Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya : Knowing When to Say Goodbye

by Trevor Chesterfield

There is a growing feeling, for some of us, even a heavy touch of nostalgia, of how the national practice sessions in leafy Maitland Place will soon not be quite the same.

Maybe not this year, but sometime in the not too misty future, two familiar left-hand athletic figures will have departed the scene. One is Chaminda Vaas, aka the high priest of left-arm swing. The other is Sanath Jayasuriya, aka the Matara Mauler.

While the first named – now edging close to 35 - is missing from the Sri Lanka T20 team for a quadrangular in far off Canada from October 10 to 13, the 39 year-old flamboyant Jayasuriya is not only pencilled in the squad. He also when he returns has a confirmed date in South Africa where he has been signed by the Durban based Natal Dolphins.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shane Warne's 50 greatest cricketers - Sanath Jayasuriya on No. 38

No. 38

Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)

Test matches 107
Runs 6,791 at 40.42
Wickets 96 at 34.17

One of the greatest one-day players in the game, whose aggression in the opening overs of matches during the 1996 World Cup represented a serious development. For a small man, he is very powerful and his left-arm spin is underestimated. He has been a good foil for Muttiah Muralitharan.


The list in full

50 Jamie Siddons
49 Darren Berry
48 Brian McMillan
47 Chris Cairns
46 Dilip Vengsarkar
45 Waqar Younis
44 Alec Stewart
43 Michael Atherton
42 Ravi Shastri
41 Justin Langer
40 Kapil Dev
39 Stuart MacGill
38 Sanath Jayasuriya
37 Stephen Harmison
36 Andy Flower
35 Michael Vaughan
34 Bruce Reid
33 Allan Donald
32 Robin Smith
31 Tim May
30 Kevin Pietersen
29 Shoaib Akhtar / Craig McDermott
28 Saeed Anwar / Mohammad Yousuf
27 Jacques Kallis / Shaun Pollock
26 Steve Waugh
25 Darren Lehmann
24 Brett Lee
23 Stephen Fleming
22 Martin Crowe
21 David Boon
20 Adam Gilchrist
19 Aravinda de Silva
18 Merv Hughes
17 Matthew Hayden
16 Andrew Flintoff
15 Graham Gooch
14 Rahul Dravid
13 Anil Kumble
12 Mark Waugh
11 Courtney Walsh
10 Ian Healy
9 Mark Taylor
8 Ricky Ponting
7 Muttiah Muralitharan
6 Wasim Akram
5 Glenn McGrath
4 Allan Border
3 Curtly Ambrose
2 Brian Lara
1 Sachin Tendulkar

Winning numbers

20 Australians in Warne’s favourite 50 (53 as it turned out). There are eight Englishmen, six Indians, five Pakistanis, four South Africans, three New Zealanders, three Sri Lankans, three West Indians and a Zimbabwean.

4,615 Test caps won by Warne’s elite, making an average of 87 each

18 Ashes winners for Australia

5 Ashes winners for England (Harmison, Vaughan, Pietersen, Flintoff and Gooch)

20 Members of a World Cup-winning squad. Three for India in 1983 (Vengsarkar, Shastri, Dev); six for Australia in 1987 (Reid, May, McDermott, S Waugh, Boon, Border); one for Pakistan in 1992 (Wasim Akram); three for Sri Lanka in 1996 (Jayasuriya, De Silva, Muralitharan) and seven for Australia in 1999, 2003 and/or 2007 (Lehmann, Lee, Gilchrist, McGrath, Hayden, Ponting and M Waugh).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sanath Jayasuriya - A Tribute to the Legend of Modern Cricket

Sanath Jayasuriya will not be remembered as a legend of the game, but he perhaps should be. There have been some notable retirements in recent times (Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Brian Lara to name just three) but the little opener from Matara deserves to be held in similar company.

He is of course still going strong in One Day Internationals (he signed off from Tests last December with a typically attacking half century) , so it is a little early for a career review. However, Jayasuriya's longevity (he made his international debut in 1989) earns special recognition, as his career does more than span eras; he helped start a whole new one in cricket.

Few will forget his impact at the 1996 world cup. Previously a lower order batsman and useful left arm spinner, he forged a devastating opening partnership with Romesh Kaluwitharana that revolutionised the way ODI cricket is played. Standard wisdom dictated openers should accumulate runs and keep wickets in hand for a late assault, but Sri Lanka's pinch hitters blazed away from the start, taking full advantage of the fielding restrictions that were in place during the opening overs.

