Muttiah Muralitharan was fit enough to play in the World Cup final, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara maintained after the off-spinner's last international appearance ended in defeat by India.
The record-breaking 38-year-old, the sole survivor from Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup final-winning team, was not the force of old with injuries appearing to hamper him as he bowled a wicketless spell of eight overs for 39 runs.
They were respectable enough figures but hardly the kind of astounding analysis that became commonplace in Muralitharan's career, which yielded 800 wickets in 133 Tests and 534 in one-day internationals, both world records.
"It's one of those rare days where he hasn't really done the job for us, but that's maybe one in 100 games that happens," Sangakkara said.
"We're going to miss him terribly. Unfortunately, we couldn't give him a great send off but that's the way it goes. We were out-played and we have to accept that."
Muralitharan had been carrying knee, hamstring and groin injuries of late but Sangakkara insisted no needless risk had been taken in fielding Sri Lanka's talismanic star.
"He's our best bowler, even half fit," said Sangakkara. "But he was fine, he was almost at full fitness. I don't think it was an issue."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made a man-of-the-match winning 91 not out, said it was because of his familiarity with Muralitharan that he'd promoted himself above man-of-the-tournament Yuvraj Singh in the batting order.
"If I got out early there would have been two left handers to come in, but I have played a lot with Murali and I know his doosra well. He knows it too. I put pressure on him."
Muralitharan's career was highly controversial on account of his unorthodox bowling action.
But for all the controversy there was no denying the global popularity of a player whose ready grin made him a fans' favourite the world over.
There was no fairytale finish though on Saturday.
That had, perhaps, come a game earlier when Muralitharan took a wicket with his final ball on home soil as Sri Lanka beat New Zealand in the semi-final in Colombo, with thousands of spectators watching him chaired round the ground.
He has also won plaudits for his Foundation of Goodness charity, set up to help Sri Lanka from the carnage of the massive 2004 tsunami, and Muralitharan recently announced plans to build a sports complex for war-displaced civilians.
"Cricket unites communities, and we can use the game to reach out and help those who are less privileged than us, to make their lives a little bit easier," he explained.