Kumar Sangakkara finally reveals the toss confusion during 2011 World Cup Final

ST Staff
Monday, 1 June 2020

Kumar Sangakkara finally reveals the toss confusion during 2011 World Cup Final. Sanga opened up about the smile that became one of the moments that defined that match.

April 2, 2011, is a night Indians wouldn’t forget. MS Dhoni’s towering hit off Nuwan Kulasekara over wide long-on unified a billion into celebrations. One of the postcard-captures remains the Indian captain still in his follow-through, in the foreground, while one man in the background, Dhoni’s counterpart, Kumar Sangakkara, sporting a dejected smile as the bedlam broke loose at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

There was another talked-about moment from the match and that being the coin toss where there was a confusion that occurred between the two captains due to the loud crowd. The world witnessed two tosses in a World Cup Final, raising many eyebrows. Recently, Sanga revealed what had happened on his online episode of ‘Reminiscence with Ash’ with host Ravichandran Ashwin, which hosted the legendary former Sri Lanka captain.

“The was crowd was huge. It never happens in Sri Lanka. Once I had this at Eden Gardens when I could not hear myself talk to the first slip and then of course at the Wankhede. I remember calling on the toss then Mahi wasn’t sure and said did you call tail and I said no I called a head,” Sangakkara said. “The match referee actually said I won the toss, Mahi said he did not. There was a little bit of confusion there, and Mahi said let’s have another toss of the coin and heads went up again.”

The coin obeyed Sanga even the second time and Sri Lanka batted. The southpaw isn’t sure if it was luck that he won it. In hindsight, he hopes things could have been different had he batted. Ashwin, who played that match, confirmed Sanga that India would have still bowled because of the dew factor. Sanga rued the fact that Sri Lanka missed Angelo Mathews in that game.

Sanga opened up about the smile that became one of the moments that defined that match.

“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. We had an opportunity in 2011, opportunity in 2007, then T20 opportunities in 2009 and 2012,” he said.

The big moment did arrive for Sanga in 2014. Riding on his form, Sri Lanka beat India in the final of 2014 T20 World Cup.

Trivia: In 2015, Sanga announced that the second Test between India and Sri Lanka would be his final Test. In his last four innings leading to retirement, he was dismissed all four times by Ashwin.

Here’s the entire conversation between Ashwin and Sangakkara:

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