Why Is April 6 An Important Date For Sri Lankan Cricket?
Of the many dates that are memorable for Sri Lankan cricket, why’s April 6 of much importance?
Cricket, it ought to be said, was a hell lot different back in the day to where it is now. The amount of cricket being played today, it must be contended, is a lot more recurring than what was the case around a decade back in time. Which is perhaps why when one thinks about major ICC events such as the World Cup in the context of the yesteryears, they appear to be just as endearing today as was the case when live action took place.
But how so?
If you were to give it a close thought, then you’d realize that in the last three years, there’ve been no fewer than 2 T20 world cup editions in the men’s game, one each taking place in 2022 and in the 2021 calendar year, in Australia and the UAE, respectively.
But speaking of the T20 World Cup editions, if you were to cast your mind to a time period even before 2021, then you’d realise that there was so much charm and fun associated with the mother of all T20 international battles in the men’s game.
As a matter of factly, the T20 world cups were held at a gap of nearly half a decade from 2007 until 2012.
But there was something incredible about the 2014 edition that made the marquee event in men’s T20’s stand out.
Of the many countries participating in it, it mattered the most to Sri Lanka, which is when no fewer than 16 nations participated in the contest.
Held in Bangladesh and taken to its very peaks by sides like India and the West Indies, the ultimate winners of the third edition of the T20 World Cup would be Sri Lanka.
To many, 2014 produced that one big landmark day for the Sri Lankan cricket . But in reality, the 2014 World Cup was almost like a redemptive step and one in the right direction for Sri Lankan cricket.
The significance of April 6 to Sri Lanka and the T20 World Cup of 2014
There’s a perfect sense as to why one would want to recount the T20 World cup of 2014 on this day, i.e., April 6.
After all, it was on this very date, back in 2014, when a star-lit Sri Lankan cricket side would capture the ultimate glory in the men’s T20 world cup contests.
In winning a highly-captivating final and one that featured twin sub-continental forces in the form of India and Sri Lanka, the latter upheld their game and raised the bar by overcoming a powerful Indian side for whom Virat Kohli shone and at the right time.
Winning the final at Dhaka by 6 wickets, Sri Lanka suffered early on as Kohli batted with supreme skil and to much perfection, scoring 77 unbeaten runs of just 9.4 overs.
But in reply, after Mahela Jayawardene departed for a run a ball 24, it would all come down to the able shoulders of one of the most classical batsmen world cricket has been fortunate enough to see: Kumar Sangakkara.
The power of Sri Lankan cricket
And the blazing left hander would leave nothing to chance scoring in the end an unbeaten 52. He would author a memorable triumph for his side that, the last time around, in 2012, were left licking their wounds.
As a matter of fact, in the 2012 T20 World Cup final, Sri Lanka, who were the hosts, faced a daunting assault by Marlon Samuels of the West Indies, who’s towering fifty in the end came in the way of destroying Sri Lankan hopes.
But not on this occasion.
The 2014 T20 World cup did prove to be one of the milestones of Sri Lankan cricket in that the side would go on to lose only one contest in that memorable world cup event and that too, to England, who really weren’t the strongest sides.
But Sri Lanka would quickly bounce back to defeat South Africa, who at that time, were powered by forces like Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers.
The real significance of the T20 World Cup 2014 to Sri Lankan cricket
Lest it is forgotten, the T20 world cup of 2014 would turn out to be the last time ever that the famous troika of Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene represented Sri Lankan cricket.
As a matter of fact, they had played the ICC Men’s ODI world cup final in India during 2011, but weren’t able to go the distance as we all know that Dhoni finished off things in style.
But three years later, on April 6, 2014, we could say, Sri Lanka earned their revenge and that too, on neutral territory.