Chokers? At least SL reach ICC finals: Skipper Mahela

Sep 18, 2012, 07:57 IST | AFP

Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene yesterday hit back at suggestions his team have "choked" in major finals � and said he'd rather be a runner-up than an also-ran

Jayawardene, speaking on the eve of the hosts’ World Twenty20 opener against Zimbabwe, said it was tribute to Sri Lanka that they had reached three global title matches since winning the 1996 one-day World Cup.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene arrives in Hambantota for their ICC World T20 opener against Zimbabwe today. Pic/AFP

“A lot of people have asked us why we have choked in the finals,” he said on Monday. “I’d rather be in that situation than being knocked out in earlier rounds. So that means we are doing something pretty good in these big tournaments and we hope to continue that in World T20.” Sri Lanka lost to Australia and then India in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup finals, and missed out on the World Twenty20 title when they were beaten by Pakistan in the 2009 title match at Lord’s.

Zims can bite
Jayawardene warned that Zimbabwe, who upset Australia at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, needed to be taken seriously in today’s curtain-raiser at Hambantota.

Meanwhile, despite Zimbabwe’s team’s poor form Brendan Taylor was upbeat. Zimbabwe have lost their last 12 official T20 internationals, plus the two warm-up matches against Ireland and Bangladesh.

“It’s a tournament that we’ve probably had more success in than the one-day format or the few Tests that we have played. It can be a bit unpredictable,” said Taylor.

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