This tactic became the batting blueprint in ODIs, although no one could carry out the plan as Jayasuriya has done. He is the second highest ever ODI runscorer and in consideration of his 307 wickets, is perhaps the greatest ever all rounder in the 50 over format. Three of the fastest ever ODI tons have come from his bat and his 17 ball half century against Pakistan in 1996 is the fastest ever 50. No one has hit more ODI sixes.

Jayasuriya managed to transfer this form into the Test arena. He is Sri Lanka's second highest Test runscorer and third highest wicket taker. He holds the seventh highest ever Test score and was a successful captain for four years, maintaining the progress Sri Lanka made under Arjuna Ranatunga.

Dropped after failing to reach 50 in 20 innings last year, he won back his place after lighting up the Indian Premier League (what a shane he will miss out on the Twenty20 era - the perfect batsman for the format). Only Geoffrey Boycott was older in scoring an ODI ton - what a contrast in styles ! - and we should enjoy Sanath while we still have him. No one will play his flicks, cuts and pulls with the same panache: a unique player with a unique style.

Walking down Sanath’s street : A brief tour on Sanath Jayasuriya town Matara

Matara, July 29 2008

Passing Matara and not going to Maha Maya Road, Kotuway Guda, would be the same as going to Agra and ignoring the Taj Mahal. The man responsible for placing this small town — off the road to Galle — on the world cricketing map is Sanath Jayasuriya.

Even without the postal address, it’s quite easy to find where the Sri Lankan batsman lived. Just take his name, and a busy shopkeeper leaves everything on hand and walks you half-way to the destination. A group of visibly tired school kids, heading home after class, take over the baton enthusiastically as the magic J-word is mentioned.

While the superstar has shifted base to Colombo, the rest of his family members enjoy having lost visitors escorted diligently to their street. As you meet the parents, who still live at the modest sea-side family home that has gone through extensive makeovers during the last decade, it becomes clear that being Sanath’s folks allows them several special privileges.

Mother Breeda recalls her Tsunami experience to drive home the point. “I was in the market buying vegetables that day when the place got suddenly flooded. Somehow I got hold of a tree but I was losing my grip. Then I shouted, ‘I am Jayasuriya’s mother’, and soon I was rescued,” she says, with a smile on her face even as she narrates the harrowing experience of getting unconscious and being taken to a hospital in Colombo.

Family album

The living room where she sits documents the various stages of her son’s life, starting with baby Sanath in her lap in a family photograph. From a shy adolescent to an international cricketer with a gradually receding hairline, it’s a meticulously maintained gallery of framed pictures.

The mother speaks about tales common to all growing cricketers — of broken window-panes during courtyard games — but she also gives details about the extraordinary support she gave to her son’s career. With his father working as a clerk in the health department and his mother a saleswoman at a souvenir shop, Sanath’s parents had a tough time making ends meet.

Despite the fact that he is now one of the most affluent cricketers on the island, there are still things in his mannerism that reminds the mother of the days of struggle.

“Look at the way he touches his pads before he faces every ball. That’s because during his early days he had to wear over-sized second-hand pads. There was always the need to adjust them. It became a habit,” Breeda says.

The late trips to Colombo that Breeda used to undertake when her son went to play Cricket in the Capital are now a thing of past. “When he was in Colombo, I would go and meet him after returning from work. The 80-km journey by bus took long and I used to return home by midnight.

“He used to tell me to avoid these trips but I wanted to see him and also check if he needed some money,” says the deeply religious woman who spends a lot of time these days at the Buddhist temple behind their house that welcomes visitors with a Buddham Sharnam Gacchami sign.

The mother proudly says that, like herself, her son is also a strong believer in Buddhism. “Every time he is here, he goes to a famous temple here and they tie a white thread around his wrists and that’s the reason for his strength. That’s why he is so fit at 40, and I think he will play the next World Cup as well,” she says.

School daze

To find out about Sanath’s early days at school, you walk across to St Servatius. Ajwad Ikram, who taught him commerce in the 12th grade, reveals Sanath’s serious lack of academic inclination. Ikram recalls a day when Sanath was asked to leave the classroom because he was late. Ikram followed him and had a conversation that he still remembers. “I told him two things that can happen if he concentrates on cricket: if he succeeds he would travel to foreign countries to play, but if he fails he would end up at the culvert outside the school,” he said.

It seems Sanath was ready to take the gamble — he didn’t merely play abroad but is today regarded as one of the game’s greats. He now inspires travellers to make a stopover at Matara and enthusiastic locals to become their willing escorts.

Matara's Master Blaster Sanath Jayasuriya - Cricket's heart throb

Snestles so many hundred miles St. Servatius College away down South in the thriving town that is Matara once an ancient hamlet. A town that is proudly spoken of. Proudly spoken of for producing many sons of the soil in various spheres of life.

When Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya last week entered teat cricket's world record books for his feats with the willow it must therefore indeed have held an added significance for Matara's inhabitants Word has it that there had been a wild rush to Colombo from the cricketer's hometown when word spread that Jayasuriya had come close to breaking Brian Lara's world record.

As it is, Jayasuriya fell short by 35 runs of equalling Lara's record of 375. Ending up the world's fourth highest test scorer with 340. A marathon effort which despite falling short off that ultimate magical landmark, thrust the Lankan opening batsman to the forefront among the test greats. Dating back to a hand that strode the cricketing arena with colossal stature of many generations ago. To a period when the game flourished during such halycon days of Australia's cricketing immortal, Sir Donald Bradman and England's Walter Hammond. Now its history. Jayasuriya having eclipsed both Bradman's triple century records of 340 and 334 and Hammond's 303 while also relegating Pakistan's legendary Hanif Mohammed into fifth place in the world standings for highest test scores. In doing so in the just concluded first test of the two-off test series between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Jayasuriya as it is ushered in a new era for Sri Lanka cricket. Together with his second wicket partner, Roshan Mahanama, Jayasuriya also battered the existing test record for the highest partnership for any wicket and the first class record as well. Their partnership ran into 576 runs spanning just over two and a quarter days which itself was a record. The Jayasuriya - Mahanama (225) alliance was also the footing to Sri Lanka setting up the world's highest test total - 952 surpassing England's 903 for 6 against Australia in 1939. Interestingly, the partnership records set up saw a Bloomfield club bond. Mahanama being the Bloomfield captain.

While Jayasuriya's 340 - run record will be immortalised by cricket loving Sri Lanka, strikingly the 28 - year old left hander's success story has been like that of most sportsmen who have shot to fame. From 'rags to riches'. Like cricket's West Indian greats Sir Garfield Sobers, Vivian Richards and Brian Lara, Sanath Jayasuriya rode to the heights of a public celebrity from humble beginnings. Having taken a shine to the game like any other lad in his little home backyard playing with his brother and neighbouring friends with whatever there was to improvise as a bat. His cricketing talents were quickly spotted out by the selectors in Colombo while a schoolboy at St. Servatius College having impressed for the First XI. That recognition soon saw the schoolboy from St. Servatius selected to represent a Sri Lanka 'B' team in Pakistan in early 1990's.

That was to be the turning point in Sanath's career with the hard hitting left hander trotting up two double centuries in two unofficial tests against Pakistan. That telling impression saw the left hander before long dawning on he big scene, drafted by the national selectors to the Sri Lanka squad that toured Pakistan in 1995. Jayasuriya sat it out in that epoch making first away 2-1 series win by Sri Lanka against Pakistan. But he cut a niche at one-day level. Regarded more as a one-day player, he forced himself into the test team permanently following a desciplined century against the high riding Australians during Sri Lanka's disastrous tour in late 1995. His big break came when as a stand by he replaced the injured Chandika Hathurusinghe.

What impressed the selectors was the temperament shown by the usually free scoring batsman while negotiating three figures with application.

It was in 1996 that Jayasuriya captured the imagination of the world. He could not have looked for a better stage than the World Cup to become a celebrity name. With his pinch hitting over the top he breathed a new dimension into one-day cricket at smashing the bowling all around in the first 15 overs in the restricted field. At the time along with his opening partner, Romesh Kaluvitharana the duo was to become the scourge of bowlers as Sri Lanka got off to imposing starts on theway to laying hands on the World Cup.

Significantly, it is in a brief span that Jayasuriya took the test cricket world by storm. Today, the boy from Matara is the heart-throb of millions. From Sri Lanka to all Asia as well. His latest hurculean effort follows the one-day record set up in 1996 for the fastest century in Singapore off 48 balls against Pakistan ina triangular. A feat subsequently surpassed by Pakistan's teenage prodigy Shahid Afridi. Perhaps, the reactions of the disbelief vented by his fans when Jayasuriya fell on 340,35 short of Lara's record speak of that adoration. To a point of some holding their heads at the stark reality that their hero had been dismissed. Changing altogether the scenario of glee and festivity the tempo of his strokeplay had set before that.

And as the tempo changed into a pall of gloom, the fans, they must be praying for another day for a Lankan to do it.

Will their idol fulfill that dream? Only the future will tell.

