Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sangakkara pays tribute to milestone man Jayasuriya

New Delhi, Dec 26 (PTI): Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara today paid rich tribute to legendary teammate Sanath Jayasuriya, who made his ODI debut exactly 20 years ago.

The 40-year-old left-hander made a quiet ODI debut -- managing three runs off five balls at number five -- against Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground before he went on to be monikered the 'Matara Marauder' for redefining one-day batting in the 1996 World Cup.

Having played 443 ODIs in the last two decades, apart from the 110 Test matches, Jayasuriya is clearly past his prime but Sangakkara said the old warhorse still commanded respect in the dressing room.

"It's a great moment for him. Since the 1996 World Cup (which Sri Lanka won under Arjuna Ranatunga's captaincy with Jayasuriya as a crucial performer), he has gone on to turn one day cricket upside down with his batting," Sangakkara said.

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