It turned out to be a fitting farewell for Kumar Sangakkara and his illustrious teammate Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka triumphed at the ICC World T20 here on Sunday night.
Asked about his feelings having won the cup, Sangakkara was understandably thrilled.
“You realise how difficult it is to get here, how much support you need, not just from your teammates, but from your family, your fans, the support staff.
“You can never do anything alone. You may be the best batsman in the world or the best bowler in the world, but you can’t do anything without support. At moments like this, you have to look back, reflect and be thankful for that support, because without that you wouldn’t be here,” he said.
“I don’t think the game owes us, or any player, anything.
“Our job is to try and play as best as we can and walk away, hopefully having made a positive impact. The game gives us the opportunities and it’s up to us to try and take them,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
“We had four opportunities before this, and today we took it. You need a bit of ability, luck, planning, execution. Also being at the right place at the right time,” the veteran said after he got a hearty applause from the media contingent.
Was there any added pressure on the side as it wanted to win it for him and Jayawardene, and the thoughtful Sangakkara said: “It’s wonderful that the side wanted to win it for us. But there are 20 million other people to win for.
“It’s not just about me or Mahela. It’s about an entire squad, everyone who stands with you and behind you. We get noticed because it’s our last game, but at the end of the day, everyone has played a part.”
Sangakkara ruled out that emotions played a part in the last few overs when they were inching towards the target.
“Not till the end. I am a great believer that if you get emotional, you have to use it to your advantage. If not, then forget about being emotional.”
Sangakkara was impressed by the manner in which the Sri Lankan bowlers bowled at the death and said it set up the match for his team.
“The last four overs that we bowled were immaculate. I haven’t seen four overs like that bowled to a guy on 70-something off 50 balls and M.S. Dhoni, who can hit any ball out of the park. For them not to be able to get bat on ball, showed the quality of our bowling and the hard work and planning that had been done.
Sangakkara said that change of captaincy in the middle of the tournament (Dinesh Chandimal made way for Lasith Malinga) did not have any adverse effect on the team.
“Our job is to support anyone who captains. It doesn’t matter who is leading. It’s unfortunate that Chandi missed out on the last few games.
“Chandi has an amazing future, as a leader and as a player. He’s still very young, and probably has 13-14 years ahead of him. He will be one of our better players.
“Lasith took over and did a fantastic job. We’re just happy that we have players who can step in and do the job when needed,” he concluded.