The Island
Sunday 10, August 1997

Monday, September 22, 2008

FlashBack | Sanath Jayasuriya joining hands with United Nations for the fight against HIV / AIDS


Sanath Jayasuriya

December 2001

Leading cricketer and Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket team, Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya has set an example for the entire cricketing community to be proud of. This master blaster, who has raised the game of cricket to new levels of aggression, has committed himself to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The first ever cricketer in South Asia to endorse the region's fight against the fast-spreading epidemic. Mr. Jayasuriya leads from the front -- in his capacity as an individual and also as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS. "My message is simple: always act with responsibility when you are in a situation that could make you vulnerable to HIV/AIDS," he says. Despite his busy schedule, Mr. Jayasuriya spares no effort when participating in HIV/AIDS related activities, whether it is a campus programme or a cricket match to spread awareness. "I hope my commitment would catalyse the efforts of others to prevent the spread of this disease in Sri Lanka and in the region."

Interview with Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya, Ambassador of Goodwill for Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya, Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket team, was recently appointed as the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador in Sri Lanka by Dr. Peter Hybsier, Chairperson, UNAIDS.

Why did you wish to assume the role of Ambassador of Goodwill for UNAIDS?

When UNAIDS approached me in April 2000, asking whether I could accept the appointment of Goodwill Ambassador, I did not hesitate in saying yes. This is because the health of our nation is a subject that is very close to my heart. It is the duty of every citizen in this country to ensure that all people are healthy. I will do whatever I can to accomplish this goal. UNAIDS works for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka. HIV/AIDS affects especially the young people of Sri Lanka. Most of the young people in Sri Lanka happen to be cricket fans. Therefore I think I can play the role of Ambassador of Goodwill.

How do you think you would be able to contribute towards the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS?

My team and myself are committed to play the game in a responsible manner. If we act with responsibility, it is very difficult for another team to beat us. Winning and acting with responsibility have a close connection. In a similar manner, preventing sexually transmitted diseases and responsible behaviour of men and women have a very close relationship. This is the approach of the message I want to convey to all young people in Sri Lanka. I believe I can contribute to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS by spreading this message not only in Sri Lanka, but in other cricketing nations as well.

Which segment of society do you think you would be able to influence most?

I think I can influence all segments of society. When, we as Sri Lankans go into the playing field, we don't think of different segments of society. Everyone supports us in one voice. However, the segment I wish to influence most are young boys and girls, my fellow brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. This is because the youth are the most vulnerable segment to contract HIV.

What is your message on prevention/control of HIV/AIDS to the men of Sri Lanka?

My message is simple: always act with responsibility when your are in a situation that could make you vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. I will elaborate in what I mean in the coming two years when I will be continuing as the Ambassador of Goodwill for UNAIDS.

What do you feel about people being discriminated against because they have been infected with the AIDS virus?

Discriminating against persons with HIV has no basis whatsoever. People act irrationally sometimes when they are scared. This is why people marginalise those who have deadly illnesses. There is no reason to marginalise HIV-positive people. They are just like us. You couldn't contract the virus just because they sit next to you. It is inhuman to discriminate against any group. If we do, the virus will go underground and public health officials will not be able to control HIV/AIDS. We have to protect the rights of the people living with HIV/AIDS.

In your opinion, what could the government do to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS?

Unlike other diseases, there is very little the government could do to prevent HIV/AIDS. Individuals must take the responsibility for their own health and should not engage in unsafe sex. Government institutions such as the Ministry of Education could strengthen their education programmes so that people know about the condition. Other non-governmental organisations should also play an active role in prevention by educating other vulnerable populations such as out of school youth, university students, the migrant worker community and the fishing community. Donor agencies should support our projects on prevention of HIV/AIDS. They should not relax simply because we have only 7,600 estimated HIV-positive cases in Sri Lanka.

How do you propose to spread this message?

I think I will have some influence on young people of all cricketing nations. I will be associating myself with HIV/AIDS prevention programmes that are organised in Sri Lanka to the best of my ability. Although I will not be able to be physically present for all of them, I am willing to give them my goodwill messages etc. I will also get the opportunity to make pronouncements on health promotion when I am covered by the national and international media. I hope my commitment would catalyse the efforts of others to prevent the spread of this disease in Sri Lanka and in the region.

FlashBack 1997 | Sanath Jayasuriya honoured by `Wisden' and Indian Cricket (15 May 1997)

No cricketer in recent times has revolutionised batting in the abbreviated form of the game more than Sanath Jayasuriya, the left-handed opener of World Cup champions Sri Lanka.

Jayasuriya with his lesser known partner Romesh Kaluwitharana are recognised as the trendsetters for getting the maximum runs in the first 15 overs.

