Colombo: Sri Lanka’s semi-final hero Mahela Jayawardene is hoping to make it fourth time lucky by finally achieving World Cup glory with his country.
He admits that breaking his trophy duck on the global stage would be made all the sweeter by the fact that it would be in front of his home crowd.
Colombo is where he was born, and he will be watched by his family, ex-coaches and former teachers during Sunday’s showpiece.
“To play in four World Cup finals is amazing. In one’s career, you are lucky to play one final, but we have been involved in four big finals,” he said.
“We have to approach this one in a different way, though. One final was in Barbados [2007 World Cup], one final was in England [2009 Twenty20 World Cup] and the last final was in Mumbai [2011 World Cup]. This time we are playing at Premadasa and we will approach it differently,” added Jayawardene, after top-scoring for his team with 42 and bagging the man-of-the-match award against Pakistan on Thursday.
Jayawardene is happy to have travelled with star teammate Kumar Sangakkara in the quest to conquer the world.
He said: “We are very happy to have been part of a successful group for a long period of time. We have been involved in a lot of finals. We haven’t won them, but we are very proud to have been part of them,” said Jayawardene, who believes that any team that reaches a final does it due to a collective effort and not through individual endeavours.
“Everyone in my team has put in hard work and that’s paying off. A semi-final is always a crucial game. You want to get to that final and you’re disappointed if you don’t get through. Pakistan are a very unpredictable side and they, like us, were desperate to win, so we had to play at our best,” said Jayawardene.
So determined is Jayawardene that he has batted consistently well throughout the World Cup. Against New Zealand he hit 44, when Sri Lanka took on West Indies, he remained unbeaten on 65, while he scored 42 against both England and Pakistan.