“It can happen to…” – Dasun Shanaka’s great statement on Sri Lanka’s loss in the 2025 Champions Trophy

Dasun Shanaka

Sri Lanka all-rounder and former captain Dasun Shanaka is a player who has elevated Sri Lankan cricket when it was going through one of its worst phases. Shanaka was named captain of the team when they were going through a transitional phase and almost many big names like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tilakaratne Dilshan and many more players had retired.

The Sri Lankan team was filled with many young players like Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga and Matheesha Pathirana. One of them was Dasun Shanaka. However, Shanaka rose to the challenge very brilliantly and built a brilliant team with these young players.

The Sri Lankan team was going through a very difficult phase when it organized the Asia Cup 2022. The country was also going through a harsh economic crisis, so its compatriots were living in a very sad state of life. However, Sri Lanka was able to defy all the odds and won the tournament in front of their home crowd. This also boosted the confidence of Sri Lanka cricket team fans and they started gaining interest in cricket once again.

Dasun Shanaka talks about Sri Lanka missing out on Champions Trophy 2025

Sri Lanka did not perform well in the ODIs so they had to play the 2023 ODI World Cup qualifiers. However, Sri Lanka ended up winning all the qualifier games and were able to reach the main round. Sri Lanka showed brilliant performance in all the matches of the tournament and gave tough competition to all the teams except India.

Sri Lanka was able to defeat England in the tournament, which many cricket experts considered a surprise. Sri Lanka finished in 9th place in the tournament and could win only 2 games out of 9.

This also marked their elimination from the 2025 Champions Trophy race, which will be held in Pakistan. The top seven teams in the tournament, excluding the hosts, qualified for the tournament.

Dasun Shanaka, who missed most of the tournament due to injury, was asked the same in a conversation with Cricbuzz. Shanaka said this can happen to any team in today’s world because cricket has evolved a lot. Shanaka said facilities in countries have also evolved. He stated that 10 years ago countries like Bangladesh, Scotland and the Netherlands did not have these facilities. However, in today’s world, every player plays under good coaches, so many talented players are also emerging.

He said: “No, it can happen to any team, right? Because today cricket has evolved and the facilities in other countries have evolved. It was not like this in the past. 10 years ago Bangladesh never had these facilities. 10 years ago Scotland didn’t have these facilities to play cricket. Netherlands, they didn’t have it. But now, I see that everywhere they are playing cricket leagues (under) good facilities, good coaches, good structures and that is why cricketers are emerging.”

Later in the conversation, Dasun Shanaka said that within ten years, many partner nations like Germany will also be able to compete with the top ten teams in the world because cricket is evolving a lot. Shanaka said Sri Lanka had to play two qualifying matches for the T20 World Cup and the ODI World Cup, which was a big headache for a captain.

He said: “So in 10 years we might see some partner nations like… I don’t know, I see Germany playing. Those countries will play, I want to say, within the top 10 because the rise of these nations certainly suggests that if there is a good structure, cricketers will emerge. You know, when I became captain, we had to play the qualifiers twice, like the T20 qualifiers, and play the 50-over qualifiers, and it was a big headache for a captain. But unfortunately I got injured during the World Cup.”

Sri Lanka is currently playing Afghanistan in a test match in Colombo.