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What Sri Lanka’s ouster from the Asia Cup means for its cricket

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The Sri Lankan cricket team's ouster from the Asia Cup is seen as a huge upset in the cricketing world.

The Sri Lankan cricket team rose to cricket supremacy at the beginning of 1990's. The small island nation started their cricketing journey as underdogs of the game, possibly where Afghanistan stands today.

In 1996, Sri Lanka clinched the World Cup and since then, they never looked back.

In the recent past, Sri Lanka has failed to make an impact in the cricketing world. With the huge departures of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara after the 2015 World Cup, the Lions as they are famously known, have found themselves inside the den for most of their cricketing stint since then.

Sri Lanka, by account is the most successful team in the Asia Cup with an aggregate winning percentage of 65.38, out winning the Indian cricket team by a margin of around 4%. Sri Lanka holds the joint record of most number of Asia Cups, with five wins in the history of Asia Cup 50 overs tournament.

The former champion's dramatic loss to a rising Afghanistan can only be seen as a major flaw that is plaguing the SL team right now. With that loss, Sri Lanka extends their losing record to 30 loses in the last 40 matches that they have played since 2017.

The Sri Lankan media left no stones unturned to ridicule their side's performance in the Asia Cup.

Social media was filled with rage and anger from users who were seemingly very upset with their team's loss against Afghanistan. This comes after Sri Lanka's first loss to Bangladesh in the inaugural match of Asia Cup.

Sri Lanka's position in the ICC rankings has dropped down to 8th position with the difference in points for the 7th position held by Bangladesh to a whopping 16 points. West Indies and Afghanistan currently placed at 9th and 10th respectively are much closer, with the point difference of 7 and 13 points respectively.

The Sri Lankan cricket team is at a position where another year like this and they could lose everything that they had attained in the last two and a half decades. This reminds one so much of West Indies' downfall from world cricket as a strong, ruthless cricketing nation.

But all is not lost for Sri Lankan cricket. The very fact that Sri Lanka still hasn't lost the mental war speaks volume of the very fact that the Lions can bounce back in a couple of years.

Definitely, the resurgence of a team takes time, and every cricketing nation has found itself in the same position a couple of times in the past.

England was in the same position half a decade back with Kevin Petersen, Jonathan Trott, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and other notable cricketers retiring from ODI cricket.

Yes, a couple of things might change for the Sri Lankan cricket team when they next perform at home, but by the looks of it, their recent 2-3 loss to South Africa in the ODI series makes one argue that the team probably just needs a little time to settle things and come back up stronger.

History has taught us, the Sri Lankan team should never be taken lightly because the underdogs have always outshined everybody in the recent past.

(Daily News)

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