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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Russel Arnold's column
Sri Lanka's Russel Arnold
By Russel Arnold
Sri Lanka World Cup cricketer

As you can imagine, my team-mates and I are feeling pretty down at the moment after our World Cup final defeat by Australia.

Russel Arnold (right)
This was my last competitive game and I will now turn my thoughts to the future

Overall it was been a good tournament for us but it hurts that we just couldn't produce our best cricket when it mattered.

You have to give credit to Australia - they were the dominant team on the day, and from the start of the competition, so you have to say they deserved their success.

We always felt that if we played to our potential, it would take us places, but the one problem we have had is consistency and, at the final hurdle, we couldn't produce the kind of display that had put us in contention over the previous few days and weeks.

We felt it was a good toss to lose and even though Australia came at us in the first 10 overs, we believed we were still in the game. If we could hang in there it had to turn, surely, but thanks to Adam Gilchrist it kept slipping away.

We were surprised the ball didn't swing for us, and even more surprised when it did for Nathan Bracken later in the day.

When I walked into bat I still felt that if things went our way we could pull off something special but they didn't and it became quite dark - we could hardly see anything.

The rain didn't help our style of play and when it started to come down the game should have been stopped and the wicket protected. That really went against us.

Then near the end when we were told we would have to come back the next day and play the final three overs - that was just ridiculous.

But we have to admit Australia were cute enough to handle those situations and had done enough to take advantage of any mishaps or what we or the weather could throw at them.

As you may already know, this was my last competitive game and I will now turn my thoughts to the future, which I'm pretty excited about.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga captured the imagination in this tournament

Initially, I will probably spend some time in England where I'm hoping to play some games for Lashings, and then I plan to take some time off.

In the long-term I would like to get involved in commentary work, which I think I would really enjoy, and possibly coaching.

Both of those options would keep me in the game and I feel I can make a contribution because I have had plenty of experience - some of it good and plenty of it rough, which I've come through well.

I promised myself I would put in an honest effort at this World Cup, which I feel I have done. It was fantastic for me to be part of this and previous teams and there are memories from this tournament I will cherish.

That is why I am retiring now. I have realised for some time that there is life after cricket and going out now means I will focus on happy memories rather than the frustrations I felt in the past.

It's a good time for forge on with the rest of my life. As for the team-mates I am leaving behind, I can only see good times ahead.

They won't be thinking this right now, but the youngsters in the team have a lot to look forward to and this experience, however painful it feels at the moment, will hold them in good stead.

Lasith Malinga has captured the imagination in this tournament and has made huge strides in improving his accuracy and control. I expect a lot from him in the future.

But there is also plenty of other talent back home and things will move forward a lot more than some people think. I look forward to watching it happen.

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28 Apr 07 |  Cricket
Team of the tournament
29 Apr 07 |  Cricket
World Cup final photos
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25 Apr 07 |  Cricket
Russel Arnold's column
19 Apr 07 |  Sri Lanka
Russel Arnold's column
03 Apr 07 |  Sri Lanka


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