Jayasuriya's exploits during the 1996 Wills World Cup, which played a major part in his country emerging champions have not gone unrecognised.


In fact it has earned him double recognition as one of the `Five Cricketers of the Year' in both the "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1997'', widely recognised as the cricketer's `Bible' and, "Indian Cricket 1996'', considered the `Wisden of the East'.

No Sri Lankan has had the honour of being picked for such honours by two prestigious publications in one single year - 1996.

It was the year when Jayasuriya with his blazing approach made a mockery of the first 15 overs of a limited overs game that an exasperated England captain Michael Atherton made the comment that the authorities should seriously consider reframing the rules.


Atherton's comments were made shortly after Jayasuriya had blasted his men into submission and out of the World Cup with a marvellous knock of 82 off 44 balls.

`Wisden' commented: "Jayasuriya's assault on England's bowling in the quarter-final at Faisalabad was authentic, aggressive batting without insult to the coaching manual''.

In picking Jayasuriya as one of its five cricketers, `Wisden' comments: "Sanath Jayasuriya cannot yet be classified as a great player which makes his influence in 1996 all the more remarkable. His World Cup exploits in an unexpected Sri Lankan triumph did not just assure him of a lasting place in the game's history, but promised - indeed, for a few heady weeks, insisted - that the course of the game would change forever. None of The Greats have ever achieved that''.


`Wisden' also notes that it was Jayasuriya's combustible stroke-play that saw the term `pinch-hitter' being stolen from baseball to define an opening batsman specifically given the licence to adopt a high-risk approach in the opening overs.

Jayasuriya is in the exalted company of Pakistanis Saeed Anwar and Mushtaq Ahmed, Indian Sachin Tendulkar and West Indian Phil Simmons, who are the other cricketers of the year.

By picking Jayasuriya, the time-honoured publication stepped away from century old tradition to include a cricketer in its Hall of Fame who has not played a season of cricket in England.

"Jayasuriya's performances in the World Cup reverberated everywhere and earned him the right to be in our Hall of Fame'' wrote `Wisden' editor Matthew Engel.


Jayasuriya is only the third Sri Lankan to be honoured by this world acclaimed almanack which is in its 134th year of publication. The others were Sidath Wettimuny (1985) and Aravinda de Silva (1996).

`Indian Cricket' described Jayasuriya's batting as "a curious mix of science, magic and madness, based on quickness of hand and eye, and a willingness to do what is pretty dangerous - and dirty - work''.

That Jayasuriya won the `Most Valuable Player' award was due to a handful of runs and wickets that were worth their weight in the World Cup for sheer timing.

"It is timing which is the very essence of one-day cricket - coming good on the day, at the hour, in the mere minutes which decides which way a match is going to swing. The award had an altogether different ring to it and required different credentials. For the world champions, Jayasuriya was the magic trump who turned up everytime the Lankans sought something inspirational'' said the annual.


Jayasuriya is the seventh Sri Lankan to be honoured by `Indian Cricket' which is in its 50th year of publication.

Aravinda de Silva (1990), Ravi Ratnayeke (1987), Duleep Mendis (1983), Somachandra de Silva and David Heyn (both 1976), and Stanley Jayasinghe (1965) are those who have figured in the roll of honour previously.

FlashBack Wills World Cup 1996 | The success story of Sanath Jayasuriya

10 April 1996
From bits `n pieces cricketer to Master Blaster

One of the greatest success stories in Sri Lanka`s cricket history is the stellar role played by that stockily built left-handed all-rounder from Matara, SANATH JAYASURIYA, in winning the Wills World Cup for his country.

From total obscurity to world fame is the rags to riches story of this vastly talented cricketer.

When Jayasuriya entered the Wills World Cup, he was just another ordinary member of the Sri Lankan team. His name could hardly match up to such mega stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Mark Waugh, Shane Waugh and the likes.

When the tournament unfolded and the matches started to take shape, there gradually emerged a new start on the horizon, but still he did not individually make a big impact because he was not scoring hundreds like the Mark Waughs and the Tendulkars. But what had everyone talking was the swiftness with which he was gathering his runs.

The manner in which Jayasuriya began smashing the bowlers to all parts of the field especially in the first 15 overs, brought about a new dimension to batting in one-day cricket.

When his little partner Romesh Kaluwitharana also started hitting the middle, pinch-hitting was its awesome best. The two carried the scoring rate to such dizzy heights that none of the other 11 teams in the competition could match. They could only watch in awe how these two wielders of the willow accumulated runs with such rapidity.

