Christchurch, Feb 14: Is it the beginning of the end of Sri Lanka, a fine cricketing side that had shot up to fame in no time in 1996 when they bagged their maiden World Cup title under Arjuna Ranatunga?
The Asian side, who finished as the runners-up in back-to-back World Cups in 2007 and 2011, had a struggling start to their World Cup campaign in 2015 against co-hosts New Zealand, whom they had beaten in five consecutive World Cup matches. The Lankans lost both their their warm-up matches against ahead of the World Cup, including one against Zimbabwe.
This is the final World Cup of two of Sri Lanka's greatest contemporary cricketers, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, both of whom had led the team to the finals of the World Cup but couldn't get the job done like Ranatunga. And their departure is certainly going to hurt the Lankans for years to come.
However, one can hope that the islanders, the only non-test-playing nation to go on to win the World Cup will make a strong comeback in international cricket soon.
Sri Lanka have struggled against top teams in the recent past
But at the moment, it is a worrying phase for Sri Lanka. Former spinner Muttaiah Muralidharan, the highest wicket-taker in test matches, also believes the same. In a recent article published in ICC's website, Muralitharan said the hole the duo would leave behind might never be filled again.