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Sangakkara recalls why 2011 World Cup final toss was done twice

Sangakkara 2011
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The coin toss for the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai was done twice, and Kumar Sangakkara has now cleared the confusion surrounding it.

In an Instagram chat with Ravichandran Ashwin, Sangakkara said the confusion stemmed from the crowd noise at a packed Wankhede stadium.

“I saw two tosses. I was standing in the dressing room, I went inside and I didn’t have an answer for the coach. So what was it? What happened?” Ashwin asked Sangakkara, Sri Lanka’s captain for the tournament.

“I think it was the crowd, the crowd was huge,” Sangakkara said. “It never happens in Sri Lanka. It’s only happened in India to me, once at the Eden Gardens, when I couldn’t hear myself talk to the first slip and of course at the Wankhede [in Mumbai during the 2011 final].

“I remember calling on the toss, and then ‘Mahi’ [MS Dhoni, India’s captain] wasn’t sure what I had called. He said: ‘Did you call Tails?’, I said, ‘No, I called Heads’.

“And, then the match referee [Jeff Crowe] actually said I won the toss and Mahi said ‘No, no, no, he didn’t’.

“There was a little bit of confusion, and then Mahi said ‘Let’s have another toss of the coin’. And that’s when the second one went up and it came down Heads again so luckily…I am not sure if it was lucky that I won, because probably if I had lost, it may have been that India might have batted.”

“I think India might have chased,” Ashwin added, “because of the dew maybe.”

Sangakkara agreed that Sri Lanka would have chosen to bowl as well, had all-rounder Angelo Mathews not picked up an injury, and left a gaping hole in their middle order.

Batting first, Sri Lanka posted 274, which India chased down to win their second ODI World Cup.

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