“After nearly six months hiatus, achieving my best-bowling figures of 7 for 19 brought immense joy. I had to work hard after my surgery to regain my rhythm,” said Wanindu Hasaranga after winning the Man of the Match award in the third and final Zimbabwe ODI at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
“We won the series as a team, and my achievement paved the way for the series win in the 2024 tournament calendar,” added Hasaranga.
“The T-20 captaincy doesn’t pose any pressure for me. I’ve already led teams in two LPL tournaments, with my “B Love Kandy” team emerging as champions last time. I strive to give my best for my team, avoid pressure as a player or skipper, and play my normal game for more success. Every time, I aim to contribute my full effort to the team,” added Hasaranga.
“My injury is now one hundred percent recovered;otherwise, after surgery, I couldn’t have played this type of International match to achieve such an accolade. Before this Zimbabwe game, I played two domestic games for CCC and was ready to play this game. Looking ahead to the next T-20 game, I am confident I can perform with full confidence, and this seven-wicket haul was a significant boost for me,” said Hasaranga, who bowled a 5.5-over spell to take 7 wickets, which is the world’s best fifth ODI bowling performance.
“I felt disappointed not being able to play a single ODI World Cup match. After the 2019 World Cup, I played many ODIs but a last-minute injury hindered my participation. Fortunately, I recovered after a successful surgery in England. This injury was not a result of playing LPL; after LPL, I was recovering well. However, during my training session, I faced another injury and missed the recent World Cup,” he said.
“I took on the leadership of the National T20 team, and after five months, we have to play T-20 World Cup in the USA. I want to see the best Sri Lanka T20 team for the World Cup, with a balanced mix of senior players and juniors under my leadership. Senior players are crucial in tournaments like the World Cup, and I hope to go with our best team,” he said.
“Many people observed fewer spectators for these Zimbabwe matches. I think they have a lot of problems at this stage but they never neglected our Sri Lanka team and they are with us. Cricket issues have been highly discussed recently, even in parliament, but we have to realise that people have a lot of issues beyond cricket. We expect their support in future,” said Hasaranga.
“I got everything from cricket, and I will never forget it. Since my childhood at Richmond College Galle, I had a dream to represent the National team. We owe our gratitude to this sport,” said Hasaranga.
“In recent tournaments, the wickets were not up to the standard, but now they’ve improved, and hopefully, we can get more suitable wickets in future. Regardless of the wickets, we have to do our best and move forward,” concluded Hasaranga.
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