Monday, June 21, 2010

Jayasuriya is hoping to learn from short stay

Sanath Jayasuriya is looking to make the most of his County stint.

In a team that lacks experience, Worcestershire’s youngsters can turn to a man who has done it all in the world of cricket.

Capped 440 times by Sri Lanka in one-day internationals — only India’s Sachin Tendulkar has represented his country more — Sanath Jayasuriya has had a career most can only dream of.

The 40-year-old made his debut for his country way back in December 1989 — before New Road youngsters Jack Manuel and Ben Cox were even born.

But even in the twilight of his career and a surprise omission from the Sri Lanka squad for the on-going Asia Cup, Jayasuriya has not given up hope of returning to the international fold and is looking to impress during his short-stay at Worcestershire.

“This is an opportunity for me to get back into the side,” the 1996 World Cup-winner said. “I need to work hard on my game with both the ball and the bat, then hopefully I can get another opportunity with the Sri Lanka team.

“I didn’t play that well in the World Twenty20 tournament and that is why I missed out on the Asia Cup.

“There isn’t much time left in my cricket career — I just take it series by series — if I can do well in one then I hope that I can get another opportunity.”

Jayasuriya focuses on trying to earn a recall to his national side that he has represented a staggering 580 times in all forms of the sport.

With players in the Royals side barely able to walk when the ‘Master Blaster’ began his career, there is plenty of experience for the Worcestershire stars to tap into.

“I want to share my experience from playing a lot of one-day and Twenty20 cricket and go and enjoy our cricket,” Jayasuriya said.

“Twenty20 is an exciting game, but at the same time it is not easy. I have played enough and hopefully I can use that to help the players.”

Jayasuriya says that he has not spoken to his compatriots Chaminda Vaas or Dilhara Fernando, who also played for the New Road side, about his move to Worcestershire. But the veteran is hoping that he can take a lot from his short stay with the County.

“Hopefully I can take my experiences from playing here back to Sri Lanka,” he said.

“Everyday you learn something in this game — even now, playing with the youngsters here I will learn something.”

With his sporting career on the final straight, the explosive batsman, who also bowls tidy slow left-arm spin, has recently been elected as a member of the Sri Lankan parliament.

In February, Jayasuriya became the MP for his home town Matara standing for the United People’s Freedom Alliance party.

“The country’s president (Mahinda Rajapaksa) wanted me to go back to my home town and work for my people who live there,” Jayasuriya said.

“They needed someone from that area to help, I got that opportunity and I was elected.

“I must thank them for having faith in me and I have to look after them.”

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