Monday, June 30, 2008

Column by Sanath Jayasuriya - " You can’t gauge a cricketer by his career "

by Sanath Jayasuriya

They say that cricket is becoming a young man's game. However, Sourav Ganguly has shown that with class and experience age need not be a barrier to success. He had a fantastic year in both Tests and ODIs and it was nice to see his memorable comeback to the India team capped on Friday when he became the first recipient of the Asian Cricketer of the Year Award at the Castrol Asian Cricket Awards function held in Karachi. The event also saw the felicitation of the legendary Hanif Mohammed, whilst Shoaib Malik was the named the Pakistan Cricketer of the Year.

Also being a bit long in the tooth – in fact, a lot longer in the tooth – it was good to see. I don't believe that you can accurately gauge the life of a cricketer by his career. Every cricket is different in terms of health, fitness and hunger for the game. What matters most is performance at the end of the day.

And on that note Ganguly cannot be faulted for his performances in 2007. It was a great year for him with 1106 runs at 61.44 in Tests and then 1240 runs at 44.28 in ODIs, which included 12 fifties. That is an impressive set of statistics and it is no surprise that he also won the Castrol Asian Batsman of the Year award.

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara was adjudged the Asian Test Batsman of the Year and that also came as no surprise considering the string of huge scores he put together against Bangladesh, Australia and England last year. He has matured in a very fine player. More importantly, he's very tough mentally, which is also the secret to his consistency.

We are hoping he can continue his form right through this Asia Cup because it is clear now after the first round that there are plenty of batsman in top form. India's run chase against Pakistan on Thursday was an exceptional run chase. We know that we are going to have to be at our very best against both Pakistan and India if we are to qualify for the final, our first priority now.

We're pretty pleased with the preparations thus far. The performance against Bangladesh was pretty clinical and that was what we wanted to kick-start the tournament. We have not played as a team for a while what with the IPL and it was important to start a new season on a high note. I felt it was a very professional display.

In the end the win against the UAE was comprehensive although it was far from our best cricket at times. We were a little loose at times, possibly too relaxed, which is dangerous against any opposition. Nevertheless, it was great to see our new spinner, Ajantha Mendis, in the wickets and my replacement, Mahela Udawatte, top score with 67.

However, from Sunday, things are going to get a lot, lot tougher. We know that, too, and are confident we can rise to the occasion. People may think India and Pakistan are the favourites but we can rise to the occasion and win big matches.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

'Old man' Jayasuriya making no plans for retirement - Reuters

KARACHI, June 29 (Reuters)

Swashbuckling Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya celebrates his 39th birthday on Sunday with no retirement plans in sight.

Sri Lanka's highest test scorer and the second most capped player in one-day internationals, Jayasuriya demonstrated he had lost none of his flair by smashing 72 against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.

"I don't think about my future plans," he told reporters. "As long as I am fit I will keep on going."

The stocky left-hander retired from test cricket last December but continues to play in one-dayers, a form of the game that made him a hero in his country and a feared opponent.

His explosive style of batting helped Sri Lanka win the 1996 World Cup and changed the way many batsmen approached one-day matches.

"I don't think age is a factor with Sanath," Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene told Reuters. "As long as he is hungry to perform, I am sure he will keep on going."

Jayasuriya was axed from Sri Lanka's one-day squad for the tour of the West Indies in April before being recalled for the six-nation Asia Cup.

"Sanath went through a bit of a rough period last year or so after the World Cup," said Jayawardene. "People asked questions about him but I thought he worked really very hard. I think he needed to prove something and he proved it."

With 12,382 runs and 309 wickets in 412 one-day internationals and having retired after 110 tests with 6,973 runs many feel, the all-rounder has nothing more to prove.

"I love this game and I still feel great after a good performance or seeing the team win," Jayasuriya said.

Sri Lanka's former skipper quit the national side in 2006 because of differences between the board and selectors but was quickly persuaded to return.

"I think he is the only guy who knows the answer how long he will keep on going," said Jayawardene. "But I think he is amazing and it is good to have him in the team. He can still change the game pretty soon."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Asia Cup in numbers - Sanath tops all the way, both in Batting & Bowling !!

Summary: Tournaments - 8, Winners: India -4, Sri Lanka -3, Pakistan - 1

Runners-up: Sri Lanka – 5, India – 2, Pakistan – 1

Other milestones:

Most runs: Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) – 842 runs @ 46.77 in 20 matches

Most wickets: Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) – 20 wickets @ 30.25 in 20 matches

Highest individual score: Younis Khan (Pak) – 144 v Hong Kong at Colombo, 2004

Best bowling analysis: Aaqib Javed (Pak) – 5-19 v India at Sharjah, 1994-95

Most matches: Aravinda De Silva (SL) – 24 matches from 1984 to 2000

Most fifties and over: Marvan Atapattu (SL) – 7 (1 ton & 6 fifties)in 13 matches

Why Sanath Jayasuriya deserves a place among Test cricket's greats

The Sri Lankan left-hander's retirement from the Test arena is a great loss to the five-day game.

