Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wayamba stun Ruhuna despite Jayasuriya's heroics

Mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis returned to form with a three wicket burst as Wayamba Province scored an upset five wicket victory over the table leaders Ruhuna Province in their SLT Inter Provincial Twenty20 cricket tournament match worked off at the SSC grounds in Maitland Place yesterday.

Mendis returned outstanding bowling figures of three wickets for 14 from 3.4 overs as Ruhuna Province were skittled out for 127 in the penultimate over of the innings. However they were cruising along towards a big total at one stage after skipper Sanath Jayasuriya had provided a flying start to the innings.

The dashing left hand opening batsman plundered 45 runs from just 23 deliveries inclusive of two sixes and half a dozen of boundaries to set the pace for a match winning total. But with the introduction of spinner Ajantha Mendis the game took a dramatic turn with Ruhuna Province losing wickets at regular intervals.

Middle order batsman Indika de Saram who hit a career best 94 in the previous outing against Basnahira North made a desperate attempt to pull his side from total disaster but the rest of the batting simply collapsed against the spin duo of Ajantha Mendis and Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

Wayamba Province then reached their target from only 17.1 overs with opener Mahela Udawatte leading the way. The dynamic batsman smashed 51 runs from 36 deliveries with the aid of one six and seven boundaries.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena also returned to form and added the finishing touches with a 28 ball 37 while stroking four boundaries. He also put on 65 runs for the third wicket with Udawatte.

Ruhuna: 127 in 18.4 overs (S. Jayasuriya 45, I. de Saram 22, A. Mendis 3 for 14, K. Lokuarachchi 2 for 16).

Wayamba: 130 for 5 in 17.1 overs (M. Udawatte 51, M. Jayawardena 37).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Discarded Saram shines in Ruhuna win after Jayasuriya / Tharanga Blitz

Sri Lanka discard Indika de Saram hammered a career best knock of 94 to spearhead Ruhuna Province to a rousing 51 run victory over Basnahira North in their SLT Inter Provincial cricket tournament match worked off at the Moors grounds in Braybrooke Place yesterday.

De Saram launched a fierce attack on the Basnahira North bowlers after the two season campaigners Upul Tharanga and veteran Sanath Jayasuriya had provided a flying start to their innings.

Tharanga went on to hit a sparkling half century from 47 deliveries inclusive of two sixes and four boundaries while Jayasuriya raced to a 13 ball 32 with one six and half a dozen of boundaries. De Saram took over the honours from there onwards with a swashbuckling innings from just 43 deliveries that contained as many as nine sixes and four boundaries.

Basnahira North never looked like overtaking this formidable total despite a valiant effort from wicket keeper batsman Kaushal Silva who hit a 47 ball 60 with the aid of nine boundaries. Paceman Tharanga Lakshitha was the pick of the bowlers with excellent figures of four wickets for 28 while Lasith Malinga and Kosala Kulasekera claimed two wickets each.

Ruhuna: 203 for 6 in 20 overs (U. Tharanga 52, S. Jayasuriya 32, I. de Saram 94)

Basnahira North: 152 in 19.1 overs (K. Silva 60, A. Mathews 23, N. Kulasekera 22 n.o, L. Malinga 2 for 24, T. Lakshitha 4 for 28, K. Kulasekera 2 for 28)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jayasuriya to lead Ruhuna Province team in The Inter-Provincial T20 cricket tournament 2009 conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket

The main focus will be on the Sri Lanka Schools XI when the Sri Lanka Cricket organized SLT Inter Provincial Twenty20 limited overs cricket tournament gets underway in Colombo today.

The Schools team captained by Ananda College skipper and wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal will take on Ruhuna Province in their opening fixture of the tournament at Braybrooke Place.

Dynamic all rounder and the captain of St. Peter’s College Angelo Perera is the vice captain and both players were members of the previous Sri Lanka Under 19 squad that participated in the ICC Youth World Cup staged in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Schools team will be further boosted with the inclusion of record breaking all rounder and captain of St. Joseph’s College team Shameera Weerasinghe who had the credit of completing the unique double of scoring one thousand runs and capturing one hundred wickets in the current inter school cricket season.

They made a fine impact in last year’s tournament too and will be looking to make a good start to their campaign. However they will be up against the star studded Ruhuna Province team led by dashing opener and veteran Sanath Jayasuriya.