Although Kaluwitharana could not stay long to play a big innings like his partner, two of his partnerships with Jayasuriya put the contest beyond the opposition`s sights within the first seven overs.

Who could forget the opening stand of 53 in five overs against India at the Kotla grounds in Delhi or the 83 off 40 balls against Kenya in Kandy.

Jayasuriya raised batting standards in limited overs competitions to new heights with his phenomenal stroke play. His pugna- cious hitting in the first 15 overs gave the opposing captain many nightmares, especially as the fielding side was allowed only two fielders outside the 30-yard circle.

Jayasuriya exploited the one-day rule so much that an exasperated England captain Michael Atherton said after the blitzkrieg in Faisalabad, that the one-day rules should be reviewed and changes made, if necessary.

Atherton`s beleaguered Englishmen were smashed for 82 runs off 44 balls in the quarter-finals and the forlorn England captain went to the extent of admitting that Sri Lanka used their first 15 overs as their last.

The manner in which Jayasuriya was collecting his runs, batting records in one-day competitions were in danger of being sur- passed. It was only a matter of time before they were replaced by Jayasuriya`s name in the record books.

He was within hailing distance of the fastest one-day hundred against England when he just threw it away. But less than a month later Jaysuriya did get the record when he hit a spectacular 134 off 64 balls against Pakistan in the Singer Cup one-day triangu- lar in Singapore on Monday. He completed his century off just 48 balls and whilst reaching that milestone, he also achieved two other records for the most number of sixes - 11 and, for the most number of runs in one over - 29.

When Jaysuriya was adjudged the `Most Valuable Player` in the Wills World Cup, the purists may have vetoed the choice. His two breathtaking knocks against India (79 off 76 balls) and Eng- land (82 off 44 balls) by themselves could not have made him win the award. But the wicket of Tendulkar and two more victims (Manjrekar and Jadeja) with his left-arm spin and the two catches he took to compensate for his failure with the bat at Eden Gar- dens made certain that there was really no contest for the Audi car.

In terms of runs scored, Jayasuriya`s 212 may have sounded a lit- tle weak. But considering he scored those in 161 balls and that his runs had such a dramatic effect on the opposition so as to put the fright in them, he was in a league of his own.

Mark Waugh (472 runs) and Tendulkar (458) with all those runs in the preliminary league stage still failed to make the same impact that Jayasuriya made to win the award.

"He has batted well, fielded brilliantly, and when given the ball, has come up with crucial wickets. What else can I ask of a player?`` quipped Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga when Jayasuriya won the award.

"He has been our consistent player and I am happy one of our boys got the award, he deserves it. We knew that both he and Aravinda were in contention along with Tendulkar and Mark Waugh. It`s a great achievement by Sanath,`` said Ranatunga, who could consider himself fortunate to have a utility player in the mould of Jayasuriya in his team.

The World Cup since its inception in 1975 have seen some spectac- ular batting from left-handers like Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kalli- charan and to a lesser extent New Zealand`s Mark Greatbatch in 1992. The World Cups have been generally dominated by right-hand batsmen and right-arm bowlers. Jayasuriya is the fourth left- hander to play a vital role in his side`s success.

He may not be a patch of Lloyd and Kallicharan`s batsmanship. They did not fling the bat in a predetermined manner. More impor- tantly, Lloyd packed his strokes with power and Kallicharan caressed the ball. Jayasuriya is a compulsive swinger of the bat. He lives by his wits at the crease. But that`s the way he has hammered and perhaps infuriated bowlers.

"We don`t instruct our batsmen how to go about a task. They have played enough cricket to understand situations,`` was Ranatunga`s wry comment.

Jayasuriya`s great success story is how he became a consistent unconventional opener. There has been a complete transformation in Jayasuriya since the days in which he played the negative role of firing the ball into the rough from round the wicket in Test cricket and as a mere prop in the late middle-order.

From a bits-and-pieces man who did enough to warrant a place in the one-day team, what has made Jayasuriya`s career far more re- markable is that he has adjusted so well to the task of giving bowling the charge when the ball is new, the fielders are in and the adrenalin is flowing. He is today a far more confident person who is capable of believing that he can take on the best at their own game and match, or better them, for sheer aggression. Those qualities were in full display during the Wills World Cup and, now in Singapore.

Jayasuriya came to the World Cup with 1776 runs from 98 one- dayers at an average of 19.73 - nothing exceptional for a batsman who was to prove how valuable he is to his team ahead of cricket personalities like Tendulkar and Mark Waugh. But the 71 wickets just about reflected his all-round ability. He held Sri Lanka`s record for the highest individual innings in one-day cricket - 140 and the best bowling figures - 6 for 20. However, the batting record was taken away from him by Aravinda de Silva who scored 145 against Kenya at Kandy in the Wills World Cup game.

