Sri Lanka may have missed a chance to qualify for the 2021 T20 World Cup semifinals, but the performances put in by the young team promises a great future for the team, according to head coach Mickey Arthur. Sri Lanka, who had to go through qualification phase, put in dominant performances against lower-ranked teams and won against Bangladesh in the opening Super 12s match.
They suffered narrow losses to Australia, South Africa and England which confirmed their from the tournament. Nevertheless, Arthur said he was proud of the team and suggested few others things going forward.
"We've shaken up the World Cup," Arthur said in a press conference on Wednesday. "We're not going to qualify this year. But Sri Lankan cricket is now in good hands. We've got some very good young players who just need consistency in message. They need consistency in selection. And they need to be given a platform to go and play. So I'm immensely proud of the efforts of the players, immensely proud of the efforts of the support staff who put in a massive amount of work with these players."
Under Dasun Shanka's captaincy, the likes of Pathun Nissanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Charith Asalanka and Lahiru Kumara among a few put in stand-out performances in the tournament.
"For me to see how far we've come as a group, when I watch Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, you can name eight or nine players, when I watch them perform, I get immensely proud because I know how much they've put into," Arthur added.
Arthur rued the missed chances against South Africa and England, where they posed a stiff challenge to teams with experienced campaigners.
"I guess the thing that I'll always look back on this World Cup at is I know we're a young team. But we had chances. We had opportunities. Certainly to beat South Africa. And we had an opportunity to certainly beat England. And those missed opportunities, I think, are going to be the thing that holds me at the end of it when I look back.
"The guys are absolutely shattered. They've given their all for this campaign. We've been on the road for a long time. We've been in bubbles for, I think I worked it out, the last 11 months we've been in bubbles for about 240 days now. And these guys are shattered mentally and physically. But they're up for tomorrow because they want to end on a high," Arthur added.