The Ruhuna team will also have the services of several Sri Lanka caps Upul Tharanga, T. M. Sampath, Lasith Malinga and Indika de Saram.

Reigning champs to face tough task

Meanwhile the reigning Inter Provincial league champions Basnahira North will face a tough task when they take on Kandurata Province in another fixture of the tournament at the SSC grounds in Maitland Place today.

Basnahira North captained by Sri Lanka opening bowler Chaminda Vaas had the better of Wayamba Province in last week’s four day tournament final and will be hoping to complete a grand double.

The other key players in the Basnahira North line up are vice captain Thilina Kandamby, Angelo Mathews, Gayan Wijekoon, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, Ian Daniel and Nuwan Kulasekera who recently reached the top in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for bowlers in one day internationals.

Sangakkara’s power for Kandurata

The Kandurata Province team will be captained by the newly appointed Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara with spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharn as the vice captain. However they will miss the services of brilliant all rounder Sachith Pathirana who has been forced to pull out from the squad due to an injury.

His place will be taken by Suresh Perera and the other top players in the Kandurata side are Chamara Kapugedera, Dilhara Fernando, Tharanga Paranavithana, Chinthaka Jayasinghe and Thilina Thushara Mirando.

The third match of the opening day will be between Wayamba Province and Basnahira South at the SSC grounds in Maitland Place. Wayamba Province will be captained by Tillekeratne Dilshan with his Bloomfield club mate Chamara Silva as the deputy.

They will also have the services of few talented players in the form of Malintha Warnapura, Malinga Bandara, Suranga Lakmal, Hasantha Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardena and Dilruwan Perera.

Wayamba Province will be strengthened with the inclusion of mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis who will form a good spin combination together with Rangana Herath, Kaushalya Lokuarachchi and Sameera Soysa.

Wayamba Province will be captained by Jehan Mubarak with all rounder Jeewantha Kulathunga as his deputy.

They will also have the services of former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena, opener Michael van Dort and fast bowler Chanaka Welagedera. The tournament will be continued on March 26, 28, 29, 31 with the semifinals scheduled for April 4 at the SSC ground and the final to be worked off on the following day at the same venue.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jayasuriya to play for Bloomfield against Tamil Union in Coca Cola Premier limited overs tournament final

Two equally good teams Bloomfield and Tamil Union will clash in the Sri Lanka Cricket organised Coca Cola Premier limited overs tournament final at the R. Premadasa Stadium today.

Both teams have experienced mixed fortunes on their way into the final but are confident following their success in the two semifinals. In fact Bloomfield produced a fine performance to beat the giant killers Chilaw Marians SC in the first semifinal while Tamil Union had the better of NCC by 36 runs.

Bloomfield finished on top of the points table at the completion of the preliminary round with a total of eight victories and one loss from ten outings. Their solitary defeat came at the hands of Colts CC during the latter stages of the tournament.

Tamil Union were placed second in the points table with a total of seven victories and two defeats from their ten outings. They suffered two defeats at the hands of Colts CC by four wickets and Chilaw Marians SC by 21 runs.

The final is of great significance considering the fact that the clash between the two teams in the preliminary round tournament did not materialise and was abandoned due to bad weather.

The good news for Tamil Union is the return of the champion off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who is set to play only his second match of the tournament according to their assistant coach Trishen Nonis. The new vice captain of the Sri Lanka team will spearhead the Tamil Union bowling attack along with Isuru Udana (18 wickets) and Suranga Lakmal (14 wickets). The Tamil Union batting will revolve around Gihan Rupasinghe (292 runs), Ashan Priyanjan (283 runs) and skipper Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (253 runs).

Bloomfield of course have a strong team on paper and will be boosted with the return of dashing middle order batsman Tillekeratne Dilshan who will lead the side. He will also have the services of all rounder Chinthaka Jayasinghe who has scored 335 runs with three fifties and captured 19 wickets.

The other top run getters in the Bloomfield side are Chamara Silva who has a tally of 375 inclusive of four half centuries and Saman Jayantha 343 runs with three fifties.

The champions will receive a cash award of Rs. 750,000 and the runners up will receive Rs. 500,000. In addition special awards will be presented to the Best Batsman, Best Bowler, Man of the Match and Player of the Series.

The teams.

