The Sri Lankan Cricket Team is a national cricket team representing the island nation of Sri Lanka. The team first began playing international cricket in 1975 and were later granted Test status in 1981. The Islanders had some talented cricketers in their ranks but only were transformed from the underdog status to a major cricketing nation during the 90s. The biggest achievement for Sri Lankan cricket was lifting the 1996 Cricket World Cup by beating Australia in the finals.
Post that shining moment, Sri Lanka continued to throw up exciting cricketers who immensely contributed to international cricket. Batting stalwarts like Aravinda de Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, and Sanath Jayasuriya backed up by the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas were instrumental in bringing many laurels to Sri Lankan cricket.
With the advent of new generation cricketers that included the likes of Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga, the team grew stronger. Over the years, the Lankans created a number of records and once held the record for making the highest totals in all three formats of the game. They also have the rare distinction for making it to two consecutive World Cup finals, once in 2007, where they lost to Australia, and then in 2011, where they suffered defeat at the hands of the Indian team. Losing in the finals then seemed like becoming a habit for the Islanders as in 2012 they ended up being beaten by the Windies in the T20I World Cup final on home soil. However, that changed in 2014 as they won their first T20I World Cup, beating India.
A poor 50-over World Cup followed in 2015. Also, their legends, Sangakkara and Jayawardene retired from international cricket in that year. Since then, Sri Lanka struggled to find able replacements for the two and their performance dwindled. In their long rebuilding phase, they saw plenty of changes in the leadership but without much success.