Kumar Sangakkara is not someone who often shows his emotion in a cricket match, regardless of its circumstance or significance. Throughout his long journey in international cricket, hardly anyone can remember a day when he allowed emotions to get the better of himself.
But during the ICC World Twenty20 2014 final on Sunday, even a man of his caliber could not control his emotions. With Sri Lanka just a few runs away from the title, Sangakkara, who was playing his last international match of this format, finally lost a battle to his emotional self.
‘I am a great believer that if you got emotional, you got to use it as an advantage. If not, forget about being emotional,’ Sangakkara said after leading Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win. ‘But when we had to get 11 runs and I top-edged a boundary, seven to get I knew it is just a couple of shots away and that’s when I really thought I could show some emotion.’
Sangakkara slammed an unbeaten 52 from 35 balls as Sri Lanka beat India easily to end their long wait for a major title since winning the 50-over World Cup in 1996.
‘It’s amazing,’ said an elated Sangakkara. ‘It’s just a feeling I can’t explain. First time I have been the part of a side that won a world cup. We had been disappointed for four times. It’s hard to describe exactly what you feel.
‘You feel very humble when you get it, because you realise how difficult it was to get, how much support you
need not just from your teammates but from your family, friends, support staff,’ said Sangakkara.
‘You can never do anything alone. You might be the best batsman in the world or best bowler in the world. And I think we are very grateful for that. It has been an amazing journey walking away like this.’
Sangakkara appeared grateful to his team-mates who desperately wanted to win the trophy for him and fellow retiring cricketer Mahela Jayawardene.
‘I think it’s wonderful that the side meant it when they said that,’ he said. ‘But at the same time, there are 20 million other people who we have got to win it for us as well.
‘It’s not just about the two of us or any single person. It’s about an entire squad, anyone who is behind you. It’s a journey, at the end of the day we walk away and we get noticed because this is our last game.’