Sri Lanka’s greatest results have largely been unexpected. They won the 1996 World Cup as rank outsiders, at a time when their cricket board had less than US$6000 at its disposal. In 2014 they won a World T20 after dropping their captain halfway through the tournament, while simultaneously in the midst of a contracts standoff with their board. This month, arguably their greatest Test series victory ever was achieved despite such a gigantic list of handicaps that it would take the entire word count of this column to list them all.
To just dip our toes, though: captain Dinesh Chandimal had been dropped, their best batsman (Angelo Mathews) and three of their top four fast bowlers were injured, and their coach was convinced his bosses were trying to fire him, largely due to a series of humiliating losses.