ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo

Kapugedera: 'We want to win for Murali'

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 24, 2011

Comments: 78 | Text size: A | A

Chamara Kapugedera and Ajantha Mendis take a break during practice at the SSC, Colombo, February 11, 2011
Chamara Kapugedera believes home support will be crucial for Sri Lanka © AFP
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Players/Officials: Chamara Kapugedera
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Chamara Kapugedera wants Sri Lanka to win the World Cup as a tribute to Muttiah Muralitharan, who helped secure the trophy back in 1996, and who is set to retire from international cricket at the end of the tournament with a world-record haul of wickets in both Test and ODI formats.

"He's [Muralitharan] a special person, he's a legend, it will be his last World Cup," Kapugedera said. "Everyone wants to make him proud and give him a very good send off. Everybody is doing their best to take the World Cup back home for Murali and Sri Lanka. It will be a great tribute to Murali."

Sri Lanka are one of the favourites for this year's event, having finished as runners-up in 2007, and they launched their campaign in emphatic style on Sunday, with a 210-run victory over Canada in Hambantota. Saturday's fixture against Pakistan in Colombo will be a much sterner test, but they go into the match full of confidence.

"It's always important to win the first match of the tournament, whoever the side is. It gives you the confidence to carry on," said Kapugedera, "We had a very good game. We did what we talked about before the game. Everybody is happy with their performances. We have a good chance to have a shot from now."

Pakistan's own opening match was scarcely less one-sided. They recovered from a dicey first ten overs to rout Kenya by 205 runs at the same venue, but Kapugedera is unfazed by their form. "They are a very good side," he said. "Pakistan has good players and have done well in the past few months. We are not concerned about them, the major concern is about ourselves, what we do and how we prepare ourselves for the match. Hopefully we can come on the 26th and deliver the goods."

One thing that could be both a help and a hindrance for Sri Lanka is the fact that they will be playing at home. Familiarity with the conditions at the Premadasa Stadium could be offset by the pressure of expectation from their home supporters. However, Kapugedera does not believe that will be the case.

"It's not a pressure, it's a big advantage," he said. "The Sri Lankan crowd is very good. They support us even when we don't do well. That's what we need. We are playing a good side, we know that, we are prepared for it. They played a good game, yes. If we play to our true potential we have a very good chance to win the match.

"This is one of the biggest opportunities I have got playing in a World Cup. I want to win and the team wants to win... I am really up to it."

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 78 
Posted by djdan on (February 26, 2011, 10:15 GMT)

Now u can show your fire works with water bottles....................

Posted by MohsinMalik on (February 26, 2011, 7:35 GMT)

Kapugedera: Major concern lies somewhere else! There is no harm in Chamara wanting for Murali what the Indians would be longing for Sachin, the Australians for Ponting and the Pakistanis for Afridi. However, a last outing WC gift wrapped in fair play all along the way is the desired route to go. Here is the explanation! Sri Lanka is greatly indebted to Muthiah in as far as their current rankings are concerned. While Sir Murali stands in the clear for his action as at present, the ICC hierarchy nevertheless, needs to make certain that standing umpires are empowered to take an exception to the rule and be prepared to call a no-ball if they observe the threshold being crossed. A likely scenario would be a panther like charge from Afridi and Murali trying to evade with his extra twitch. Also, someone needs to slip this message across into the SL dressing room in time that his action would be watched half a world across in a few hours time. Watch out! Mohsin Malik - San Francisco, CA

Posted by chamalqif on (February 26, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

hey buddy, first get some runs. then talk

Posted by Kyle_Jones235 on (February 26, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

I think it would be better to replace kulasekera with perera. Kula has been a great performer, yet I predict he won't be much use against the stronger nations.

Unfortunatley these days in cricket, pitches are more batter friendly, and batsmen have become so good that, if you don't have decent pace (high130 or more), you will not be as effective agaisnt the top teams.

Even the Canadian top order seemed to handle kula much more comfortabley than with thiss. I think the extra pace and bounce will be a huge factor, and him and malinga opening will be the best combination, and thiss can bat also, providing fire in powerplays.

That is just my 2 cents, yet kula could still prove me wrong, I hope he does, as he has been a great servant for sl cricket in the past years, but I predict this will not be his cup.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

Hey KANCHANA623 do you really think that India is going to be knocked out before the finals. I think it would be more of India vs Sri Lanka than south Africa. Chak De India!

Posted by lucky77 on (February 26, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

Sorry 2 say kapu....we sri lankan fans do not have FAITH on ur batting performances.. U have given a hell lot of chances bt u ruined them wit always go with poor shot selection...If u want 2 prove u r confidence in batting take ur chances in this match...if u can't we don't wanna have a mess in our middle order in next crucial matches like SL Vs AUS... we dont want miracles from u brother..we want just 20,30 odd runs when the team really need not 2,3 s....last match i worried about why they sent u before thilan when u got out.Just watch that brief inning of Thilan & LEARN.Although he dont have much reputation as u being a power hitter, he did wht we want with his matured thinking.... We want u to prove....tht u r worth 2 be a part in World Title deserved Team..!! this is nt a blame..if u r reading this understand tht we all sri lankans worrie about u & we dont want 2 suffer after losing this great chance 2 win the CUP... Look at the courage of Anji & Thisara... Be a true lion..Gud luck

Posted by   on (February 26, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

I can remember when we play 96 WC final with Aussie at Pakistan, all the home crowd were screaming out loud "Sri Lanka sindabad...". That was how they came so close with Sri Lankan cricket. However, this particular game at RPS is undoubtedly important to both friends. Pakistan has lost the shine of the team both in terms of batting and bowling due to spot fixing sanctions. Still they have the potential to disturb any other team in WC, i hope our team is aware of it. In fact, Kapu will be given a chance that his team will desperately want him to perform and chance to prove his place in the team. Because right now he is just appearing to become a burden rather than a great hope. I wish next column about you will be filled with great wishes than this. Still we have not experienced a single nail bitter in 2011 WC, all were one sided.Hope this will break the iceberg and cause some tremors...

Posted by   on (February 26, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

Kapugedera has said "We had a very good game. We did what we talked about before the game. Everybody is happy with their performances. Do you honestly happy with Kapu's performances? 2 runs off 3 balls. Is that what you talk about before the game?. Best thing is to make Kapu 12th man and use him for fielding as his fielding is better by comparison.I dont thing he will contribute in any other way in this WC. Kapu has faced 86 onedayers, total only 1442, average-22.53,HS-95, no centuries, 50's-7. At the same time, Tharanga has faced 113 onedayers, total-3522,average-34.19, HS-120, 100's-9, 50's-18 and this is the level Kapu should be by now. Neither Thilan nor C.Silva has this experience, but both average better.This is where Kapu stand. We sacrifice 2003 WC due to extremely poor performance by Mahela, 2007 due to inclusion of Mubarak instead of Atapattu. Are we going to lose another WC because of Kapu?.

Posted by Praszzgsk on (February 26, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

All the best mate........ Let the Bat do teh talking Kapu.........

Posted by Cannuck on (February 26, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

@HLANGL: For the first time ever on these forums, you and I agree 100% about Kapu. Me think he has a huge pull inside SL Cricket to be selected failure after failure!

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