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Sangakkara opens up on why he smiled after losing 2011 World Cup final

There’s a reason Kumar Sangakkara has millions of fans all around the world. Very few sports peronalities in the world are as humble as the veteran wicket-keeper batsman.

Sanga led his star-studded Lankan team unbeaten throughout the tournament into the biggest game of his career, the World Cup final against India. India gunned down 275 thanks to MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir and it was the former’s winning six that sent earned the blues their 3rd World Cup trophy. Despite the loss, Sangakkara was seen smiling gently after the defeat and fans have since been eager to know the reason behind the untimely gesture.

Finally, after almost a decade, Sangakkara has opened up on the reason for his famous smile.

“I think, in my life, living in Sri Lanka, there are lots of things that bring you down. There are lots of things that you worry about. 30 years we have had wars, we have had natural disasters in 2005. We have so many different issues but one of the greatest things about Sri Lankans is resilience. It is just inborn in us. When we play, we want to win, we are extremely competitive.

Whether we win or lose, we have this equilibrium on how to take a win or loss. The smile hides a huge amount of sadness, of disappointment, of thinking of 20 million people back in Sri Lanka who had been waiting for this for so long, since 1996,” he said while speaking to Ravichandran Ashwin in an Instagram live session on Thursday.

It was Sri Lanka’s 3rd final loss in 4 years. They qualified for the 2007 World Cup final but lost to Australia. In the T20 World Cup final in 2009, Pakistan outlasted them in a clash in which the legendary Shahid Afridi scored the winning runs.

“We had an opportunity in 2011, opportunity in 2007, then T20 opportunities in 2009 and 2012. So sometimes, the best way to take victory or defeat is to understand that that’s the way life is. Not every single thing goes your way. But the important thing is to be able to take that the same way. No extreme highs or no extreme lows with emotions. That’s the way we kind of played our game. Not just me, but a lot of Sri Lankan cricketers.

That was a case of thinking ‘well another one is gone. What can you do? You got to get ready for another final in 4 year’s time’,” Sanga concluded.

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