Tillekaratne recalls the road to success at 1996 World Cup | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Tillekaratne recalls the road to success at 1996 World Cup

21 March, 2021
Hashan Tillekaratne
Hashan Tillekaratne

A cricketer has to correct their faults and development in important areas if Sri Lanka is to win the Cricket World Cup once again. This was the view of Hashan Tillekaratne a former member of the World Cup winning team.

“Today it’s a different game compared to that when we played during our career. I think the player’s skills never change but their development from school level has to improve,” said Tillekaratne who is the high performance batting coach of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Hashan said that he played for four years in the under-15 level. He then was very mature at the age level of 23-24 years and played very successfully.

“But today most players couldn’t find a place in the under-23 team. This is why the development of a player is very important”, he stressed.

“A player must be able to read the type of pitch they have to play on and adjust. Today most of the young cricketers lack this knowledge and struggle at international level,” noted Tillekaratne.

“Changing coaches and selectors is not the answer to improve the game. We have not groomed a captain during the past ten years. Arjuna Ranatunga always looked to groom new players for the leadership. The confidence of players is also not high,” noted Tillekaratne.

“Sri Lanka won the T/20 World Cup in 2014 and then Sangakkara retired in 2015. Thereafter the standard of cricket began descending. It is time to recognize the local coaches and get their valuable services”, suggested Tillekaratne.

“When Sri Lanka won a Test match in New Zealand in 1995 the former New Zealand great Richard Hadley said that Sri Lanka can do something special at the World Cup.

“Then Sri Lanka went to Pakistan and lost the first Test but finally ended up winning the series 2-1. Sri Lanka followed it up winning the one day series. After that Sri Lanka met with success in Sharjah also.

“Then came the tough series in Australia and that helped us to build the courage and confidence. This gave the Sri Lanka team the morale toughness and ready to face any challanges going into the 1996 World Cup.

“Every player knew their responsibility and knowledge about their workload during the matches and skipper Ranatunga was leading from the front. As a middle order batsman I had a duty to build up the innings and when the top order was out early, myself and Mahanama had the responsibility to build up the innings and we did it with confidence. This was our success story behind the World Cup win and a good lesson for all,” concluded Tillekaratne.