It's like signing your death paper – Lara
Jayasuriya batted beautifully – Jayawardene
By Rawle Welch
April 2, 2007
West Indies Captain Brian Lara admitted that the loss to Sri Lanka yesterday was like “signing your death paper, and we now have to depend on a lot of teams to pull off victories.”
Lara was speaking to the press during a post match briefing after West Indies crashed to their third defeat in successive matches in the Super Eight segment of Cricket World Cup 2007.
“It's very disappointing and everyone feels the loss, but I suppose we are going to regroup, we have a lot of days off,” Lara told the media. The WI skipper said that the team and everyone in the region must be disappointed, but called on them to remain upbeat since as he put it there are lots of permutations that could occur and anything can happen.
Commenting on the performance of the team, Lara confessed it was not the best and they were totally outclassed. He said Sri Lankan opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya's innings was exceptional and he batted to his strengths, finding the short boundaries with ease.
Lara in response to whether the current crop of players were capable of lifting their game, said he felt that they were and one just have to look at their ‘stats' and you will see that they are match winners. The West Indies captain also admitted that they were in a crisis situation pertaining to cricket and they have got to find a way somehow to dig themselves out of it.
According to Lara, the decision to send Dwayne Bravo in to partner Chris Gayle was done to leave some amount of experience down the line. He said he also felt that the team was a bit tired and they were looking forward to a little rest. “You just have to look at a person like Daren Powell and you will notice that his pace had dropped off a little bit.”
He commended the fans for turning out in great numbers and apologised for their disappointing show, but promised to go out and do their best in the remaining matches.
“Hopefully we still have the support of the fans for the remainder of the tournament.”
Asked whether or not we will be able to see the young and exciting Keiron Pollard sometime during the tournament, the WI skipper disclosed that the selection committee had picked 15 players and at all times they try to pick the best team, but whether or not he plays will be decided by a committee comprising himself, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Clive Lloyd and Bennett King.
He revealed that right now, they have got to focus on the remaining three games.
Lara declared that even though the team's best performances are garnered in the Caribbean , one must not forget that this is the World Cup and it can have an effect.
“The body language today did not really look good, but you know this is the World Cup and you tend to get nervous.”
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene in his comments said that Jayasuriya's innings changed the whole game after they had lost two quick wickets. “He played beautifully today. I rank this innings as one of the top ones and that's why he is such a special player,” Jayawardene pointed out.
Jayasuriya in his remarks declared that his hundred (25th in one-day cricket) yesterday was one of his best knocks, pointing out that he batted under pressure. He said that whenever he played he always has that enthusiasm and yearning to do well for his country.
A player who came out of retirement to play in the World Cup, Jayasuriya told reporters that he is really enjoying his cricket and is still hungry to do well for the team.
Jayawardene disclosed that when West Indies batted it was the plan of the team not to allow them to get off to an explosive start and to let our bowlers keep it nice and straight and ask questions of them.
He was full of praise for the entire team which he claimed played brilliantly, citing the hard work they had put in as the main reason for their win. Sri Lanka move on to play England .