Sri Lanka Captain Kusal Mendis Reflects on Emotional Reaction Over Kohli's 49th Century, Apologizes for World Cup Performance

November 12, 2023

Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Kusal Mendis addressed a special media briefing, offering reflections on his recent emotional response and issuing an apology to fans for the team's disappointing World Cup performance.

Mendis admitted that he was emotional when responding to a question about Indian batsman Virat Kohli's 49th ODI century, expressing regret over the manner in which he reacted. When asked by an Indian journalist if he would like to congratulate Kohli on the milestone, Mendis had responded with a counter-question, asking why he should congratulate the Indian batsman. In the subsequent media briefing, Mendis acknowledged that he should have handled the situation differently.

"On that day i went for the press conference and i was not aware that virat had scored a century, When suddenly that Journalist asked that question, I didn’t know what to say, And also I didn’t understand the question clearly, scoring 49 ODI tons is not an easy job to do, Virat is one of the brilliant cricketers in the world, later i realized what i said was absolutely wrong," he said. 

"I now feel I shouldn't have reacted the way I did," said Mendis, recognizing the need for a more composed response to cricketing achievements, even from opponents.

The Sri Lanka Captain took the opportunity during the press conference to apologize to the team's fans for their subpar performance in the World Cup. Mendis admitted that the team fell short in executing their plans, leading to a disappointing campaign. He assured fans that the players were equally disappointed and committed to learning from the experience.

Mendis also addressed rumors of external pressure on the team to underperform, dismissing such claims as baseless. He emphasized the team's dedication to giving their best on the field and attributed the World Cup results to a lack of effective execution rather than any external influence.