After getting out of the semi-final race at the T20 World Cup 2021, coach Mickey Arthur has stated that the future of Sri Lanka cricket is in safe hands despite an early exit from the marquee event. Arthur further lauded Wanindu Hasaranga for his exuberant all-round performance at the tournament.
Sri Lanka walked into the Super 12 stage after a dominating performance at the qualifier stage, but the Dasun Shanka-led side failed to make it to the semi-finals after their consecutive defeats at the marquee event. Sri Lanka started off with a victory against Bangladesh at the Super 12 stage, but suffered defeats against Australia, South Africa and England respectively.
However, coach Mickey Arthur stated that the future of Sri Lankan cricket are in safe hands despite an early exit from the ICC mega event.
"We've shaken up the World Cup. I think we have," Arthur told a news conference.
"I think we've pushed teams. The disappointing thing for me is, in every game we've played of the last three, whether it be Australia, be that South Africa and be that England, we've had opportunities to win the game.
"We're not going to qualify this year but Sri Lankan cricket is now in good hands,” he added.
Arthur further stated that the team management provided maximum support to the players, and trusted their abilities.
"In coaching, we always talk about roots to grow and wings to fly. I think we've allowed them wings to fly.
"I sit back and I look at what these guys are going to offer Sri Lankan cricket in the future ... I'm really excited about what their future has in store for Sri Lankan cricket."
The Sri Lanka coach heaped praise on Wanindu Hasaranga for his stellar performance with the bat and ball at the tournament. Hasaranga has so far scored 199 runs and scalped 14 wickets from seven matches at the marquee event, and also became the No.1 T20I bowler in the latest official rankings released on Wednesday.
"Every time I see him with a ball or see him with a bat or in the field, he excites me as a cricketer," Arthur said of the leg-spinner who is the tournament's leading wicket-taker
"He's riding the crest of a wave ... He works unbelievably hard at his game and doesn't leave anything to chance in terms of his preparation.
"I couldn't be happier with where he is at the moment. He's a genuine world superstar at the moment," he added.
Sri Lanka will next face West Indies on Thursday, November 4 in Abu Dhabi.