For all his brilliant and entertaining exploits in the middle, Jayasuriya was not a specialist opener and a devastating one at that. The shift to the opener`s slot came in the Hero Cup match against Zimbabwe at Patna in 1993-4. Jayasuriya made 23, 27 and 18 in his first three games in the new position with Mahanama as his partner.

However, he held the place only temporarily because he was once again shifted lower down the order on the tours to India and Sharjah that followed. It was not until the Pakistan tour to Sri Lanka in 1994-5 that Jayasuriya gained a permanency in the open- ing slot. Three consecutive half-centuries (77, 54 and 50) in the first three games revealed his potential.

Although Zimbabwe didn`t offer him much, the following tour to South Africa for the Mandela trophy saw him make a career best 140 in a rain-ruined game against New Zealand at Bloemfontein. Jayasuriya blasted six sixes and nine fours on his way to a 144- ball innings which was his first maiden one-day century. After a quiet start he destroyed the New Zealand attack and eclipsed the previous highest score by a Sri Lankan - 121 by Roy Dias against India at Bangalore in 1982-3.

Since playing in the company of Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Michael Atherton, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shane Thomson, Chris Cairns, Mark Ram- prakash, Narendra Hirwani, Aaqib Javed, Basit Ali, Mushtaq Ahmed, Venkatapathy Raju and our own Romesh Kaluwitharana in the 1989 World Youth Cup in Australia, Jayasuriya, a product of St. Serva- tius College, Matara has come a long way.

He went to Pakistan with the Sri Lanka `B` team and displayed his potential with back to back double centuries in the unofficial Test series against Pakistan `B`. It seemed an international career was cut out for him.

But the road to attaining that had not been easy. Jayasuriya may have shed a few hairs getting there, but there is no doubt about his batting, which is hair-raising.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Xavier Marshall who broke Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 11 sixes set in 1996 tested positive in the drug tests

Xavier Marshall, the West Indies opening batsman, and Tonito Willett, from Leewards, have tested positive in the drug tests conducted during a two-week camp in Antigua in August. They were among the 32 players named in a provisional Stanford Superstars squad to face England in the Stanford 20/20 for 20, a winner-take-all US$20 million match on November 1.

The Caribbean batsman's had destroyed a 12-year-old record as he eclipsed Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 11 sixes set in 1996 just few days back.

Donald Peters, the chief executive of the West Indies board (WICB), confirmed the news and said action would be taken after advice from the attorneys. "They [the attorneys] are looking into the matter and will advise us on the course of action," Peters told Cricinfo. "WICB has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and the matter could come up to the disciplinary committee. We are looking at a time frame of two weeks."

Peters said that the board will take action, if any, on Marshall, as he is a centrally-contracted player, and would let Leewards handle Willett. Marshall was withdrawn from the Stanford squad on September 16 for undisclosed reasons.

The drug tests on the Stanford Superstars were carried out by the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) agency. "We did the drug tests and there were two adverse analytical findings - which is the equivalent to two positive tests," Dr Adrian Lorde, the chairman of the Caribbean Rado, had told Midweek Nation.

"We can't reveal the nature of the substance they tested positive for," an official with Stanford said.

Sanath comes home to Trillium Residencies | New Residence

Sanath Jayasuriya, who revolutionized ODI cricket with his aggressive batting style, is moving into his new home at Trillium Residencies, beginning a brand new inning in his life with his family. Welcoming their latest and probably, their most famous resident, Chairman of Ceylinco Condominiums, Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala together with Lady Dr. Sicille P. C. Kotelawala and the Board of Directors hosted a grand. A host of well known personalities are scheduled to grace this event.

Sanath’s new home, Trillium, is a marvel in planning and eco-friendliness, with over half the entire area dedicated to wide open spaces and lush green foliage. Redefining the concept of luxury living, Trillium provides some state-of-the-art recreational facilities offered by none other – a fine swimming pool for a refreshing dip, a club house to entertain in style, a well-equipped gym to keep in shape, a badminton court and jogging track to sweat it out, a rooftop garden to relax in, and a beautiful park for kids to frolic. What’s more, Trillium assures its residents total security and peace of mind. There is a split-level parking area and every other amenity necessary for convenient living, such as a day-care centre, convenience store/mini-market and laundry collection centre.

Trillium is a flagship project of Ceylinco Condominiums Ltd., a subsidiary of the reputed Ceylinco Housing and Real Estate Company Ltd., which has been at the forefront of the construction industry for almost 25 years. The project was created by the award-winning architects of Design Consortium Ltd.

