Wasn’t really surprised with Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup triumph: Sanath Jayasuriya | Cricket News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Sri Lanka’s triumph in the recently-held Asia Cup, where they lost the Afghanistan in the opener before stunning India and Pakistan to go on and win the tournament for the fifth time, wasn’t expected by many experts, but it didn’t surprise the cricket-mad country’s opening great Sanath Jayasuriya.
“I wasn’t really surprised. We have quite a good bunch of cricketers. It’s the right time they peaked, you know. They lost the first game, anybody can lose a game and come back. So, they lost the first game and realized what went wrong. They worked hard on their individual game and performed as a team. You don’t need to have outstanding players. They are good players who did well as a team,” Jayasuriya said on Wednesday.
Talking about the strong points of the Lankan team, Jayasuriya, who has served twice as the Lankan national chief selector, said, “They’re playing good cricket. That’s all you need. If you play quality cricket, results will come.” Any comparisons with his famous 1996 World Cup winning bunch, he felt, were unfair. “Any comparison is out. As long as they play their own game, do their basics right, they’ll enjoy their cricket,” stressed the 52-year-old, while batting for Sri Lanka tourism at an event here.
Even the ‘Marauder from Matara’ wasn’t ready to predict his finalists of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, he was ready to back the Lankans, who have to first play in the qualifiers, to do well in the mega tournament. “Sri Lanka will definitely do well,” he said. “T20 cricket is a fast game, it’s a team game. Our boys are playing good cricket. Whoever’s doing well that particular day is going to win the game,” he felt.
With things improving in Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya is confident of big-ticket cricket returning to his country, after the island nation was forced to give up on hosting the recently-held Asia Cup, which was then staged in UAE, due to a massive economic crisis.
“If you see the last few months, things have been really good and getting better. It will get better. The new government is working on it. So, I hope that they’ll do the right things (for the country) to recover fast. Our tourism minister (Harin Fernando) is working really hard to make sure that we do the best for our country,” he said.
He reiterated: “Things are fine now. There’s no issue. Don’t take the Asia Cup as an example. It was a totally different time from now. Everything has settled down in Sri Lanka now. We will stage the Lanka Premier League in December. I hope the Indian will travel to Lanka to watch it,” he revealed.
In India currently to play in a couple of leagues for retired players, Jayasuriya, now named as the brand ambassador for Sri Lankan tourism, took time out from his busy schedule to appear for a press conference to promote tourism in Sri Lanka, which he stressed was leaving its crisis behind.
“Things are getting better. Everyone knows what we went through 3-4 months ago. Now, it’s time for us to rebuild the country. So, that’s why I joined this honorary job-it’s not a paid job. The idea is to promote Sri Lanka as a tourism destination, to help our people to come out of this situation. Since we depend a lot on tourism, people like us need to support it. People have suffered enough. Now, they need to come out of this situation. The tourism sector is the most important one for my island. So, I’m promoting it. We need to see the positive side of Sri Lanka now. Anyone can visit my country. Things are going in the right direction. We need the support of the Indian media. That’s very important. What happened is history now. We can’t sit and keep talking about that. We need to move forward now,” Jayasuriya said.

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