He instructed Sri Lanka Cricket to take into account the need to use cricket world cup to the maximum for reconciliation. In turn the Interim Committee instructed the select committee and players what they should do to achieve maximum reconciliation impact. They were told how multiethnic the Indian team was.
Meanwhile the only non-Sinhalese players in the team, namely, Mutiah Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews were injured and were in doubt for the final. However, that would mean playing a “Sinhala only” team according to influential sections and they instructed to somehow include Muralitharan in the team and they insisted that there is no way a team without either Muralitharan and Mathews could play. Reluctantly Murali agreed. He made his decision clear early, days before the final.
At the same time influential sections were complaining about the inclusion of Ajantha Mendis saying that he is still a serving officer of the army. He playing in the final would “hurt” the reconciliation process because Tamils around the world protested his inclusion in previous matches. For the sake of “reconciliation” he was left out!
This was how the two disastrous decisions were made. Murali was included despite his injuries while Mendis was not included because his involvement may not be acceptable to some Tamils as he is serving in the army. Angered by the stupid decision, a section of the team was furious but had to put these at the back of their minds and continue. Anything that showed disunity in the team at this stage would have been disastrous for the team’s prospects. Some argue that the captain had already given up a day before the final due to these political interferences.
Ultimately the substandard team that played in the final lost mainly due to weak bowling. Mendis was out and Murali was not up to his hundred percent. Early breakthroughs could not be used to build on. Another unfortunate event happened in Hatton after the match. Two groups of people belonging to two ethnic groups clashed over the final match resulting in damages to property. The disastrous outcome at the final caused by a foolish attempt at Personal Political Agenda of reconciliation ended with worse consequences.