Sanath Jayasuriya had the terrible luck to play cricket in the same era as Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. Because of this unfortunate timing, his magnificent career has been overlooked in favour of his more illustrious contemporaries.

It mattered not whether he was playing Test or one-dayers – attack was the only option'

When Sanath announced his retirement from Test cricket, it was largely overlooked in the global cricket media and, in doing so, a great disservice was done to a man who was as important to his country, and possibly world cricket, as any of the players named above. Like all left-handed batsmen, Jayasuriya batted with style and flair and there can be no better striker of the ball when on song – indeed only a very gifted few can claim to even be his equal. In the wake of his staggering innings in the 1996 World Cup final, he single-handedly altered the way that one-day cricket is played. There aren’t many players who can lay claim to having forever changed the game. His importance to the Sri Lankan side is also difficult to gauge. There can be no doubt Jayasuriya was a cornerstone to the Sri Lankan ascendancy from international easy-beats to a powerhouse side in world cricket. Again, however, he has been overshadowed by his rubber-wristed teammate Muttiah Muralitharan. Such has been the influence on Lankan and, indeed, world cricket that the efforts of Murali’s team-mates can often be overlooked. What is never in dispute is Sanath’s ability to be able destroy an opposition. His triple century against India was remarkable in that he proved that he could be as devastating in the long form as he could be in the short form of the game. And that is exactly how he batted; it mattered not whether he was playing Test or one-dayers – attack was the only option. Sadly, the same wonderful qualities that made Jayasuriya such an entertaining batsman has probably cost him a place amongst the best ever. The seeming inability to temper his aggression when the situation required it has cost him and his country dearly, but none who saw him in full flight would have given thought to the bigger picture issues. There would be little argument that the Sri Lankan Test side is weaker for having lost one of its stalwarts. More than that, cricket fans the world over will miss one of those rare players who, on the strength of their personal ability alone, drew punters through the gates. Thank goodness he’s still playing one-dayers and that we’ll have the chance to give him a farewell worthy of his contribution to the game. It’s the very least he deserves.

Sanath on IPL, Sachin, money in cricket and Test Matches - A post IPL Intterview

At 10:50 am on Saturday, we arrive at Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters and inform the security post that we have an appointment with Sanath Jayasuriya at 11: am. He tells us that Sanath is in the gym and we get closer to the gym to see him training. He indicates to us to wait for a few minutes and adjusts the treadmill and sets off for a quick run. His enthusiasm is unwavering and contagious for other young players around.

Jayasuriya will be 39 in a fortnight and with the fortune he earned at the IPL you would have expected the father of three to quietly enjoy the luxuries of retirement. But Sanath being Sanath is keen to still play international cricket and keener to prove some doubters wrong.

"Age doesn’t matter. If you ask me it’s only a number. What’s important is whether you are fit enough to stand the rigours of six hours of international cricket. I am confident that I still have cricket in me to play at the highest level," Sanath tells philosophically.

He might feel that way, but what if the team doesn’t want him. "It’s a different matter, but if you can prove them wrong by playing good cricket that’s the way to go," he says challenging his doubters.

He maintains that there aren’t any permanent places in the side for anyone and doesn’t hide the fact that selection for the home series against India depends on his performance in the Asia Cup. "I wasn’t picked for the West Indies, but now I have been picked to play Asia Cup. If I do well, I will be there for the next series and if I don’t do well, I will be out. That’s how it happens in cricket. You shouldn’t have long term plans and I am enjoying the challenge given to me," he said.

There were various speculations when Jayasuriya was dropped from the side for the Caribbean series. It was said that one of the selectors told his colleagues to close the door on Sanath Jayasuriya for good, but his performance at the Indian Premier League was such that if he wasn’t picked for the Asia Cup there would have been a public outcry as this man simply made the whole of Sri Lanka to become Mumbai Indian supporters with his audacious stroke play and down to earth attitude.

"People have their own opinion and everyone is entitled to one as well. Maybe there was some pressure put on the people concerned. In our part of the world, people will try to manipulate others. I am not worried about any of these things. Over the last 19 years, I have played for Sri Lanka, I believe I performed for the team."

