first_imgSri Lanka are looking to win the World Cup as much for the people back home as for Muttiah Muralitharan, who will be playing his last international match on Saturday.Former captain Mahela Jayawardene made it clear that winning the coveted trophy for the fans was the foremost thing on every player’s mind – including Murali.”We started off the campaign thinking that we will win the Cup for our fans back home and it will remain the same. Obviously we want to dedicate the win to Murali but even for him the country comes ahead of everyone,” he said.Talking about one of his closest accomplices in the team, Jayawardene said: ” What he has accomplished is for everyone to see. But I would like to take this opportunity to disclose that he was the first person in the Lankan team to take me out for a meal when I made my debut. Even today, he is the first person to take a new member in the team out for a meal.” Sometimes his sweetness can be irritating like when he goes to the opposition camp and exchanges pleasantries with them,” he added.The stylish right- hander feels the sub- continent teams- three of which made it to semi- finals – were expected to play well considering they were playing in home conditions. ” I don’t believe in this shift in power. If three of the four sub- continent teams manage to reach the semifinals in the next edition in Australia- New Zealand, only then can we say that the power has shifted. At home, with conditions favouring our players, we were expected to prosper,” he said.advertisementJayawardene believes that it was the title triumph in 1996 that helped Sri Lankan turn a new leaf. ” The win in 1996 helped the players believe in themselves.Even players like me who were coming through the ranks then believed that we could compete and win against the best teams in the world. As seniors we now tend to do the same with the younger players,” he said.last_img

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