Tamil Union (from): Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (captain), Gihan de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan, Suranga Lakmal, Sajith Fernando, Sachithra Serasinghe, Ashan Priyanjan, Jeewan Mendis, Gihan Rupasinghe, Lanka de Silva, Isuru Udana, Madawa Perera, Malinga Surappulige, Anton de Livera, Sanjeewa Chaturanga, Viraj Perera and Pubudu Chandrasekera.

Bloomfield (from): Tillekeratne Dilshan (captain), Shanuka Dissanayake, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tharanga Lakshitha, Saman Jayantha, Chinthaka Jayasinghe, Anoj Ketapearachchi, Ranga Dias, Prasanna Jayawardena, Chamara Silva, S. Mendis Suraj Mohamed, Nuwan Pradeep, Sanjaya Gangodawila, Tharaka Gunaratne and Thilina Masmulla.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Abahani overcome Jayasuriya blitz and Mohammedan scare

WE CAN CELEBRATE NOW! Abahani players rush to congratulate their captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (L) after he has just dismissed dangerman Sanath Jayasuriya (not in picture) during their Premier Cricket League match against Mohammedan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday

Abahani went into the Dhaka derby without five front-line bowlers. Their brave captain and country's number one paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who was instructed not to bend his injured back, had to bowl off-spin, a rare sight for the Dhaka crowd. Still, they won against a better-health Mohammedan quite convincingly despite some degree of fireworks from Sanath Jayasuriya

On Sunday the platform however was perfect for Mohammedan and a non-performing Jayasuriya to end a dismal run in the league so far. The champion Sri Lankan left-hander, who scored two and nine in his previous two games, started in style by sending the depleted Abahani attack to the ropes before Mashrafe's off-spin stopped him on 42 in front of a sparse crowd at the big bowl.

His departure saw Mohammedan collapse from a prosperous 144 for 4 to 198 all out in 47.4 overs. They lost their last six wickets for 54 runs.

Holders Abahani were understandably cautious in their chase of the moderate target and they were in pole position until excitement crept when they were left to score 21 runs from the last three overs.

But man-of-the-match Sahagir Hossain finished the chase in style by clubbing two consecutive boundaries after Mashrafe hit the first against pacer Tareq Aziz in the penultimate over as Abahani posted 201 for 5 with seven balls to spare.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, Sahagir was unbeaten on 41 and hit three fours and a six during his 52-ball knock but it was Abahani's new Indian recruit Ranjan PR Parida who shared a vital 74 runs with Imran Ahmed for the third wicket to steady the ship after the departure of two openers -- Tamim Iqbal (24) and Rony Talukdar (4) -- for 41 runs.

The right-hander from Orissa fell victim of an unfortunate run out for 46 that came from 64 deliveries with the help of five sweetly-timed boundaries.

But it could have been a different story had Rokibul, who was earlier run out for a duck for unnecessarily chasing a single, not dropped the Indian at extra cover off Sohrawordi Shuvo when he was on 20.

Imran made 38 off 80 balls with two fours before left-arm pacer Sajedul Islam bowled him.

Earlier, Jayasuriya and Nadimuddin gave Mohammedan a watchful start before the veteran Sri Lankan cut loose. The left-hander was particularly savage against Abahani's reserve paceman Shahadat Hossain during his 40-ball 42.

Jayasuriya smashed four boundaries and two big sixes -- one each against Shahadat and left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny -- before Mashrafe removed the dangerman in his very first over. Jayasuriya charged down the wicket, looking for another big six but was caught at midwicket by Rony much to the relief of the Abahani tent.

Mohammedan suddenly lost their way after two stupid run out dismissals of Farhad Hossain (47 off 81 balls) and Rokibul while Arafat Sunny caused the damage in the middle by taking three wickets, evaporating Mohammedan's chances of crossing the 200-mark as well as using their full quota of overs.

"I think boys showed great characters today. I told everybody to enjoy the game and forget about injury problems and they did exactly that. I think it's all about courage which helped us to win the game," said a delighted Mashrafe after the match.