Jayasuriya was one of the success stories in the IPL tournament and his good performance helped him to earn a recall to the national side. "I enjoyed the IPL. Apart from the cricket I played, I had the opportunity of meeting some guys who had been my fierce opponents over the years. You learn other cultures and get to know some of these players too. The Reliance Group, the owners of Mumbai Indians was very good to us as well. Mr. Mukesh Ambani was firmly behind us and treated us well. When we were losing the first few games, they didn’t put any pressure. They basically treated us like their own family," Jayasuriya recalls.

The Mumbai Indians struggled to get off the blocks losing their first three games. After the initial setback, Jayasuriya returned home briefly for two days and when he returned to Mumbai he was at his awesome best once again.

"In the first three games, I was getting out for 20s and 30s. That was worrying as that had been the case in the last four or five months for me. When I went back to Mumbai after a brief break, my rhythm was back and I soon scored a hundred. "

And those who know him tell you the story that during his two day stay here he was mostly hanging around the temples asking the Gods to intervene to get his touch back. And Jayasuriya doesn’t deny that. "Well, not only on this particular instance, I normally do that. I have my own believes and I still believe that played a part," he says.

Sachin a simple and nice man

Seeing the Mumbai opening combination of Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar thrilled the spectators. Tendulkar, who once said, "I haven’t seen Bradman, but I have seen Jayasuriya," is supposed to have played a key role in acquiring Jayasuriya to his team.

"People were thrilled to see both of us opening. I have always enjoyed Sachin’s company and we had mutual respect as opponents and playing in the same team was an unbelievable experience," Jayasuriya explained.

"When I was going after the bowling, Sachin would come to me and remind that we had scored enough runs and now’s the time to completely demoralize the opposition and not to lose my wicket. He comes up with various suggestions as well. He’s a very simple and a nice man. He’s also a good team player and gives confidence to youngsters and I think a lot of younger players learnt from him

Mumbai finished fifth on the points table of the IPL and failed to make it to the semi-finals. And despite having contributed immensely for the team’s success, Jayasuriya admits part of the blame for not seeing his side through in the competition. "We lost three very close games in the last over. I am responsible for losing one game along with Dilhara. But other than that there was no luck going for us at all, but overall, we played good cricket as we came from behind to beat stronger teams."

Future of 50 Over cricket

The former captain feels that 50 over One-Day International tournaments will gradually lose appeal, but he’s of the opinion that no harm will come Test cricket’s way. "Twenty-20 is very popular at the moment and the crowds have embraced it. I personally feel that the 50 over game will have major challenges unless they change, especially in the middle overs. But I don’t think there’s going to be any issue with Test cricket, it won’t be harmed. When 50 overs game was introduced they said it was going to affect Test cricket, but it didn’t happen. Over 100 years of Test cricket can’t be easily killed."

While the Twenty-20 game suits a player of Jayasuriya’s type, he says given the option, he would choose Test cricket over Twenty-20 any day. "Obviously I would opt for Test cricket no matter what. I have played over 100 Test Matches for my country and playing Tests is a unique experience. It’s at that level your character and temperament is tested over a period of five days."

Turning down Warwickshire offer

Had things gone to the script and Sri Lankan selectors not picked Jayasuriya, he would have enjoyed the riches of county cricket as well as he was contracted to make Birmingham his home for a brief period playing for Warwickshire in England’s Twenty-20 competition.

"I was keen in playing for Warwickshire, but once I was called for national duty, I realized it clashed with English county season and I had to turn it down."

Is too much money spoiling young cricketers?

Players like Jayasuriya came up in life the hard way and even when he was playing for Sri Lanka, he was putting up at friends and relatives places in Colombo. But tournaments such as the IPL and national contracts has poured riches onto players and some have expressed their concern at younger players losing focus.

"It depends on how you manage your money. Cricketers don’t have any other job and they need to have money. But the important thing is to not to lose your values. If you have an option between your country and franchise, there’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind where my priority should be. Country always comes first. Younger players should realize that. Since a lot of money is involved, you need to have your values. There are things that you should do and shouldn’t do.

Sri Lanka’s physiotherapist Tommy Simsek had won the heart of Jayasuriya for his injury management and knowledge on physiotherapy and Jayasuriya said the team will badly feel his absence in the coming months.

"After Alex Kontouri went, Tommy was the best physio we had and we are going to miss him in a big way. I don’t know the reasons for his departure, but it’s a big loss for Sri Lankan cricket. Whatever the reasons that made him to quit his job, it’s a big loss for the players. The same thing happened with Alex Kontouri and Australia were quick to grab him and we are going to miss Tommy very badly," Jayasuriya said.

