 players in Sri Lanka right now and we have a mix of more experienced players and some exciting young players, who just can’t wait to get started.”

Malinga was in ominous form during the recently concluded IPL 2019 and he admits that while conditions are different in England, he is confident he will be able to maintain his form.

“It can never harm to get wickets. It was nice to be successful in the IPL again and it makes you confident but the conditions are so different here and so is the format.

“I know I’ve got the skills to take wickets and gives me confidence. One of the things I like about playing in England is you have to adapt to every condition. It could be really hot or quite cold and that is a real test of your skill as a bowler.”

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5 4 0 1 9 +1.59
5 4 1 0 8 +1.86
5 4 1 0 8 +0.81
4 3 0 1 7 +1.02
5 2 2 1 5 -0.27
5 1 2 2 4 -1.77
5 1 3 1 3 +0.27
6 1 4 1 3 -0.19
5 1 3 1 3 -1.93
5 0 5 0 0 -2.08

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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