MOHAMMEDAN: 198 all out in 47.4 overs (Nadimuddin 22, Jayasuriya 42, Farhad 47, Marshal 27, Faisal 27, extras 15: Nasir 1-22, Sunny 3-43, Mashrafe 2-35, Rezaul 1-33)

ABAHANI: 201-5 in 48.5 overs (Tamim 24, Rony 4, Imran 38, Ranjan 46, Sahagir 41 not out, Nasir 13, Mashrafe 11 not out, extras 24; Jayasuriya 1-33, Shuvo 1-28, Farhad 1-18, Sajedul 1-30)

Result: Abahani won by five wickets.

Source : The Daily Star

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dhaka derby today | Chance to end Jayasuriya's Dhaka jinx

Sanath Jayasuriya is feared in the cricket world for his devastating display of batting. The champion Sri Lankan left-hander, however, has done little to justify his abilities in Dhaka cricket so far. But he might get a good chance to end his Dhaka jinx when his side Mohammedan Sporting Club face off their bitter rivals Abahani in the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

The good news for Jayasuriya and Mohammedan is that Abahani will be without their pace battery and might opt for an all-spin attack in the Dhaka derby.

The Dhanmondi giants are perched on top of the table with 16 points from nine games while Mohammedan are currently at fourth position with 11 points after equal number of matches.

However, the points table could mean little as Abahani go into the match with as many as five injuries to their frontline bowlers. Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has a back complaint while Talha Jubair and all-rounder Ziaur Rahman are inflicted with jaundice, pace bowler Subhashish Roy is meting out with typhoid and Tigers pacer Nazmul Hossain has a swelling in his knee.

In the face of such myriad injuries, the Sky Blues are left with a tough task against a much-improved Mohammedan, who conquered co-sharer in the top spot Bangladesh Biman in the last round, on a batting-friendly Mirpur wicket.

But despite injury concerns Abahani captain Mashrafe has said that his team are fully focused to overcome the odds.

"We have a lot of injuries and it might lead us to turn to all-spin attack. But we are ready to take the challenge. We perceive the match as an important one because every points won would be carried forward to the next stage", said Mashrafe.

He also added: "I am most probably not bowling in the match, but we will try and capitulate them with our spinners."

When asked about how big a factor Jayasuriya might be, Mashrafe said: "We will value each of their wickets equally, but yes Sanath is the most experienced player in the world so there is every reason to fear him, but we will try our hearts out to contest above level terms with Mohammedan."

Mohammedan are also nursing three injuries in their camp ahead of today's encounter.

Opening batsman Nasiruddin Faruk is down with a groin injury while bowler Emon has hurt his shoulder when fielding against Biman in Mohammedan's last match and Shamsur Rahman Shuvo is recovering from fever.

Abahani's foreign reserve has also suffered after Indian procure Venugopal Rao flew back home. They have, however, drafted in Orissan batsman Rashmi Ranjan Parida in Rao's place.

For Mohammedan, a victory will not only confirm their place in the Super Six but also enable them to reduce the gap with the leaders.

The injuries in the camp could lead to the inclusion of batsman Farhad Hossain and opening bowler Sajidul Hasan in the side.

In other matches of the Premier Cricket League, Biman play Cricket Coaching School at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium and BKSP meet Gazi Tank at BKSP.

Source : The Daily Star

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 48 balls - Sri Lanka vs Pakistan at Singapore 1996 | Fastest ODI tons ever series [Part - 1]

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 48 balls - Sri Lanka vs Pakistan at Singapore 1996

Sri Lanka had just won the World Cup during which Sanath Jayasuriya (seen here) had built his reputation as the `Matara Mauler’. He didn’t waste any time in showing why he enjoyed his exalted status.

In the first match of the Singer Cup he launched an astonishing onslaught on the Pakistan bowling which included Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed and Saqlain Mushtaq. After Romesh Kaluwitharana fell at 40, Jayasuriya totally dominated a second wicket partnership of 156 runs with Asanka Gurusinha.

During the course of a truly amazing innings Jayasuriya broke one record after another. In reaching his 100 off 48 balls he broke the previous mark of Md Azharuddin (62 balls) for the fastest century in ODIs. In hitting eleven sixes he broke Gordon Greenidge’s record of eight sixes for most number of such strokes in ODIs.

In one over from Aamir Sohail there were 30 runs scored - the most number of runs in a single over in an ODI. Jayasuriya hit 29 and there was one wide.

Gurusinha (29) was second out at 196 and Jayasuriya fell a run later but not before hitting 134 off 65 balls. Besides the eleven sixes he hit the same number of fours.