Sanath, Sangakkara punish Bangla attack

LAHORE - Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara clobbered the Bangladesh attack to all corners of the ground to get 357 for nine in the Group A match of the Asia Cup here at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Wednesday.
Bangladesh, which got a massive win over UAE team in the opening match, faces similar defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.
Jayasuriya cracked 72 runs from just 47 balls. He hit up 10 boundaries and three massive sixes and also shared a an opening wicket partnership of 116 with Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara, however, in return completed century rather fluently but their innings turned out to be more miserable for the Bangala attack.
Sangakkara completed his eighth one-day hundred in just 88 balls. He fell soon after in an attempt to accelerate the pace of the game. Chamara Kapugedera gathered 74 off 67-ball to further the misery of Bangladesh.
The highlight of the batting performance was the 20th over of the innings, as Sangakkara clobbered five fours off Dolar Mahmud in an over which leaked 25. Mahmud had already gone for 28 off his first two overs, 25 of those coming from the bat of Jayasuriya.
Mohammad Ashraful won his second toss in a row, but this time chose to bowl in his team's second match of the tournament, against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh decided to retain the same team that registered a 96-run victory against UAE the previous evening in the first group encounter.


ST Jayasuriya b Abdur Razzak 72
K Sangakkara c Tamim b Mahmudullah 101

Asia Cup 2008 - Allrounder Jayasuriya leads Sri Lankan campaign

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Group A, Asia Cup, Lahore.

Allrounder Jayasuriya leads Sri Lankan campaign

June 24, 2008

Stats and trivia

  • Sanath Jayasuriya has scored four hundreds in Asia Cups, and needs 158 to become the first batsman to 1000 runs in the tournament. In four Asia Cup innings against Bangladesh, he has managed two centuries and a fifty, for an average of 98 at a strike rate of 99.66.

  • Sri Lanka's seven wins against Bangladesh in Asia Cups have all been by margins of at least seven wickets or 71 runs. In their last clash, Jayasuriya hammered an unbeaten 101-ball 107 as Sri Lanka won by ten wickets with 99 balls to spare.

  • Jayasuriya's 20 wickets is the most taken by any bowler in the Asia Cup.

  • Jayasuriya hoping to explode:

    Sri Lanka will be hoping to draw inspiration from their 1996 World Cup triumph when they begin their title defence for the Asia Cup limited overs cricket tournament with a match against Bangladesh at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan today.

    Sri Lanka will play back to back matches and on the following day (Thursday) they will take on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team at the same venue. The tournament will then move to the Karachi National Stadium where the second round matches and the final on July 6 will be worked off.

    The opening two matches will certainly be an emotional one for all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya who played a sterling role to win the 1996 World Cup and is the only surviving member from that champion outfit.

    Jayasuriya won the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award on that occasion and after more than a decade he is faced with a similar situation as the entire team is hoping that his explosive batting will help them to retain the Asian crown for the second successive year.

    Jayasuriya who will turn 39 next week will certainly strengthen Sri Lanka’s batting which has lacked aggression in recent matches. With the inclusion of ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis Sri Lanka could feel confident of having two quality spinners in their line up.

    Meanwhile Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene is hoping that his team could overcome a slump in form which has seen them lose four of five one day series since finishing runners up to Australia in the World Cup last year.

    Jayawardena admitted that they have not been in the best of forms in the last few months and this is another opportunity for them to display what they are capable of.

    Jayawardena feels that there will be added pressure on the team considering the fact that Sri Lanka are the defending champions.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Flashback : Master-blaster Sanath won Observer Outstation Cricketer Award in 1988

    Flashback : Master-blaster Sanath won Observer Outstation Cricketer Award in 1988
    Master-blaster Sanath Jayasuriya - a former Sri Lanka skipper, has been very much a part and parcel of inter-school cricket in the country and he excelled in cricket while at St. Servatius College, Matara and was picked as Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the Outstation Segment in 1988. He was also picked as the Best Batsman and Best Allrounder in the Outstation Section.
    Sanath Teran Jayasuriya is one of the finest allrounders from Matara to emerge in school cricket and he kept faith with the game and it was natural that he would make the grade to the top. He has been with the Sri Lanka team and has captained the team too.
    In two days time, Jayasuriya will be involved with the Sri Lanka team at the Asia Cup tournament in Pakistan and after his exploits in the recent Indian Premier League, all cricket fans will be awaiting for some cracker-jack batting in the Asia Cup tournament.
    While in Pakistan, there is another important date: June 30 - that’s Sanath’s 39th birthday, and it will, no doubt be celebration time over there.
    After a few hiccups, he is back in good form. He scored a devastating 114 not out off just 48 balls for Mumbai Indians against Chennai in the recently concluded Indian Premier League. Jayasuriya regained his position in the one-day squad for Asia Cup after he had been dropped for the West Indies tour.
    He then followed up his Century with a 17-ball 48 not out to surpass the Kolkata Knight Riders score of 67 in just the 6th over which was the biggest victory in Twenty 20 history. He was the tournament’s 3rd highest run getter with 514 at a strike rate of about 160. He led the six hitting board.

