Sanath Jayasuriya will showcase his devastating batting skills at next month’s Hong Kong Cricket Sixes. The Sri Lankan ace – one of the most lethal hitters in the game – has been confirmed for the showpiece at the Kowloon Cricket Club on 8-9 November.
He will join an awesome All-Stars team that already contains test greats Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Justin Langer, Stephen Fleming and Matthew Hoggard.
“I'm delighted to be playing in the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes and I'm looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic weekend at the Kowloon Cricket Club,” said Jayasuriya.
“It will be great to team up with guys like Shiv, Justin, Stephen and Matthew, who have been my friends and respected opponents for many years in test and one day cricket, and hopefully we can put on a fantastic show for the fans.”
Jayasuriya, 39, is one of the true greats of the modern game, having racked up an astonishing 27 hundreds and 66 fifties in 421 one day internationals (ODIs).
Yet the left-hander has also enjoyed a stellar test career, scoring 14 hundreds and 31 fifties in 110 matches.
In addition, he is an extremely effective spin bowler with 310 ODI wickets and 98 test wickets to his name.
Jayasuriya revolutionised ODI batting with his aggressive tactics at the 1996 World Cup, taking advantage of fielding restrictions early in the innings by smashing the opening bowlers to all parts of the ground.
He was named Player of the Tournament as Sri Lanka lifted the trophy.
He retired from international cricket in 2006 but quickly reversed his decision. He quit tests again at the end of last year but continues to feature in Sri Lanka’s ODI squad.
The All-Stars have been pooled with defending champions Sri Lanka in the Sobers Group, meaning Jayasuriya will face a meeting with his countrymen on day one of the tournament.
“I'm especially anticipating our match against Sri Lanka on Saturday afternoon – that will be an interesting experience and a lot of fun also, I'm sure,” he said.
“The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes has a great reputation among players and I'm really keen to join in the action.”
Sixes tournament director Mark Burns predicted Jayasuriya would be a huge hit in Hong Kong.
“Sanath Jayasuriya is a thrilling player to watch – one of the most brutal strikers of a ball the sport has seen,” said Burns.
“I’m sure Hong Kong fans are going to relish the chance to see this great batsman in action. We can expect some fireworks from him.
”Ticket sales have been very strong since they went on sale two weeks ago and we expect this to continue, especially now that Jayasuriya has been confirmed.”
Australia and hosts Hong Kong are the remaining two teams in the Sobers Group while the Bradman Group will be contested by India, Pakistan, England and South Africa.___________________________________________________________________
Tickets for the 2008 Sixes – priced at $780 for adults and $450 for children – are on sale at the following locations:
· China Cricket International, Sheung Wan (Tel: 2543 8500)
· Dot Cod Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Central (Tel: 2810 6988)
· Hong Kong Cricket Club, Happy Valley (Tel: 3511 8668)
· Kowloon Cricket Club, Jordan (Tel: 2376 4141)
The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is fully sanctioned by the ICC and is the sport's longest-running, best-established and most high-profile sixes tournament.
Players who have taken part over the past 16 years include Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve and Mark Waugh, Viv Richards, Andrew Flintoff, Adam Gilchrist and Wasim Akram.
The tournament is organised and promoted by the Hong Kong Cricket Association’s commercial arm, China Cricket International Limited.
The HKCA’s proceeds from the Sixes will be ploughed directly back into cricket development in Hong Kong.