In 2007, excitement ratcheted up in Sri Lanka over six weeks as Mahela Jayawardene’s side established themselves as worthy title contenders in the Caribbean. Rain, a rampant Adam Gilchrist and the LTTE attacks on Colombo, though, combined to bring a distressing end to the campaign.
Gilchrist’s gone and the civil war is over but the core of the Sri Lankan that marched to the final remains intact - Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga and Tillakaratne Dilshan are around, and others like Upul Tharanga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando are back for another tilt at the title.
Surrounding that experienced core is the talent that has emerged over the past couple of years - allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, and spinner Ajantha Mendis. Home advantage should have made them even more formidable, though no one is quite sure how the pitches at the three refurbished or completely new Sri Lankan venues will play.