Sri Lankan Cricket Team
Whenever there is a talk about the Sri Lankan cricket team, there will surely be a discussion on how they became one of the most destructive teams during the mid 1990s and suddenly lost the steam. Still, the Sri Lankan Cricket team is one of the forces in world cricket but as it normally happens, their initial days in world cricket were tough and they were one of the minnows of cricket for quite a long period of time.
The roots of cricket in Sri Lanka are very deep. Because of one of the British colonies cricket came naturally to this island country and the first international game was played here in 1926-27. After plenty of struggle, Sri Lanka earned their Test Status in 1982. Although Sri Lanka played their first ever One Day International game in the 1975 ICC Cricket World Cup played in England. In the next edition of the world cup in 1975, Sri Lanka defeated a test playing country India and later they awarded a full test status by the ICC.
Sri Lanka played their first test match against England in 1982 at the P. Sara oval in Colombo. Their first test victory came again, against the Indians in 1985. The Sri Lankan cricket team was a force at home during their initial period and still is but there were also blamed for fielding some of the most biased and poorly equipped umpires as well. By 1990s, they were still a push overs in world cricket but in 1992 when they posted 300+ runs against Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup played in Australia and New Zealand, the world of cricket took a serious note of them despite they lost the game.
The change of fortunes came a few years later when their charismatic captain Arjuna Ranatunga made a strategy to have a full use of first 15 overs fielding restriction rules in the One Day Internationals. He promoted basically a bowler who can bat a bit in Sanath Jayasuriya and his wicket keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana to the top of the order and gave them license to hit the shots by hitting over the infield and score some quick runs. This strategy worked really well and with middle order containing maestro like Arvinda de Silva, Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinha and Ranatunga himself, the Sri Lankan team made the impossible thing possible by winning the 1996 ICC World Cup which was co-hosted by them along with India and Pakistan.
Since then Sri Lanka has reached the World Cup finals twice, but has failed to win them.