Sri Lanka went on to get 349 for nine in 50 overs and it is to Pakistan’s credit that they got as much as 315 before being bowled out in the last over.

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 55 balls - Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh at Karachi 2008 | Fastest ODI tons ever series [Part - 2]

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 55 balls - Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh at Karachi 2008

Just past his 39th birthday, Sanath Jayasuriya (seen here) was in the twilight of a long and illustrious career and no longer the batsmen the bowlers feared most as he was during his heyday in the 90s. But that he had lost neither his hunger for success nor his enthusiasm for the game was best illustrated by this knock in the Asia Cup.

Opening the innings with Kumar Sangakkara, Jayasuriya taught the younger man - no slouch with the bat himself - a thing or two about bit hitting. He reached his half century off 31 balls with six fours and four sixes.

Accelerating further Jayasuriya reached his century off 55 balls with 14 fours and five sixes. He was comparatively slower thereafter and took a further 33 balls to score 30 before he was out in the 28th over.

He had contributed 130 out of a first wicket partnership of 201 and hit 16 fours and six sixes. Sangakkara also got a hundred and Sri Lanka finished with 332 for eight in 50 overs.

There was hardly any fight left in the Bangladesh ranks and they were bowled out for 174 in the 39th over.

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 64 balls - Sri Lanka vs Netherlands - Amstelveen 2006 | Fastest ODI tons ever series [Part - 3]

Sanath Jayasuriya - 100 off 64 balls - Sri Lanka vs Netherlands - Amstelveen 2006

Sri Lanka vs Netherlands was always going to be a mismatch and it was on the cards that records would be set left, right and centre.

Sri Lanka notching up the highest score ever in ODIs 443 for nine in 50 overs was then no real surprise and Jayasuriya (seen here) at 37 and well past his heyday really came to the party.

He had long ceased to be the most feared batsman in ODIs, but on this day he really enjoyed himself and conveyed that enjoyment to the spectators. Opening the innings with Upul Tharanga Jayasuriya reached his half century off 34 balls with seven fours and a six.

After Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene had been dismissed with 88 runs scored, Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara commened the rout of the Dutch bowling with a third wicket partnership of 149 runs.

Jayasuriya reached his hundred off 64 balls with 15 fours and a six and continued to regale the audience with strokes all round the wicket reaching 150 off exactly 100 balls. He was fourth out at 291 after hitting 157 from 104 deliveries with 24 fours and a six.

With Tillekeratne Dilshan also getting a hundred, Sri Lanka were able to get their record total up on the board and then bowled out the Dutchmen for 248 in the penultimate over.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mohammedan win despite Jayasuriya's Dhaka Jinx

Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya continued his Dhaka jinx but Mohammedan rode on Tareq Aziz's heroics with bat and ball to shoot Biman down with a two-wicket victory, in an exciting encounter of the Premier Division Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.


The dashing left-hander Jayasuriya scored only two runs but it was former Tigers paceman Aziz who hogged the spotlight in the clash of the heavyweights.

Tareq first claimed four wickets conceding 36 runs as Biman were all out for 231 runs in 48.5 overs, after opting to bat first despite opener Nazmus Sadat's stroke-filled 80.

Tareq then played a pivotal part with the bat in front of a sparse crowd at the big bowl as the number ten batsman smashed a straight six off spinner Nabil Samad, which brought the winning runs for Mohammedan with two balls to spare.

One down Nadimuddin however top scored with 51 off 91 balls that featured three fours and a six while Nasiruddin Faruque and Faisal Hossain scored 38 runs each.

Earlier Sadat smoted eight fours and three sixes during his 70-ball 80 while skipper Sanwar Hossain contributed 41 off 68 balls with one boundary as Biman put up a decent total on the board.

Besides Tareq, pacer Dollar Mahmud claimed three wickets for 51 runs while Jayasuriya took two for 38 runs.

231 all out in 48.5 overs (Sadat 80, Zahid 20, Sanwar 41, Mushfiqur 24, extras 22; Tareq 4-36, Jayasuriya 2-38, Dollar 3-51)

MOHAMMEDAN: 234-8 in 49.4 overs (Faruque 38, Nadimuddin 51, Rokibul 27, Shamsur 28, Faisal 38, extras 16; Shahadat 3-38, Nabil 2-49)

Result: Mohammedan won by two wickets.

