Friday, 30 November 2007

2007 Final Innings

2007 has been a big and important year for Sri Lankan cricket. There have been several highs and record lows - typical. We reached the Final in the World cup which promised a thriller but delivered the biggest anti-climax of the whole tournament.

We were on the giving end of some awesome thrashings when playing the Netherlands and Bangladesh. And on the receiving end against England, loosing a home ODI series for the first time in 25 odd yr. Followed by a masterclass from the Aussies down under - or was it Sangakkara who was giving the masterclass, before he fell to an utterly poor call from umpire Rudi Koertzen, 8 runs short of his 6th double century.

The final fixture for this year will kick-off on Sat in Kandy in the form of a 3 test series against England. We cannot afford to loose this one as we have already slipped to 5th place in the ICC Test ranks and only one point above England and Pakistan - do the math.

Look forward to 2008, I feel is going to be the most important year for Sri Lankan cricket since Arjuna Ranatunga's team won the World cup in 1996. We have already seen Russel Arnold and Marvan Athapattu retire. The chances are, within the next 3 years, we will see Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasunria and Muttiah Muralitharan bowing out. It goes without saying what a gaping hole this will leave in the side. If we are to plug this some serious ground has to be covered in 2008. As much as I hate to admit, it is amazing how the Aussies have managed to deal with their big guns McGrath, Warne, and Langer retiring. May be we can only dream of such a rapid and potent recovery, but we must put some serious effort into making that dream a reality.

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