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"I think they shouldn’t be looking at anything other than going all the way and winning the World Cup" - Mahela Jayawardene on Sri Lanka

Pakistan v Sri Lanka - Final DP World Asia Cup
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in the Asia Cup final. (Credits: Getty)

Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene expects the national team to lift the T20 World Cup this year following their Asia Cup victory. Jayawardene observed that Sri Lanka's fearless approach should take them a long way in the multi-nation event.

After an eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the first match of the 2022 Asia Cup, Sri Lanka romped to five consecutive wins. Dasun Shanaka and Co. beat India once and Pakistan twice, including in the final, to win their sixth Asia Cup.

It's finally ours, again 🤗🏆📸 It was a special moment Sri Lanka Captain Dasun Shanaka receiving the #AsiaCup from the President of Sri Lanka Cricket Shammi Silva.@SLCPresident#RoaringForGlory #AsiaCup2022 https://t.co/EhYbZ3QXCh

Speaking on an episode of the ICC Review, Jayawardene believes that Sri Lanka should use their recent performances as a springboard ahead of the T20 World Cup. The batter, who was part of Sri Lanka's 2014 T20 World Cup-winning squad, said:

"If they take the confidence of what they achieved in the last T20 World Cup and then now at the Asia Cup, I think they shouldn’t be looking at anything other than going all the way and winning the World Cup.
"I mean that’s the attitude to have and this is a group I feel that will play with that no fear and no extra luggage on them either so just go out there and enjoy their cricket and play."

Despite a brilliant performance in the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka don't have a direct qualification to the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage. They will lock horns against Namibia at Geelong on October 16 in their first group stage match. The Lankans also have the UAE and The Netherlands in their group.

Sri Lanka failed to make it past the group stage in the previous edition of the World Cup in UAE.


"I don’t think anyone gave them the chance of winning the tournament" - Mahela Jayawardene on Sri Lanka's Asia Cup win

Mahela Jayawardene. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Mahela Jayawardene. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Jayawardene hailed Sri Lanka's collective effort in the Asia Cup after starting out as underdogs. He recalled how the final co-incided with the country's netball team winning the Asian Netball Championship, making it all the more memorable.

He said:

"I don’t think anyone gave them the chance of winning the tournament, but personally, I knew they had the capabilities. They were knocking on the door. Just they needed that confidence I think. You know once they got that, they just played some brilliant cricket. I think there were no superstars, it was a team effort. Everyone chipped in."

He added:

"The people here were starving for excitement for some time and usually, it is the cricket team who brings that for them but we had the netball team winning the Asian Netball Championship on the same day which was brilliant for them. And it was a great sporting day for all of us."

Sri Lanka lifted their first T20 World Cup in 2014, beating India in the final by six wickets in Mirpur, Bangladesh.

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Edited by Puranjay
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