Hashan Tillakaratne recalls memories of playing World Cup Final in Lahore

It is Sri Lankan Cricket's duty to come to the aid of Pakistan, who along with India had helped their country during the 1996 World Cup, said the former Sri Lankan cricketer.

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Hashan Tillakaratne
Sri Lankan former international cricket captain Hashan Tillakaratne. (Photo credit LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Sri Lankan cricketer and presently Sri Lanka’s batting coach Hashan Tillakaratne recalled his pleasant memories of playing in the 1996 World Cup Final at Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore.

The Sri Lankan team had just defeated the Indian side in the semi-final of the competition in Calcutta and travelled cross borders to play in the final of the prestigious tournament. The team recipients of a large applause and cheer from the squad, following their heroic semi-final performance to knock arch-rivals India out of the tournament.

“Oh Yes! We received overwhelming welcome in Pakistan when we reached Lahore after defeating India in semifinal of the world cup in Calcutta.” said the former Sri Lankan cricketer

Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan:

In an interview with Geo News in Abu Dhabi, the former cricketer shared his experience of playing cricket in Pakistan in the wake of the controversies surrounding Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan. He was part of the World Cup-winning Sri Lankan squad.

He, further said that the Sri Lankan team felt like they were playing at home, with the crowd vociferously cheering the Sri Lankan team against the Australian side in the final. The team led by Arjuna Ranatunga spectacularly outclassed the Australian side to a World Cup win.

“We had felt that we are playing final match in Sri Lanka”, he stated.

Brave and bold move from Sri Lankan cricket:

The current batting coach also appreciated and complimented the squad for taking such a brave decision to tour Pakistan for the 3rd T20 International later this month. He also said that it was Sri Lankan Cricket‘s duty to come to the aid of Pakistan, who along with India had helped their country during the 1996 World Cup.

Sri Lankans were in quite a similar situation ahead of the 1996 World Cup when Australia and West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka over security concerns, but later India and Pakistan helped them to tour Sri Lanka.

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