Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jayasuriya has Sri Lanka backing

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has told Sanath Jayasuriya to continue his return to form against Pakistan in their Super Eight game on Friday.

Jayasuriya struck 81 off 47 balls in the win over West Indies on Wednesday.

"As a side, we have never had questions over what he can do," said Sangakkara. "We were just waiting till he made his way into the tournament.

"It's great for his confidence and the team's confidence. We need him to play the way he has played for years now."

Jayasuriya's powerful batting helped Sri Lanka win the 1996 World Cup in the 50-over game.

The 39-year-old has retired from Test cricket but is still going in the shorter form of the game and is the oldest player at the World Twenty20.

"He's a match winner, and as long as he's fit and willing to play for us, we are happy to have him," added Sangakkara. "He'll be 40 soon. The decision [to carry on or not] is his.

"We are happy to have him in the side. He's won us lot matches and I am sure he will win a lot of games as well for us in the future.

"It doesn't matter how old you are. In my view, if you are fit, scoring runs taking wickets and doing the hard work at training, that's what we require."

This will be the first time the two countries will have played since armed terrorists opened fire on the Sri Lanka team bus in March in Pakistan.

Sangakkara added: "Lahore is Lahore and that's in the past. We are here to play a fresh game of cricket."

Source : BBC Sport

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