Source : The Daily Star

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Dream of watching Jayasuriya and Tendulkar play together to come true for small towns in India

Move to shift IPL ties to small towns hailed

The Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers’ move to shift matches to small towns like Rajkot, Nagpur and Baroda has found favour from former Test cricketers like Praveen Amre and Kiran More.

Former Indian middle order batsman and Mumbai Ranji Trophy coach Praveen Amre praised the IPL commissioner Lalit Modi’s intentions to shift some of the matches to small centres as it gives the spectators over there to watch international players rub shoulders with each other.

"I think it is a fantastic idea because the spectators from small towns get an opportunity to soak-in the Twenty20 atmosphere. Their dream of seeing two of the world’s most destructive batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya play for the same team will be realized. And even from the point of security it will be easier to secure a city like Nagpur or Baroda than to spread security blankets on big cities," Amre told on Friday.

"I also respect the fears of the Central Government as the elections always need tight security. Also IPL is just a year-old baby, which has created a huge response world over, and if something goes wrong due to lack of security it might become very tough for the organizers to convince foreign players or their boards to send them back next year.

No player would like to go through what the Sri Lankans went through in Pakistan," he added.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sanath surprise | Jayasuriya in Dhaka to play for Mohammedan Sporting Club

ARRIVED HERE SAFELY! Dashing Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya is on his cell phone as he comes out of the Zia International Airport yesterday. He is in Dhaka to play for Mohammedan Sporting Club in the on-going Premier League

A day after the mayhem in Lahore, dashing Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya arrived in the capital yesterday to play in the ongoing Premier Cricket League.

Struggling Mohammedan Sporting Club pulled off the surprise by bringing in the first big name for this year in the most coveted domestic competition in a bid to salvage the complete blushes. They have only five points from six matches to seven points adrift of table-toppers Biman.

Jayasuriya is expected to play his first match today against BKSP at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.

It was highly unlikely to meet the former Sri Lankan skipper in Dhaka a day after a cowardly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Lahore, on Tuesday morning, which left eight men dead and several Lankan cricketers injured.

The obvious question for the veteran cricketer was how he felt about the terrorist attack on any sportsman for the first time.

"The incident was a shocking one. I'm very disappointed and for the first time this kind of attack has happened in cricket," responded the 39-year old Jayasuriya, who has so far played 110 Tests and 432 ODIs.

"But it is a relief for us that all the cricketers are alive and the injuries are not life threatening," said the Matara Hurricane, who got the news first from one of his friends and contacted his colleagues over phone.

There has been a lot of talking about the future of Pakistan cricket and hosting the 2011 World Cup that will jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But Jayasuriya was not ready to comment on management issues.

Back to cricket, the experienced campaigner said that he would try his best for Mohammedan who are all but out of the championship race.

"I will try my best and I want to share my experience to help my team but it's a team game," he said.

But the charismatic Lankan's previous experience in domestic competitions here was not happy one as he continued his Dhaka jinx after his single failure back in 1997 when he failed to lift Mohammedan against an ordinary Agrani Bank side. He returned in November 2007 but scored only 14 runs, dropped a vital catch as well as giving away 37 runs in seven overs without any success for Acme in the Corporate Cricket League final.

Mohammedan roped in the Sri Lankan opener for second time as the 39-year old cricketer along with Arjuna Ranatunga had earlier played for the Motijheel outfit after Sri Lanka emerged champions in the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup.

The left-handed batsman, who is out of the Sri Lankan Test squad since December 2007, was supposed to come here earlier, but he was engaged in South African Club cricket.

Like a Pak of cards | Jayasuriya shattered by Terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team

The terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore has left Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lankan batting stalwart, shattered. It was in Pakistan that Jayasuriya remodelled himself as a classy opener in the 1996 World Cup and scored a dazzling double century at Faisalabad.

“This is for the first time that cricket has been targeted. It is an extremely unfortunate incident. We have never had this kind of problem. Though the good news is that all the players, in spite of injuries, are safe and are back in Sri Lanka,” he says.

It will be 20 years of cricket for the Sri Lankan batsman in December, and the news hit him harder because he remains as passionate about the game as ever. “I cannot imagine my life without cricket Be it in any form. The game has driven me all through out my life!” he says.

