Port Elizabeth: Aravinda de Silva ended a glorious career on Tuesday with a disappointing run out in Sri Lanka’s semi-final loss to Australia, just missing the honour of becoming the second-highest runmaker in World Cups.
De Silva, who came with Lanka reeling at 37 for three, chasing Australia’s 212 for seven, looked set to rescue the side with authoritative strokes, but was out for 11 in the 14th over after hitting two boundaries.
His dismissal set the stage for Sri Lanka’s eventual 48-run defeat in a rain-interrupted match, and ended De Silva’s last hope of reaching the World Cup landmark in the final on Sunday.
“I was hoping it wasn’t the last (match). It is an emotional day for me. I think it is pretty sad that after doing the hard work, we really didn’t apply ourselves when we batted,” said De Silva, 37, a veteran of five World Cups.
Before Tuesday he’d made 1,053 runs in five World Cup appearances, and needed 31 runs to surpass former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad’s career total of 1,083 in World Cups.
De Silva, who had announced his retirement in October, wrapped up his career with 1,064 runs in the World Cup and 9,284 runs in 308 one-day Internationals, also the third highest in the world behind Tendulkar and Mohammed Azharuddin. He has scored 6,361 Test runs. De Silva also took 106 one-day wickets including two against Australia on Tuesday.
“It’s been a long career and I have been away from home far too long, so I think it is high time I spent a little time at home with my family and concentrate on the second phase of my life.”
He will perhaps be best remembered for his match-winning 107 in the 1996 World Cup final against Australia — Sri Lanka’s finest sporting moment.
After that match, his form slumped and De Silva was fired in 2001 following fitness doubts. He returned, trimmer and more determined. “It was tough. I had to make a big commitment, a lot of sacrifice, which I was willing to make to prove a point.
“And I am quite happy that I am able to leave the game on my terms,” De Silva said. (AP)