The Sri Lankan cricket team was awarded Test status in 1981, which made Sri Lanka the eighth Test cricket
playing nation. Sri Lankan cricket team's One Day International debut came in the1975 Cricket World Cup and their first One Day International win against a test cricket playing nation came in the 1979 Cricket World Cup against India.
They recorded their first test win and series victory against India in 1985 and registered their first test win and series victory away from home against New Zealand in 1995.
Sri Lankan cricket's greatest moment came during the 1996 World Cup as they defeated the top-ranked Australian team under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga in the final. Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana revolutionized the way teams played in the first fifteen overs of the innings with never-seen-before attacking batsmanship.
Thereon, the team has continued to be a force in international cricket. The Sri Lankan cricket team reached the finals of the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups consecutively. But they ended up being runners up in both those occasions. They also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 and have been runners up in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.
On March 3, 2009, the Sri Lankan team's convoy was attacked in Lahore, Pakistan by gunmen. This led to the death of five policemen and injuries to seven cricketers and a member of the coaching team. The team was on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium where they were scheduled to begin the third day of the Second Test. After the incident the test match was called off by the Sri Lankan Cricket board.
Some of the greatest players to represent Sri Lankan cricket are Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Arvinda Dsilva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillakaratne, Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinghe, Rumesh Ratnayake, Sidath Wettimuny, Duleep Mendis, Roy Dias, Asantha De Mel.