His association with the game and humanitarian work has also helped make a difference. Jayasuriya is a UN GoodWill Ambassador as well, and he says, “Coming from a country like ours, one has to do a lot of charity work and help people in any way one can. It becomes easier for a cricketer to convey a message. The people of Sri Lanka love cricket and they look up to us. It is a personal commitment.”

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"Everybody is safe and okay at the moment" - Sanath Jayasuriya | Sri Lankan Team attacked in Pak

At least five Sri Lankan cricketers have been injured after gunmen attacked a bus carrying the team on its way to play Pakistan in Lahore.

Thilan Samaraweera, Ajantha Mendis, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Thushara were hurt after around a dozen gunmen opened fire on the team bus as it neared the Gaddafi Stadium.

"We were told that there was a shooting incident while the team was on its way to the stadium. The players have returned to the hotel," Sri Lanka sports minister Gamini Lokuge told Indian news channel CNN-INB.

He added two players were still receiving treatment in hospital, including Samaraweera, who was hit in the thigh."

The Test and the remainder of the Sri Lankan tour has been cancelled, a huge blow to Pakistan after the Indian team pulled out of a tour following the Mumbai terror attacks in November.

Five Pakistani policemen were killed in the attacks and grenades and rocket launchers recovered in what Punjab governor Salmaan Tahseer called "an organised attack".

Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya told CNN-IBN he had spoken to Sangakkara) and "everybody is safe and okay at the moment".

"Mahela Jayawardene was also injured, but they are all safe at the moment," he added.

"When we played three one-day games there we had no problems. That is why the team went back to Pakistan again for the Test series.

"We had a good game in Karachi and then they went to Lahore where this unfortunate incident has happened.

"These are things you cannot control and the players are shocked at the moment. This is obviously something they haven't gone through before as a cricket team. I feel for them."

Jayasuriya continued: "I can't say at the moment what impact this would have on Pakistan cricket, but the priority at the moment is to see that the Sri Lankan players are safe."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

'I'm not interested in the captaincy' - Sanath Jayasuriya | Special Interview

Nearly 40 and still going strong, Sri Lanka's veteran opener is looking to contribute to the side, but he's not eyeing a leadership role again

February 28, 2009

We caught up with Sanath Jayasuriya after he returned recently from South Africa, where he played for the Nashua Dolphins this season in the provincial one-day and Twenty20 competitions. He came home for two days before whizzing off on a 24-hour visit to Mumbai, his new second home as he calls it, to work with the city's IPL side. In this interview he talks about his plans for the future, the resignation of Mahela Jayawardene, and the forthcoming IPL.

Did you enjoy your time with the Dolphins in South Africa?
Yes, it was a great experience. The only regret is that we lost our semi-final to the Cape Cobras and missed the chance to get into the Champions League, which had been our target this year. Nevertheless I was very grateful for the chance to play down in South Africa. It was a fresh challenge and a good experience. They have a good set-up there in Natal. I hope to go back and play next season too, depending on my international commitments.

What went wrong for Sri Lanka during the recent India series?
I thought the first two games were crucial in that series. We could have won them both and should have won the second, when we were chasing just 256. That was a big game. It left us under a lot of pressure in the third game and kept our confidence down. India then carried it away from us. Anyway, the problem was the consistency of the batting and the fact that we did not take responsibility during crucial periods. Not winning the toss is not an excuse, but that did not help in the day-night games.

How do you rate this Indian one-day team right now?
In my mind they are the best one-day team right now. They are playing some brilliant all-round cricket and all their batsmen are in top form. I feel they are ahead of both Australia and South Africa. That does not mean we should not expect to beat them. On the contrary, I think we can match them when playing at our best. It was great to win the final game and show that. We need to raise our one-day game fast because we have a very tough tour to India scheduled for later in the year.

Sri Lanka's one-day form has been inconsistent since the 2007 World Cup. What has been going wrong?
The main problem for us has been batting. We have been talking and discussing this a lot but at the end of the day we have not been delivering. All the batsmen, including me, need to take responsibility for that. The good news recently is that [Tillakaratne] Dilshan has performed in his new role as opener. The middle order has been a bit of a concern. We lack a guy like Russel Arnold, who has experience and the ability to absorb pressure. You need that kind of player at No. 6 or 7. Having said that, guys like Thilina Kandamby and Angelo Mathews are developing fast, which is encouraging. I think the talent is there. We just need to keep building and developing.

