Sunday, August 30, 2009

Leading writers claim Jayasuriya is the greatest 50-over cricketer

Legendary New Zealand cricket writer Don Cameron and Scyld Berry, Editor of Wisden, believe that Sanath Jayasuriya should be regarded as the greatest one-day player of all time.

Cameron, who was the New Zealand Herald Cricket Correspondent between 1960 and 1998, believes that Sanath Jayasuriya, who will be part of Sri Lanka?s squad at the ICC Champions Trophy 2009, is deserving of this title, as cricket fans across the world discuss who they believe to be the world?s leading one-day cricketer.

"I have chosen Jayasuriya because he has led Sri Lankan cricket for close on half his 40 years, and whether blasting centuries or fiddling batsmen out with his subtle left-arm slows, plays cricket with a smile on his face, and magic in his fingers," said Cameron.

"And when he and Romesh Kaluwitharana played their explosive opening innings as Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1995-96 he brought new life to a one-day game that was strangling itself in theory. From a personal point of view he is a cricket-writer's dream."

Meanwhile, Berry agrees that it was the method in which Jayasuriya played the game which makes him deserving of this crown.

"In the past, batting was defensive and bowling was attacking. Now, as a generalisation, it is the other way round. And nobody has done more to bring about this change than Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya, to my mind the greatest of 50-over cricketers," said Berry.

"I can still remember how shocked England were by their World Cup quarter-final of 1996 in Faisalabad. In their philosophy they had never dreamed of an opening batsman who hit every ball from the start, admittedly on a flat wicket, without playing himself in.

"Romesh Kaluwitharana made crash-ball 20s and 30s. His partner, Jayasuriya, scored fast and big: over 12,000 ODI runs in his career, and the second most centuries after Sachin Tendulkar, and all scored at almost a run a ball seizing the initiative for his country.

"If this is not enough to seal the deal, Jayasuriya has been - until Ajantha Mendis came along - Sri Lanka's second best spinner after Muttiah Muralidaran, and taken more than 300 ODI wickets. A brilliant left handed all rounder, his powerful hitting made all formats of cricket more exciting for us all."

Source : ICC Cricket

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