Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team leaves for Australia: Captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s men to play two fund-raising matches for ex-players
MUMBAI: Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team members have left for Australia to play two matches against their own national players living in Australia. This was revealed by the present chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya and Hashan Tillakaratne, who both were part of the squad which won the final against Australia at the Gadaffi Stadium.
Sri Lankan team, led by captain Arjuna Ranatunga then, won the World Cup final against Mark Taylor’s Aussie team by seven wickets with 22 balls to spare.
“Our politician Ranatunga, 53 now, will wear coloured clothings again and the team will play two matches in Melbourne and Sydney”, Tillakaratne said.
“The matches are being organised by Asanka Gurusinha, who is now living in Australia. The aim to play these two matches is to raise funds for the former national players. The fund which will also be raised by dinners and few functions in both the cities will be useful to any player if he falls sick or requires any major surgery”, Tillakaratne added.
“We have also requested our home board to donate fund and we are hopeful of their assistance”, he further added.
The Sri Lankan team, which participated in the World Cup final was : Arjuna Ranatunga (captain), Romesh Kaluwitharana (wk), Sanath Jayasuriya, Asanka Gurusinha, Aravinda de Silva, Hashan Tillakaratne, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Dharmasena, Chaminda Vaas, Pramodya Wickramasinghe and Muthiah Muralitharan.
Marvan Atapattu, Upul Chandana and Ravindra Pushpukumara were the members of the World Cup team but didn’t play the final.
At least the three players from the above list could not make to the current Australia tour. Dharmasena is officiating as an umpire in Bangladesh (Test matches against England) and Marvan Atapattu and Tillakaratne have opted out for personal work, is also learnt here.