    Product of Matara :

    The star in the Outstations... Sanath Jayasuriya who was picked as the
    Outstation Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1988 receives award from Mrs
    Malini Bodinagoda (left) - wife of then ANCL Chairman Ranapala Bodinagoda.
    Jayasuriya was born in Matara on 30th June 1969 and had his education at St. Servatius’ College, Matara. It was there that his cricketing talents were nourished by the Principal, G. L. Galappathy and coach Lionel Munasinghe.
    It’s cricket all the way in the Jayasuriya household and his wife Sandra is former Flight Attendant for Sri Lankan Airlines, is very much involved backing Sanath in his exploits. They have three children.
    The allrounder has been a member of the Sri Lanka cricket team since 1989. He is the only player in the world to score over 12,000 runs and capture over 300 wickets in ODIs. He is also regarded by many critics and supporters as one of the best ODI players to ever play the game.
    Jayasuriya is the first cricketer to be appointed as a UN Goodwill Ambassador (by UNAIDS, Geneva) for his commitment to prevention of HIV/AIDS among young people in Sri Lanka.
    Sanath Jayasuriya revolutionised one-day international batting with his aggressive tactics during the 1996 cricket World Cup. The tactics used were to take advantage of the early fielding restrictions by smashing the opening bowlers to all parts of the ground. This was a novel but potentially match-winning tactic at that time. Pretty soon this tactic became the standard opening batting strategy in world cricket.
    Glenn McGrath cited Jayasuriya in his toughest XI batsman, noting it is always a massive compliment to someone to say they changed the game and his storming innings in the 1996 World Cup changed everyone’s thinking about how to start an innings!
    Jayasuriya is known for both cuts and pulls along with his trademark shot a shot over point Jayasuriya was promoted to the top of the batting order for the ODIs during the 1995-96 tour of Australia and with Romesh Kaluwitharana they made use of the early over fielding restrictions to score freely.
    He was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup where he was adjudged Man of the Tournament in recognition of his all-round contributions.

    Wisden Cricketer 1997 :

    He was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1997 and served as captain of the Sri Lanka team in 38 Test matches from 1999 to 2003. He is a allrounder with a good batting average in both Test and ODIs and an excellent batting strike rate in ODIs.
    As a left-arm orthodox spin bowler he has a reasonable bowling average and economy rate. He regularly helps to decrease the workloads of strike bowler Muttaiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas and has 406 international wickets. Jayasuriya is a skilful fielder Since 1999 Cricket World Cup he had effected seventh highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman with the eleventh highest rate.
    Jayasuriya held the record for the highest Test score made by a Sri Lankan 340 against India in 1997. This effort was part of a second wicket partnership with Roshan Mahanama that set the then all-time record for any partnership in Test history with 576 runs.
    Both records were surpassed in July 2006 when fellow Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardena scored 374 as part of a 624-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara against South African cricket team.
    Joint record holder
    Jayasuriya holds the world’s second ODI score jointly with VIV Richards which is 189 runs against India. He has the fourth highest individual score by a Sri Lankan.
    He currently holds the record for the fastest 50 in ODIs scored off just 17 balls. Jayasuriya was the previous record holder for the fastest century (off 48 balls) before losing that claim to Sahid Afridi of Pakistan. He has hit 241 sixes in one-day internationals and currently holds the world record for most ODI sixes. He is the fourth batsman to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs.
    On September 20th, 2005, during the second Test match against Bangladesh, Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan to play 100 Tests and the 33rd Test cricketer to achieve this feat. He held the record of scoring most runs in an ODI over (30) he has achieved this remarkable feat twice. This record is now with South Africa’s Hereschelle Gibbs 36 runs in an over.
    Jayasuriya announced his intention to retire from Test cricket following the Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka in 2005, April. He reversed his decision soon after, and then joined the Sri Lanka team in April 2006 for the tour of England. Missing the first Two Tests, Jayasuriya returned to the team in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
    Although his Test performances were not striking, he scored two centuries in the one-day Natwest series, which included 152 off 99-balls in the final match. In that innings he and Upul Tharanga (109) put on 286 runs for the first wicket a - new one-day international record. Jayasuriya’s batting display earned him the Man of the Series award as Sri Lanka won the series 5-0.
    Following the Natwest Trophy, Sri Lanka travelled to Holland for a two match one-day series. In the first game Jayasuriya scored 157 off 104 balls as Sri Lanka posted the highest team total in limited overs cricket 443 for 9 beating the South Africa 438 for 9 against Australia.
    Sri Lanka won the match by 195 runs. On a personal note the innings was his 4th score of over in ODI cricket and he is currently the only player to do so. It was also his second successive score of 150 plus another first in ODI cricket.
    He also scored 2 centuries and 2 half centuries in the 2007 cricket World Cup held in the West Indies. In the ICC World Twenty20, Jayasuriya hit two half centuries in the group stages against New Zealand and Kenya. He also achieved a dubious record of having the most expensive figures in a Twenty20 international having been hit for 64 runs in the maximum of 4 overs.
    After the Twenty20 World Cup, Jayasuriya played in Sri Lanka’s 3-2 one-day international series defeat against England achieving limited success and then in the 2-0 Test series defeat in Australia.
    After scoring a half century on day three of the first Test against England in Kandy, he announced his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the match but said that he would continue to play in One-Day Internationals, He also hit six fours in one over against Englishman James Anderson in his last Test innings.
    In the 2008, he played for Warwickshire County Cricket Club. In April 2008 he joined the Mumbai Indians to play in the IPL.
    Jayasuriya has played in 110 Test matches and scored 6973 runs, an average of 40.07. He made 14 centuries and 31 half centuries, top score of 340, bowled 8188 balls, captured 98 wickets at an average of 34.34. Best figures 5 for 34 and held 78 catches.
    In One-Day Internationals, he has played in 411 matches scoring 12,310 runs average 32.30 hit 25 centuries and 64 half centuries. Highest score of 189, bowled 14,124 balls, claimed 308 wickets average of 36.39, best bowling 6 for 29 and taken 116 catches.
    In domestic cricket, he represents Bloomfield Cricket Club