Sanath certainly looks forward to a life of luxury and contentment as he spends quality time with his family at his new home at Trillium Residencies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

[Pic] Scenes from 'Victory' | Contributed by Hilal

Sanath Jayasuriya in the Bollywood Movie 'VICTORY'

Harman Baweja in Srilanka

Scenes for ‘Victory’, a story of a small town boy who dreams of playing cricket for India, were shot in Colombo last week with actor Harman Baweja playing against Sri Lanka’s national team. Apart form the cricket stars Sri Lankan tourism ambassador Alston Koch and cricket commentator Roshan Abeysinghe are also featured in the film. The final scenes in the film shows the hero in the cricketing epic played by Harman Baweja receiving his award for the 'Man of the series' from the Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism & Tourism Ambassador Alston Koch on the awards podium especially erected for this film at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. This famous ground has witnessed the cricketing talents of Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott, Colin Cowdrey and Rohan Kanhai and the great man Sir Donald Bradman who was dismissed for a 'duck' at the venue.

Contributed by Hilal - www.hilalscricket.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Sanath Jayasuriya is good for Dolphins...

ARE the Dolphins keeping a good local player out of their team by signing Sanath Jayasuriya for the season? Possibly, but let’s see how the Sri Lankan star can benefit the team from Durban. First, the Dolphins have lost one of their best prospects, Jonathan Vandiar, to the Lions, who seem incapable of producing (or keeping) their best young players. After all, they let Graeme Smith slip away to Western Province. Second, along with Jayasuriya, the Dolphins have lured young wicketkeeper Bradley Barnes from Cape Town. Barnes now has a chance to get serious game time because he would have had to wait in a queue at Newlands. Finally, someone like Jayasuriya can help mould young players in the Dolphins squad, just as Malcolm Marshall did when he spent a few seasons with the Durban team. Shaun Pollock, for one, benefited enormously under the late West Indian great. Western Province did the same with their new generation (of whom Jacques Kallis was a member) when they got Desmond Haynes to play in Cape Town. Free State made one of their best signings when Franklyn Stephenson joined. He was part of a programme to lift the standard in the province and they have not looked back. Jayasuriya has been signed for only one season, but it’s enough time to pass on some cricket nuggets - and they might be able to persuade him to return. The Dolphins, according to their CEO Cassim Docrat, will play in the same group as the Rajasthan Royals, Middlesex and Western Australia in the upcoming Champions League. The Titans, who won the tournament in South Africa, will play in the same group as the Chennai Super Kings, Victoria of Australia and Sialkot of Pakistan.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sri Lanka's Jayasuriya becomes a Dolphin - Sanath to play for Dolphins, South Africa

Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lankan batsman, has been signed by the Dolphins, the Kwa Zulu-Natal-based franchise, to play on the South African domestic circuit for two seasons.

The Dolphins have pulled off the biggest pre-season coup in South African cricket by negotiating a contract with Sri Lankan batting maestro Sanath Jayasuriya.

Jayasuriya confirmed he had signed a contract with the Dolphins but refused to reveal his fee. "I'm bound by my contract not to make any statements about the financial side of the deal," Jayasuriya told South Africa's Daily News. "All I can say is that I will play for the Dolphins and help change things around over the next two seasons."

Jayasuriya, who will arrive in Durban with his family towards the end of October, said he was joining the team for a purpose. "I'm still part of the Sri Lankan one-day and the Twenty20 squads. Hence I am coming to Durban with a goal: I want to transform the Dolphins into a trophy-winning team. That's my aim."

In the Indian Premier League Jayasuriya was a huge hit. He scored 514 runs with a highest score of 114 not out (9x4s and 11x6s off 48 balls) against Chennai Super Kings. He averaged 42.83 in the competition and his strike-rate was a massive 166.34. He struck a total of 57 fours and 31 sixes in the 14 matches. The former Sri Lankan captain has played a record 421 one-day internationals for his country, 110 Tests and 28 Twenty20 Internationals.

Yashin Ebrahim, the Dolphins coach, said that signing Jayasuriya was a dream come true for the team. "He is still one of the best players in the shortened form of the game and he will no doubt add value to the Dolphins this season. The fact that we have not won a trophy for a few years motivated Sanath to make the trip to Durban. He said he loves challenges and would do his best to bring back the glory days and crowds to Sahara Stadium Kingsmead."

The Dolphins were placed fourth in the SuperSport Series, South Africa's four-day domestic tournament, fifth in the one-day championship, and were finalists in the Pro20.

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