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.


Ranveer Patil said...

This is great do you have a catologue if so I would love one to share with friends and family.
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Bill Hader said...

This is great do you have a catologue if so I would love one to share with friends and family.
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