    Saturday, June 07, 2008

    Sanath still going strong : Veteran says age no barrier to continuing international cricket.

    Sri Lankan veteran Sanath Jayasuriya insists he still has some cricket left in him as he approaches his 39th birthday.
    Many thought the exciting left-hander's career was over when he was dropped for the one-day series against the West Indies in April after retiring from Test cricket in December.
    Jayasuriya says that decision was the right one after he failed to hit a 50 in 20 innings, but he responded with some fine displays in the Indian Premier League last month.
    His Tweny20 form has now seen him recalled by the Sri Lankan selectors and the former skipper will now play in the Asia Cup in Pakistan.
    As he prepares for the one-day tournament, Jayasuriya insists that his age will not stop him from playing top level cricket, with his 39th birthday coming up at the end of June.
    "I realise I still have cricket left in me, but the thing is to perform," Jayasuriya told Reuters.
    "When you perform, age does not come into question.
    "I accept I did not play well during the last six months. Getting 30s and 40s wasn't helping the team (and) they dropped me, which was quite alright."
    A veteran of 411 one day internationals, Jayasuriya was happy he returned to the side after quitting because of a row with selectors in 2006, but insisted he got the timing of his Test retirement spot on.
    "I proved them (detractors) wrong, playing good cricket when I came back again," he added.
    "Then I decided during the (2007) England test series that I should retire and make way.
    I'm happy I did that on my own terms."
    One of just seven men to pas 10,000 runs in international one day cricket, Jayasuriya hit 467 runs to help Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup final.
    The 1996 World Cup winner could even equal Javed Miandad's record of six appearances at the tournament, but he insists he is not looking that far ahead.
    With still three years until the 2011 World Cup, Jayasuriya knows that as soon as his performances drop, then his age will be mentioned as a negative factor.
    "I am not thinking that far as yet," he said. "At the moment I am taking it series by series and let's see how it goes.
    "You need a lot more training and dedication when you come to this stage. I'm working hard, I'll see what I do in the next few series and see how it goes.
    "I need to keep my performance high all the time.
    "When you are 38-39, you need to perform on all the tours, otherwise age will be spoken as a factor."