What are your views about the right balance for the team? During recent years Sri Lanka has moved towards a 6-5 batsman-bowler combination, where in the 2007 World Cup, and indeed the 1996 World Cup, there were seven batsmen in the team.
Personally I think 7-4 is better in Asian conditions, unless you have a genuine allrounder who is a top-order batsman at No. 7. Outside the subcontinent it makes sense for a 6-5 combination. The problem is that the Powerplay rules have made it important to take wickets, hence why we have liked to have five wicket-taking bowlers. But I think on balance, especially in Sri Lanka, we can get away with using good part-timers to fill in as the fifth bowler.

You are 39 but still clearly enjoying your cricket and performing.
I am pretty happy with my form right now. I have been batting well and it was good to get a century in the first game against India. In the other matches I was a bit disappointed to have wasted some good starts, as the team needs me to go on and make big scores. I'm also happy with my fielding and bowling at the moment. On the fitness front I have been working really hard. The older you get, the harder you need to work and I have been doing that, putting in lots of time in the gym and keeping myself in shape.

What are your plans for the future, and do you think you can play on to the 2011 World Cup?
The 2011 World Cup is a long way away right now. Yes, it is at the back of my mind, but it depends on form and fitness and it is too early to say. When you get to this stage of your career you need to perform all the time. That's the reality.

The recent decision by Mahela Jayawardene to step down from the captaincy after the present Pakistan tour has surprised many around the world. Were you also surprised?

Yes, I was surprised. It was surprising for everyone, I think, because he was doing really well. But it is his personal decision and he felt it was the right time, so you have to accept that. I spoke to him over the telephone from South Africa and he explained that it was something he'd been thinking about for a couple of months. He did a good job and can look back proud of what was achieved during the three years he was in charge - the England tour in 2006, taking us to the final of the 2007 World Cup, being adjudged Captain of the Year, and leading us to the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2007 and 2008. He had his own way of leading the team and I think one of his biggest strengths was that he always had confidence in his players. He always backed the players and led the team calmly, never showing any frustration. He was a good man manager.

Who do you think should take over?
Personally, I think Sanga will make an excellent captain. He has the experience after about eight years of international cricket; he has a very good cricketing brain; and he is a sensible guy with the right temperament to be a strong leader. He may have a lot on his plate, also keeping wicket in ODIs, but I don't see that as a problem for him. He can handle that responsibility easily.

What about yourself? There has been some talk of you being considered for the ODI or the Twenty20 captaincy. Would you be interested?
No way! I have done my four years as captain. I enjoyed it a lot and it was an honour to lead the team. But my job now is to contribute to the team as a senior player. I have to keep performing consistently and that is my focus. I will help and support whoever the selectors choose, but I am certainly not interested in captaining any of the teams.

The second edition of the Indian Premier League is fast approaching. Are you looking forward to it?
The next priority is Sri Lanka's one-day series against Zimbabwe, but yes, I am looking forward to this year's IPL. I really enjoyed being with the Mumbai Indians last season. It was exciting playing in front of huge crowds, and the standard of cricket was very high. We started badly but I was really pleased with the way we bounced back in the second half of the tournament. We are looking to build on that this year. I love the city; it's full of life, energy and amazing people. I was made to feel a part of Mumbai, and I'm looking forward to going back.

The IPL's critics worry about its impact on Test cricket. What are your thoughts on this?
I don't see why the IPL or Twenty20 cricket will threaten Test cricket. Test cricket is unique and you can't touch it. Serious cricket fans and the players will always love Test cricket. I do think, though, that Twenty20 cricket is a competitor for the 50-over format. That's why we are seeing modifications and innovations being made to this form of the game. That's good and will help cricket become more popular.

Do you believe the IPL needs a window in the Future Tours Programme?
Yes, I think most people accept that now. The IPL is going to be the biggest Twenty20 tournament in the world and it has proven its success. You can't have windows in the international schedule for all domestic Twenty20 tournaments, but the IPL deserves one when the new FTP is agreed. When there is a window there will be no clashes for players or problems for sponsors or franchises. This will also be a positive for national cricket boards by raising funds through the Champions League. For a country like Sri Lanka, that revenue is very important for the development of the game.

Courtesy : Cricinfo
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