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Asia Cup 2022 Final: 'Hope we brought some smiles to the faces of Lanka people' - Rajapaksha

Sri Lanka stunned the Asian cricket community as it trumped Pakistan to win the 2022 Asia Cup Final and its sixth competition title. Meanwhile, Bhanuka Rajapaksha dedicated the title win to his fellow citizens.

Asia Cup 2022 Final: Hope we brought some smiles to the faces of Sri Lanka people - Bhanuka Rajapaksha-ayh
First Published Sep 12, 2022, 11:59 AM IST

Sri Lanka's Asia Cup-winning icon wicketkeeper-batter Bhanuka Rajapaksha put on a stellar show with the bat, playing a climacteric role in his side's spectacular title victory. Meanwhile, he has dedicated the title-win to his island nation, which is crisis-hit. Lanka conquered Pakistan by 23 runs during the Asia Cup 2022 Final on Sunday night at the Dubai International Stadium, clinching the crown for the first time since 2014, which is its sixth overall. Batting first, Lanka was reduced to 67/5. However, it produced a brilliant turnaround, riding on Rajapaksha's 71 and Wanindu Hasaranga's 36 to post a competitive total of 170/6.

"We always wanted to show the world - a couple of decades back, we had aggression in our side, and we wanted to create those moments as a unit. We want to keep this momentum ahead of the World Cup. With the crisis happening back home, this is a tough time for all the Sri Lankans, but I hope we brought some smiles to the faces of our people. It is to the whole nation. They were waiting for this for so long," Rajapaksha said during the post-match press conference with a smile.


Sri Lanka has won the title against the backdrop of the nation's worst economic crisis and political unrest. Seated by Rajapaksha's side was Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka and he praised his teammates response throughout the competition despite suffering a loss to Afghanistan in Lanka's opening match of the tournament.

"After that first loss, we had a serious discussion. We knew we had the talent, but it was about applying those in-game scenarios, and all the players stood up. The environment we created as a team and coaching staff has paid off," Shanaka stated. He also had a message for the fans in Lanka.

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"Believe in our cricketers. A lot of bad things are going around. As cricketers, they should enjoy their lives, not spread bad things. They have private lives too. Keep believing. That is the key. As a captain, I give confidence to the players [whenever] I can. I can't ask more than that," Shanaka expressed.

Shanaka further declared that the Asia Cup triumph could be a stepping stone for more incredible things for Lanka cricket, which has been going through a transition phase for quite some time. "Even two-three years back, the team used to play good cricket, but the winning factor wasn't there," he said.

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"This could be the turnaround in our cricket. This lot can continue to play for five to six years, which is also an excellent sign. The World Cup qualifiers will also help because they will allow us to play in that conditions before the main tournament. It will be terrific," he added.

With a morale-boosting Asia Cup tableware now in Lanka's bag, Shanaka said that the same group could achieve tremendous success in the coming days. "It's not like that. When it comes to India-Pakistan, we know it's a different game. Our cricketing history is also good, so we didn't have anything to prove our being a good team. The only thing is we weren't probably ranked high enough, but with this team, we can do better and become that high-ranking team," he smiled and concluded.

(With inputs from PTI)

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