    Castrol launches Asian Cricket awards

    Coaching was important to groom future cricketers from Asian countries but experience and instinctive learning also played a major role, former India skipper Rahul Dravid said on Thursday.
    "I am all for an instinctive way of learning. Players in Asia have a lot of skill and platforms for their development in the form of wickets, stadiums and facilities," Dravid said at a function to announce the launch of the Castrol Asian Cricket Awards.
    Players should not have to undergo excessive coaching and should be allowed to obtain varied experiences which would help them learn more, he said.
    "The coach creates the environment for the youth to explore their skills but it is one's experiences that teach you. Players may initially need a mentor or guide and need to have a platform for their growth," Dravid said.
    Former Pakistani captain and pace bowler Wasim Akram said that cricketers from Asia were more raw as compared to their counterparts from Australia or England.
    "Our batsmen are more wristy players, play aggressive and do not listen to their coach," he said. In his own career he had learnt a lot from his peers like Imran Khan and Waqar Younis, he said.
    The Pakistani fast bowler, who has taken 414 wickets in Tests and 502 in ODIs, endorsed the introduction of youth into national teams irrespective of their age.
    "I have always been of the opinion that if someone is good enough he should be in the side. If for example a player enters the national squad at age 18 then by the time he is 22 he has had four years of valuable experience," Akram said.
    However, Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya said young players should be given a chance to play in the national second team and other sides before being drafted into the national team, to help them learn how to deal with the pressure of international cricket.
    "We have a lot of talent in Asia in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka but need to be shown the right direction," Jayasuriya said at the same function.
    The Castrol Asian Cricket Awards will be held for the first time in Karachi on June 27 which will felicitate the best cricketers from Asia on a biennial basis for their performance in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 internationals.
    Cricketers will be rated on the basis of the Castrol Performance Index and the best bowler and batsman from all three formats of the game will receive the awards. There will also be a Asian Fielder of the Year award.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Opinion | Ian Chappell >> Let's hear it for the veterans

    A few players supposedly past their sell-by dates have been showing the young ones how it's done this past month and some

    May 25, 2008

    When I was a young lad my father, Martin, would often wander round the house singing, "The old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be." A catchy phrase will always capture the imagination of a young kid and in this instance I was also encouraged by not having to slave over a song sheet to learn the words. While nowadays the brutal truth of those words is regularly brought home to me, occasionally an "old grey mare" strikes back and it's glorious to behold.

    The IPL has provided us with two exhilarating examples. First, 36-year-old Adam Gilchrist hit a blazing century off a mere 42 balls and then Sanath Jayasuriya, two years Gilchrist's senior, followed suit and belted a hundred off 45. Jayasuriya and Gilchrist, the two super-slugging openers of their era, are on the way out but they haven't forgotten that adoring fans are deserving of an encore.

    It was Jayasuriya who first decided fast bowlers needed to be jolted out of their cosy existence, and inspired by his deeds, Gilchrist followed suit and added to the accelerating ulcer rate among quickies. It takes a hell of a lot of skill to constantly attack new-ball bowlers with what appears at times to be reckless abandon, but it also requires considerable nerve.

    One of the finest fast bowlers I faced, Andy Roberts of the West Indies, probably best summed up the mindset of the opening batsman. When I once chided him about "dumb fast bowlers" he responded by saying, "Ian, the only people sillier than fast bowlers are the opening batsmen who face up to them."

    Jayasuriya first captured the world's attention in a duet with Romesh Kaluwitharana against India in the 1996 World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar had fulfilled Indian expectations with a sublime century that posed a stiff test but the dynamic duo silenced the ecstatic Delhi crowd by racing to 42 in only three overs. Jayasuriya went on to score a brazen 79 off 76 balls to lead an improbable Sri Lankan victory. It sent shivers down the spine just watching on television.

    However, that was nothing compared to watching Jayasuriya live in Singapore a few weeks later. He decided to go solo, smashing balls into the treetops and lofting good deliveries out of the ground, with one finishing on the steps of City Hall. In the process he made some good fast bowlers distinctly apprehensive. Pakistan's Aaqib Javed only half-jokingly said he wouldn't turn up for the next tournament if Jayasuriya was playing.

    By the end of the tournament Jayasuriya had set the record for both the fastest 50 and 100. Every time he batted people put down their drinks and jostled for a vantage point because they didn't want to miss a ball of this mastery. On the final night Jayasuriya walked through the Singapore Cricket Club bar and everyone rose to applaud him, including four ex-international captains and that is a memory that will stay with me to the end (or until I get Alzheimer's).

    Gilchrist had that same ability to empty bars and fill cricket grounds. In the 2007 World Cup final he launched a daring assault on the Sri Lankan attack (perhaps as a personal tribute to Jayasuriya) and played an innings that single-handedly placed the trophy in Ricky Ponting's grasp for the second successive time. Most cricketers only dream of making a century in the World Cup final but Adam Gilchrist scored exactly 100 of his exceptional 149 runs in boundaries. It was a skilful innings and an amazingly daring display in such an important game.

