March 30, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes his team’s qualification for the World Cup final can further unite a country steadily finding its feet after the end of a decades-long civil war. Sri Lanka reached their second successive final, and third in all, with a nervy five-wicket win over New Zealand on Tuesday.
Sangakkara used the opportunity to stress the significance of the win for the country’s cohesion.
“Cricket has always been the panacea that heals all in Sri Lanka, so winning the World Cup final would be huge for the country,” said Sangakarra, who praised his team’s national pride.
“There are times when there is talk of the Indian Premier League, the money involved and everything. But let me tell you, we take pride in playing for our country.
“If you go to the dressing room, you will see that every player has a flag on their seat.”
Sri Lanka, who won their only World Cup in 1996, are desperate to make amends for the disappointment of 2007 when they lost in the final to Australia in Bridgetown.
“It means a lot to us, that’s what we have planned for. We missed a great opportunity in 2007,” said the captain, named man of the match in Tuesday’s