Thursday, January 29, 2009

JAYA HO: Jayasuriya Still Going Strong

Geoffrey Boycott did it before him and it was Sanath Jayasuriya's turn on Wednesday! At 39 years and 212 days, he became the oldest cricketer to score a century

The 107 against India in the picterque city of Dambulla is a sheer test of durability. No wonder then that he's the most credible face for the Lankan consumer companies to pitch their products in the world of intense competition. Much like MSD's hoardings at various hot spots in big Indian cities, it is Sanath, the common man who stands out here!

He is the common man from Matara whose stardom has come from 2 decades of dedication, diligence and doggedness. Unlike the supremely talented sub-continental bunch, Sanath has not allowed age to take control of his mind, which still today is as free as the upper cuts he plays.

It has been 13 years since Sanath became the most famous citizen of Lanka. Things began to change in the summer of 1996 after Sri Lanka won the cricket World Cup and Jayasuriya the man of the tournament. With it came a swanky red Audi car. One remembers the drive to Matara in that red piece of art. Aravinda de Silva's convertible Merc and Sanath's Audi were the only two fancy vehicles outside the Lankan dressing room in those days. Things have changed much…as much as Indian Cricket has undergone a transformation.

Despite the very recognisable signs of this famous citizen in the Lankan outfit, he remains a simple man at heart. Never pretentious, always willing to welcome guests and strangers with a smile, even act as a perfect sporting ambassador. A committed father and a husband with preferences for television soaps like FRIENDS and even Indian news channels.

After almost 7000 days of one day cricket, 13000 plus runs and over 300 wickets, the Mumbai Indian's genius is unrivalled in international cricket today….Despite a world cup medal and many more in his cabinet Jaya will be going for one final shot at the T20 medallion. And all his fans will hope, JAYA HO!

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