    As an "old grey mare" Gilchrist now has the satisfaction of posting the fourth-fastest century in a Twenty20, a game supposedly for the young and restless. Occasionally the old can become restless. Just ask Shane Warne.

    At 38 years and retired from all forms of cricket bar IPL, Warne has taken the tournament by storm, leading the Rajasthan Royals into the semi-finals with inspiring leadership and aggressive play. Following his success there are murmurings of him making a comeback for Australia. Hopefully this is a figment of someone's imagination.

    Warne, Jayasuriya and Gilchrist are all going out gradually and in style, providing some wonderful entertainment in the IPL competition. It's not that making a comeback to international cricket would be beyond Warne, it's just that with what he's currently doing it would be out of tune - a bit like Martin's singing all those years ago.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    Aging Jayasuriya to play till next World Cup

    Colombo, May 30

    Picking up the dashing opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya for the forthcoming Asian Cup tournament in Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s national selectors indicated that the aging left-hander could well play for the national team till the next World Cup, local media reports here Friday said. Head of Sri Lanka’s Cricket Selection Committee Ashantha de Mel said Thursday that they were “forced to re-consider the selection policy after Jayasuriya hammered the second fastest century in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty-20 tournament”.

    “In fact, Jayasuriya was able to force himself back into the national team by scoring a brilliant unbeaten century for the Mumbai Indians. Jayasuriya will definitely be playing in the next World Cup as long as the veteran left hander maintains his fitness and form in the important games,” state-run Daily News quoted Ashantha de Mel as saying.

    The former Sri Lanka opening bowler, De Mel has said although the selection committee has not given up its long term policy of building up a young talented team, “it will also keep a close eye more on the senior players who are reaching the twilight of their illustrious career”.

    Although cricket pundits here are expressing their reservations for the “surprise inclusion” of Jayasuriya for the Asia Cup tournament scheduled to commence June 23 in Pakistan, De Mel has said that it was “a unanimous decision” by the selection committee.

    “De Mel said that the IPL Twenty-20 tournament has proved that age is no barrier to steal the limelight and Jayasuriya has led from the front with some outstanding contributions with bat and ball,” the media report said.

    However, De Mel hoped that players who are currently involved in the IPL Twenty20 tournament would continue their same form when representing their country in future international assignments.

    The 38-year-old left-handed master-blaster, who retired last year from test cricket, has represented Sri Lanka in 110 tests and 411 one-day internationals and was dropped for the tour of West Indies due to poor form.

    He became the third highest paid player of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he was sold for a whopping US$975,000 at a players’ auction in India earlier this year.

    Jayasuriya helps Mumbai finish on a high

    A half-century from Sanath Jayasuriya helped Mumbai Indians finish their failed Indian Premier League campaign with a nine-wicket victory over Bangalore Royal Challengers on Wednesday.

    Sachin Tendulkar's side exacted revenge for the loss his team suffered when Mumbai had hosted the Royal Challengers, but the win was inconsequential as they had no chance of advancing to the semi-finals.

    Sanath Jayasuriya and Tendulkar put on 96 runs for the opening stand as the Mumbai Indians made light of a target of 123.

    Veteran Sri Lankan opener Jayasuriya, recently recalled by his country for the upcoming Asia Cup, hammered four fours and the same number of sixes in his 37-ball knock.

    Jayasuriya clobbered four sixes and four fours in a typically belligerent batting display as Rahul Dravid's decision to again open the bowling with Anil Kumble backfired. Kumble conceded nine runs in his first over and was quickly removed from the attack.

    Kumble was at the receiving end as Jayasuriya completed his half century when he swung the leg-spinner for six over deep midwicket. Jayasuriya finally fell for 54 when he miscued a short-arm jab off Dale Steyn to B Akhil at cover.

    Tendulkar kept the other end secure with a display of controlled aggression. He struck four fours and a six in an unfinished knock of 40, ensuring victory when he swept Kumble for a couple of boundaries.

    Bangalore Royal Challengers had earlier failed to make good on a modest start. Dilhara Fernando had wrecked the Royal Challengers' top order with a three-wicket haul in his first two overs.

    The Sri Lankan paceman vindicated skipper Tendulkar's decision to field first in a game reduced to 18 overs due to rain, removing openers Mark Boucher (18) and S Goswami (20) in quick time.

    He then had the dangerous Misbah-ul-Haq dismissed for nought before returning in the final overs to claim the wicket of Vinay Kumar and finish with figures of four for 18 from four overs.

    Dwayne Smith ensured wickets fell at regular intervals as the Royal Challengers stuttered and stumbled under the pressure of losing early wickets. Smith finished with three for 26 from four overs.

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