Hasaranga Refuses to Blame Pitches, Scheduling for Sri Lanka’s Early Exit from T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign ended prematurely, marked by disappointing performances and challenging conditions. Captain Wanindu Hasaranga, however, refused to blame the pitches or the scheduling for their early exit, instead emphasizing the need for better adaptability and responsibility.

Early Arrival and Preparation

Sri Lanka arrived in the USA roughly 10 days before their first match, engaging in two warm-up games against the Netherlands and Ireland. Despite this preparation, they struggled to adapt to the unique surfaces they encountered. Their campaign was severely impacted by two major batting collapses: being bowled out for 77 against South Africa in New York and being restricted to 124 for 9 by Bangladesh in Dallas.

The Campaign Struggle

Sri Lanka’s performance was further hampered by a washed-out match against Nepal, which dashed their hopes of advancing to the Super-Eights. Although they secured a convincing 83-run victory against the Netherlands in their final game, it was too late to salvage their campaign.

Challenges and Adaptation

Addressing the challenges faced, Hasaranga acknowledged the inconveniences, particularly the extensive travel within the USA. However, he insisted that the team’s failure to adapt was the primary reason for their early exit.

“When you lose a match you can blame pitches and other things, but as professional cricketers, that’s not a good thing,” Hasaranga stated. “Even the other team has to play on the same pitch, and it’s our job to change the way we play. We’re representing a country and have to take that responsibility. We didn’t make those changes and adapt, and that was our main flaw.”

Pre-Tournament Camp and Regional Variations

Sri Lanka had a pre-tournament training camp in North Carolina before their warm-up matches, but Hasaranga noted that the varying pitch conditions across different regions of the USA posed significant challenges.

“We have to thank the cricket board for bringing us here 10 days early and organizing a training camp for us,” he said. “That was a big thing. It was important to get used to conditions, weather, and the time zone here. But then when we moved from one region in the USA to another, the pitches were not the same. Even though in some countries pitches are more similar from place to place, that’s not the case in the USA.”

Taking Responsibility

Despite the challenges, Hasaranga stressed the importance of taking responsibility for their performance. “We adjusted as well as we could, but we unfortunately got New York for the first match, and it didn’t go well for us. In the second match we went to Dallas and didn’t adjust well to that pitch. As a team and as a captain we have to take the responsibility for that.”

Looking Ahead

Sri Lanka’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024 serves as a lesson in adaptability and resilience. As they reflect on their performance, the team and its captain are committed to learning from their experiences and improving for future tournaments.

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